The Washington Post informs us today that Trump embarks on expansive search for disloyalty as administration-wide purge escalates.
No, It’s Not “Loyalty” He Seeks, It’s Delusion
The headline is in error. It is not “loyal” to reinforce your boss’s delusions, knowing they are delusions. That sort of behavior is pretty much the opposite of loyalty. It induces and enables your boss to persist in behavior likely to lead to his own destruction.
The correct headline would be Trump Embarks on Purging All Officials Who Do Not Share His Delusions, or At Least Claim to Share His Delusions.
The Danger of Institutional Corruption—Pre-Election
As of now, the purge will, for the most part, lead to the installation of incompetent bottom feeders like Richard Grenell. The kind of person who would not have been hired by a third-rate law firm. The kind of person who would have gone bankrupt selling liquor on Skid Row.
The present risk, in my view, lies mainly not in the prospect of corrupting our great institutions, but rather in hollowing them out, making them ineffective, and tending toward their destruction.
In the Justice Department, for example, if Trump and Barr persist in trying to gin up bogus prosecutions of Trump’s detractors, then they will drive out lots and lots of career employees.
As of now, I do not see lots of competent Trumpcentric lawyers who will want to rush in to take their place and pursue those bogus prosecutions. Certainly, there will be some mediocre graduates of night school law schools who may see a career opportunity. But their incompetence will lead them to fall flat on their faces.
The Danger of Institutional Corruption—Post-Election
If Trump wins reelection, then I predict that incentives will change. I predict that a fair number of competent professionals will conclude that, if the America elite and a good portion of the American voters have embraced delusion, then they might as well embrace it too.
At that point, I think, cruelty will become much less tempered by incompetence.