Today, as Donald Trump takes the oath of office, America is diminished.
And yet, I have hope.
After the election, I worried that protest would be meek and partisan. It has been neither. Voices across the political spectrum have risen in dissent. I’ve been particularly heartened to find many thoughtful conservatives who understand exactly what Trump represents, and who will give no inch when none can be given. John Kasich, John McCain, David Frum, Evan McMullin, Mindy Finn, Susan Hennessey, Eliot Cohen, and Rick Wilson have all spoken clearly, and unequivocally, about Trump’s perilous potential. These are Americans with whom, in sunnier times, I might entirely disagree. But such disagreements live within normal political boundaries. Trump operates far outside those boundaries; we must realign in response.
From Eliot Cohen’s savage and sobering Truth in the Age of Trump:
Trump lies because it is in his nature to lie. One suspects that there is nothing inside this man that quivers, however slightly, at an untruth. It is not uncommon for politicians, to a greater extent than most people, to believe what they want to believe, or to change their take on reality depending on what is convenient for them. With Trump, however, this will to believe is pathological: his psyche is so completely besotted by Trump that there is no room for anything, or anybody else.
I hope to one day revisit what I’ve written about Trump and laugh at how hilariously wrong I was. I hope, but I fear that day may never come.