Trump's thought stream is often toxic sludge. Don't let him dominate national life.

Trump opponents need to beware of the temptation to hope for bad news because it will hurt him politically. Will they cheer if manufacturing plants close in Trump country? Or if the “patriotic” farmers absorb even more economic hardship and destructive weather because of Trump’s tariffs and the climate chaos he refuses to face?

Despite some of the media treatments of the subject, Trump’s inflammatory words and actions matter not primarily in terms of how they help or hurt him with his base (and swing voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania). They matterbecause of the damage they do to human dignity and our democratic system. Because of the influence they can have on his devotees’ behavior. And because they are wrong.

I was one of those who argued before the 2018 midterms that the consequences of the election were enormous, and that all fair-minded and democracy-loving people were compelled to vote regardless of how excited they were about the names on the ballot. I will no doubt say the same in the fall of 2020.

But in the meantime, let’s save some attention for important things happening beyond what Trump is spewing on a given day — including a lot that the president would rather have us ignore. Our gun violence epidemic, for instance, and the failure of the Trump-owned Republican party to respond. The fact that July was the hottest month on record. Ever.