Mailbombs sent to former presidents and television networks. Stocks volatile and uncertain. New trade costs and restrictions announced weekly, if not daily. Chaos is reigning in the United States right now, upsetting anyone who stays connected and informed.
This is not what government should be encouraging. Stability and order are always the first job of government, and in fact what it exists for in the first place. That may sound like a very conservative interpretation, but for the vulnerable who need protection and help reliability is a matter of life and death.
Nothing has marked the Trump administration more than chaos. Times of great change are always difficult, and there is little doubt that Trump and his base want a lot of change to occur. That’s perfectly normal. But when change is not being executed against a consistent and known plan, it’s nothing but craziness.
Most people have enough craziness in their lives without government giving them more.
Stability is always what good government is all about. That doesn’t mean that things can’t be nudged in a good direction, or even changed wholesale from time to time. It means that the world is reliable and knowable, even when moving firmly in one direction. The best analogy is a car moving down the freeway – great speed actually requires it to be firmly gripped to the road and reliable, not less so. Bouncing back and forth makes travel more difficult, not easier.
As it stands now, the nation is quite directionless. We don’t really know where we are going with our budgets or trade policy. We certainly are bouncing around a lot, something which distracts us from the road and makes it unclear whether we’ve passed the right exit. All we know is that we are careening somewhere in a jalopy that doesn’t seem reliable at all in a mad dash for someplace.
It’s a white-knuckle death trap with no particular purpose.
People in poverty are used to rides like this, when they can afford one at all. It’s a big part of the cycle of poverty, not the process for working out of it. Getting out of the day by day grind of merely surviving takes more than opportunity, it takes focus and at least some belief that it’s all going to work out. A sense of stability is the light at the end of the tunnel.
Government has to provide that more than anything else. Nothing gets better without a belief that it will get better. Chaos doesn’t help anyone’s attitude. Of course, the truly wealthy can always make money shorting a stock on the way down as well as on the way up, so they have ways of prospering even in bad times. Poor and working class people need to make longer range plans to make anything happen.
Stability has to be the goal of any legitimate government. Stability is something we do not have right now. That has to change before anything good is going to happen.