Personal Musings from the Drain’s Edge

I am almost out of words to express all that I think and feel about the cumulative damage of the Trump era. Today, I can only tiptoe around the periphery of things. The moment I try to step inside the circle and address the heart of the matter, my mind and stomach are paralyzed with revulsion. Even the periphery must be negotiated somewhat absentmindedly, lest I realize what I am close to, and the nausea — moral, intellectual, and visceral — begin to take hold of me again.

I consider with semi-detached dismay all the friends and friendly acquaintances I have lost during this era: fellow writers or serious readers who became frequent correspondents and allies over the years, but who have since lost their minds or their ambitions to the cult. We no longer communicate.

I think of being exiled from the so-called “conservative media” — effectively pushed out at American Thinker, literally banned as a commenter at Right Scoop — by the same people who had supported my writing and regarded me as a desirable ally or even representative voice for years, prior to the Trump flip.

I watch thousands of people who once read my own writing now embracing crackpot conspiracy theories, insisting that so many millions of votes were stolen or deleted or added here, there, and everywhere, certain that no MAGA supporter would ever have committed violence — “It was Antifa!” — without any of them being able to present a shred of plausible evidence to support any of this. And yet they never seem the least bit shaken in their devotion to an ever more obvious pile of horse manure.

The same millions who are just certain, to the very core of their being, that Joe Biden could never have received the most votes in American history, are absolutely unfazed by the necessary implication of their own certainty, namely that Donald Trump did receive the most votes in American history. Why is the former so impossible to believe, if the latter is so natural? Is it truly inconceivable that for every American who is devoted to the idea that Donald Trump is God’s answer to the nation’s prayers, there are 1.1 other Americans devoted to the idea that Trump is the devil’s answer to the nation’s sins? For what it is worth, I know that I am much closer to the latter position than to the former, although I would never have been so foolish as to express that belief by voting for another progressive establishmentarian.

Mitch McConnell and his GOP establishment bought Trump, used him, and now they are throwing him away. He has served his devious purpose, which was to destroy and debase constitutional conservatism forever, by tempting its reasonable defenders away from their principles and their souls with the bait of a childish revenge fantasy. Mission accomplished, Trump back in the trash bin where he belongs, and tens of millions of Americans, unmoored from any hope or meaning, left at the mercy of the next two-bit carnival barker who comes along promising to make all the emptiness go away.

Mitch and the old boys might get more than they bargained for on this ruse, however. Trump was easy, because he is merely an insecure and easily manipulable ignoramus. The tens of millions, on the other hand, having been permanently marginalized, may now present a genuine threat to civil society, should anyone with a wider vision than Trump decide to make a play for their devotion.

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