We liked Trump’s rough edges when he was running for the nomination. We’re tough, too. But we also remember things like the Pablo Casals concert at the White House back in ’61, and we’re sorry that that’s not happening today. A cultural outreach to the great artists of our time might seem of little importance, but it really does matter. It’s about our self-image, as reflected in the person we elect to the highest office. We’d like to think we’re not complete schlumps, and we’d want a president with a cultural agenda.
These are matters on which the Democrats hold the edge. Now if only they could return to the earlier Democratic Party, with its exhilarating confidence in our country’s nobility, justice and above all greatness.
So what’s stopping them? It’s not Bernie Sanders, and it’s not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Instead, the barrier is Barack Obama, who radicalized the party with his pessimism, who reminded us of past sins, who told Americans they should feel ashamed of themselves.