From the Left



Greatness is within Trump's reach

Dana Milbank on

The State Department doesn't need so many diplomats if it redefines its mission to remove such cumbersome goals as "democracy promotion." Budget balancing becomes easier if you simply set projected annual growth at 3?percent rather than the 2?percent economists actually expect. And bankers can no longer be accused of favoring profits over a client's best interests when there is no requirement that they do otherwise.

If you think about it broadly, there is no problem Trump can't solve by redefinition.

Trump's promise to rebuild the nation's aging infrastructure, particularly bridges and airports (for one-third the regular price!), is not looking so good. But a simple redefinition could fix this. The American Society of Civil Engineers reports that the average American bridge is 43 years old. But if the Trump administration were to define "years" for infrastructure in Jupiter years rather than Earth years, those same bridges would only be 3.6 years old. Problem solved.

Trump has pledged to deport 11?million people living illegally in the United States -- but it appears his administration is actually deporting fewer people than before. Here, a simple word change would do: Strike the word "illegally." About 15?million people in the United States self-deport each year (we come back when our vacation or business trip is over, but Trump can leave that part out). Goal met.

In a broader sense, Trump's "Make America Great Again" goal won't hold up well when his supporters realize that coal, steel and heavy manufacturing jobs aren't coming back. But what if he redefines greatness, not by the number of jobs but by the number of people who stand for the national anthem at football games?


Greatness is within reach -- if we define it down.


Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group



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