I have great enthusiasm for policy and very little interest in politics. For decades I’ve put in my time, walking my precinct as a Republican committeeman, volunteering for campaigns, working on local legislative councils and so on, out of a sense of obligation. But what really interested me was the work of assembling smart, effective legislation. Politics was a necessity. It was a duty, not an interest.
Now policy is dead. Starting in two weeks, both the legislative and executive branches of our federal government will be under the complete control of idiots. Our national labs will be led by Rick Perry, a C student and cheerleader who thinks climate change is a hoax. Our security infrastructure will be administered by people who believe the crap in your crazy uncle’s Facebook posts. Education policy will be formulated by a billionaire heiress and religious nut who doesn’t believe in public education. The stupidity on display for the last six years on the House Science Committee will now spread like a brain-killing blanket across the entire federal government.
We can talk about policy at the federal level. We can debate which tax plans or health insurance proposals make sense. But for the foreseeable future, likely to extend beyond the 2020 election, our federal government will be either controlled or constrained by people who have absolutely no interest in reality.
Whatever policy emerges from the federal government in this climate, it will be guided by delusions, written by morons, and crafted to solve problems that don’t exist using mechanisms that don’t work. We are going to live for an extended time under a grand national experiment in Idiocracy. The tough, interesting, intellectually challenging work of crafting useful policy has lost any immediate relevance. Policy only matters to some potential future that looms out beyond the horizon.
What seems to matter for the near term is the challenge of organizing a resistance to the tide of malice building across the country. I’ll do my best to provide a platform here that can assist the fight. I’ll put my shoulder into the effort. This isn’t what I like doing, but it’s necessary.
You’ll still see pieces about public policy here. Don’t ask how they can be implemented. They can’t, at least not anytime soon. That really isn’t the point anymore.
If public policy has any relevance in the near term, it’s as a reference point for rallying a political resistance beyond the weak and crumbling infrastructure of our two parties. Right now, it is enough politically for people on the right and left to unite around opposition to a corrupt Idiocrat. In time, it will be necessary to organize around policy proposals, building a platform that can shape a new version of left and right. Whatever you read here in policy terms will be written toward that future.
Writing about policy under a Trump administration is a kind of rebellion against futility. Our ability to use federal policy to address public needs is dead for now. One day we may restore that capability. To get their we’ll need a new template of ideas, crafted in a frustrating environment of futility, with our eyes on a vision for the future that only exists today in our imagination.