Thursday, April 13, 2017

Not so steady at the helm

Chaos can be creative. The existence of chaos at the sub-atomic level of the cosmos introduces both novelty and the possibility for beings to have limited autonomy. Novelty and limited autonomy are two important elements of the human spirit as well as two of the ways in which the human spirit emulates the Creator’s spirit. Furthermore, the Creator’s own limited autonomy and capacity for introducing novelty help to explain why the cosmos continues its dynamic evolution
However, chaos can be destructive. Human beings generally function on the basis of patterns, presuming consistency rather than chaos. For example, voters desire consistency in their elected officials. With consistency, a voter reasonably expects the elected officer holder to support policies advocated during her or his election. Similarly, in an uncertain world with continuing threats from terrorists, nuclear armed powers, and aspiring economic competitors consistency allows both friends and enemies to have a high degree of confidence about the likely response to adversarial acts.
The importance of consistency, an essential element of integrity, is one reason why the media and other politicians quickly attack a politician for changing positions. Of course, some changes reflect the availability of new information and other changes result from a politician reassessing known facts. Yet other changes appear chaotic, whether attempts to sail with the prevailing wind of public opinion, indicative of indecision, or otherwise inexplicable.
President Trump’s actions this week indicated major departures from several key elements of his campaign platform. He communicated that he now opposes a border added tax. He is reviewing his stance on immigration. He is looking for a way to revise the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), contrary to his previously avowed intent to move on to tax reform. Most notoriously, he intervened militarily in Syria, a move that he adamantly opposed during the campaign and a move for which he repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton for supporting.
Do these changes point to Trump reassessing what he deems to be the best course of action, reassessments attributable to his new view of the world from the Oval Office? Alternatively, are these changes simply the latest expression of the chaos characteristic of Trump the businessman and Trump the president?
The US and the global community benefit when there is a steady hand on the helm in the White House. If this week’s past week’s policy changes by the Trump administration indicate an effort to reduce governmental chaos, then the changes represent a constructive step forward even though I vehemently disagree with some of them, e.g., defunding Planned Parenthood as part of his proposal to repeal and replace the healthcare law. More likely, the changes demonstrate the continuing lack of a steady hand on helm of the US ship of state.

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