It is America’s faith in these institutions that the Trump virus has most worringly infected.

Behind the furious denunciation in public speeches and tweets is a consistent, implicit message on the part of the president: Those who claim to speak for the public good are lying. They’re just concealing their political agenda, their angle. It’s a pose, a ruse, a cover for their lust for power, a strategy that they deploy to give themselves a political advantage over those (like Trump himself) whose political ambitions are obvious and undeniable.

The president’s most passionate defenders back him up by highlighting and hyping every example, however trivial, of an ostensibly nonpartisan actor displaying signs of anti-Trump bias, double standards, or exaggeration. See, this supposedly nonpolitical person is actually just a liberal Democrat out to bring down the president! It’s nothing less than a coup!