I found my self thinking about the President and his swirl of tweets and scandals and wondering if we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. (More)
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“The tip of the iceberg” is a common phrase borrowing from the science of icebergs where only 1/9th of the berg is visible, with the other 8/9ths beneath the surface.
Most of the ice in an iceberg is underwater, leaving only the “tip of the iceberg” visible – a fact that is often alluded to in discussions of subjects in which the most important aspects are hidden from view.
News junkies, political junkies and pundits all seem to be struggling to just cope with the 1/9th we can see. The angry tweets, the inappropriate speeches (Boy Scouts), the random belittling of staffers and elected officials, the sudden changes of topics, the cozying up to dictators and the trashing of our former allies are enough to keep us confused. He generates sound bites and throws off lines to satisfy and inflame his base. People debate whether we should take him literally or seriously. Really! How about neither as inconsistency and chaos are his constants.
I am wondering what is happening that we can’t see – what does the other 8/9s look like? I also wonder what an MRI and thorough health examination might tell us but I probably won’t get those answers ever.
The tip of the iceberg is the place where Republican bumper stickers come from. Things like “family values” and “fiscal responsibility” are what we get above the surface while below the surface the plan is to deliver tax cuts to their wealthy donors and if they have to take access to health care from the poor and middle class, children, the disabled and the elderly so be it. Pro-life is the tip of the iceberg that attracts evangelicals and anti-choice religious people. Beneath the surface are programs and policies that take reproductive choice from women and leave them without any safety net to get help in raising a child.
Sadly, as a life-long Democrat, I say we have been losing the war of words above the surface. Where we excel is all the policy details that happen underneath the surface. Campaigning is about the tip of the iceberg. Governing is about what we can’t see, the quiet, day-to-day work of experts, bureaucrats, and other people who make good government happen.
George W. Bush, selling his tax cuts said something like it’s your money and you should get to keep more of it. He didn’t tell people how much more of their own money the richest people would get to keep. That fact was under the surface. Can you imagine a small town mayor saying, these are your roads, get your own bucket of tar and fill the damn potholes yourselves?
This musing started with someone asking if I wanted to watch Titanic. The movie took longer to watch that it took the Titanic to sink. I wish I could say the same about the tip of Trump’s iceberg.
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