Trump: The Choice We Face

Source: Masha Gessen in The New York Review of Books Daily: November 27

We cannot know what political strategy, if any, can be effective in containing, rather than abetting, the threat that a Trump administration now poses to some of our most fundamental democratic principles. But we can know what is right. What separates Americans in 2016 from Europeans in the 1940s and 1950s is a little bit of historical time but a whole lot of historical knowledge. Armed with that knowledge, or burdened with that legacy, we have a slight chance of making better choices.

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6 responses to “Trump: The Choice We Face

  1. It would be rather helpful if the Democrats could get their act together to oppose the forces of darkness. The only silver lining I can imagine from this horrible leap of bad faith is that the Democratic party might become a progressive party again, rather than “not as bad as the Republicans”.

  2. Elisabeth Ecker

    So true Paul. I could not have said it better.

  3. For better or worse, the most effective opposition to the excessed or abuses of the administration-elect in the US is from the Republican Congress and the institutions of government historically aligned, at least recently, to traditional Republican party interests. While there are perceived threats on many fronts, this rising Trump-Republican conflict is likely best able to give Trump pause.

  4. Democracy is under threat because the people who purport to be democratic – and they are the people who most benefit from the process – are substandard hypocrites.
    We used to joke (bleakly) about largely third world revolutionary leaders who embraced democratic principals until they got their hands on the levers of power and immediately became autocratic despots.
    It’s no longer a third world ailment. It’s now happening in countries that once smugly felt that they were immune.
    Why? Because the highly principled pioneers of democratic progress are long gone, replaced by political opportunists of much reduced quality.
    In the US the voting system is now so corrupt that unless you are a billionaire you are not going to run for President.
    In many countries in Europe extreme right wing political parties are rapidly increasing their vote.
    In Australia the politician Tony Abbott led the way in treating politics as a war game and ignored ethical behaviour in his attacks on opponents.
    Even though he’s gone, his Liberal National Party has aped the tactic and discriminates against individuals and organisations that were until recently respected components of the governing process.
    How did this happen? You the voter did it. How can it be countered? You, the voter must do it.
    Will you? If history is any judge the answer is a resounding NO.

  5. It seems bizarrely optimistic to think that a significant number of American electors have “a whole lot of historical knowledge” … or any, really.
    And there is no hope that the Republican majorities in the House and Senate will ever counter Trump. Reason: power corrupts. The craven ‘never-Trump’ers who are now lining up to kiss his boots will not develop a spine in the next four years.
    The people who voted Trump, as those who voted for Brexit, to throw a rock through the Establishment’s window, will never know what hit them. The Establishment will know, but won’t be able to stop it.

    • While I continued to be deeply troubled by what is ahead, John G, do not assume that the Republican Congress, CIA, or the military establishment will march lock step with Trump. Further, there is a month before he is sworn in.