"The longer we fail to mark the distinction between arbitrary and rule-based government, the more successfully the president can install personal privilege as the default conception of authority in the popular imagination."
Trump and his appointees do not follow the rules and protocols. They produce confusion, chaos, and arbitrary results. Trump's power comes from this disorder. Gullible press confuses arbitrary and rule-based government resulting in Trump’s ability to exercise his power.
A feudal system operates by all political authority residing in the king. The king distributes his authority to vassals who arbitrarily exercise privilege within their domain.
In a law-based system, the officer’s authority resides within the office and checks power by established charges and routine procedures.
The difference between a kingdom and rule-based government is the process.
An aristocratic title comes from nothing but the privilege and requires nothing.
A rule-based government requires an officer to have knowledge and skills to carry out his charge.
Trump’s genius lies in his comprehension of this dynamic. When Trump does something outrageous he asserts privilege as power.
”Each and every outrage only proclaims more brightly his power as understood by his base. Chaos is his secret weapon. Just think how the kings of old awed their minions with obscene expenditure even in the face of rampant poverty and were loved for it?”
It was this process that the Founding Fathers rejected and created a new form of government based on the U.S. Constitution. Offices had charges and routine procedures established based on rule by law.
Privilege is not the natural order of things, it is just primitive.
The U.S. Constitution, intended to replace rule by privilege with rule by law.
~ Martin Powers is Sally Michelson Davidson Professor of Chinese Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan, and former director of the Center for Chinese Studies.
To date, Trump has been wandering about like a dog with no one holding its leash. At some point, possibly in the fairly near future, though, he may find himself pulled up short ... and discover that someone has taking a most firm grasp of said leash, someone by the name of Robert Mueller.
And maybe, just maybe, we can return back to the rule of law, starting from that point. It's no slam-dunk, but it strikes me as being possible.
Loren, that makes sense.
Now, this has power!