In his op-ed piece in this morning's New York Times, entitled "How Will I Ever Look At America The Same Way?", Frank Bruni expresses the feeling that the four years of Trumpism have stripped away much of the faith in our fellow citizens to do the right thing, or even hold the same values:
"It’s always assumed that those of us who felt certain of Hillary Clinton’s victory in 2016 were putting too much trust in polls.
I was putting too much trust in Americans.
I’d seen us err. I’d watched us stray. Still I didn’t think that enough of us would indulge a would-be leader as proudly hateful, patently fraudulent and flamboyantly dishonest as Donald Trump.
We had episodes of ugliness, but this? No way. We were better than Trump.
Except, it turned out, we weren’t. [snip]
Trump snuffed out my confidence, flickering but real, that we could go only so low and forgive only so much. With him we went lower — or at least a damningly large percentage of us did. In him we forgave florid cruelty, overt racism, rampant corruption, exultant indecency, the coddling of murderous despots, the alienation of true friends, the alienation of truth itself, the disparagement of invaluable institutions, the degradation of essential democratic traditions.
He played Russian roulette with Americans’ lives. He played Russian roulette with his own aides’ lives. In a sane and civil country, of the kind I long thought I lived in, his favorability ratings would have fallen to negative integers, a mathematical impossibility but a moral imperative. In this one, they never changed all that much." (our emphasis)
In plain view, white supremacist demagogue and would-be autocrat Donald "COVID Donnie" Trump has shredded norms of over 200 years, condemned over 250,000 Americans to their deaths because of his criminal negligence, and fomented racism and violence among his rabid cult. It's that cult which has been impervious to Trump's open corruption, cruelty, indifference to them, and reckless and immoral policies. Indeed, they've embraced them, and Bruni believes a "united" America may be irretrievable, even if former VP Biden in elected next month. It's a sobering commentary, and worth the read.
(Bruce Springsteen's reading of Elayne Griffin's "The Gray House" in the post below, which complements this theme)