Now what?

I’m struck by the kinship of David Brooks and Damon Linker in their most recent columns.

Both diagnose what’s wrong with Trump but struggle with what to do about it.

Linker admits he’s speechless, which (he says) is why we keep looping back to fresh evidence for the diagosis of fascist-tinged racism, xenophobia and misogyny.

That racism, xenophobia, and misogyny are crucially important and even absolutely necessary ingredients in the toxic stew is obvious to everyone who hasn’t morally and intellectually blinded themselves for the sake of partisan gain. (Gee, I wonder why Trump has chosen to demonize and ostracize a handful of dark-skinned, first-term congresswomen instead of the clear Democratic frontrunner who also happens to be white and male. Must just be an innocent coincidence!)

There you have it: Trumpism is undeniably fascistic, racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic.

Now what?

I’m not just deploying rhetoric, setting up the part of this column where I’ll confidently answer the question, telling my readers what should follow the act of labeling the president’s appalling words and behavior. I’m asking because I genuinely don’t know. And I suspect I’m not alone ….

Brooks, regains his voice, only to recite his loose paraphrase of e.e. cummings next to of course god america i:

America is exceptional precisely because it is the only nation on earth that defines itself by its future, not its past. America is exceptional because from the first its citizens saw themselves in a project that would have implications for all humankind. America is exceptional because it was launched with a dream to take the diverse many and make them one — e pluribus unum.

… America was the land of futurity, the vanguard nation that would lead all of humanity to a dignified and democratic future.

“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder,” John Adams declared, “as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”

Again and again, Americans have felt called upon to launch off into new frontiers — to design a democracy, to create a new kind of democratic person, to settle the West, to industrialize, to pioneer new technologies, to explore space, to combat prejudice, to fight totalitarianism and spread democracy. The mission was always the same: to leap into the future, to give life meaning and shape by extending opportunity and dignity to all races and nations. …

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water.

Make of that what you will. It’s only two pundits who have no adequate response.

Or is it?


If I, too, lack anything new to say, and I suspect I do, then I, too, should stop returning like a dog to Trump’s latest vomit.

I’ll try.

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