“You say I’m spending my money on other women
You taking money from someone else.” — Elias McDaniel
It started innocently enough. I was perusing social media when I saw a “friend” use an analogy. He said the current administration was like a Chick Fa La being run by someone from McDonald’s. Of course, the implication was that the previous administration was Chick Fa La. Like I said, it begins innocently enough.
It starts with the disbelief. It is hard to have lived through the last five years and somehow come out thinking that it was all a well oiled machine like Chick Fa La. Chick Fa La has become the gold standard in fast food efficiency since the pandemic. No one is allowed inside, lines loop around the block, and yet people are able to get in and out and minutes.
This is the image you think of when you think of the Trump administration? Somehow, when you think of the current administration you think of a lesser form of organization? This would have been knee slapping hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.
Then, a second wave hits me. It’s the realization that these folks are reality impaired. When you watch a steady stream of Fox News, OANN, and live on a steady diet of conservative social media bubbles it can certainly seem like your Chick Fa La has been taken over by the McDonald’s manager. Maybe they just don’t know what good government is.
Finally, I reach the last conclusion one can reach. They know exactly the kind of government they want. It’s the kind of government that works for people like them. It’s the kind of government that doesn’t work for anyone else. When they see government working for others they get angry. That’s not what government is supposed to do.
With all deference to those referring to the election lie as the “Big Lie” I will have to respectfully disagree. The Big Lie has always been that government doesn’t work. The image of the incompetent bureaucrat has been around as long as I can remember and it probably goes back further than that.
This image serves two purposes. Competent conservatives use it to convince us that government is bloated and that it is incapable of making our lives better. They use this image to justify cutting social programs to the bone to justify their tax cuts for the rich. No one wants the image of taking food out of the mouths of the starving so Richie Rich can afford another yacht. So, instead we have the image of welfare queens in Cadillacs sitting around and eating bon bons.
Incompetent conservatives use the image for a different purpose. They use the image to distract you because they themselves have no idea of how run a government. They run the roughshod lemonade stand by the side of the road that squeezes lemons into cups of water and calls it lemonade. You can become convinced that it is Chick Fa La. You can be convinced if that stand has been there for a number of years. You can be convinced because they have conditioned you to believe that Chick Fa La just isn’t possible.
It isn’t that Chick Fa La isn’t possible. It’s that they really don’t want Chick Fa La. They’ve become accustomed to the lemonade stand by the side of the road. Sure, the overdressed water sucks, but they’ve become used to it. More importantly, they are convinced that no one else deserves more either. That’s the real tragedy here. In order to prevent others from getting more they are convinced they are getting the government they deserve. It’s Stockholm Syndrome pure and simple.