I called for Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office more than a year ago and I haven’t written many political posts since then. Once you’ve said the President should be impeached, there’s not much room left! But last week’s news seems so consequential that I think another post is in order. I am not going to review the facts as we know them—plenty of others are doing that better than I could. Instead, I want to offer two thoughts about what comes next, after Trump.
The first thought is for all Americans. We knew all we need to know about Trump before the election. In a long national election campaign conducted under the media spotlight, there is just no way to conceal a candidate’s character. But we elected him anyway. As the great satirist Alexandra Petri wrote about Gov. Chris Christie endorsing Trump, we gazed into the eyes of the abyss, the abyss gazed back, and then we endorsed the abyss. We have to ask whether our constitutional structure, laws, and social condition are going to lead to the election of another Trump, or whether he was an aberration. If, as I think, he was no aberration, then don’t we need to change our constitutional structure, our laws, or our social conditions? Let’s start with our social conditions. Let’s all get involved with our local amateur sports leagues, libraries, arts communities, churches, schools, and charities—emphasis on local. Getting to know our neighbors and working with them, as simple as it sounds, is my prescription for overcoming Trumpism and much else that ails us. I could give lots of other prescriptions, but that is at the top of my list.
The second thought is for the President. He is the father and grandfather of Jews, so in this season of reflection, righting wrongs we’ve done, and personal growth, I hope it is not amiss to remind him of the old story that says that even if the gates of prayer sometimes are closed, “the gates of repentance are always open.” It’s never to late to try to do better!