29 September 2017

What (New) Word Describes Trump's Administration?

It's not enough that Trump has no interest in policy and experience in governance. Today with Tom Price's resignation we're reminded of the incredibly high levels of turnover in this White House and this fact: between Trump's leadership, his lack of patience for learning, and the fact that his staff is in constant turmoil, we're destined to be led by amateurs this whole time.

And actually, amateur is the wrong word. The ama in amateur comes from the Latin word amator, or lover. An amateur does what they do freely, out of love. The Trump administration has contempt for governance and the public they "serve" so this isn't work done out of love. It's not love but contempt that seems to animate them.  It's worth remembering that a climate change denier is head of NASA and a man (former governor Rick Perry) who vowed to eliminate the Energy Department if only he could remember its name is now head of the Energy Department.

Rather than led by amateurs, perhaps we could use the term contemptuaries. Contempt, too, has Latin roots. Temnere means to slight or scorn. Temp also has the connotation of someone who is just a temp, not a real, dedicated employee concerned with the success of the enterprise but instead someone who is just there to complete some tasks and then get out. Trump's administration - with people like Betsey Devos and Ben Carson - is full of contemptuaries who have little interest in policy, are just passing through, and show contempt for the government and the people their agency is supposed to serve.

Trump's contemptuaries. Not even at the level of amateurs.

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