Crises play to Trump’s strengths, allowing him to portray himself as a warrior in an epic struggle against liberal foes determined to bring him (and America) down. In contrast to the routine blocking and tackling of everyday governance, these monumental fights don’t lend themselves to easy resolutions or clearly quantifiable results. Trump can claim victory, defined on his terms, and move on to the next battle. Loyalty is expected by both Trump and his voters during the fight. His supporters are bound to him, preferring not to question their leader while the enemy is at the gates. It’s one thing to disagree with one’s team over the sausage-making that goes into routine legislation; it’s another to abandon the team when the other side is trying to destroy your team.
Whether by design or instinct, Trump creates the chaotic environment in which he naturally thrives. The Democrats continue to play into his hands, getting sucked into these battles time after time, blinded by their hatred for him. They inevitably lose these fights, but, like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, they keep repeating the cycle, hoping for a different outcome. Voters may eventually tire of the turmoil and turn to a more predicable governing style — one, for example, that prioritizes technocratic competence over ideological purity or one that preaches unity over divisiveness. But don’t bet on it; the Left wants divisiveness and is far too angry to pursue a rational approach. In the meantime, buckle up and enjoy the ride — the intensity and pace are likely to get stronger and faster.