This originally appeared in Reason Revolution, episode one.
The United States hinges on trust. Trust in our institutions; trust in our people; trust in our laws; trust in our traditions. Our “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” endure explicitly from the ability of our citizenry to have faith in the leaders of our nation. Sadly, the past few months have shown that this trust has frayed to a cataclysmic degree.
As Thomas Paine once wrote in “The American Crisis,” “these are the times that try men’s souls.” I would most certainly agree. We are living in our own American crisis, with a president unwilling to listen, unphased by embarrassment, undisciplined to the call of duty. James Comey’s testimony last week underscored a central problem our country has had since Donald Trump took office nearly six months ago: we have a completely incapable man-child at the helm of the greatest country on Earth. A thug, no better than the plutocrats that he adores, and with one in particular, helped him win office. It pains me to say this, but every day Trump occupies the oval office our country creeps towards becoming a Banana Republic.
And yet, the Republicans largely don’t acknowledge this mess. Paul Ryan told us to be patient with Trump, that “he’s new to this. . . .” Well I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. What if the Democratic leadership had said that about Obama when he took office? The GOP certainly wouldn’t think this was good enough. The utter spinelessness of these people highlights that the resistance has much more to do. We have to fight smarter, harder, and with more determination.
The defeat of Trump and all he stands for represents a bulwark against the internal machinations that are destroying the United States, and broadly, Western Civilization. We have to put our petty divisions aside and do what is best for the country. For the Republicans, it means starting to acknowledge that your experiment with populism failed, that Trump has decimated your moral standing as a political institution, and that you must truly stand for limited government by checking his executive grabs and abuses of power. For the Democrats, that means being a steadfast resistance, interrupting town halls, emailing and calling your elected officials, and come out strong at the ballot boxes in 2018.
If we want a world that is more reasonable, more tolerant, and more secular, than Trump’s defeat is a necessary fight. The world is watching how we respond to this. We can’t let his immovable “38%” control how the rest of us want to live. We are the point of crisis; let’s rise to the challenge.