Michael Cohen from the Boston Globe has a perfectly written and argued column. Sadly, the ones who made the mess are not able to understand the themes of this article.
Events that never would have seemed imaginable in American politics are now not only accepted; they are practically daily occurrences. Last month in the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky wrote about how the “scale of outrages is so monumental and relentless that it overwhelms us; but one little detail emerges, fights its way through the fog, and is somehow clarifying.” For him, it was Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch giving a speech at Trump’s Washington hotel. For me, it’s the profits that Trump continues to make from spending weekends at his resorts and from diplomats and foreign leaders staying at his hotels in order to curry favor with his administration that no one seems to talk about anymore. In non-bizarro America, these would be huge national scandals. But today they don’t even penetrate. Such behavior has become tacitly accepted, an “oh by the way” at the end of a litany of Trump excesses. Indeed, for all my incandescent rage over watching a president profit from the presidency, I haven’t found time to write about it. There just isn’t enough time.
Beyond the daily parade of outrages, there’s also the fact that our politics have never felt so inconsequential. Less than two weeks after a mass shooting in which more than 500 people were killed or wounded — an unbearable level of carnage — there is no momentum in Congress to do anything of real substance to stem the bloodshed. The opioid epidemic took more than 30,000 lives in 2015 and is destroying countless families and communities across America, and yet Washington does nothing.
In the last two months, terrifying hurricanes that are almost certainly tied to global warming have done catastrophic damage and yet the Trump administration is focused on loosening, not tightening, environmental regulations. Indeed, the only issues that seem to animate official Washington is destroying Obamacare, cutting taxes for rich Americans, undermining an international agreement that has helped stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and denigrating black athletes for protesting the deaths of black Americans.
The challenges facing America today feel immense and urgent, and yet our politics couldn’t be smaller. “Our loyalty to a shared concept of ‘America’ seems to be evaporating, and that’s the scary part for me,” a Republican friend bemoaned. “If we don’t agree on what we feel binds us as citizens of a nation, if can’t see our common interests as American citizens, then we splinter apart.”
Yet, we have a president who actively is seeking to divide us; who only governs to his narrow base of reactionary and resentful voters and who not only doesn’t speak to what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature,” but doesn’t even understand the concept.
“How could this be happening in my country?” asked a Democratic friend. It is the question that millions of Americans are asking and for which there is seemingly no good answer.