But this isn’t all that a range of left-leaning writers have been clamoring for. Some have been pushing for the establishment of a post-election Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the criminality and immorality of the Trump administration, much the way white South Africans were forced to come to terms with their complicity in the Apartheid regime after it was democratically deposed. Others are focusing on enacting sweeping institutional reforms that aim to make it much more difficult for Republicans to win office and wield power. These reforms include adding, “without hesitation, guilt, or apology,” several progressive justices to the Supreme Court to give Democrats an explicit “advantage,” and even “abolishing the Constitution” altogether.

Every one of these ideas is terrible — because every one of them follows from a fundamental failure to grasp the character of political reality in the United States. Hauling members of the opposing party before state tribunals for official condemnation, packing the country’s highest court with judges guaranteed to hand down decisions favorable to progressives, or otherwise altering the rules of American politics to systematically enhance the power of one party while diminishing the power of its opponents — none of that would move the country toward anything resembling “reconciliation.” On the contrary, it would move the country several steps closer to being torn apart.

The reason why is obvious — or it should be.