I haven’t written anything political for a while, for two reasons. I read a lot of political opinion and analysis, and I think that in 2018, no one I’m reading is actually helping to make things better. And these are mostly very good writers who make their living writing about politics. If we are going to get out of our national funk, it won’t be because of any political writer. Second, we don’t know how things are going to go. If we are living through a weird aberration that is going to come to an end, then I should be writing one kind of piece; but if we are living through the end of traditional American political life, then I should be writing something quite different.
But I can’t let the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii, the case upholding the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban, go by without comment. There’s no question in my mind that the Trump policy is un-American, morally bankrupt, and self-defeating. But I’ve also previously given reasons for thinking that it’s constitutional. If we are living in a world where Trump and his supporters are trounced at the polls and the Republican Party steps back from its decade plus of norm-breaking radicalism, then Hawaii seems sound. But if we are living in Trump’s world, then Hawaii reads like the next Korematsu.