The president and his acolytes are championing conspiracy theories and a sweeping, uncalibrated, all-out assault on our institutions. There is reckless talk by Republicans about “secret societies,” “silent coups” and the “deep state.” Trump supporters have engaged in a desperate effort to discredit the Mueller investigation.
The president dehumanizes and belittles his opponents and (at best half-jokingly) accuses Democrats of being “treasonous” for not applauding him during his State of the Union speech. Rather than nourishing a sense of gratitude, he stokes grievances. And he tells lie after lie after lie after lie.
One White House aide, asked by The Washington Post whether John Kelly, the president’s chief of staff, could have been more truthful or transparent about the dismissal of the staff secretary Rob Porter, answered honestly: “In this White House, it’s simply not in our DNA. Truthful and transparent is great, but we don’t even have a coherent strategy to obfuscate.” Could there be a more emblematic statement of the low point we have reached?