Now. Being civilized, a member of the civitas, the community of human belonging, doesn’t merely mean “believing” in those values — and meekly staring at your feet when an abuser or bully gives someone a shove. It means expressing them. Enacting them. Living them. Why? Not so that we ourselves are merely seen to be civilized, so that we are haughty and respected…
“After the election of 2016 equivocation became a bipartisan exercise. Republicans who had opposed Trump in the primaries, or even after he received their party’s nomination, and Democrats who had issued the starkest warnings about the consequences of electing him lined up in front of TV cameras and microphones to tell everyone that they wanted the new president to ‘succeed.’ Under the twisted logic that conflates blind loyalty and patriotism, a president’s success equals America’s success, even if that president’s agenda threatens our most cherished institutions. No politician ever wants to seem unpatriotic.
“But the success of the country is contingent upon the leadership putting the country’s interest first and foremost. Traditionally, both major parties have been led by people that believed in the process even if they disagreed about how best to use it to achieve maximum benefit for the nation as a whole. Now we have a leader that embraces disruption for its own sake. His entire presidency has been dedicated to eroding the last vestiges of faith Americans still have in their institutions in order to better exploit the office of the presidency for his personal gain. From the very beginning of his administration no one should have been wishing him success.”