At the age of 70, Donald Trump is not about to grow up. He ran a dishonest and tawdry presidential campaign. He continues to disparage John McCain’s heroism and public service, characterizing him as a loser. In spirit, it is no different than his criticism of the Gold Star parents of Humayun Khan, who lost his life while serving in Iraq. Trump felt that while the Khans had sacrificed, so had he — in building a business. If there is a Guinness Book of Narcissism, this is in it. It is not only Stengel who comes to mind. So does Richard Nixon. He, too, assembled a coterie of zealots who were itching to make (domestic) war on anyone and everyone. For a time, the old Nixon was forgotten. A new one was declared. Supposedly gone was the mudslinger of yore, the pol with the twitchy insecurities and a metastasizing inventory of resentments. But the old Nixon was always lurking.

In the end, Nixon had to quit. I believe Trump will meet a similar fate, but things have changed since Nixon’s time. The Senate, which in the end gave Nixon the fatal nudge, is not the institution it once was. (Where have you gone, Barry Goldwater?) As for the so-called mainstream media, it has nowhere near its old influence nor its old audience. Little works as it once did. Even the electoral college, designed to keep a Trump out of the White House, became the vehicle for his victory.

The remedy remains political courage — a determination, particularly by congressional Republicans, to reject the normalization of Trump and his ways. Trump will not change. The question is whether an opportunistic and supine Congress will. ~Richard Cohen @washpost.com

 

 

 

Advertisements