The Shrinking of the American Mind

This title of Roger Cohen’s New York Times column this morning gives a sense of the “stunning mediocrity and myopia” of the final presidential debate, of how far our country has fallen. Trump exemplifies the worst in America, and he has brought out the worst in all those who have been susceptible to his snarling, blustering, mendacious, resentment-stoking, utterances and tweets. Trump and his fellow proto-fascist propagandists and morally deficient enablers have disgraced and weakened our  country to a degree that we are viewed with pity, bemusement, and contempt around the world.

“Be as mean, selfish, cruel, hypocritical, and dishonest as you want,” is Trump’s message. Tens of millions of Americans have responded to it. If he is not only voted out of office, but also forced out of office in January –– it appears that both steps will be necessary –– the best our country can hope for is a long, contentious, agonizing period of self-repair.