BOSTON (CBS) — Let’s be honest about it–people love to gawk at a car crash, it’s just human nature. And when the demo derby involves politicians, it’s even better box office.
That’s the context behind some of the coverage of the Trump presidency. Just look at the nouns of choice headlining yesterday’s events: the withdrawal of Trump’s nominee for labor secretary is the “Latest Trump Travail,” occurring as “Turmoil in Trump’s DC Grows,” and fueling – as does everything, up to and including Ivanka Trump smiling a bit too much at Justin Trudeau – a “sense of crisis.”
“Crisis.” That’s a loaded word. It means a “time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger.” Synonyms: calamity, catastrophe, disaster.
What’s actually going on in Washington? Pols on the make, lawyers lawyering, enemies leaking on each other, TV talking heads with a head of steam on. So far, however disturbed or disgusted that may leave you, that’s close to business as usual.
And it’s a far cry from what people outside the Beltway might think of as a crisis – chronic unemployment, fear of forced separation from family, or putting our troops on the ground in Syria.
Which brings up the secondary definition of a crisis as a decisive moment in history; a crossroads, a moment of truth, crossing the Rubicon.
That definition might be more relevant here. We all do have something in common with the pols, the lawyers, and the rest – we have to make a decision what boat we think can make it across that river without springing a really bad leak.
Listen to Jon’s commentary