President Donald Trump is the best. I already thought he was great, but I became even more convinced of his genius when I saw the updated rules on clothes washers, dryers, and showerheads issued by the Department of Energy on December 15, 2020 (new rules on dishwashers came out recently as well). The new regulations relax stringent regulations on the amount of water and energy consumption permitted in household fixtures and appliances, which save energy but impair functionality.
I hear you thinking: do minor regulations on laundry, dishes and showers belong on the measuring stick of presidential greatness? It’s a fair point: the gallons of water per minute issuing from the average Joe’s showerhead aren’t on a par with peace in the Middle East. The length of time it takes to get Wilbur’s soccer uniform through the wash and dry cycles is hardly the stuff of international diplomacy.
But sometimes, it’s the little things. Donald Trump knows that, and that’s why the left is so jealous of his modus operandi. Just when they want to be the friend of the little guy, defending him against oppression, signing him up to unions, and telling him exactly what to think and do so he can be free, there goes Donald again, speaking straight to the issues that affect ordinary people as they go about their daily lives. Why can’t I get decent water pressure out of this shower nozzle? Why does it take four hours to run a cycle on this apartment-sized washing machine that only holds three socks and two T-shirts? Did the engineer who designed this thing ever come into contact with a real, laundry-generating human child?
In fact, many of the environmental policies left-leaning governments impose on households are chiefly about getting people to burn a little incense at the altar of the green gods. Recycling, as experts know, is a prime example — aside from corrugated cardboard, aluminum and other scrap metals, recycling household waste is above all an exercise in time-consuming and financially unsustainable processing of materials that will end up in a landfill eventually anyways. The point is not to be effective: the point is to force people to participate, to offer their discomfort in sacrifice to the idols. Ugly eco-friendly lighting, turning down the furnace, restricting the amount of hot water allowed to issue from showerheads, imposing ever-more severe regulations on household dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers resulting in longer and longer cycle times — sure, these cut down energy bills, if that’s a trade-off you want to make. But if the emission reductions amount to a hill of beans next to Asian industrial pollution, color me extremely surprised.
What many, even those who consider themselves on the right, don’t seem to grasp is this: high finance, national security, international diplomacy, and the rest of it, exist for one simple purpose — to create the conditions in which it is possible for a nation’s ordinary citizens to go about their business in safety, stability and peace, to earn a decent living, to pursue a few leisure activities, to raise a family. In short, to have a life. Keeping people in a constant state of mild discomfort and anxiety is not conducive to a happy life. It is, however, useful for keeping them under control.
President Trump understands that the goal of government is not to control people but to provide a setting in which citizens can lead normal lives. In his ability to communicate this lies his genius and his popular appeal. At a rally in Wisconsin this summer he told the crowd, ‘Showerheads — you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair — I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.’
Connection established. Ordinary people have no hope of getting regulatory bodies to see reason about functionality in household appliances. But having a president who actually cares about how frustrating it is to have the equipment of daily life hamstrung before it even leaves the factory? A president who can look at a Green New Deal and succinctly translate it into everyman’s English, as he did at the second presidential debate: ‘little tiny windows’, which environmentalists do want — for other people — and which have an enormous, if gradual, impact on quality of life? A president who understands that most LED lights emit an unpleasing color of light that subtly sucks the life out of things — ‘I always look orange’ in LED lighting, Trump likes to joke — and more importantly, having a president who actually wants to do something about it? This, oh mystified elites, is why millions and millions of worker bees like Trump and voted for him. He gets it. He has the imagination and empathy to understand ordinary people. He doesn’t think we have to be kept in a state of permanent anxiety for our own good.
Trump’s enemies scoffed that only rich people like the president would benefit from the showerhead change: who but the rich own multi-nozzle shower fixtures? Er, lots of people, actually, as these would-be champions of the working class would know if they’d wandered through the plumbing department in Home Depot lately. You can pick up a basic dual showerhead fixture for under $60 there. Who’s out of touch, again?
Under George W. Bush, it was determined that showerheads should not emit more than 2.5 gallons per minute. Over time, new styles of fixture with multiple nozzles began to appear on the market and became popular. But Obama’s administration stated that no matter how many nozzles were present, 2.5 gallons per minute was the maximum flow permitted per fixture. The Trump administration’s change means that each nozzle in a given fixture will be permitted a maximum of 2.5 gallons per minute. Showers will be great again.
That is to say, they would be, if Joe Biden hadn’t faithfully sworn to repeal the new rules when his administration takes over. But it’s touching that even at the eleventh hour, Donald bothered to make this tiny change. His extraordinarily vocal enemies have worked themselves to the bone to make Trump sound like the most hated president in American history. But when he steps off the political stage, it is far more likely that he will do so as one of the most loved. As those who do the nation’s dishes and laundry know: it’s the little things.