When I wrote my 2016 book “The Death of Civility and Common Sense: How America Has Become Dangerously Polarized” I had no idea how bad things would become.
At that time Donald Trump was only a candidate for the Republican nomination. Most people thought he had little chance of becoming the Republican nominee, much less our President. Moreover, most of our presidents have grown into the job after they became elected. This is a tradition that began with the election of our first president, George Washington. It has continued until modern times, when Ronald Reagan became president. He certainly grew into the job and left office as one of our most popular presidents ever.
The midterm elections were a serious setback for Trump and the Republican Party. As this is written Democrats have gained 33 seats in the House and could gain between 35 and 40 when all of the vote counting is complete. Republicans held on to their slim majority in the Senate, but this could change when more Republicans than Democrats are up for re-election in 2020.
Most alarming is how unhinged Trump has acted since his mid-term setback. He has attacked the news media, particularly CNN, more than ever. In a recent White House press conference. He had a young intern try to wrest the microphone from CNN reporter Jim Acosta. Then he revoked Acosta’s press credentials.
The freedom of the press in guaranteed in the First Amendment, which says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press —-“.
When one reads Bob Woodward’s book “Fear: Trump in the White House”, one is more alarmed than ever. Already, Trump has fired several people. He fired Attorney General Sessions and replaced him with a crony who does not need Senate confirmation. It appears he will soon push out General John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff, who has brought some order to the chaos there.
Things will get worse before they get better, but we will get through it. We will again be in the words of President Ronald Reagan the “The Shining City on the Hill”.