For now, Landrieu is more concerned about understanding why Trump happened, and figuring out what he is prepared to do about it. “If you say to yourself, ‘It’s really not about him, what were the conditions that caused us to be able to choose this level of chaos over what we thought we had?’ And then what you would have to say is, the conditions in the country should never have been where they were, because it’s clear to me, historically, without necessarily equating them, when you look at the Holocaust, you look at apartheid, you look at slavery, when you look at the Japanese internment — when we as humans did terrible things to each other,” Landrieu told me when I caught up with him two weeks later again in Boston, where he was to say goodbye to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, “and you ask yourself, ‘What were the conditions in which human beings decided to denigrate another human being that badly?’ They were for the most part in times when people thought that they were supreme to other people because of genetics, or people were fearing for their personal livelihood or safety, and as a consequence, human beings are capable of that evil. So the bigger question for the country long term is, ‘How did we get ourselves in a position where we had to choose between bad and worse?’”
Landrieu is truly concerned about where America is heading. He talks to friends about what’s gone wrong. But he sincerely doesn’t know if he wants to step into another hurricane.
“I’m not trying to be, you know, be evasive here,” Landrieu told me. “The answer to your question is: I do not know. I don’t know.”