All tagged US history

The GOP is in the best political position it has seen in nearly 100 years, and the party enjoys a mandate to pursue serious conservative reforms. The election of a game show host to the presidency may have spoiled it all. If the last two weeks are any indication, Trump will continue to invite controversy and sow chaos, making the GOP’s life in Congress that much harder. In all likelihood, the Republican Moment is already lost. Pundits of the Right can bray about media bias, fake news, squishy moderate RINOs, and “deep state” subterfuge all they want, but posterity will record precisely who it was that lost it.

As president-elect, Trump did not know the pedigree and importance of the “one China” policy. About such things he can be, if he is willing to be, tutored. It is, however, too late to rectify this defect: He lacks what T. S. Eliot called a sense “not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.” His fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind.

One thing all of this makes clear is that the sickness of American politics didn’t begin with Donald Trump, any more than the sickness of the Roman Republic began with Caesar. The erosion of democratic foundations has been underway for decades, and there’s no guarantee that we will ever be able to recover.