Tom Nichols, in an op-ed for USA Today:
There is a serious danger to American democracy in all this. When
voters choose ill-informed grudges and diffuse resentment over the
public good, a republic becomes unsustainable. The temperance and
prudent reasoning required of representative government gets
pushed aside in favor of whatever ignorant idea has seized the
public at that moment. The Washington Post recently changed its
motto to “democracy dies in darkness,” a phrase that is not only
pretentious but inaccurate. More likely, American democracy will
die in dumbness.
Those of us who criticized Trump voters for their angry populism
were often told during and after the election not to condescend to
our fellow citizens, and to respect their choices. This is fair.
In a democracy, every vote counts equally and the president won an
impressive and legitimate electoral victory.
Even so, the unwillingness of so many of his supporters to hold
him to even a minimal standard of accountability means that a
certain amount of condescension from the rest of us is
If you say “I voted for Trump because I want to say ‘Fuck you’ to everyone — my life’s in the toilet and I’d like to see the world burn”, OK, I get it. I don’t like you, but you made the right choice in Trump and I can see why you’re happy so far. But if you’re pleased with Trump because you think he’s running an effective administration and is accomplishing the things he promised to accomplish, you’re as disconnected from reality as he is.
(Also, kudos to Nichols for the rare exception to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines.)
★ Thursday, 27 April 2017