This is the culture that arises when a nation’s leader never embraces humility, compromise or anything remotely resembling a statesmanlike demeanor. The first presidential debate reminded me once again that Trump has not bothered to learn any of these lessons: the interrupting, yelling and spin were bad enough, but the dismissal of Beau Biden — when the former vice president was paying tribute to his late son — was one of Trump’s most inhumane moments to date. It’s hard to imagine how a person could stoop much lower, yet I can’t help but think that, given four more years, Trump wouldn’t hesitate to show us.
In 2016 I broke with the Republican party for the first time and supported the Libertarian candidate. I vote in a solidly Democratic state, so I had the luxury of casting a protest vote against a system that made Americans choose between two members of the New York elite, the least popular presidential candidates in history, both of whom acted as though becoming president was their birthright rather than the highest privilege. But this time, I’m protesting by joining the other side. There is a candidate in this race who, while far from perfect, has a history of reaching across the aisle. He has based his campaign on reuniting the nation and, perhaps most importantly in this election cycle, has reminded us that it’s OK to apologize now and again.