- Weaving a mischievous tale of fancy.
- An arrangement of events not in accord with the known universe.
- Truths yet unborn.
He can’t do that, they said.
There are laws against that sort of thing. There are rules. It says so right there. You’re silly for worrying about it.
And yet, we’re worried anyway. Not because a President can, on his own authority, delay an election, but everything he can do short of that.
Maybe we’re indulging in some wishful thinking here. We’ve certainly seen a lot of it lately.
But we’re having a hard time seeing the normal things will return to. The normal of four weeks ago. Or forty years.
When you’re a President, they let you do it.
They let you lie.
They broadcast your lies, no matter how bald, with the weakest of clarifications.
They never call them lies.
“Iraq in its quest for democracy lacks only — only! — what America then had: an existing democratic culture.”
— George F. Will, Winter 2004
“As experience in Eastern Europe has shown, democracy doesn’t mean simply holding elections. First, you need a democratic culture, or what is usually called a civil society.”
— Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2003
We’re comfortable blaming Trump.
We’re comfortable blaming the politicians who support Trump.
We’re comfortable blaming the people who support Trump.
We’re comfortable blaming anyone who doesn’t recognize violence in political rhetoric, or who deliberately conflates colorful insults with incendiary language.
We’re comfortable blaming anyone who doesn’t take this shit seriously.
For a brief moment Monday, we thought something happened.
The President of the United States, on live television, demonstrated fealty to a foreign dictator, a man whose country has been methodically undermining our electoral system, and all hell broke loose. Suddenly that word, the Word That Must Not Be Spoken, the word that best describes what is happening and has been happening, escaped into mainstream discussion.
It didn’t last. Within twenty-four hours, the T-Word had been shoved back into the closet. By Friday, discussion had returned to conventional corruption. But it was too late. The T-Word came out. It’ll come out again.