Sunday, April 30, 2017

Donald Trump’s One Awful Accomplishment; New York Times, April 29, 2017

Frank Bruni, New York Times; Donald Trump’s One Awful Accomplishment

"The other presidents in my lifetime have at least done a pantomime of the qualities that we try to instill in children: humility, honesty, magnanimity, generosity. Even Richard Nixon took his stabs at these. Trump makes a proud and almost ceaseless mockery of them.

And while I worry plenty that he’ll achieve some of his most ill-conceived policy goals, I’m just as fearful that he has already succeeded in changing forever the expected demeanor of someone in public office.

All around me people shrug and yawn at his latest petulant tirade, his newest baseless tweet, his freshest assertion that the numbers that the rest of us see are just optical illusions and he really did win the popular vote. Even outrage grows boring, and it begins to feel pointless: His obnoxiousness isn’t going to get him impeached.

Besides, the mendacity, the grandiosity: That’s just Trump being Trump. It’s old news by now. Many readers will get this far in this column and wonder why I and other naysayers don’t just let it go and cut him a break. As if we’re stuck on piddling things and his bearing is nothing more than peculiar.

But when something no longer provokes remark, it becomes unremarkable, and the road from there to acceptable is a short one."

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