The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Trump has won the only war he ever cared about

For too long our prosperity has been cabined, cribbed and confined into these low-flow showerheads. (Jenny Kane/AP)

Donald Trump once complained, “No matter how good I do on something, they’ll never write good.” Well, he has done good on something, and I am going to write good.

People run for president because they want to effect big change. They dream of putting a man on the moon and bringing that man back, or putting several men on Mars and just leaving them there, or putting a picture of Salmon P. Chase on a big unit of currency and then discontinuing that unit of currency forever. They dream of enhancing the lives of their fellow citizens in some way, so that when those people look back, they can say, “Ah, I have health insurance that I did not formerly have!” or, “Look, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act is sure in effect!”

For his part, Donald Trump absolutely had something he wanted to do for all Americans that would uplift everyone, like a rising tide, and not just an oddly specific, personal vendetta that he would spend his whole time as president harping on to the confusion of everyone around him.

There was a scourge across America for a long time, and Trump finally ended that scourge. It was agony to many Americans who had expected to benefit from a strong outpouring and instead received only the faintest drops and trickles. No, not the tax cuts for the wealthiest, or the delay in covid-19 relief. Donald Trump does not speak metaphorically, except to say that people are fired like or unlike dogs. This is something far more literal and far more harmful.

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The insidious enemy was everywhere, infiltrating our homes. It brought grief to individuals. It brought grief to families. America could not be said to be truly great until it was removed.

The coronavirus? ABSOLUTELY not. The opioid epidemic? Now you are just being silly. I am talking about something that Donald Trump cares about; I am talking, of course, about low-flow showerheads.

Here he is in 2019:

We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms where you turn the faucet on — in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it — and you don’t get any water. You turn on the faucet; you don’t get any water. They take a shower and water comes dripping out. It’s dripping out — very quietly dripping out.

And earlier this year:

So 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.

Anyway, it was certainly a major problem affecting lots of Americans and not something preying exclusively on Donald Trump’s mind to an unduly large extent. Americans would leave their Honorable, Real Jobs and go to step into the shower, and a paltry, inadequate amount of water would trickle very slowly onto them. It was the ultimate insult added to the other injuries they had borne.

People were always coming up to Trump and saying, “Sir, what are you going to do about the showerheads?” They would weep, often, when they told Donald Trump about this, because that was the only way to get any sort of adequate water pressure.

This Donald Trump believed. He knew that many people were saying, “Why can’t I get 2.5 gallons of water flow per minute from EACH of my individual showerheads in a multi-headed shower, rather than 2.5 gallons per minute from all the heads combined?” This was their rallying cry, although it was not technically a rallying cry because it was too long and unwieldy to shout. But people were certainly thinking it while shouting other things! Of this he was sure.

And now he has finally done it. He has actually had them change the standard! Now you can get a full 2.5 gallons of flow from every showerhead, whether you wanted this or not, or knew it was a problem, or had even thought about it a single time!

And the cheer goes up across America: Yes, we can do difficult things! It is still possible to achieve greatness! For too long our prosperity has been cabined, cribbed and confined into these low-flow showerheads. Now we can burst free and blast ourselves with as many gallons of water per minute as we could possibly desire!

It is certainly not that this is a strange fixation of the president’s and otherwise just a thing that is bad for the environment that nobody wanted. It was definitely an important thing to do and it is good that he did it. This is Donald Trump’s landmark achievement. This is his legacy!

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