DRIED UP AND TIED UP

Posted in Rants on May 30th, 2016 by Ed

The horrifying realization that the election is just beginning is brought into high relief every time Trump talks about an actual issue. The GOP nomination process was so utterly devoid of substance that up to this point we've mostly been talking in circles about his sanity and his sincerity. Where he actually stands on issues is only now and in the near future going to become apparent, and if you think he's an asshole now you're going to have to invent some new insults by November.

He appears to be going from state to state telling the local population of reactionaries whatever they most want to hear. He told Iowans that ethanol (a certified boondoggle and massively expensive welfare program for agricultural interests) is the key to his ideas about energy independence before flying to California to tell the state's substantial population of complete assholes that there is no drought, only a lack of will to stand up to The Environmentalists who won't let water be diverted from wild rivers for economic activity. This literally is an argument straight from online comment sections. Your dumbest uncle and friend from high school have posted it on Facebook at least once, guaranteed.

The argument ("argument") is as follows. All urban water consumption in California adds up to about 9 million acre-feet annually, and the state's enormous agricultural industry uses about 34 million. Wild rivers in the state handle about 25 million per year, none of which is dammed or diverted for economic use. So, if those pussy libtard tree huggers would just let agribusinesses build dams and diversion channels on all the wild rivers, problem solved.

This is precisely the kind of logic that appeals to people who have no real understanding of a public policy problem. They glance at some numbers on a chart and anoint themselves Fully Informed on the subject, insisting that it's "really simple" and "not hard" and the solution is "obvious." These are people who think the Federal budget could be balanced if someone would just take a pen and cross some things out. It's Common Sense! Unfortunately these oversimplified ideas from simpletons ignore all reality, context, and consequences in whatever mental calculus underlies them, if any. In this case the logic ignores the location of the wild rivers (generally nowhere near population centers) and the consequences of damming them. I'm not talking about the consequences to some endangered fish that Trump types clearly do not care about under any circumstances, but the long-term consequences to the climate and landscape of the state. Southern California, in case anyone has forgotten, is a desert. That is the root of the problem – not environmentalists hugging trees in Berkeley.

Listening to that California speech (if you can stomach it) makes it perfectly clear that Trump has thought about this issue for all of about ten minutes in his life but, as usual, is now 1000% convinced that he has the solution. What leadership! Like a college student trying to bullshit his way through a speech by browsing the internet five minutes before it is due, Trump's ideology (if it can be so called) is starting to look like an overarching ultra-short sighted, scorched earth approach to any issue that he thinks a crowd of yokels might be mad about. There is no future, there is no reality, there are no considerations that need to enter into the decision-making calculus. The answer to everything is whatever some guy who is furious about an issue he fundamentally does not understand thinks is the Common Sense answer.

Someone joked a long time ago that Trump is like a comment section running for president. That is going to prove more accurate a prediction than anyone realized.