Disclaimer: The following newsletters were originally published in early 2021. As the newsletter continues to grow, I will occasionally re-share some of my older releases for the newer members of the audience.

The years of Donald Trump’s presidency are known far and wide. And the impact those 4 years had was…not small. The Trump-era of American politics has left the world with a number of questions, perhaps the most important being…what does life after Trump look like? Not just for Americans, but for everyone. This question is something still being discussed on the daily, and as the 2024 elections close in, we’ll continue to see the name Trump in the headlines for years to come.

I’m not sure precisely what I’m expecting to achieve with this series. Perhaps we’ll figure that out together.

Read the installments in this series:
Life after Trump, Part I: Living in the Lightning
Life after Trump, Part II: Searching for Truth in a Flood of Freedom
Life After Trump, Part III: The End of the Republican Alliance
Life After Trump, Part IV: Building a Better Democrat…Maybe
Life After Trump, Part V: The Opening Roster
Life After Trump, Part VI: The Crisis List—Russia
Life After Trump, Part VII: The Crisis List—The Middle East
Life After Trump, Part VIII: The Crisis List—China

Life after Trump, Part I: Living in the Lightning

Let me start of by saying that in an advanced democracy like the United States, political violence must never be tolerated. We have institutions and courts and elections expressly to manage our differences and debates. That isn’t simply how things are, that is how things should be. The ban on political violence is entrenched in both our norms and our laws and is the foundation of not simply our Constitution or our civilization, but of civilization itself. Anyone who encourages otherwise should rot.
Many have compared the events of the January 6 Capitol riots with the violence which occurred concurrently with the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020. The idea cannot simply be dismissed out of hand. But not being correct isn’t the same as being right. During the 2020 protests, some figures in national leadership encouraged people to do more than simply march, and cheerfully paid their bail after their arrests. AOC comes to mind. That is indeed crassly irresponsible. Damaging. Stupid.
But we expect different things from different people. We hold four-year-olds to different standards than college students, much less parents of four. That’s life.
So, while I am the polar opposite of impressed when folks like AOC engage in dubious political acts and grandstanding, I can’t say that I’m shocked or offended or mourning for the future of my country. I expect that sort of crap from young, first term Congresspeople and I weigh it against some of the less-than-wise things I did in my 20s. Yes, from time to time they besmirch their office and their place in history, but they are rabble-rousers. It’s their schtick. It isn’t like they are leaders.
In contrast, Trump is the president. He is the leader of the free world. The presidential standard is higher than the standard for a 31-year-old-until-recently-bartender-now-first-term-Congresswomen.
Even if the standard were the same, Trump has surrounded himself with people seeped in law & order conservatism and respect for American institutions like Reince Priebus, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, John Kelly, Nikki Haley, and HR McMaster. Even folks on TeamTrump that I might personally disagree with more often – such as John Bolton, Jeff Sessions and Gary Cohn – are hardly what I would call fascists or anarchists. Even if you hate any or all these men and women on ideological grounds, you must admit that they are adults and that they realize spending a month of your time encouraging the most violent portions of American society to descend on the capital to lay siege to the Capital complex isn’t a good call. I have zero doubt that all of them warned Trump against similar actions on multiple occasions.
I have zero doubt such warnings were the proximate reasons all no longer serve in the White House.

Continue reading

Recommended Posts