“You see what Trump just did?!”
As I write this, he’s gotten himself into another jam; by the time you read this, there’ll have been several more.
Our president greets each day with a few odd tweets, puzzling statements or controversial actions, each sending the D.C. press corps into a new panic.
At least until they’re distracted by the next crazy scoop out of the White House.
And Capitol Hill is hardly inspiring confidence. The GOP controls the House and Senate, so you’d expect them to be passing one conservative reform after another. Instead, the House ekes out unpopular bills and the Senate proclaims them dead on arrival.
Meanwhile, out-of-power Dems are distracting themselves with hyperbole, media stunts and thousands of #resist hashtags on Twitter.
America is the world’s most powerful nation, and everyone in the capital has lost their damn mind.
Granted, the Beltway was hardly a well-oiled machine before the current crew took over. Team Obama left us with a collapsing health-care system and a $20 trillion Visa bill, while Bush presided over mismanaged wars and a Wall Street bailout.
Optimistic voters thought new leadership would fix the foundering ship of state. Just hold on ‘til 2017, they thought. The cavalry is coming. Help is on the way.
By now, anyone hoping to drain the swamp — or even see a few grown-ups running the show — must be sorely disappointed. Washington remains a festival of incompetence.
The standard reaction is to look to 2018 and 2020. If we just rearrange a few deck chairs, the Titanic will right itself again. But if the recent past is any guide, a few new faces won’t change much at all.
It’s past time for the American people to accept a harsh truth: The cavalry isn’t coming from Washington and no federal help is on the way.
That’s no reason to despair, however, since every crisis brings opportunity. If D.C. won’t get the job done, we need to focus on solutions closer to home.
The United States wasn’t designed to be run by some far-off mandarins in an imperial capital. Most day-to-day responsibilities were handed to each state, and most state responsibilities were handed to counties, cities and towns.
When people talk of checks and balances, they usually think of the White House, Congress and courts holding each other responsible. But the Founders also created a check and balance between Washington and the states. It’s on the state and local level where citizens make the largest impact.
The next few years will be a roller coaster. If a state wants to survive — let alone thrive — its leaders need to make the big decisions themselves. Each state needs to create its own success.
Thankfully, Arizona’s leaders are ahead of the curve.
Instead of waiting for the Department of Commerce to improve the business climate or the Department of Labor to produce jobs, Arizona is cutting red tape, fast-passing high-tech initiatives and welcoming employers from the other 49 states.
Instead of waiting for the Department of Education to fix schools, Arizona is raising teacher pay, investing in all-day kindergarten classes and expanding proven school-choice programs.
Instead of waiting for the State Department or the president himself to improve our damaged relationship with Mexico, Gov. Doug Ducey is meeting that nation’s leadersto build mutual respect and greater cooperation.
Of course, Arizonans can’t stop North Korean belligerence or reform the IRS. But the Constitution allows us to fix all sorts of issues that Washington would rather ignore.
The rest of the country can wait for the Beltway to get its act together. Arizona knows that the cavalry isn’t coming, so we’ll handle it ourselves.