All of them are astute and informed politically; none, I’d venture, owns a MAGA cap. The first has been baffled and unsettled by Donald Trump’s radicalism. Yet what worries this person now is the president’s utter dominance of public discourse. There’s nothing but Trump, his acolytes and a cacophony of redundant criticism. Persuadable independents, my friend fears, are tuning out.

The second anecdote comes from a person who strikes me as more favorably disposed toward Trump’s unorthodoxy, yet deeply distressed by his bad manners. This friend fretted that the president’s critics have lost their own sense of decorum. “At West Point, we were taught to respect the office if we were unable to respect the person,” he observed.

The third involves a friend who says flatly, “I hate Trump” — yet adds that his TV is no longer set to MSNBC. “They’re just so biased and slanted, it has become painful to watch.”