I don’t know what to tell you. Honestly.
One of the hallmarks of an unfree society is a lack of narratives to make clear sense of the government’s behavior — especially the government’s preferred narratives.
But this government has no narratives; no coherent, meaningful story to tell to us, the governed; no clear philosophy. We only neurotic and self-serving prevarications that shift as quickly as the ground beneath the lie-manufacturers.
America is in a crisis, and the America that eventually emerges will not be one any of us — liberal, conservative, urban, rural — will much recognize.
In the future, in this space, I hope to piece together some occasional narratives of this decline, accounts that can perhaps put America’s crisis in a useful context. But this week, a month into the most inept, malign, dishonest, infantile, hateful government administration I have witnessed in my lifetime, all I can do is try to pluck out a few waypoints on our rapid ride down the cliff.
For us mere mortals, there have been too many outrages to track, which is probably as close as Donald Trump’s inner circle comes to a strategy. They are prone to crisis and deceit, so they make crisis and deceit perpetual, until the populace adapts to it — like the stench of an unemptied garbage pail in your own home.
As my Pennsylvania-Dutch great-grandmother used to say, “If you hang long enough, you get used to it.”
This week, Michael Flynn, a simple soldier whose lifelong genius for connecting dots and acting on the picture they produce may have worked in an Afghan village but not in a bureaucracy designed to protect 319 million Americans, lost his job as national security adviser, and that is a good thing on its face.
Flynn’s unpardonable sin, per the president who hired him, is not that he