Trump’s supporters might see this moral indictment of the president and answer: “So what?” And well they might. The days when American conservatives, in particular, cared about character — a golden era only dimly remembered through the mists of some four or five years ago — are long over.
Besides, Trump did what his voters wanted him to do, not by accomplishing anything, but by enraging and shocking people they hate. Meanwhile, the circle of cronies picking up the considerable scraps from the Trump family table got what they wanted as well. Trump’s loyalists and lackeys have made their choice, and Trump’s legacy is their burden to carry.
The rest of us, however, must ask ourselves questions that transcend politics. We have to ask ourselves about our duty as citizens, about who we are, about how we want to talk to each other, to our families, to our children and grandchildren about what we did at this moment of national crisis. We are living through the most dangerous time in our modern history since the reign of terror led by the odious Joseph McCarthy. It’s a worse time, in fact, because at least we didn’t make McCarthy president. Now, as in the 1950s, we have to decide what we stand for.