News & Politics

Trump Speaks for a Generation: What Happened to Good Showers, Dishwashers, Toilets?

Trump Speaks for a Generation: What Happened to Good Showers, Dishwashers, Toilets?
(AP Photo/Chris Seward)

President Donald Trump spoke for a generation when he lamented the decreasing quality of showers, dishwashers, and toilets due to regulations on water pressure. Speaking at a rally in Battle Creek, Mich., shortly after the Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to impeach him, the president lamented the decreasing quality of life due to regulatory limits on water pressure. Luckily, his administration is working to fix it.

“Sinks, uh showers, all of this stuff, I did a lot of it. No water comes out. You have areas where there’s so much water you don’t know what to do with it, you turn on the shower you’re not allowed to have any water anymore,” Trump rambled. Then he told a brief story to illustrate his point.

“Remember the dishwasher, you’d press it — boom! There’d be, like, an explosion. Five minutes later, you open it up, the steam pours out, the dishes…” he added, “now, you press it twelve times.”

Likely for comedic effect, he said, “Women tell me.”

“You know they give you four drops of water,” Trump recalled. “So we just came out with a [regulation] on dishwashers.”

Indeed, this past July, the Department of Energy (DOE) under Secretary Rick Perry granted a petition to consider new standards to make dishwashers great again. More than 2,000 Americans supported the petition, launched by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

CEI presented data showing that in 1978, the average dishwasher only took an hour to wash plates, cups, and silverware. By 2014, the average time had increased between 2 and 3 hours, despite advancements in technology. What had driven America backward? Regulations.

“CEI’s petition, for dishwashers that benefit consumers by cleaning fast and well, was supported by an avalanche of comments from individual Americans who were fed up with today’s slow, lousy models,” CEI attorney Devin Watkins said in a statement. “This situation is the result of government so-called ‘efficiency’ rules that, over the years, have more than doubled the time that dishwashers take to operate.”

In 2016, the DOE acknowledged that manufacturers make dishwashers slower to comply with federal regulations. “To help compensate for the negative impact on cleaning performance associated with decreasing water use and water temperature, manufacturers will typically increase the cycle time,” the agency admitted.

Reconsidering the regulations seems like common sense, but the DOE under former President Barack Obama actually considered imposing newer, more strict regulations, which would have made the problem even worse. The DOE eventually dropped the approach, but most 2020 Democrats would likely revisit it.

In 2018, Trump’s administration issued the fewest new regulations since records were first kept in the 1970s. His deregulation strategy will actually make life better for most Americans, in concrete ways.

During the rally, Trump went on from dishwashers to address sinks, showers, and toilets.

“Sinks, showers… [flushing] ten times, right? Ten times,” he said. Hilariously, the president added, “Not me, of course, not me.”

He noted that when he would discuss “sinks, showers, and toilets,” the media would mock him. “The headline was, ‘Trump with the toilets.'”

But the mockery is worth it, in order to address a serious issue, Trump said.

“But you know what, it’s terrible. You want to wash your hands, you turn on the sink, no water comes out, so you leave the water go, ten times as long,” he added.

The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah mocked the president for bringing up this issue a few days ago, but he admitted that he has experienced substandard flushes.

“We’ve all had that moment where the flush doesn’t work. The worst is when you’re at someone else’s house and it doesn’t work, right? It doesn’t flush,” he said. The comedian said more, but I’ll leave it for the video.

Noah mocked the president, but he made a key concession at the end of the segment.

“I’m just saying, if Trump can solve that problem, he’s getting four more years. That’s what I’m saying,” the comedian concluded.

Was that a joke? If so, it still has a kernel of truth.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.