We all know who “They” are. They are the ones in charge. They are the unspecified, who ruin everything we try to do. They have laws we didn’t know existed. They wrote the fine print. They know the detours and where to cut the corners. They have more money, more power, more of everything. And They are all in it together.
I like to think that most of us don’t completely subscribe to the theory of They. That is, we might mumble about it sometimes, but although we might logically infer that They set up the system to benefit themselves, we still think we can find ways to make things better. To clip Their wings.
Others of us dream of becoming one of Them. Dream of joining the Great They.
I suspect that has long been Donald Trump’s dream. I suspect that is what he thought he had achieved with his unexpected win of the Presidency. Because, according to most sources I’ve read, he was never really part of the Great They. But now, surely, he was at last one of Them.
He was, himself, The Great They.
The problem is, people like him, including a great many of his followers, who believe in the Great They, don’t believe that the same laws, the same fine print, apply to Them. The Constitution? What of it? That’s illegal? Says who? They do not believe that any of those others, who they see as part of the Great They, actually believe in these rules, in these “norms.” They can’t actually believe that these rule are meant for Them, can They? The Great They are all out for themselves, just as Trump has always been, just as a large segment of his followers have always been. They all bend the laws and ignore the fine print. Of course they do. Cheat on their taxes? Doesn’t everybody? And as far as Trump is concerned, those members of the Great They who have followed the law are examples of weakness, are reasons why they should be replaced by the likes of him. Because he is above the law. Because he knows how to be Great.
Which is why his people like him.
Neither Donald Trump nor his people seem able to conceive of a world in which the President of the United States is not the ultimate Great They. In which he cannot do exactly as he pleases. In which he will speak and not be obeyed. He and his people have always assumed that that is how the system works.
Ergo, the Deep State. The Witch Hunt. The Enemies of the People. George Soros.
Because how else can he have been betrayed? How else is there not a Wall. How else is there still something people insist on calling Obamacare? How else The Resistance?
Still, he may have done something Great for us. He may have made those of us who value the rule of law – even the fine print – into the Great We. We are rising up against the very idea of the Great They. They may find it harder to get around the laws, to ignore the fine print. We are planning to hold Them to account. Trump may be able to count himself among the Great They at last, as we single him out for the first shot across the bows and bring him tumbling down. He can hang out for a while with Harvey Weinstein and Charley Rose, who probably never really accepted him either, playing Texas Hold-em at a round wooden table. Whose deal is it? And who invited you?