Better to ask, I believe: How can we heal the damage of the past four years without guaranteeing that he returns four years from now, still a major figure in American life, still sore about his loss, still screaming about his grievances and still vowing to take revenge on what is left of the resistance?
It could easily happen if we insist on making the Biden presidency the After Trump Show. After all, four years of an all-hands, THIS IS NOT A DRILL freakout is poised to deliver only a very narrow win for Democrats, not a national epiphany. Another four of investigations and recriminations will deliver even less, since half the country won’t believe the results, and the other half already does. We’d only provide more fodder for Trump’s insatiable ego, and, if we are honest, for our own.
For too many people, including me at times, the Trump administration has been as exciting as it was horrifying. Opposing a dictatorship-on-the-make is obviously more important than opposing someone who wants 25 percent less government spending than you do. It is easy to complain about vote suppression or limits on the First Amendment or harassment of various communities. It is much harder to understand why the Republicans held or gained seats in the House and state legislatures.