From The Editor: When Everything Looks Like a Nail


I often feel that if we could somehow look into Donald Trump’s toolbox it would contain only hammers.  In the two years or so of political life he has begun to appear to my eyes as a man who views most things in life as a challenge, all challenges as threats, and all threats as nails to beaten into submission.  While there is a group of people, men and woman, who might applaud this thinking as being strong and powerful, I actually think that it is often a demonstration of weakness.  My thinking is simple:  brute force is an application of survival action and not the use of logic to solve problems.

While it is true that there are many kinds of hammers to do many kinds of tasks, they remain one type of tool—they strike blows.

What does this mean for the person who needs a lamp wired?  There is no hammer meant for that task.  It requires different tools, wire cutters, wire strippers, a screwdriver…all tools requiring manual dexterity.  While I am a fan of the hammer, in its proper usage, it hardly does everything I need in my shop.  It also requires little more than a clenched fist to wield it.  Any one of the simian families can easily be taught, might even discover themselves, how to use a hammer.  They might even put it to good use—they are already using tools to extract insects for food, perhaps they would use it to open up a termite mound.

Without the more complex mind that allows them to understand electricity, and the process needed to wire the lamp, the other tools might leave them with less of a clue as to their function.  So the use of other tools is not necessarily based on complexity of use, but on the theory behind what they are used on or for.  When you understand electricity, and you see how transmission is accomplished, it is not hard to grasp the need to cut the wire, to expose some, but only some, of the bare copper, and to affix the copper securely to the lamp socket with screws.  So do we see the flaw in Donald Trump as a leader in this analogy?  I believe so.

The theories that humankind uses to interact on many levels, societal levels and those involving diplomacy, are like the theory of electricity.  He does not understand them; he has never had to operate under their constraints.  What he wanted, he took—and if he could not get it easily, he took a hammer and pounded until he got it.  His hammers have been cash, deceit, and force of personality…these we know of.  These he has bragged about.  And yet, here is the irony, he calls himself a great negotiator, a deal maker.  With a hammer?  I think not.

The republicans that have propped him up do so knowing full well that this hammer toting hulk is teetering on the brink of creating his own demise and have no fear THEY WILL PUSH HIM OVER THE EDGE.  When the time comes it will not have to be the democrats who end his career as president, but the party that has used him as a distraction and puppet will cut him loose and move on with their plans.  The republicans are far more capable than he is; they know politics and know what they want.  It will be ten times easier for them to pull the plug on his presidency than for anyone else.

Donald Trump serves a purpose, for now, but when that time is over they will send him and his toolbox packing…sledgehammers and all.


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