There’s no one behind the wheel and no one opening books. Mr. Mad Dog and I agree that’s no good
I am peeved, peevish, petulant, put out, sulky, sullen and testy. I am reading a thesaurus. I am a malcontent.
I did not just suddenly become a malcontent when Donald Trump became president-elect. As I have mentioned in this space earlier, more than once, around about 1962, I was diagnosed by Mrs. Brown, the social counselor of my middle school, as “maladjusted.” Immediately upon hearing her explain my behavior, I came to realize I was in fact a malcontent. I was maladjusted on account of being malcontented.
One of the reasons I was a malcontent was that I read newspapers every day and paid attention to what was going on. Good grief, the Cuban Crisis!
OK, it’s more complicated than that. Everyone else reacted to the Cuban Crisis, but the difference is I never stopped reacting. The others said, yay, it’s over. I said, oh no, now something else just as bad will happen.
I was right.
Here’s a fun game I like to play when I’m on one of the streetcars with Anitra “Partner in Crime” Freeman. The streetcars have drivers’ booths at both ends so they never have to turn around. So we will get on at the back and wait until other passengers board. Then I will peer into the drivers’ area and say, “Oh no! There’s no one driving this thing! We’re all going to die!” Ha ha. Good times. No one ever laughs but us.
Anyway, that’s the way this country is right now. We have a man in charge who is not going to be in the driver’s seat. How do I know this? I know this because I read the papers, and one of them — The Washington Post, which should know these things — said that so far Donald Trump won’t bother with the daily intelligence briefings he’s been offered.
You can’t drive if you don’t look ahead and see where you’re going. Well, that’s not true. You can drive the way a toddler “drives,” work the pedals.
In fairness, Mike Pence is attending the intelligence briefings, although there is no evidence that he is able to share any of it with his boss, who says he doesn’t need to know that stuff. The only thing Trump thinks he needs to know is what Trump does.
So the picture might more accurately be: Toddler number one is pushing the pedals. Toddler number two, watching from the passenger seat, shouts, “No, no, no!” and toddler number one shouts back “Lalalalala, I don’t hear you!” Bang!
Then, there’s the fact that Donald Trump reads almost nothing. We know he likes to read speeches by a famous dictator, but he can’t be bothered beyond that.
I get it, he’s too busy. But the same Washington Post put the matter in perspective by highlighting some thoughts of a possible secretary pick of Trump’s, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
General Mad Dog avidly reads history books and books on war strategy. He has said this about it: “The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e., the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.”
I never thought I would be saying these words, but I agree completely with a man named Mad Dog. And the fact that Donald Trump plans to take the driver’s seat of this country with nothing to go by but experience gained from Jan. 21 on and who won’t even take the time to learn what U.S. intelligence can tell him about what he may encounter, makes me feel like I’m flying off a cliff in a Buick and headed for canyon bottom, and I’m not a cartoon character, I’m real.
Last week I talked about the fact that the Arctic Ocean is warmer than ever and no one really knows why or whether it will get back to normal. You know who’s working on that? NASA.
You know who thinks NASA shouldn’t work on that?
Trump’s space policy advisor.
Purposeful ignorance in preparation for critical action is shaping up as the one consistent policy of the incoming Trump administration.