I knew I was wrong as January 6 approached and the president started calling for Vice President Mike Pence to reject certification of the electoral college results. This, of course, was on top of his disturbing phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State urging him to “find” additional votes. At the same time, he encouraged Americans to mass at the Capitol to support his cause.
I do not suggest that the Americans who went to the Capitol, the great majority of them peaceful, bore ill intent, but I do think that the president intended to create a spectacle that would put pressure on Mike Pence to take a dramatic and extra-legal step that would fundamentally betray the American political order and its traditions.
The reason for this apology, then, is because the never Trumpers were right about the president in a very precise kind of way. They understood that the public policy of a Republican-dominated administration would likely be pretty good, as it indeed was. None of this is to say that those of us who voted for Trump lacked excellent reasons to do so. I don’t apologize for the votes I cast after careful (indeed, searching) consideration. However, I do have to apologize for my view of the never Trumpers whom I found to be histrionic and unrealistic. They saw further that there were significant risks involved with Donald Trump that could very well outweigh the policy outcomes. They were right about that, and they deserve an apology from me (and perhaps others who saw it the way I did) for not perceiving that their concerns were grounded in reality, not merely some idealistic moral fragility. They perceived a legitimate threat, which did come to significant fruition.