The most alarming thing about the Trump presidency

I know it sounds overly dramatic, but it’s true. Living through the past four years has been an endurance test. Consider: Trump really did lose the 2020 election. And yet, repeatedly the past two months, he asserted not just that he won the election, but that he won in a landslide. This was enough to plunge millions of his supporters into an alternative universe where it was Biden and not Trump who was trying to steal the election. But it was also enough to provoke plenty of liberals and progressives into experiencing the kind of furious, defensive anger one normally directs at the torturer who constantly insists there are five lights hanging from the ceiling when you can see with your own eyes that there are in fact only four.

That kind of abuse has consequences — both on those who perpetrate and happily go along with it, and on those who refuse to.

A large faction of Republican voters now appears to delight in being lied to — just as a bloc of their representatives in Congress seems eager to continue practicing a politics of lies and total war, even when it inspires a real-world insurrection against the very institution in which they serve. Democrats, by contrast, will be in a good mood for a while, enjoying being rid of the mad king and relishing their own return to political power. But how long will the good feelings last if the GOP continues to treat the new president as a man who rose to office through fraud?