Remember the domino theory?
It didn't have anything to do with the pleasant game of deploying spotted oblong tiles. Rather, it was a way to view the world that believed, once a nation became communist, its neighbors would also fall under the sway of Marx, Lenin, et al., working like an infection toward the good old U.S. of A.
The theory didn't show much confidence in our own system. But it was enough to get 57,000 American soldiers killed in the 1960s and 1970s trying to stop one tiny Asian country, South Vietnam, from being absorbed by its communist neighbor, North Vietnam.
In the daily anguish that is the Trump administration, I've been using the Vietnam War as a touchstone, a reminder of how bad things aren't, at least not yet. Because you might be forgiven, reading the analyses surrounding Trump's first 100 days in office, for assuming that his administration represents some historic nadir of disaster in the realm of American mis-governance. Vietnam reminds us there are hells below this one.
Yes, it's difficult to identify disaster aborning. Vietnam simmered for years. But Trump's missteps tend to be utterly stillborn, and he has fallen into a regular pattern of initial zeal for the detestable — to ban Muslims, scrap health insurance for millions, build a nonsensical wall and, most recently, bankrupt the country giving tax breaks to the rich. Each folly in turn is thwarted by the heretofore lamented but now cherished diffusion of power and creaking inefficiency of American government: blocked by the courts, by rebellious fellow Republicans, by fierce local resistance.
Then Trump shrugs and moves on....
To continue reading, click here.