Sunday, October 22, 2017

“Why your alarmism over Trump is dangerous for democracy.”



We live in an era of alarmism. Everyone, or at least Trump opponents, seems alarmed nearly all the time. Even when we can’t quite summon the energy, we’re expected to be outraged. Our outrage is then presented as a badge of honor, evidence of virtue at a time of historic challenge to the Republic. But the nature of the outrage – overwrought before even Trump took office – has taken a new turn.

We are confronted daily not simply with outrage, but a kind of end-of-worldism: America is on the brink of dictatorship; Trump is going start World War III; the president’s access to the nuclear codes might actually destroy the universe; if he manages to control his impulses, then his withdrawal from the Paris climate change accords will still destroy the universe, just a bit more slowly.

As someone who works on the Middle East, I find myself, oddly enough, in a near constant state of relief. Nine months into Trump’s tenure, it could have been better, but it could just as well have been worse, perhaps much worse.

The world hasn’t ended....