Reposting from April of 2018
By far my most read essays have been criticisms of Donald Trump. I’ve gone on record that I’m not a fan.
I believe that the movement that elected President Trump represents a toxic shift in American political ideology. It’s a turn away from the western liberal ideals responsible for the unprecedented abundance that is modern day American life. It’s a turn back towards the ethnocentric nationalism that nearly destroyed human kind in the 20th century.
President Trump’s attacks on the centuries old institutions of America are tremendously harmful; his gas-lighting of the media; his irrational degradation of anyone that criticizes him; his personal tirades on Twitter, once hours before America took military action against a a foreign nation, are all deeply troubling to me. I’m not gullible enough to believe the Trump integrity act or susceptible to the political rot that would have me forget history and lose the understanding of the collective score of things.
The last 75 years have been the most peaceful and prosperous in the history of our species.
Somehow, some not insignificant portion of America has been sold on the belief that things are so troubled that Donald Trump is the answer. That’s a harmful, delusional idea.
That’s why I want it to end. As soon as possible. In November of 2020. No earlier.
There’s a dangerous game that’s being played right now. I don’t believe that the investigation into the Trump campaign is a witch hunt. On the contrary, I believe that our democracy was attacked by a foreign power and that an investigation into the role the election’s winning party played in that attack is not only justified but necessary. But the strategy being played by the Trump administration’s political opponents is the same one the Republican political establishment played with Hillary Clinton in 2016.
It’s a loser.
In 2016 the GOP establishment rolled out tired GOP establishment candidates and hoped a smoking gun in the Benghazi investigation would be enough to beat Hillary Clinton. And when they woke up to the reality that it wasn’t going to happen, they’d already lost their party to the only dynamic voice in the campaign. They lost to Trump-ism. The recent announcement that Paul Ryan will not seek reelection has made it final.
The GOP is Donald Trump. The name on the party is the same. But the people and ideas are not.
Today, Trump’s opposition is doing the same thing Clinton’s did. And it’s not going to end well. We’re a year and a half into Trump’s first term. If Robert Mueller rolled out of bed tomorrow with a smoking gun of criminal evidence against Donald Trump, this still wouldn’t be over.
Donald Trump is never resigning the office of The President of the United States.
As a result, a long and painful process would still have to play out. And only then might Donald Trump potentially go down as the only president in history to be impeached and forced to leave office. That may sound like a good thing to many.
If you think the #MAGA crowd is problematic now, wait until we give them even a whiff of Donald Trump the political martyr. Like Obi Wan, if we strike him down, Trump will become more powerful than we can possibly imagine.
And the payoff?
Americans would have bought ourselves about a year less of a Trump presidency.
It’s not worth it.
The only way America proves that Trump-ism is a speed bump on the highway towards progress, inclusion and prosperity is by rolling right over it and putting its leader in the rearview mirror with the failed one-term presidents of the past.
If we want this movement to die, the only way it happens is by a resounding defeat at the polls, first in the midterms and again in November of 2020. Trump-ism fades not with the whimper of a legal technicality, but by the booming voice of democracy declaring in full throat that Trump-ism was a bad idea; the political version of New Coke.
That’s how it ends.
So if you’re reading this and you have anything to do with the Democratic political machine, instead of combing Twitter with bated breath for the next media nugget about the Mueller investigation to drop, ask yourself a question.
Who’s your candidate?
It better be someone that can beat a Donald Trump in 2020 who is more likely to be exonerated by this investigation than toppled by it. That’s not political folly. It’s just math. And Hope is not a plan.
The ref isn’t going to call the fight.
The American electorate can’t wait for Mueller to do our jobs for us.