None of us elected 36-year-old Jared Kushner for any position, but Trump has just elevated him to what I’d call co-president. At inauguration night he told him that if “you can’t bring about peace in the Middle East, nobody can.” Aha, a 36-year-old smartypants with no government experience who may have met a Muslim or two is going to do what Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama could not do in two generations. Easy! Why didn’t we bring in Kushner long ago?
Kushner is chipper about his new assignment, and, given that his entire experience in public administration can be counted on two calendar pages, a wee bit precious as he dispenses advice.
“We should have excellence in government,” he allowed. “The government should be run like a great American company.”
Kushner and his father-in-law haven’t run the White House like even an average American company thus far, but with the Trumps, hope springs eternal.
Kushner’s new Office of American Innovation will reportedly showcase a number of corporate titans, including Apple’s Tim Cook and Microsoft’s Bill Gates, all of whom, among other things, will make recommendations about how to make government more tech-savvy and more data-centric.
It’s hard not to get behind any plan that makes government more effective and tries to use data instead of, say, raw ideology to help craft better policy decisions. So let’s wish the White House success.
Ah, there it is again, the government should be run like a great American company, like Trump Airlines, perhaps, that went bankrupt, or Trump Wine, or… And I keep saying it, these guys really believe a government is a company. A company is an autocratic institution where the CEO can do anything, as long as it’s legal. And if the CEO doesn’t know what he’s doing, the company goes under. That’s not how a democracy works. Democracy means “governed by the people.” Not by the CEO! These guys don’t seem to get that. I am looking forward to seeing what happens when Kushner makes a mistake, but Trump can’t very well fire the father of his grandchildren.
And then there is the matter of making government data-centric. Ah, like studying the data about climate change and making decisions based on that data, rather than what fossil fuel company has paid off what stooge recently? Like building a statistical model to represent the safety of our citizenry, which will show that it’s more likely to be killed by lightning than by a radical Islamist terrorist, or worse, it’s more likely to be killed by a redneck American ideologue than by a Muslim terrorist?
Oh, I am looking so forward to the models that Bill Gates and Tim Cook will show Kushner. Then Kushner will show them to his science-illiterate dad-in-law who will then simply tweet:
Fake News! Nobody knows science better than I do! Sad.