Trump has made our politics ridiculous

Anyone who doesn’t “get” Trump’s appeal is said to live in a “bubble.” This means that a substantial majority of Americans are bubble dwellers, because Trump’s disapproval ratings have been hovering between 54 and 60 percent in Gallup’s most recent surveys.

.. The cost of all this is very high. Our political discussion is being brought down by Trump’s self-involvement, his apparent belief that he can only win if he identifies an enemy to attack, and his refusal to make extended and carefully thought-through arguments about anything of substance. Spectacle drives out problem-solving. Our national attention span, never one of our strongest suits, follows Trump down to a level that, in fairness to children, cannot even be called childlike.

The health-care debate is the obvious example. The Republican Congress spotlights “repealing Obamacare.” But this is simply a slogan. What Trump and his party said they’d create was a better health-care system — “something great,” he enthused.

.. A functioning democracy would grapple in a bipartisan way with how to cover everyone more cost-effectively.

.. Trump will declare anything the GOP pushes through — no matter how many of the people who voted for him lose insurance — a “win.” That is all that matters to him.

.. If there was anything useful about the Trump campaign, it was the extent to which it forced Americans who live in thriving parts of the country to notice how badly other regions are doing and how angry many of the people who live in those beleaguered communities are.

.. But where are the practical remedies to help those workers find better-paying jobs? What they get from Trump are mostly symbols

.. Trump announced that thanks to his intervention, a Carrier plant in Indiana would keep at least 1,100 jobs in the United States. But last month, Carrier announced it was cutting 632 jobs from an Indianapolis factory and moving them to Mexico. It’s not clear what Trump accomplished — or if he cares.

..  employment in the nation’s auto plants is down from a peak of 211,000 last year to 206,000.

.. his budget cuts could cost more than 5 million American workers access to job training, job-search assistance and career-development programs.

.. Nothing should be more important to Trump’s presidency than keeping his commitments to workers in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. But these don’t fascinate the president nearly as much as his vendettas and his role as a cable-news critic.