Politics in America

“Trump’s assault on the premises of democracy is not only unique in modern American history but unique in the annals of modern liberal democracy”

Trump’s assault on the premises of democracy is not only unique in modern American history but unique in the annals of modern liberal democracy. No duly elected leader of any mature democratic state has gone on repeated public rants against his enemies, fed cries of “lock her up” directed at a political opponent, or routinely threatened and abused a free press. No such democratically elected leader has openly sneered at women. George H. W. Bush was doubtless angered by Anita Hill’s testimony, but he would no more have come to a rally of his followers and slandered her name and libelled her testimony than he would have mocked a journalist for his disabilities. He had some saving sense of the Washingtonian residue in the American Presidency.

This is Trump, and Trump alone, degrading American politics, and we should not get lost in side debates and sideshows. Some may be wringing their hands about the unending and presumably two-sided intolerance of red for blue and blue for red. But there is no figure in the Democratic Party who in any respect shares Trump’s rhetoric or mirrors Trump’s threats or repeats Trump’s hatreds. Such figures exist only on the fringes of the left, whereas Trumpism has now become the central and defining faith of the Republican Party.

Adam Gopnik, “What Most Disqualifies Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court?”, The New Yorker (4 October 2018) [https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/what-most-disqualifies-brett-kavanaugh-for-the-supreme-court]