You Have a Right to Weariness

The struggle for goodness and decency is an eternal struggle, not a seasonal one.

Comments: 195

  1. Pretending Trump knows what to do Is remarkable denial, too, The man is so ditsy Knowledge itsy bitsy Follow his lead, that you will rue. His IQ is truly subpar, There’s no way he’d win a Cigar, A TV producer Hamfisted seducer Whatever he touches he’ll mar. At negotiating, inept, Does not have a single precept, A go by the gut man No if, and or but man, At lying, is where he’s adept.

  2. @Larry Eisenberg And yet he was able to beat the ever so wonderful Hillary Clinton. Of course she is about the only one he could defeat. I blame this situation on the Democrats for running a worn out warhorse like a Clinton when they had other, better alternatives.

  3. @TW Smith, just what we need--a relitigation of 2016. Clinton was the best option we had, and she won the popular vote by a significant margin. She was 68 years old, but the alternative candidate was 74. There was no younger alternative, and age doesn't seem to have been the deciding factor. Trump was 70.

  4. @TW Smith Establishment Dems worked to defeat Bernie Sanders,"the most popular politician in the country" Dear God/Goddess/Supreme Intelligence, please do not let the new electees listen to the siren song of 'centrism." They must insist on bringing to fruition the issues that got them elected. NO PATCHING TOGETHER HEALTHCARE, BUT medicare for all, etc. dear god

  5. "This is a forever fight." Thank you, Mr. Blow, for this wonderful piece. Even a 12-hour "tune out" can be helpful.

  6. @Will McClaren I agree, but also want to make the point- voting matters! I lived in the US for many years and was shocked at the number of people who don't vote. Also, the US cannot progress w/o changing the easy access to guns. We had a horrible terrorist related incident in Downtown Melbourne on a busy Friday afternoon. An innocent man lost his life due to stab wounds. The only person with a gun was a young police officer who shot the assailant dead. If this had been in the US where the bad guys have access to high powered weapons, I hate to think what the result might be.

  7. Donald Trump shouldn't be the yardstick by which decency is measured against. His indecency and that of his party shouldn't dictate what decency looks like in general, or on the other side, in particular. As far as I'm concerned, conservatism as we know it today is a sham and the party that supposedly represents it, a mafia by and of the richest among Americans, intent only on depriving our nation of its riches and people of their constitutional rights, all for their personal enrichment. On the other side of this stands a party that isn't without its problems and while Democrats' issues aren't as severe or unsalvageable, they are nevertheless in need of addressing before that party, too, is so completely overwhelmed by the cancer of oligarchy, that America will become a total loss. In order for any kind of hope of decency to take hold, liberal and progressive voters need to articulate their awareness and concern that the Democratic party is no less vulnerable today than it has been in the recent past to the forces of corporatism and oligarchy. We're already seeing op-eds railing against Democrats who've gone "too far to the left." In a world in which the party has been yanked to the right by the neoconservative forces in power, the last thing Democrats need are their own "good oligarchs" to fight Trump and the Kochs. There is no such thing as a benevolent oligarch. Oligarchy is not democracy -- ‘What Trump Did While You Weren’t Looking https://wp.me/p2KJ3H-2ZW

  8. @Rima Regas--if you want a good guy oligarch to take on Donald Trump how about considering the former Mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg? True, he changes political parties constantly but he's registering as a Democrat again in preparation for a possible White House run. Bloomberg is the closest thing to a good guy oligarch as you're going to get.

  9. @Rima Regas, yada yada yada. I read a lot of words in your comment but no solutions, only criticism. So what's your plan, heh? Start a third party? A revolution? Rolling up in a ball and dying? Or just destroying all humans and be done with it once and for all because we always seem to revert to the lowest of the low? At the end of the day, all talk and no action doesn't cut it. Get off the stick and do something.

  10. @Jan N My comment is intended to draw attention to issues that have hobbled the left for everyone to think about and discuss. You seem to be waiting for a platter of pre-chosen food all ready for you to eat. Democracy doesn't work that way. It is about debate and joint decisions. What we've been having is debate on predetermined issues with predetermined outcomes. Voters disengaged as the other side prepared to grab power. Taking our government back has to entail reestablishing democratic norms and those have got to include a critique of what went wrong.

  11. I have to disagree with Mr. Blow when he says that "liberals" won control of the House last week. It wasn't just those of us who consider ourselves liberals, but many who consider themselves "centrists" or "moderates," including many Republicans. There is wide agreement, outside the hard right, that Americans should have access to affordable health care, that we need reasonable gun safety legislation, that bigotry has no place in public policy or public discourse, that corruption in government is a bad thing, and that we should not be systematically alienating our allies and supporting tyrants. Democrats won last week by being a big-tent party, and I hope that they will govern that way.

  12. @lydgate The center has moved so far to the right, that it is the right. In the time since I wrote my essay, we've moved miles away from what the center was in September 2017. Kirsten Sinema, who used to run on progressive views, looks like she will win a hard won campaign to become the next Senator from Arizona. But who is she now? Just a couple of weeks ago in an interview, she said she probably wouldn't have voted against Brett Kavanaugh. Claire McCaskill compared Black Lives Matter to terrorists at a town hall with white Missourian voters. That kind of talk has no place in the party. She voted for the relaxation of rules intended to protect the water supply from big coal. That also has no place in the party. She, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester and Manchin voted to relax banking rules specifically intended to protect minorities from predatory lending has no place in the Democratic party. That's not the center. That is the far right. Sometimes, when certain Democrats vote too much like Republicans, the only conclusion that can be reached is that they are Republicans. The "center" is far narrower than most people believe it is. When you go issue by issue, more people want progressive policy than don't. The "center" is on the left because we've gone way too far to the right. That's what triangulation does. https://www.rimaregas.com/2017/09/04/triangulation-when-neoliberalism-is-at-its-most-dangerous-to-voters-updated-dem-politics-on-blog42/

  13. @lydgate One person's liberal is another person's progressive, is another person's centrist. The important label, if we must have one, is that the Democrats not the Republicans are now a majority in the House of Representatives.

  14. @lydgate Before the cock crows, you will deny the term "liberal".... Yet every policy that you claim has "wide agreement" is a policy that "centrists" or "moderates", including many Republicans, would recognize as key "liberal" positions. Democrats, stop with the self loathing. Stop getting hung up on labels and focus on energizing your fellow humans around the concept of equality and fair play.

  15. Your advise is quite appropriate given the holiday we are celebrating. Even the military must rest. R and R isn't a reward for good behavior. It is an acknowledgment that we have to take a break from extreme stress if we are to endure through to the end. Just for the record: the reason we have no recourse to remove Trump is due to our aversion to open, loud, vigorous dissent. There are many other countries that would not put up with this. Iceland, for example, during the 2008 bank meltdown the citizens took to the streets banging pots and pans. They demanded action. They also got it. Several countries in the last twenty years have had velvet revolutions. We have seen the enemy in this stalemate; it is us. We don't demand change. We limit ourselves, ironically, to killing each other. How many in the past two weeks alone? I am sure there is a lesson in there somewhere.

  16. During the 2008 bank meltdown, Americans made history by voting for the first black president. They voted for change. Could they have voted for such an eloquent candidate if they were inclined toward banging pots and pans? It would be interesting if there were a way to know.

  17. If the Democratic Party wishes to unseat Trump in 2020, it will need to keep in mind that our American electorate is a bell curve; ultra-liberal on one end, ultra-conservative on the other, with most of the people -- AND VOTES -- in the middle. Our hearts may be drawn to the very progressive, but we need to always keep in mind that the votes to win the general election are in the middle. If we forget that, we'll have four more years of the Tweeter-in-Chief.

  18. Actually, I disagree. A large segment is fixed on being progressive and opposing all that is conservative and another portion is conservative that is opposed to all things progressive. There is also a very large portion that is looking for someone or something to believe in. Democrats other than Obama never seem to inspire people with a story or an argument. They don’t fight. Although Republicans are demonstrably wrong on what is best policy for the country and world, they fight and act with conviction. That is why they usually win. If progressives are unapologetic and not wishy washy... if they stand by their convictions, then they will win. The evidence is there.

  19. @G. Herald It's a skewed bell curve. Its so-called "ultraliberals" are not all that ultra, and merely represent progressive thought that was close to the norm among our elected representatives in many of our lifetimes. The far more numerous fringe of ultraconservatives is so over-represented politically that it wields the real power.

  20. @G. Herald The problem with chasing the center is that the right keeps moving to the ultra-right tail of the curve, which pushes the center rightward. As a result, center-left ideas get categorized as "ultra-liberal", producing hand-wringing among Democrats about maintaining the middle. The Republicans have no such qualms. This triangulating centrism (i.e. trying to remain just to the left of the Republicans) not only results in bad policy, but also lets the GOP frame every debate. The "ultra-liberal" policy ideas -- universal healthcare, subsidized higher education, living wages -- are, in just about every other developed nation, centrist to the point of being nearly unanimously supported. In fact, stripped of labels like "liberal", these policies enjoy overwhelming support in the US. Americans just need to awaken from the brainwashing of the past three decades. The US can -- and should -- afford to provide these services. This year's increase in military spending alone ($60 billion) would have covered free college for everyone -- and then some. Just the increase! And yet, we scoff at this spending as ultra-liberal "ponies and unicorn" thinking, while shoveling money into the war machine and giving away trillions of dollars in corporate tax cuts.

  21. For the first time in four years, we will have a functioning House of Representatives. Remember, from 2015 - Jan 2017, The Benghazi Party controlled the House of Representatives; their main accomplishments were conducting a Salem Witch Trial of Hillary Clinton and screaming 'repeal Obamacare'. From 2017 - Jan 2019, the Trump-GOP controlled the House; their main accomplishments were painting the toenails of the rich a finer shade of gold, coming within an inch of ripping healthcare coverage away from millions and pretending that Donald Trump was a law-abiding citizen. This Democratic House will actually address the needs of 325 million Americans by passing a much-needed nationwide infrastructure bill, a new Voting Rights bill to treat the new and improved Jim Crow-Brian Kemp-Kris Kobach Confederate States of America, improvements and fixes to the ACA to address healthcare, environmental protection bills, and actual oversight of the nation's Matryoshka-Doll-In-Chief who appears to be hiding the fact that he's a criminal who hates the Constitution, the Justice Department, the separation of powers principle and the rule of American law. This is a wonderful development. Of course the Republican Senate and Trumpty Dumpty won't give any of these sensible Democratic House bills the time of day, but it will put on stark public display that the Republican party has no interest in America, Americans or reality. It will make flushing the GOP-Trump-Toilet that much easier in 2020.

  22. @Socrates: and screaming "emails!" as part of the Republican campaign to demonize Hillary Clinton.

  23. @Socrates C,mon Soc, We should count the great accomplishments of the Grand Ol Pirates to America in 2017-2018. 1) A tax cut in the billions for the donors and corporate class as a reward for their faithful commitments, underwriting the GOP hold on Congress. 2) A shameless orchestrated attack on the FBI, DoJ Courts, Judges for daring to investigate and convict the Dear White Leader corrupt cronies. 3) Nominating a pedophile from AL as a US senator. 4) Confirming a sex offender to the Supreme Court. 5) Stacking the federal bench with obedient sycophants willing to force Christain sharia law on all of us. 6) Adding over a trillion $$ to the national debt after berating Obama for eight years over his "liberal" spending. By FIX News standards, it was a wonderful Congress.FIX News super-patriots of Hannity, Dobbs, Pirro, Ingraham, Carson, and the money honey-aka Maria Bartiromo are now committed to uncovering the Dems/Libs fraud in the last election. Hannity is leading a caravan of White lawyers marching down to FL to stop Dems/Libs from stealing the election. We all certainly owe him a debt of gratitude.

  24. @Socrates:"a new Voting Rights bill" Folks who don't take the time to vote are now elevated to victim status.

  25. I don't know you personally, Charles, but I think I love you man. Your writing has been a great comfort to me in this horrific era we are experiencing. Just right. But there is intelligent writing out there that opens up the possibilities, at least, of litigating against this monster, our "president". I will ask you not give up hope, my friend. Search for the openings. Help as you can in the fight. I agree that , Trump or no Trump, these forces will battle in one form or another to eternity.

  26. @David Kesler And I love Charles and you. I know a couple of Trump voters. They are not wealthy, but they are misinformed (by the Trump-buro) and scared about things like their retirement savings. They haven’t realized the threat. That’s not a defense (I don’t consider any of them friends because I don’t share their values) but it is an explanation. Days after the bar shooting and a fortnight after the synagogue shooting, I am not weary. I’m angry again. I thought I would pick up my charitable giving that I put on hold during election season, but I may have to continue political donations for another month of recounts.At this point, I (probably naively) have more faith in a few GOP Senators who will listen honestly if there is evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors than I have in average GOP voters. I never thought I’d see the day when I have more respect for Jeff Sessions than for any of his erstwhile Senate colleagues. Talk about strange bedfellows! For the defenders of democracy, I quote the 100 year old poem: “The torch they threw to us we caught A million hands will hold it high So Freedom’s light may never die. We learned the lesson that they taught In Flanders fields.” And in North Africa, Italy, occupied Europe, imperial Japan. And Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. And at Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall. We will keep holding the Light. You go rest, and when we get tired out, you can take it again.

  27. @David Kesler: Your comment brings up another coping mechanism that works: taking refuge in each other. Knowing there are many more people repelled by Trump than attracted to his vileness is a comfort.

  28. Charles Blow is a great comfort to me, as well. I search for his columns if I have missed them.

  29. Good insight into our predicament Charles. So many adhere to Trump for prolife, gun rights and small government reasons; its a difficult coalition to beat. Sad to say his behavior is accepted or even applauded. Such hard heads wouldn’t accept health care, childcare, free college and care for the elderly and vulnerable even it came from corporate or wealthy American sources alone as its too much government intervention.

  30. "I don’t ever want to forget that resistance must be its own reward, since resistance, at least within the life span of the resistors, almost always fails." - Ta-Nehisi Coates The "forever fight" has no end, but there are victories along the way worth savoring. Trump's defeat in 2020 will not the end the "hostility of a substantial portion of America to inclusion and equality". Still, better to move forward than stumble back. Besides, even if one shares the pessimism in Mr. Coates' quote, it is worth noting that "almost always" is not "always". We ARE better than this. Better than Trump.

  31. Decent, law-abiding, family-oriented, even Christian Americans have appointed Trump, prepared to tolerate his indecorum to achieve some kind of return to the days of white dominion across the land. This suppressed desire, supported by Trump and enabled by anonymous voting has been revealed. This is the real issue for the United States, and only by history and personal example is there any hope of the nation retaining her principles so thoughtfully penned by her founders, so deeply respected by we outsiders.

  32. Sorry, I do not consider racist, religious, and/or misogynist bigots decent. Nor, if they seek to subvert civil rights legislation and/or judicial decisions, are they law-abiding.

  33. @A. F. G. Maclagan: I voted for Trump, and I assure you....I have zero interest whatsoever in a "white dominion". For starters, I am only white on a technicality, and would have been considered "brown" 80 years ago and belong a tiny, tiny religious minority group. I assume you think this way, because you live so far away in Australia, but it is not true about the US at all.

  34. Trump 24/7, and that what we've had for the past two years, has normalized whatever you want to call this reality we are experiencing.

  35. On this Veteran's Day I'd like to point out something about the company Whitaker worked for, the one that's being investigated by the FBI. The company promised people it would take their inventions (for a fee) patent them, create a logo for them, and the salespeople told the clients they would become millionaires. They targeted US veterans. Whitaker's job was to intimidate people who wanted their money back. The veterans who lost money, some as much as 15,000 dollars, said all they got for their money was a poor drawing and a poor logo, both of which looked like a child drew them. Whitaker's job was to intimidate veterans who realized they were scammed. Trump chose him to be the acting Attorney General. Look who is running the government and the highest law enforcement office in the country, a man who couldn't honor the Marines who died in WWI because it was raining, and a man who threatened veterans for a living. Happy Veterans' Day.

  36. Trump University: Whitaker College Campus Whitaker was an advisory board member for World Patent Marketing, a Florida-based fraud. WPM promoted itself as a champion of those who served in the military. “Not only do we honor the veterans and soldiers of our armed forces but we are also celebrating what they are protecting - the American dream,” it said in a 2014 Veterans Day statement which highlighted Whitaker’s role at the firm. Another WPM client, Ryan Masti, who served in the Navy and suffers from dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, said a WPM representative boasted of the company’s connections to Whitaker in a promotional telephone call that persuaded him to hand over money. Masti told the court he lost $75,000 after paying WPM to register, develop and promote his idea for “Socially Accepted”, a social network aimed at people with disabilities. He said that in return he received only a press release, a logo and a shoddy website template. “I spent the money on a dream to help people,” Masti said. “And I lost everything.” Having voted for Trump in 2016, Masti said he'd be changing his party affiliation to Democratic due to Trump's Whitaker Justice Dept scam. “It’s totally ridiculous,” said Masti. “It makes the whole Republican party look so bad. How could a president appoint someone like this? And then not have a problem about it when it comes out? He should be taking care of the victims.” https://bit.ly/2PmaJr9 Fakes. Phonies. Frauds. GOP 2018

  37. @Socrates Crooks. Every last one picked for his expertise at bilking by Mike Pence and the Koch Brothers' army of lobbyists during the transition.

  38. @Linda “Only the best people.” Conmen, crooks and scammers. These are the best people in Trump's world of never ending grift.

  39. Thanks for this, Mr. Blow. I follow you closely and know how hard you have worked to express the evil of our times in clear and eloquent ways. This recent election is no release from the reality we face, and who knows what 2020 will bring. In my own ways as a teacher and writer I've found myself often fastened to trying to respond to our current madness, but I also am old enough to remember 1968 and 1980. Your reminder to make sure to take care of ourselves as we continue fighting for decency and democracy was a good thing to read today. I appreciate all the work you do.

  40. Thank you, Charles. You articulate my needs here. I've found that to keep sane I must have increasing numbers of "times out" as the last couple of years have dragged by. Sometimes I can barely open my Times page in the am, except very slowly, article by article, opinion by opinion. It helps to hear that I'm not alone in that need. What terrible times we are in.

  41. "The recurring themes are to never lose hope in the final victory of righteousness". This is exactly how you find strength to keep going, knowing there is that final victory. Focus on where you are able to make positive change in the present while also keeping eternity in view. "The struggle for goodness and decency is an eternal one, not a seasonal one." Thank-you Charles Blow for seeing the reality we are faced with and recognizing the sorrow and suffering it brings and the way forward.

  42. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves. ~ Gautama Buddha Each day when confronted yet again with another vile, hateful or ignorant remark from Donald Trump, I remind myself that there is so much more to life than dwelling on him and his actions. Today was a most beautiful day here in the Northwest, the still crisp air, a few remaining leaves high in the trees, tinged gold in the late afternoon sun. We can take some solace in knowing that our collective caring and action does make a difference, as it did in the midterm elections. And as Charles wisely notes in his column, there is no shame in taking a break from the stress of it all. Trump’s time will pass, we can only hope it is sooner than later.

  43. @Tim B I grew up in Woodinville so many years ago on what was called then Waggy Road. Only a few cars went by a day. Thanks for reminding me of all the beauty unique to that area out there. I have so many happy memories of all the seasons. And I remember that crisp fall air and the few leaves in the trees and the faithful evergreens. And to me, no where can match the beauty of the Northwest skies when They are clear. And the smell of fall too. The looking forward to Thanksgiving and even better Christmas. I like to think of the Indians before us, true stewards of the land seeing the same few leaves in the trees and how they must have enjoyed the crispness of the air and the sunlight in the afternoon glinting off the choppy Puget Sound.

  44. @cheerful dramatist Thank you sharing your memories of the beauty of Autumn here in the Northwest, and your lovely descriptive words. Truly we are blessed with frequent rains this time of year cleansing the skies. I remember years ago as a college student when they had 'road rallies' with clues, the successful team driving a car with obscure clues, like take the second right after the red barn on the left. I didn't drive but was amazed how only a short ways out of the city, there were abundant woodlands and undeveloped areas, and roads which seemed to go on forever, and so many roads, so many.

  45. @Tim B Trump's day will not "pass" unless truly moral people keep up sustained activism. Yes, smell the roses- then go back to the fight... Let's keep each other strong, and limit our media ingestion. We know what we have to do.

  46. Beautiful column. As you write, it's hard to say anything new about our predicament. Yet you did. You speak for so many of us, and your column makes me feel like David (other comment), "I don't know you personally, Charles, but I think I love you man." You speak for so many of us and give us some comfort and, I hope, also courage.

  47. Years ago when our youngest daughter was crying with hurt feelings because she felt as if "no one liked" her, her dad, my husband, went marching to the local bookstore and bought her the children's book, "It Could Be Worse." I stood at the doorway of her room while her father read it to her and witnessed what was at first a shy smile grow bigger upon her face. I thought of this when I read of Charles Blow's mother, handling this rather disgraceful political paradigm far better than I and my peers, for sure. Her wise words, to paraphrase, were that we've been through so much worse as a nation. Yes, our work is relentless. That is the human condition. The aspiration and need to make our lives better is as old as time and will continue until the end of time. Charles, we promise we will take our "naps" during the day, and "sleep" during the night. That will indeed make us stronger, bring us the enthusiasm and passion to change what must be changed. Do you remember that old "Serenity Prayer"? "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." Well, we know exactly what must be changed, and we have the smarts to do it. Don't worry...

  48. The hours are long; the work is hard; the reward may be little but the struggle must continue. The SCOTUS is lost for a generation but there is a check on the president and the reactionaries in the Senate from the newly elected House. The road is clear, in my eyes: the House must pass legislation which the American people demand and investigate the misdeeds of this administration, especially the corruption and self serving by the POTUS and his cabinet. Should the Senate and POTUS block such legislation, like shoring up the ACA and guaranteeing coverage for those with preexisting conditions, they may pay a price in 2020. Impeachment may appear to many as sour grapes and would only give us a POTUS Pence, hardly an improvement.

  49. @Arthur I'm more optimistic about the Supreme Court than some, because people do change, even sometimes when they are older. And while I don't wish illness on anyone, plenty of people do not live to four score and ten! And, like David Souter, some just get tired!

  50. @Arthur - The hours are long; the work is hard; the reward may be little but the struggle must continue. From Hippocrates: "The art is long, life is short, opportunity fleeting, experiment dangerous, judgment difficult." (PS "First, do no harm.")

  51. We are weary but the number of our family and friends are large and unwavering. We are an example for the youth of this country, I have faith in them. Many of us baby boomers aren't throwing in the towel either for that matter.

  52. I appreciate your honesty, Charles. I've read posters who cite you as a one-trick pony, obsessed with Trump. I've found myself thinking I'm obsessed myself, knowing the more I resist the worse I feel. That maybe it's time to chill out, take a rest, recharge. But then, I get ensnared all over. I guess the one thing that keeps me going is that I'm not inured to any of this. In fact, I continue to marvel at how low Trump goes, that his installation of a man under investigation for fraud to the highest legal post in the land--for the express purpose of quashing his own investigation--is just so Trumpian. And then I realize, I can no more look away than I can stop breathing. In fact the worse Trump behaves, the more I feel compelled to keep fighting. To rest is to cede, and I can't. If any of this starts to feel normal,I'll call it quits. So far it hasn't, and I doubt it will any time soon.

  53. This is a very inspiring comment, @ChristineMcM. Thank you!

  54. @ChristineMcM Well put- my feelings also. Stay strong. As long as there is corruption and hate, and as long as about 40% of the country and the entire republican party has taken a permanent mental break, we have GOT to keep up the good fight. Exercise, eat well and get enough sleep and STAY FIERCE.

  55. @ChristineMcM Hear, hear. A thoughtful person being obsessed with Trump is to me the same as a patient being obsessed with a disease they are suffering which is highly communicable and deadly. When something is trying to harm or kill you and all other living things, you need to pay attention, unless you like the suffering. Sadly, some people do. But they are in the minority. More of us still care whether we have smart people or dangerous idiots in charge.

  56. Turns out that whoever votes, wins. Look at Florida -- if Broward County had had no ballot issues, they'd have a Democrat as governor. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the country. Where Democrats came out in force, they won. Independents might have a small effect but, in the end, it's whoever gets out their voters. And that is why fighting against voter suppression and for voter registration are the keys to winning elections and setting the course our great country. That, I think, is what the resistance is about and what might be a way of honoring Charles Blow's mother's resistance to giving up hope.

  57. I bird whenever I can. I swim laps. I find that having to focus, in the case of the former on something bright and cheerful and, in the case of the latter on numbers so I know when to stop, is as good as the Serenity Prayer. While I don't believe in God I do believe in what this prayer says because it's only with living that we get the experience to know the difference. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. It's not going to impeach Trump and it's not going to change the political situation. But it does make some things more tolerable. It's reminder that there are times we need to accept what has happened and focus on what's next. 2020 is what's next.

  58. @hen3ry 2020 is now. Now is when elected officials need to do teach-ins in their districts. They need to inform their voters and reteach them the values of the party that have long been co-opted in favor of libertarian notions about equality and social justice. They need to show voters how much has been lost and lead the way to get it all back. 2020 needs to have massive turnouts to cancel out the gerrymanders. That starts now. If it doesn't, nothing will change.

  59. Come to Australia! We have wonderful birds, and I go walking all the time to enjoy their company...

  60. What we need to keep in mind is that it took the people riding the current tide of corruption and venality decades of unending effort to bring us to this point. They deliberately built institutions like the Federalist Society to be siege engines, to batter the rule of law and the norms of democracy into submission. It has taken them billions of dollars to drown the voices of ordinary people, to fill their minds with dangerous nonsense, and turn institutions of learning into mind-closing assembly lines with privatization. They have invested heavily in media like FOX for the sole purpose of "catapulting the propaganda." Weariness is what they are counting on; "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Pop culture is as good as anything when it comes to answers: "Never give up, never surrender." "Constant vigilance". And we have examples to follow, as in "And yet she persisted." On the anniversary of the end of the War to end all Wars, we must persevere. The world has been through worse. Cold comfort in the face of the potential global devastation that could dwarf all previous conflicts, but worth remembering as we stare down those threats. It's never over - both the peril and the promise. Resist.

  61. @Larry Roth yep, The federalist society, the heritage foundation, fox news, brietbart - collectively they have done serious damage to the country. White fear is their currency.

  62. It is very likely that we are stuck with Trump until the 2020 election, and even then the Democrats can take nothing for granted if they wish to defeat him. The Trump of week ago is already no more. From now on his every action will be heavily scrutinized by Pelosi's congress which inevitably means POTUS decisions made in haste or out of spite or for personal gain will not stand. The fight against Trumpism isn't over but far from wearying, liberal and progressive thinking Americans including Mr Blow have every reason to take pride and feel wonderfully invigorated from last Tuesday's amazing victory.

  63. Go, Nancy! Love awoman who keeps a baseball bat in her office...

  64. I too have lived in constant turmoil and vigilance during trump's reign. But I honestly did not know of the extent of the corruption in the democratic party. And it drives me wild that it is so rarely addressed. I never trusted Republicans politically in my long life, though I had a survival job and was very well treated by some rich, famous Republicans. They knew I was a Democrat and they did not care. But ever since it became legal for corporations and the ultra rich to donate huge amounts to political parties the Democrats, though better on social issues than the GOP, have largely been bought up to ignore the workers needs and favor their big donors interests only. That is why we got Trump. 80 % of the Democrats are made personally wealthy by big donors. Lots of middle and lower classes lost faith in the democrats, they would make promises to get elected and not keep them. And talk about standing up to the Republicans! So till we get money out of politics, It seems hopeless to depend on the corporate Democrats. Progressives has been vilified by corrupt democrats, but gee, they do not take dark money, only small donations and have won in red areas recently, and regular people feel heard for the first time in ages. And they dare to want us to have things we all should have, health care for all, good schools, fair wages and so on. I think these progressives are our only hope, and also wolfepac.com who gets money out of politics locally.

  65. @cheerful dramatist, can you name anyone in the Democratic Party who doesn't support health care for all, good schools, fair wages, and a repeal of Citizens United? If you know of any corruption in the Democratic Party, can you be specific? Why would Democrats vote for higher taxes for the wealthy or financial reform if they were in the pockets of big donors? I'm tired of these vague claims without substance. In my experience Democrats have championed the working class on economic issues, like the ACA. It's a lot more than just social issues. We need to get away from the silly false equivalences if we want voters to shake off the spell of Trump's demagoguery. The GOP and Democrats are vastly different parties. We got Trump because of this kind of muddy thinking. The left split its vote because many falsely believed that both candidates were the same.

  66. @cheerful dramatist I think you are giving Democrats a bad rap. In fact, Democrats are championing campaign finance reform. It's a dangerous thing to equate the with the Republicans. The big money donors in the Democratic Party tend to be philanthropists and people generally concerned with the good of the country. The big Republican donors on the other hand tend to be either elitists who want to keep non-whites and the poor down or big corporate interests who want to profit. I do not think the two parties are morally equivalent although every human institution has its flaws.

  67. @cheerful dramatist Hilary Clinton won the low-income vote. Trump won the middle-class vote. These are facts, check out the numbers in Pew Research.

  68. Are centrist and liberal really interchangeable terms? I don’t think so. I am a moderate Democrat. Why would anybody be against our country reforming this hideous health care system? That is not liberal; that is not progressive: it is just common sense. And fiscally healthier for the consumers. Ditto with working on voting and violence (gun) issues. Throw in some college cost & debt relief, affordable housing ideas, have younger, more diverse candidates for P/VP and we can motivate D non-voters. Our problem is Rs out vote us even tho we not only outnumber them, but want the same things the majority of the US wants changed. Why is this so complicated?

  69. @K-T Many things labelled as "liberal" are indeed merely "common sense". It depends on who is doing the describing. Ask a conservative what liberals believe in and they will say gun control, government-guaranteed health care, less expensive education. (They will use the word "free" to make it sound crazy.) If you support these things than conservatives would call you liberal, even if you don't call yourself that.

  70. I am somewhat optimistic, between the mid-terms and demographics (a lot of the long time political hacks are ageing out), in this election and the next there is a changing of the guard going on. A lot of the newcomers are veterans or come from backgrounds that might bring back the commons sense possessed by the average citizen and re-introduce it to the asylum. If we are really lucky we end up with more representatives unencumbered by a law degree and without lobbyist ambitions when their terms are up.

  71. You continue to voice nearly my exact feelings about this most troubling attack on our politics, the country & its laws, norms and character, the western world, basic human decency and all the rest. Although we're of different races, our thoughts, outlook, hopes and fears are very tightly aligned. Thank you for being such an important voice for so many of us.

  72. 'I Shall Not, I Shall Not be Moved...Like a Tree That's Planted by the Water, I Shall Not be Moved." The original artists and communities of that song were not trying out for an historic version of "America's Got Talent." They were singing themselves out of the physical chains into the imagined completeness of soul and spirit. And they did it. We are here, because they did it.

  73. In 1968 I was in first grade, and at our liberal private school we learned the great song "We Shall Overcome." I gained an early appreciation of the epic timeline of struggle and hope of the Civil Rights Movement, and Mr. Blow's essay reminds me that our path back to reason is on a similar timeline today.

  74. I'm in this for the long haul, which might not be so long as I'm 58 years old. Love will give us strength, the fiery, determined love of commitment.

  75. The only thing I am absolutely certain about these upcoming two years is that none of us knows what will happen. Guesswork has always turned out to be pretty flimsy.But we must still persist, resist, and insist!

  76. If one reads our history, it's amazing that we got this far. It's been worse, which is NOT to say that we will survive this. We might well not. The man is incredible.

  77. I think there's a way to stay engaged without burning out - I see it in my daughter and the kids of her generation. It wasn't too long ago that we thought George W. was the end of the American century - and he was, we just didn't realize that the end lasts a long, long time, and might involve ever more violent oscillations between hope and despair. Between the school mass shootings, the polar ice caps melting, tax cuts for the rich, and the rule of impunity in the streets, it's hard to find a justification for virtue. But then virtue is its own justice, and most of us still aren't willing to surrender our virtue(s) to the great experiment in our national perversion and debasement currently taking place.

  78. In my eight decades I've lived through a lot of history and learned a lot more. Progressive/liberal values have been on the retreat for half my lifetime, and trump's corrupt and authoritarian presence on the scene merely adds a layer of urgency to the need for a revival of the Democratic Party. Here's the good news. After buying into too much conservative economic orthodoxy for too long, the Democratic Party is finally restoring itself, from the bottom up. There has been energetic grass roots pressure at least since the crash of '08, but it has taken until now for the party elders to wake up to it. We may still have to put up with the ugliest conceivable administration until 2020, but I'm very encouraged by the fresh new blood that young Dems have brought into the House and into state governments. But it’s not just about the economy. Neo-fascist authoritarian regimes are arising around the globe, but there’s almost no national memory of a strain of thought that was quite strong in the US in the 1930s. Now it rears its ugly head again, this time with a spokesperson in the Oval Office, and trump is siding with the bad guys. One thing is for sure: it needs to be resisted. But the Republican Party cooperates instead, for its own grubby reasons. That’s why the regeneration of the Democrats in these mid-terms is such good news. Keep the faith, Charles.

  79. Despite enormity of this dire impasse we're at as a country I'm more optimistic Today than I've been for quite a while. Joseph Ellis the historian says Donald Trump is an air burst in the night for us because he shows us who we really are. We citizens have been slumbering politically. The irony is the menace to democracy that is Trump and his Republican ilk is they've caused growing numbers of Americans to really face up to the multi faceted crisis we're in and many assumptions that are rooted in present day capitalism, racism, and radical climate change that's here NOW. Joseph Ellis further states that Leadership only emerges in crisis and the crisis of our time is climate change forcing us to change. Citizens United.

  80. Thank you, Mr. Blow, for giving us permission to feel weary and to take that much needed break to recharge ourselves, both mentally and physically, so that we may rejoin the fight with renewed vigor. You continue to do what you do best and I will do what I can (little though it may be) to return our nation to the right path. Thank you again.

  81. The Trump party will be ousted in 2020 but the hangover will linger for years. That's the part we may all dread most. How to turn this ship around after it hits an iceberg will require fortitude and strength. Let's hope we still have some left to right the country and save it from sinking any further.

  82. I sometimes find myself waking up in the morning blaming Trump for everything big and small that's currently going wrong in this country. The fires in California, the mass shootings, climate change, the traffic jams I keep encountering, the fact that I lost my keys three times this week, everything. Then I say to myself -- no, that can't be right. But it truly is. Because the man -- by inserting so much bad energy, hate and malevolence into our political atmosphere -- has left the people of this country -- including me -- with little time or energy for thinking about anything else but him.

  83. Trump has proven there is no inherent goodness or decency in our governmental institutions. Yes we can and must fight to achieve and sustain those needs through the election and governing process, but chicanery rules more often than not, as Trump has shown, with cruel results. What then is a more decisive course? I suggest it's a search for goodness and decency in one's everyday life--in values each of us has the individual power to exercise. They include respect for self and others, kindness, fairness for each and every person, and self-reliance to the extent one has the capacity and opportunity to exercise it.

  84. @Bursiek Probably the most enduring effect on me of the shock of Trump's election is a change of focus in my personal life. I am still being the best person I can be to people whom I know and encounter, and taking the best care of myself so I don't break down. But since that election I have felt an added dimension to what I do. I can't do much personally about Donald Trump's outrages and the other despicable things going on, but I can improve things where I am now, in other ways. Daily kindness and honesty are important and they can be very powerful. Paying attention to what is going on politically and otherwise in the world is important -- so is resting the mind and the soul by enjoying the good things that happen, the beauty that appears, the joy that is also a part of life.

  85. I agree, watching so much news has taken up too much of my time and consistently brought me to tears. I would rather be writing and thinking about the forgotten Dreamers; our potential changeover to sustainable energy and the huge potential for millions of jobs for all skill-sets; planning for the onslaught of people from all over the world who need new homes due to climate change; working to elect a new administration full of competent change-agents; and how I can make a difference in these issues and more. But today I slept and ate and walked on campus at dusk and as I saw the crescent moon in the lovely sky I said to myself, tomorrow NO NEWS! Go have some fun!

  86. The nation has reached a new galactic point of cosmic time! Now survivors of horrific genocide and mass shootings are killed by gunmen in new mass shootings. In Pittsburgh, a synagogue member who was killed in the rage of blind hate was a Holocaust survivor. In Pittsburgh, a 95 year-old survivor of one of history's most unspeakable case of horrors, a display of western man's blood lust/perverted justifications/magnified extremes that made its horrors inevitable to its perpetrators--even today some deny its living proof--an elder who held the redemption of that history of death and horror saw redemption ripped from life again--this time her life was the sacrifice, an offering to the symptoms and actions that preceded in a supermarket where two grandparents were killed, that followed in a yoga studio where two more were killed--even as we remember school shootings and are told the idiocy that guns and armed teachers are keys to the solution--even as law officers on the scene die for their bravery. The nation is witnessing its survivors killed, mass murder a bridge across time. Survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting a year ago were killed in Thousand Oaks, California by another mass shooter weeks ago. Against the realization of these unimaginable odds and their unspeakable horrors, Trump says death to imaginary rock throwers and skips a military parade.

  87. There are many things to feel optimistic about: a. War & Peace: Chances of a war between North Korea and the South (along with the tens of thousands of American forces stationed along the DMZ) is at the lowest point it has been in a generation. b. Economics: The economy is literally creating jobs by the hundreds of thousands each month and providing new opportunities for historically economically disadvantaged groups such as Hispanics and African-Americans. c. Kitchen table economics: Middle class families are taking home more of their earned pay by virtue of a tax cut that greatly focused on them and lower income earners despite the rhetoric to the contrary (Yes, upper income people benefited too as they usually do since they pay the vast majority of federal income taxes). d. Diplomacy: Diplomatic efforts by cabinet members such as Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley and others resulted in the release of numerous long-held hostages across the globe (Egypt, Afghanistan, Egypt). There are many other things that could be listed and accomplished with a Republican president at the helm (such as Infrastructure rebuilding) if only the Democrats would stop focusing on this or that tweet or some arcane argument the President is engaged in with the Washington press core, and instead work with the many competent people serving in the administration. If Trump said 1+1=2, Democrats would immediately say 1+1=3. That type of attitude is counter-productive and probably unhealthy.

  88. Then why, may I ask, has no infrastructure funding been passed? You can yell about Democrats all you want, but the fact is that you've had unfettered control of both houses for two years. If your party had truly wanted an infrastructure bill, or if 45 had truly cared to push for it, there'd be shovels at work already. The Democrats have had no power to obstruct. That's why you rushed to pass that abomination of a tax bill. You may be the last person in the country who thinks those changes helped the middle class. Even 45's promise of an imaginary 10% new cut for the less-than-rich couldn't sell that. The populist campaign promises were never going to be kept. The GOP Congress's agenda was the same as always: Slash taxes, promise the cuts will pay for themselves, then use the growing deficit you've caused as an excuse to slash social spending. At least the new House will be able to put the brakes on that.

  89. @ElectionEd And we will have to deal with a ballooning deficit and debt, bigger than what Obama added. And the Republicans are discussing going for Social Security and Medicaid and what remains of the ACA. And ... Further, the prospects in North Korea are not much changed since George HW Bush was president. If you can recall, very similar overtures. Until we have a treaty, methinks you are overly optimistic about what has changed. Numerous long-held hostages were released under the previous administrations. Some of the hostages released recently were not detained until Trump was in office. Eleven North Korea hostages were released under the Obama administration. It is debatable that the middle class has much improved by the tax "cut". Largely their take-home pay has increased modestly, by an amount that is being offset by higher interest rate (mortgage increases for those with variable rate mortgages). In my opinion the rosy view you have is about as warranted as the most pessimistic views. Neither is entirely realistic.

  90. Yes, some people are taking him a scrap more. Hardly even noticed by most. That it is “greatly focused on them and lower income earners” is simply a lie or Ed is just repeating the party talking points. The Tax Policy Center reports that 82.8% of the tax bill’s benefit goes to the top 1%. Study after study shows that it is upper incomes that benefit greatest. Not just in terms of amounts (due to their income) but in terms if percentages as well as the nature of the changes in the rules in their favor. (That doesn’t even include those written in specifically for people who are real estate developers, well, like our president). Using the tax calculators from the tax services and the IRS I find that as a single middle class income earner in Massachusetts with a mortgage (original amount $100K), a small 2nd mortgage, property taxes, and income taxes my taxes increase this year by $4000. That is $4000 that was not spent in the economy this year as I radically changed my deductions to slash my take home pay to try to avoid a huge tax bill this April. I am not alone. No travel. No major purchases. And even if you are not among the millions of middle class people who will see a tax increase losing their deductions, the touted tax cut is temporary. And we’ve still lost our SALT deductions at the same time the rates revert to the higher amounts on all but the wealthiest while largest costs for the corporations and wealthy are permanent.

  91. Thank you -- again -- for a deeply wise and sorely needed counsel. We need to keep our "forever fight" sustainable, to remember that we are not alone, that others have endured far worse, that others are with us now, and that we do the best we can for those who will follow. Your voice is so important now.

  92. Here’s what I recommend - spend time focusing on the things that’ll “Make America America Again”. If I had three wishes for America, this is what I’d focus on: 1) Eliminate Gerrymandering by removing it from political control. If we established a guideline like “your voting district must fit within your local high school district” and can only be subdivided based on population density, we might have a more balanced political climate. 2) Replace Unemployment Insurance with Re-skill Insurance. All employers with revenue greater than $TBD would be required to purchase that insurance for all their employees. If they relocate jobs to lower wage countries, there would be a fee, per employee, that would be paid in to a Re-skill Insurance Guarantee Fund. 3) Require all Public Utility energy providers to ensure that TBD percent of their customers have solar power generation capabilities in order to be able to raise rates. These three TOTALLY BORING actions are aimed at the three real crises affecting America and the world - political extremism, globalization and climate change - in ways that are locally enforceable. So, after you’ve taken a break from being distraught by Trump, remember, he’s the symptom of a deeper set of challenges that we need to address in a practical manner. Charles, spend time finding thought leaders that’ll focus on a few practical fixes - and focus you’re coverage on them.

  93. @IC I admire Mr. Blow tremendously and thank him for all his insight over the endless Trump years. However, I agree with IC. Spend time on other issues now, unless a Trump action is truly worthy of a column. There will always be something lower for him to create, there is no bottom, and constantly focusing on him is feeding into his need for publicity. The country has become a violent, racist, unsafe place and nothing is being done about it, so what good is repeatedly bemoaning Trump himself? I would like very much to read about other important issues that don't focus on Trump.

  94. Oops, meant to say “focus your coverage...” Too early in the AM where I am...

  95. We fight as a community. At all times it is important for some to be on the ramparts, but without rest we will not fight our best. Not only rest allowed, it is important to take. We are not libertarians trying to go it alone, we are not Republicans who fall in behind authority, no matter how galling. We are decent people who believe in sharing the burden. That is what makes the left different.

  96. Excellent Op-Ed and conclusion: Take a break if necessary, then continue the fight for truth and justice with renewed energy. The problem is, simply, that the problem is much deeper than Trump. The U.S. will renew itself, and prosper once again, only when: 1. Tax loopholes are closed and offshore accounts declared illegal for both persons and corporations. 2. Campaign Finance Reform is implemented. 3. Political and white collar crime is punished with greater severity than petty crime. 4. The education system is thoroughly overhauled, to enable children to think independently. If the above are fulfilled, then truth and honesty will eventually become the norm, and not simply the weapons of protesters.

  97. @Hamid Varzi: Well said. I can't even begin to imagine how folks in Tehran manage to keep hope alive for something resembling even the corrupted form of democracy that exists here in the States.

  98. @stu freeman I always tell people critical of Iran the following: If the U.S., with a history of democracy, with the world's most powerful military, and whose borders are threatened by nobody (Trump hyperbole notwithstanding!), can descend into such chaos, then how can a nation whose democracy was overthrown and has enemies along all its borders be expected to behave democratically? The mullahs siege mentality is 'understandable', but no thanks to the nation that nurtured their rise to power. My people have survived for over 2500 years and will still be standing when the geopolitical cards are reshuffled.

  99. @stu freeman: Folks in Tehran can at least harken back to 1953 when Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh was leading Iran into the modern world as a secular parliamentary democracy. That path was blocked by Operation Ajax, the first CIA-orchestrated overthrow of a foreign government in peacetime. By treating Iran as a neo colony for the next 25 years, we blew our chance to serve as a role model for the country.

  100. A mental health break? I rely on daily doses of Buspirone and on fulfilling a penchant for travel that takes me to lots of nations in the developing world where conditions (social, political and economic) are exponentially more dire than they are here but where the locals are somehow far more hospitable. I also try my best to refrain from concluding that the Trump era represents a test designed by the Almighty to determine whether mankind (or at least the citizens of this country) need to once again be wiped off the face of the planet in advance of His starting all over.

  101. @stu freeman, agree with you that traveling to developing countries helps us see how desperate people’s lives are in those countries. However even in those countries you don’t hear of gun mass killings, every week! Noatter how dire their lives are, people don’t pick up guns and start shooting in bars schools churches synagogues concerts..public places! No Matter how desperate their lives in hot humid sweltering heat and tropics, no matter how much poverty starvation lack of shelter food water..people don’t resort to madness which is taking innocent lives just because they own a gun!

  102. Thank-you for fighting the good fight. Take care of yourself first, so you can take care of your mission over time. The Democrats should not shrink after the voters demonstrated that they are a majority and want action. Be bold and be focused.

  103. Hello Mr. Blow - It's Joseph here in California I often read your Opinion and see you on TV and find you very inspiring. Please keep up the Inspiring messages we need at this point in our American history. We here in the desert of California where the fires are raging wild and people are dying need to hear a civilized voice of reason like yours gently nudging us toward HOPE. As a African American male age 65 who is Gay and happily married to my husband in a very conservative community, I agree with your Mother. We have been through harder times however, we have to remember who we are and where we came from to know where we are going. President Trump is creating an opportunity for many of us as leaders our community, leaders in our families and leaders in our church to show by example, the contrast of how we as humans can be compassionate, caring and able in difficult times to develop the Grace of God and show a sign of the higher power of Goodness, Decency and Love to the least of those in our Great Nation. God bless you and your family and God bless America, Joseph Osborne Schoenleber jobiHOMES.com

  104. This is not a time for political complacency That does not mean that one cannot get lost in diversions or leisure pursuits to replenish ourselves However we must never forget that a sociopathic narcissist like Trump wants to wear decent people out so that we become complacent defeatist or hopeless He has a endless reservoir of hate lies manipulations and cons to thrust at us It is part of his character personal pathology in addition to the fact that he's a primitive man devoid of conscience or empathy That is his advantage over decent people That being said It appears that all the hard work organizing by political activists and critiques by journalists of conscience in all forms of media are paying off The results of this election shows that the Resistance is making headway and that the nation is turning away from Trumpism and is increasingly turned off by Trump We must double down our efforts as we head to 2020 One thing we can count on is that Trump is incapable of masking his sociopathy megalomania cruelty and depravity This is his greatest weakness He can't help exposing his pathology While this may appeal to a minority of the country we are learning that increasingly more people are starting to realize his true nature and don't identify with him while at the same time he's mobilized a diverse Resistance movement against him This is not a time to become depleted but to get a second wind and fight on with even more resolve and instensity

  105. The way I see it, now it's our turn. We look back at the WWII generation and the civil rights activists and all the sacrifice that so many made so that our generation--especially financially comfortable white Americans--could live a civilized life without the constant need to be on high alert against a return to social catastrophe. Now we have to fight, for ourselves and for all of us, but especially for future generations.

  106. I appreciate this and all of your columns and am indeed wearied and troubled about the future of our country. Relieved at last at being bombarded for money from hundreds of candidates around the country, I wonder when the money spigots feeding political elections will slow. Sending money to help wildlife conservation,supporting victims of California wildfires - there are so many places this money is needed Very Sad

  107. We need a second Reconstruction. This time it must include the whole nation and it must not be halfhearted or abandoned midstream. Part of the second Reconstruction should be a nationwide celebration of the first one. The statues of Confederates must be joined by statues of white and black southerners who fought for the Union (and there were both). Reconstruction was not just a military occupation. It was an idealistic struggle that was sabotaged much the way Obama was.

  108. @sdavidc9 A second Reconstruction? That assumes the people want to be "reconstructed". It is absolutely clear they do not. When one side engages in efforts to limit the other side's ability to vote, limits equal pay, wants mistreatment of women to be ignored, etc etc, how do you "fix" that? When one side acts like what they are doing is NOT what it absolutely is, how do you change that? When one side is working very hard to prevent equality, to make certain the will of the people is suppressed because you fear equality, that can't be fixed until those people who try so very hard to limit the enforcement of the constitution are punished for doing so. And the most effective way to do that is to first take big money out of politics and then go vote. Imagine what could be accomplished if those pouring millions in elections used that money to fix roads or bridges instead of fixing racism, sexism, and xenophobia into the American fabric.

  109. Reconstruction required the sustained force of a very high mined, thoughtful leader...President Lincoln, and that better approach was lost with him. Can you in any way imagine DJT embracing the spirit of "with malice toward none, with chatity for all"? Is there a person of greatness among us of the magnitude of Lincoln who could lead us through a second reconstruction. I fear the answer is no. Perhaps I will be surprised.

  110. Wherever there is concentrated wealth, there is racism and exclusion - whatever one's political affiliation. Most people, including my family, grew up in segregated neighborhoods. Here in blue Montclair, overdevelopment is going on in minority neighborhoods, which are being ruined, and minorities are being driven out. As for basic decency, let's ask both parties how they deal with animals. While the dems might do more to protect the environment, they do very little to protect our pets in shelters. Some shelters in blue NJ are nothing more than death camps. Cory Booker promised to do something about it, then reneged on that promise. I'll remember that when I see his name on the ballot, and make sure I vote against him, or abstain. The decency we are missing in this country isn't just decency toward each other, but decency toward other species which depend on us. There, neither party has much human decency to spare at all.

  111. There is a deep layer of injustice, disfunction, anger and guilt buried in our past brutality and displacement and attempted annihilation of the American Indian that will not go away. It preceded and parallels the disfunction, anger and guilt present in our tangled pain and confusion. There can be no escape or relief from either until they are accepted and understood.

  112. Balance is an eternal struggle. The other side has to sell imbalance to the masses, and there's only one way to do that: lie. So, with recharged batteries, after every victory and every defeat we must "start where we are, with what we have, do what we can."

  113. My advice to my fellow dems is to propose lots of good legislation in the house which will be rejected by the Senate. Get the Mueller report out and tell the American people that they will be the jury to vote him out in 2020. Empower the people to do what the Senate will not. I think these two strategies will give the nominee a good platform for the election.

  114. I have a theory as to why so many of our neighbors can harbor the racism, anti-immigration sentiment, etc. It's a combination of human nature and a failed educational system. From the beginning our educational system has been monopolized by white men, and others in power, who wrote the history textbooks and then made sure the teachings left out most of the real history. Howard Zinn was one of the few who recognized this and wrote a history of the people. And Zinn also agreed that our only redemption was the fact that there is evidence in our history of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, people who maintained a hope that things could get better as they worked to be the change they wanted.

  115. @Gordon Alderink, sorry but the same anti immigration sentiment today is what we saw after 9/11 aimed at anyone who looked like a muslim. Which means brown people from south asia, arabs and the middle east and anyone non muslim wearing a turban, was suspect. Gurudwaras were targeted, grocery store owners were vandalized, just because they looked like muslims. Its easy to forget. Until the next wave of anti "something" surfaces.

  116. Those in office represent the views of those who voted. There is a great deal is distrust of those governing our country and it goes back for several presidential terms. Trump just brought that distrust to the surface and gave voters a choice. As the Senate races indicate- those he campaigned for did very well-either winning or in close races not yet decided. When his opposition gives the voters a real choice he will lose his support but not until they do. Then the voters will move back to the center and civilility will return.

  117. @Clayton Ah, but you are discounting gerrymandering and voter suppression in your argument. And it's clear that a vast majority of the American People would chose gun safety laws, and favor more, not less, access to affordable health care. The GOP no longer represents the voice of their constituents.

  118. Thank you...I'm going to enjoy the mini crossword and then go to work teaching in a public school that has been strangled of funds. As I leave everyday my husband reminds me to have fun with the kids. Your writing this morning is a comfort.

  119. Charles Blow, that is simply beautiful. I always appreciate the eloquence of your outrage, but you have matched it here with your resigned determination. Both of your voices are needed, and thank you.

  120. The weariness may continue even if the Democrats take the White House in 2020: can you imagine Trump's interference as an ex-president? He'll have no regard for the etiquette especially now that Obama has come out campaigning. The harping and subterfuge will continue to our detriment. Education, civics and gun laws are an antidote. In the end, demographics will prevail.

  121. @Celeste: As an ex-president, Trump will be your crazy uncle again, just like he was before the 2016 elections. And nothing the better for wear. His supporters won't be able to give him what he wants: Money and power, and Fox News will drop him like a hot potato. He'll be relegated to the dustbin of history and other ex-presidents will ignore and shun him. New York State prosecutors and the IRS will know where to find him, however.

  122. Remember that there are positive things to right about and that they are in part the antidote to the anger and depression that Trump engenders. I think, for exampled, of Conrad Warner, a local high school teacher who ran as a Democrat in the 63 state house district in Pennsylvania. He ran against an incumbent in a very red district where he had no real hope of winning. He go out and knocked on doors, however, and listened to thousands of people. He he even got his opponent, who hadn't every done much active campaigning since her district was so safe, to get out and do a little actual campaigning. Now that he has lost the election, he's back at school being a great teacher. I'm sure that there are lots of people like Conrad doing things in local areas and you have the ability to show people what they are doing to have a positive effect.

  123. An excellent thought piece, partly for its simple, straightforward language, but surely equally because it is so resonant.

  124. I took comfort over the weekend listening to French President Emanuel Macron delivering a stinging rebuke of nationalism with the wooden Trump sitting just a few feet away. “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism .Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying 'our interests first; who cares about the others?', we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great, and what makes it essential — its moral values." It was refreshing to see a young leader like Macron, declare that history is important and remembering WWI with its root cause being nationalism. He at least made a try, with the world watching, to offer a different pathway than Trumpism.

  125. Excellent piece as usual. Liberte' egalite' fraternite' was the motto of the French revolution which is considered the beginning of the modern world. A world in which every person has the right to live in decency and freedom. We know how that revolution ended, Napoleon was named emperor. Not to mention how the October revolution ended. Thse examples to say that progress in human relationship is extremely difficult and so far an impossible target. People with the power that money and/or social position gives them want more of that and mainly is not willing to let that power go. We talk about that caravan of people walking north to reach the north American border: who talks about the devastating interferences that foreign powers (everybody should know which ones) have done in those countries to keep them in misery and in essence in a state of total subordination. Who ever talks about the Mexican war that took big chunks of Mexican territories and now do not want Mexicans on their soil? Liberte Fraternite Equalite, a dream that I am afraid will never come true.

  126. Let’s face it. We are at war. With each other. And we might as well just call it Civil War II, since the first one never really ended. And, as yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the ‘War To End All Wars,’ it was simply a fretful two decade truce until WWII. What’s bothering us so much is that, once again, it can, will and is happening to us right here at home, not somewhere else in the world. And this is a war that has yet to be officially declared! That’s about as normal as flying all of our flags at half staff all of the time. Regarding how to cope, survive, then once again thrive requires pacing ourselves for a race whose length we can’t yet determine. While that’s also abnormal, it’s what we must suffer through considering the inevitable results if we don’t. The British got through the 'Blitz' by going below ground every night from September of 1940 until May of 1941. They took a breath down there. We should do the same while planning our return to normalcy, decency and democracy.

  127. I really appreciate this column. The Democrats' gains in the House provide an opportunity to articulate and even pass the policies that would advance political, economic and individual justice -- a living minimum wage, fairer taxes by "scrapping the cap" on social security, expanded Medicaid and Medicare, sentencing reform for non-violent offenders, and a thoughtful and humane immigration policy. Yes, the Senate will block or ignore much or all of these initiatives. Their likely inaction does not decrease the responsibility to create a positive, honest vision for Americans via tangible policy action. Acting on a humane and thoughtful policy agenda will be healthy for us. These actions will refresh and restore energy among people of good will, perhaps on both sides of the aisle & will leave others attached to a bloviating, intellectually lazy leader who seems incapable of not lying about matters large and small. In my heart, and after 23 years as a teacher, I can't believe anyone would feel proud of such leadership. Thank you for this column Mr Blow.

  128. Thank you!! This is such a wonderful column offering much-needed salve to soothe our national disquiet and unease.

  129. As someone active in an Indivisible group in Ohio-- where we're still struggling to figure out how the entire state, sans Sherrod Brown, went Red despite collective hundreds of thousands of human hours invested (there are 25 resistance and Indivisible groups in a ten-mile radius of Cleveland)--this article really struck a chord. There are moments when the pragmatic cynic in me thinks, "We might just as well have stayed in bed." But then I realize that what I garnered from my group is irreplaceable. It is literally what has kept me going in a DJT era of dangerous prejudice. To be with fellow optimists who believe that democracy in action IS Democracy, that the lives of our fellow citizens matter as much as our own, that we can only demonstrate we're better than this by demonstrating inspires me. Many members of my group are retired. They could be putting their feet up, but they put me to shame. Every day for months they were out canvassing, registering, talking to neighbors, holding small and larger fundraisers. The last election threatened to displace me from my country and self. On a freezing January day, I received an email, "Are you in despair about the election? Come meet neighbors to talk about what we can do." I didn't need directions. There was a line of people making its way through falling snow to a stranger's house. The door opened, heat poured out; there were more than fifty people crammed in a living room. What we found there was what is worth saving.

  130. @AhBrightWings As a fellow Ohioan and one who lives in the 12th congressional district (read Balderson vs. O'connor), I share your frustration. I take some comfort that Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan reversed their electoral errors on November 6. What happened to Ohio? Gerrymandering is a key. We did not have a blue wave in Ohio but I remain hopeful when a place like the 12th district can almost go blue.

  131. @AhBrightWings Thank you for persevering, even without reward. That is the greatest gift to us.

  132. @AhBrightWings Thank you for your lovely, evocative comment. It made me wonder what anti-democratic neighborhood gatherings are like. It's unlikely they are inclusive and attended by thoughtful people. I don't have TV but I mute the radio and YouTube when It appears to bloviate or threaten people he would otherwise pretend to hire, then exploit and throw away. I worry about all the suckers' kids who are exposed to such loud ugliness day in, day out. The first president I remember was Ford - a 180 from this one, so horrible and obnoxious. Really, he represents the dregs. Thankfully, he is mortal, and human beings can learn.

  133. Democrats can do a lot. They can capitalize on the activism generated by the accumulated years of Republicanism and DJT. If Democrats mobilize a grassroots drive to raise money that can be used to counter the big bucks from Republican millionaires, they may be able to mount a PR campaign that will do what the Koch network and others have done to win hearts and minds. If Democrats use the same grassroots drive to get people involved in on-the-ground political organizations, they can create a synergy around progressive candidates. If Democrats are smart enough to capitalize on the urban-rural schism, they might be able to win back some of the ground lost in red states. I'm skeptical about that possibility because it seems to me that too many Democrats don't get what that schism is all about. (Hint: it's not just racism, although it sometimes looks as if it is.)

  134. One of your best columns. We cannot lose hope and every one of us can act in small ways to bend the outcome. We have to maintain the indignation and outrage because the alternative is acclimation. I get that people are tired or stressed and need a break-we all do. But let's not forget, especially on Veterans Day, that people risked and gave their lives and freedom for ours. The least we can do is stay engaged in this fight for the soul of country. I like people who wear the "I really care" jacket.

  135. My best to your mother, Charles. I am an elderly white woman raised in the south and truly believed we were farther along this road than we apparently are. What disturbs me the most is that it seems like Mississippi 1950s has been exported to every state in the Union. I felt more comfortable when it seemed to be a disease confined to the former Confederacy. Perhaps it never was. Perhaps shining the spotlight on this disease in every nook and cranny of our great country is a necessary step in its final eradication.

  136. If we’re not weary, we’re numb. The incessant repetition of lies and the lack of apparent consequences for those lies has inured us to the noise. Using euphemisms rather than direct language renders the press complicit in our desensitization. Often overlooked by the increasing similarities to his book 1984, Orwell wrote that simplicity of language might overcome the dangerous intent hidden by complicated and dense political oratory. Despite calls rejecting normalization of today’s political behavior, the constant focus on every utterance, no matter how inane or threatening, we’re getting worn down. At what point do you finally stop caring if you don’t believe you can change things? One can only draw some hope, as David Leonhart noted in today’s editorial, that the democratic process is working, as evidenced by voter turnout and rejection of some of the more egregious power grabbing ballot initiatives in these midterms. As I pointed out, however, that voter “success” occurred in spite of our electoral processes, not necessarily because of them. We’re still fighting an uphill battle against real forces of darkness in American politics.

  137. @SMK NC. You are correct about the forces of darkness..it is as if Pandora’s Box has been opened and evil is just spreading everywhere. Not wishing to be overly-dramatic, of course; but it feels quite dangerous.

  138. The expansion of political progressive polity is like tending a garden. You can't plant seeds, then walk away when they sprout. A true gardener works year round to maintain what they have and plan for next season. Despite how green your garden may look at the moment, a couple of weeks of inattention and it is overrun with weeds. Throughout all the demographic posturing, we forgot that the price of liberty is eturnal vigilance. We'll get back to normal, it will just take a lot longer and take a lot more work and sacrifice. Start weeding.

  139. I agree Charles, we who submit comments need to think more carefully about submitting a comment that simply states what has been stated countless times before. One avenue I have tested, so far without success, concerns renewable energy. We know we must end use of fossil fuel for heating and generating electricity and then, probably on a longer time scale, for transport. Since there is no national policy to guide such changes, some states have displayed interest in doing what can be done in that state. California is one such. Since I live in a country that is making a major effort to reduce emissions I get the chance to see all around me the widespread use of renewable energy approaches hardly in use in my other country, the US. Therefore, I have tested posing a question to comment writers who file comments next to energy articles in which they simply lament US failure to move on. Almost never do these writers state how they heat and cool their living space, nor do they point to local initiatives. So I simply ask: X, how do you heat and cool your home? Almost never does anyone answer that question. The rare exceptions are from individuals who report as an Oregon couple did: We went over to a Ground-Source geothermal heat pump system and that has functioned so well and saved us so much money, we think this technology should be mandated wherever it is feasible in association with new construction. Only-NeverInSweden.blogspot.com

  140. @Larry Lundgren Here in Virginia, my daughter and her husband put in a geothermal system when they built their house. They love it! We are starting to see more people with solar panels on their roofs and, after 15 years of driving hybrids, my husband and I bought an all-electric car this year. We love it! Unfortunately, we get no inspiration from our Federal government, but some of the states (especially California) are trying to take up the slack. In any case, at the "grass roots" level, people are starting understand that they can make changes that make a difference.

  141. @Kathleen K a nice addition to my already good day. I will start saving replies for possible use at my blog. And you are the first to report on all electric. I was at my Hyundai dealer yesterday and was amazed to see the line of new electric. If your daughter would like to report what kind of system is installed my Gmail is at my blog. Never reveal any names. Thanks. Larry L.

  142. I started out thinking, if only we could get your mother on the line. Then it dawned on me - I must be about your mother's age: where is my wisdom? We have to pull away from the 24/7 barrage of "news" simply to be able see what is noise, and what is important. Being a huge procrastinator, I recognize one reaction: so many troubling problems have been left simmering and growing, that seeing them all at once is overwhelming. It looms over us like a mountain range. The only solutions come when individuals choose to to get active around one particular issue, but support others with their votes or donations.

  143. The people on the ground, the campaign workers and democratic organizations that got the vote out, won referendums and forced senators to retire for this past election are showing the way. They know that this is long term work and that they must be systematic and patient. Mostly it looked to me that they know that 2020 is the real target. I wish there was a' knock out punch' now as well. Indeed, popular culture and movies have told us this is what will happen and that it will be clear how that happened. Mueller may yet deliver something clear like that, but he's also ensuring a deliberate and calculated justice is happening, one that can't be torn down in attention grabbing headlines or tweets. He doesn't need the credit for anything. Like the front line people, he's just getting the job done.

  144. If we do not talk about them, did they happen ? OF COURSE, everyone needs to take a break now and then, to refuel, to recharge, and then to take up the fight again. There are more than enough of us to get this thing done, if we stick together, and stay the course. We are after all the clear majority. (Progressives) Having said that, I would point out that it was just a few short years ago, that certain segments of the population were still considered and treated as second class citizens. Even though there is a lot of backlash at the moment, and there are attempts to roll back those rights, they are still there in the eyes of the law. (unless there are ultra conservative judges involved) I would also point out that our conversations now include things like Single Payer health care, a living wage (not just a minimum one), a truly Progressive tax system where if you make more then you pay more taxes, and even peace. (although that one has waned a lot as of late) This republican administration got in by only 77k votes out of more than 120,000,000. Last week they were severely rebuked by losses in the house, and statewide. (albeit with structural advantages for them in the Senate) The country will have the opportunity to reverse course 180 degrees in 2 years time. Keep talking, Keep pushing. Keep fighting. If you fall, or need a break, there will be others that have your back or take up the baton. Apropos message for Armistice day.

  145. Growing up in the relatively benign post WWII generation, we believed that government could be a force for good. We were insufficiently aware of the seeds of resentment sown by the traumas of desegregation. We survived the assassinations and riots of the 60's and 70's, complacent and hopeful for a peaceful, predictable future. We put our politics on autopilot without seeing the termites invisibly gnawing at the foundations of our Democracy, seeking to replace it with nationalist one party authoritarianism. This monstrous presidency may turn out to have been a blessing in disguise, an alarm bell, waking us from our slumber, making us think hard about patriotism, democracy, the rights and duties of citizenship. The midterm elections have given us a brief reprieve from the struggle, and a ray of hope, but adversities remain before us unvanquished. We cannot rest, lest all we've gained turns out to be...not quite enough.

  146. Thank you for this much-needed reminder that to persevere we need to refresh and restore ourselves. I am especially grateful to hear the perspective your mother has given you. While I have been grateful for your strong and unrelenting voice over the last 2 years, , I have also been occasionally worried about you. I am reminded of a quote I read recently that was attributed to Michael Moore, "Let us remember MUSIC. Take a breath. The rest of the chorus will sing.The rest of the band will play. Rejoin so others can breathe. Together we can sustain a very long, beautiful song for a very, very long time. You don't have to do it all but you must add your voice to the song…" Together there is hope. Thank you for your hard work.

  147. Excellent column. My main takeaway came through the advice he got from his grandmother, who shared her wisdom and that of of her predecessors in dealing with conditions much worse than what we can honestly imagine: “to never lose hope in the ultimate victory of righteousness; to focus your fire on the things you are most able to change; and to realize that change is neither quick nor permanent.” I believe this sage advice applies to any setback life throws at us. So yes, while the Blue tsunami turned out to be a Blue wave, the fact is that it was big enough to make tangible changes and its sound was heard throughout the country, even in those deeply red areas that easily responded to the message of racism and fear Trump and many GOP candidates spread before the midterms. That alone is reason to be upbeat about the future, a good reminder that the fight is not lost, that we have earned a well deserved rest, and that we ultimately will prevail.

  148. The divine is cast aside for propaganda in this era's political conversations. Yet, as in all things, the structured conversations of oral wisdom and tradition, the divine is passed on in words, and moods and nods. Charles represents this observant prophetic tradition, a moral discussion that once tied together common parenting within communities and set and controlled standards. Communities oversaw the children with a common purpose and hand. The same authentic community we celebrate in Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez who tells off folk with insight and courtesy, and without an ounce of snarl, puts pancake fakes to shame. In Stacey Abrams. Smart words. True words. Helping hand words. Strong words. Words that reflect the health of our nationhood. People run to be free, not to steal; people bring their children to raise and love, to build pride and homes. In 10 years, the global middle class will double in size and exponentially in wealth. America could become the world's safe food/bread basket. We reject the work force needed to increase American wealth. We cage their children by fait, without cause. One young women was shot in daylight in the head last spring. Their faith has not faltered, they bring no harm. If so, it would have manifested among themselves, but their journey shows civility, cooperation, courtesy. Their walk is a petition of demeanor. They confront a politics of poisoned words and deeds.

  149. I am most struck by the line...”How could we have not registered fully just how hostile a substantial portion of America is to inclusion and inequality?” Ask myself that question often and wish there was an answer that I can understand.

  150. It is a conundrum. I can only think that Trump and his ilk are speaking to the dark side in each of us and for some the dark side is winning. We couch it as politics, but isn't it a battle for good versus evil?

  151. @Judith Czubati Keep reminding yourself the supporters of the current guy are not a majority. They are a vocal minority with clout from gerrymandering. Remember that the census is in 2020 and the party in control gets to re-fashion Congressional districts. Go Dems!

  152. Like Mr. Blow and I daresay most Americans, I reached the saturation point with Donald Trump a long time ago, not only because he never changes his tune, but because we had to deal with him here in New York City long before he decided to run for president. That said, NOTHING can eliminate the sheer euphoria of the recent midterm elections --not even the probable reality that we'll be stuck with this administration until 2020. Why? Because the genie of Democracy has been let out of the bottle, and it's not going to be put back in!

  153. Yes, I'm weary, but I have developed strategies to manage, e.g., I never, ever listen to or look at Trump (I read about what he said/did later as I need to) so the news is often on mute. That said, I have two things which plague my soul more than others. First, I am confounded by the number of Americans whose support of Trump is far beyond ordinary politics into a kind of adulation and worship in which they seem to fully endorse his own belief that he is the most magnificent POTUS ever and is doing a "wonderful" job. Second, I feel helpless. Voting is one act (I do), but I live in a thoroughly blue state. Contacting my Senators/Reps is another act (I do), but again they are already on the same page as I am so I'm not effecting anything really. Staying informed matters (I do), but that's not action. I don't march; it's not my thing. I'm a words person, I write - lots, still...

  154. @Anne-Marie Hislop Ignoring the guy in the White House is not a viable strategy. The people who support him must continually be confronted with his lies. We have to keep a positive attitude. The President will eventually go away, probably by the electorate rather than impeachment. The problem then will be how to undo the damage to OUR country. If writing is your strength, write letters to newspapers, write letters to your reps (even those with your views) so they can see your written opposition on issues, There can not be too much "singing to the choir". Enough people expressing their views about the guy in the White House can change public attitudes. I held signs this summer with messages such as: Do you share the President's values?; 2,500 children- who is next?; Where are those tax returns?; Why is the President surrounded by criminals?. You get the picture- Do something, anything , to enlighten the masses to the ugly, pervasive effects this guy has... our country depends on you. And all others of similar ilk. Don't give up, this is too important!

  155. Considering the gerrymandering and dark money that worked very hard to keep the blue victory as small as possible, it is a miracle that dems took the house. We must rejoice and be glad in that and use the positive momentum to expel Trump in 2020.

  156. Wise words. But I have to admit that climate change, or more accurately our lack of will to modify our comfortable habits to deal with it, frightens and depresses me far more than Trump or the GOP. Trump will one day be gone, hopefully sooner than later, and the GOP realizes that the demographic tide runs against it. I believe the nation and its institutions can survive both, although not without damage that will require precious time to repair. But all the while the doomsday clock is ticking in the background, in the form of a rapidly warming planet. And unless we immediately change our ways that will spell our end, sooner than we allow ourselves to admit.

  157. Thank goodness for Charles Blow. This article addresses the daily concerns of a majority of Americans regarding the very real lack of social empathy and the failure of recognizing the need to act together for the common good that we are seeing in many of our fellow citizens. The cloud of doom can be overwhelming. This article gives me , my family and my friends hope and reassurance that with hard work, occasional rest, and strong support for the democratic ideals the majority of our citizenry still embrace that we can return to addressing common problems such as climate change effects, social welfare, health care ,etc.I view this article as coming from someone who can continue to lead us on our trip to return this nation to one that is a beacon of light for citizens of the world.

  158. Removal from office after impeachment has never been an option. And even if it had been an option, it would be a bad political move. Why write about it? We need to beat Trump at the ballot box. Period. Full stop.

  159. @S Anne Johnson Impeachment has always been and still is an option. If the situation warrants impeachment it should be done. No it is not easy to impeach, intentionally. However, that is no reason to set the procedure aside. It is an integral part of the checks and balance process.

  160. Thanks, Charles. Your are right and your words are both comfort and encouragement. Here for the long haul.

  161. "Nor shall I ever forgive the world for having pushed me against the wall, for having turned me into a stranger, for having awakened in me the basest, most primitive instincts." Keep these words, written by Elie Wiesel in the 2006 preface to the new translation of "Night," in your heart while we follow Mr. Blow's suggestion that we "figure out the proper posture to take" in these frightening days.

  162. This "forever fight" is indeed exhausting. Perhaps that is because some of us had forgotten that it is a forever fight, and were shocked to be confronted with issues and attitudes which we assumed had been resolved two decades ago. The lesson for our children and grandchildren is clear -- never, ever take democracy for granted.

  163. I'm predicting a scenario both much worse and more hopeful. Pressured by a combination of Mueller's investigation and House oversight, the last competent members of trump's administration will start resigning. The President won't be able to replace them because capable managers won't want to sign up for an impending train wreck. In short, I believe Trump's government will begin to collapse. And that's scary. We might be facing an unstable demagogue with access to a vast nuclear arsenal, a fanatic mob behind him and no one to impede him. Nothing in our past could have anticipated this. Nonetheless, I believe that at that point the adult leadership in Washington from both parties will step in and end it all through evoking the 25th amendment. In other words it's going to get a lot uglier before it gets a little better. But if I'm wrong; good.

  164. The biggest problem is not Trump. It is voting on another one just like him or voting to continue him. We need to build a democracy around citizens that can select leaders that serve us all, with whom we can unite to move our country forward together!

  165. @Mike Wilson We also need to get rid of the Electoral College, Gerrymandering, and every other trick in the book Republicans have been using in order to maintain their control over the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of our government.

  166. "And yet, at a certain point, words begin to fail, or the obvious has already been stated." Yes, Mr. Blow, this is precisely where I find myself. There is really nothing more to be said that hasn't already been said. This man, Trump, exhausts ones self. That, it seems, is his modus operandi...to wear you out. We can't let him. We must continue the fight until he is the one who finally gives in or is removed.

  167. Thank you Charles. It's tough to be battle-weary from the constant struggle to try to make America a better place for everyone while our opponents argue and litigate against even counting the lawfully-cast votes. Thank you Charles, for offering up that it is OK to step back, take a deep breath and recharge our souls!

  168. A wonderful article and yes, we all need a break. However, we also need constant vigilance. Much like the 1930s, we must fight every effort to create an autocracy led by a demigod - no matter the personal cost. That vigilance, as I see it, is the role of our free press and I honor their efforts.

  169. What a downer of a column, especially after an important battle was just won. Yes, Trump is incompetent, a scoundrel, and, possibly a traitor. And we suffer because of him. But we are stuck with him for the next two years. Democrats have the opportunity to show the people how Congress is supposed to work. Legislation, purse strings, and oversight. The House can act responsibly and, by so doing, reveal Trump and Senate Republicans for who they are. Trump may still have the bully pulpit and he will use of it to vilify Democrats. And, of course, Trump will make the House the enemy of the people. But there is nothing like a few public hearings to educate people about the Trump Swamp. With control of the House, Democrats will have an opportunity to shape the narrative and set the agenda. And there is nothing like sound legislation that serves the concerns of the people instead of the dogma of the few. Impeachment should not be a goal. Good governance is the goal and, if impeachment is a result, so be it.

  170. @Rita We do not need to accept this lout for the next two years. If as it appears there are "high crimes and misdemeanors and other abuses of office, impeach.

  171. You are an important voice in these perilous times. Thank you for continuing to write through it all. Reading your columns and following you on Twitter is keeping me sane when I feel close to giving up.

  172. Charles, I have read your columns for years. Your outrage over Trump matched mine (matches mine), and I cheered as you very publicly roared, but I have lately come to realize that I am giving him too much of my time. I've realized that he is simply not worth it. He's not going to change, but I can change my focus from repeatedly stating the obvious (as you noted as well) to trying to do something beyond him to effect positive change. History will judge him. Meantime, we need to see that we get things done legislatively while we have an opportunity to. We don't know what 2020 will bring, or what or when Robert Mueller's finding will become public or what they may mean. We need to fight on--fight for the things that are worth it--social justice, the environment, voting rights. Let Trump wallow in his misery and corruption. We are far beyond him. We are glad we aren't him. And now we continue the GOOD work.

  173. One of the things Trump thrives on is wearing his opposition out. Don't play by his rules. Taking time out from political developments is healthy and productive. So, yes, absolutely take time away to enjoy life. The holidays are coming up and, if that's your thing, it's a good time to step back and enjoy the season. Step back, too, from that crazy uncle or your brother-in-law who love Trump. You aren't going to change their mind and they won't change yours. Change the subject and talk about football or basketball. Anything but politics. Getting rid of Trump will be hard and more difficult than many are thinking after Tuesday's election. Don't let Trump burn you out in 2019. Rest up and save your strength for 2020. Let Mueller and House Democrats carry the burden now. Iowa is 14 months away and there will be plenty of politics in about a year. If it takes sitting out for a whole year to be ready to put in some work in 2020, do it. The last thing we need are people burned out just when things start to matter. There is no shame at all in needing time to recharge.

  174. Those who struggle to achieve decency and equality for all must accept it may not happen in their lifetimes. A look at US history is proof. Our Declaration of Independence promises all people are created equal with inalienable rights, but our founding fathers, authors of our Constitution, were slave owners and only white men who owned property could vote. It took the loss of 500,000 American lives before the passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, which granted citizenship to former slaves. Our entire history, from the beginning, has been a struggle for equality followed by a violent backlash by those who are against equality for all. The Civil War Amendments were followed by the passage of Jim Crow Laws. One step forward, 100 steps back. It took 100 years after the Civil War to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which ended racial segregation in public places made into law with the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision. I was 14 when that law was passed and I remember the race riots of the 60s. One step forward, 100 steps back. Progress for equality is glacially slow and never, ever certain. It is said Obama's election was the second Brown v. Board of Education and the white nationalist movement is the backlash to the election of a black man to the highest office in the land. One step forward, 100 steps back. I am 68. I will not see full equality in my lifetime, but the fight must continue and never ever cease, no matter how exhausted we may become.

  175. Thank you for these words. It's helpful to know that the undercurrent of anxiety is not just felt by me and my friends. Short term, this so-called president will be gone (one way or another), but long term, it's going to take a while to heal the many areas of damage that this depraved man-child has wrought. I feel like we are collectively in an abusive relationship from which we cannot escape.

  176. "How could we not remember that American progress has always been like a dance with a disagreeable partner, stumbling backward as well as moving forward?" Hard to say given that President Obama himself referenced this exact same phenomena throughout his campaigns and during his time in office. Perhaps too many took his election to be too great a sign of progress and took their foot off the gas pedal on efforts to continue to create an America that works for all.

  177. @JBC "dancing with a disagreeable partner" is a GREAT image! And metaphor for these times.

  178. The root motivation for the obstruction during President Obama's terms, the outright theft of a supreme court nomination, the resistance to anything that might help the country if it was his idea, and ultimately the election of trump is, wait for it... racism! It was, and is still, straight up racism. This is the other central fact that we Americans refuse to acknowledge. Just like the absolute flood of guns is the biggest correlating factor in our monstrous level of mass murders, racism by resentful poor working-class white people is the engine that the Republicans have harnessed in their continuing desperate bid to hang on to power to which they are no longer entitled.

  179. Mr. Blow's challenge is a good one. What's to do in these times? I've found a measure of relief in reminding myself about America's greatness in books. Lately, I'm looking through the amazing window provided by "My Dear Hamilton" (Kamoie and Dray) a first person story of America's creation from the perspective of Elizabeth Hamilton, also known as Mrs. Alexander Hamilton. A moving testament from someone who seems to have known everyone and been everywhere during the early years of the country's founding. The second thing that occupies me is wondering, specifically, what can we do for *some* of the groups left behind by our economy that think they have found their savior in Trump. I'd like to find a way to stop this huckster from capitalizing on pain no one is willing to see, much less address.

  180. We have a right to weariness. But we don't have the luxury of it. This is an active civil war, albeit a cold one, so far. On the one hand, we have Trump and the Trumpists, attacking every Constitutional norm, restriction, precedent, and tradition, attempting to overthrow our checks and balances, and, ultimately to violate our individual rights when they are inconvenient for Trump. And the Republican party has totally caved to him. THEY never take a break or a pause--less than 12 hours after a crushing defeat in the House, Trump was putting Sessions out to pasture and his own personal hitman stooge illegally as "Acting" AG. On the other side, are the defenders of our Democratic Republic, and we cannot drop our vigilance for a split second or we might lose it all. So, no, CB, we cannot afford the luxury of weariness or letting down our guard.

  181. Thank you, Mr. Blow. Please keep up your necessary and seemingly endless campaign. Trump obviously is hoping that eventually those who see who he is and what he is up to will tire and move on. Of course it would help a lot if our country's would-be emperor understood or even wished to understand the very notions of goodness and decency. He's good AT lots of things--lying, posturing, trying to shout down reporters [especially African American female reporters]. But he decidedly is not and never has been a good person, and is reliably and profoundly indecent. [Thanks to those who decided to keep his snarling face out of the picture accompanying this article.]

  182. Thank you for the thoughts. And I added a new word to my vocabulary.

  183. Want to know what Chuck Schumer was talking about in his weekly press conference? That the airlines were deliberately ripping off consumers by making seats on planes way too small. As we're heading into Thanksgiving Schumer decided that this was the problem that had to be rectified immediately. The resistance and revolution will have to be put on hold until after the holidays season is over.

  184. You have buoyed me up from sinking into despair. Your comparison of most of the country now to the struggles of the Black community, and their never ending hope and striving for a better life is perfect for all of us. Indeed, it is your statement, "The struggle for goodness and decency is an eternal one not a seasonal one," which puts me back in the fight. Thanks.

  185. Words are powerful but also inadequate. Words are linear but life is 3 dimensional. We live only in this present moment, but our minds and hearts know what has past and cannot know what lies ahead. No one and nothing is secure. Nothing lasts but that is no consolation if you are screaming in pain second by second. What, indeed, is to be done that will matter? Trump and those who like and support him are to many, like you, like me, a nightmare come alive. My friends in Brazil are paralyzed with fear about their new "leader." What can we tell them when we are in almost the same situation? The ONLY remedy is broad-based education of the general public. We have starved public education for decades and eliminated the arts and humanities, leaving us with sports ad nauseum. A illiterate, befuddled public cannot reason. We are in a perfect storm of manipulators. Tea Partiers, Trumpites, FOX bloviators, "religious" so-called "christians" and an army of bajillionaires who just want more money. All of them playing effectively on the profoundly frightened, duped citizens who are confused and therefore, angry. Sadly, they do not know how lost they are and are quick to seek solace in all the wrong places. Write on, Mr. Blow, and right on! Your words, in particular, matter in this very caucasian paper and your insights and outrage are, to me anyway, consoling. Take a break as you need, but don't go away. Your words are still just words but good ones, necessary ones, always.

  186. The truth doesn't need much fuel to keep burning. Lies require a constant stoking to continue to burn. The inefficiency of living a lie leads to an early death for its carrier. The truth always wins in the end. American society may not be the same after this fire rages, but the lies will eventually be found to be untenable as they are deadly. The truth will be acknowledged, or the country will perish. If the country perishes, then the truth will still live on without us.

  187. I read this article after the disturbing lead story about missile development in North Korea. While we are coping with the very real weariness from so much Trump garbage, America is losing ground around the world. Charles Blow has looked honestly at our dilemma and shown that the concerns are shared. That helps to build strength and the willingness to fight. I am grateful.

  188. I am counting Trump's time in the White House in dog years. One year is like seven. I have battle fatigue. Every single day there is some new embarrassment. Saturday was certainly no exception with Trump failing to visit Aisne Marne American Cemetery because of rain. He stayed in his hotel room while other world leaders visited various other commemorative sites in the same inclement weather. Trump's disrespect for the fallen in service to this country, was palpable. I was so ashamed. Every time I think Trump has hit a new low, I find I am mistaken. However, weary as I am, you are right Mr. Blow, the fight for decency must continue. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and those who followed him did not give up even when faced with brutality and death. In the end they prevailed. Indecency gave way to justice Last Tuesday the Democrats won the House, and that is at least a beginning point for reining in Trump's egregious use of power.

  189. Time outs as necessary but we the people must be as tireless in our defense of democracy as the republican party is in their zeal to destroy it. Above all we need to generate memes that act as inoculations against the decades old memes of the republicans. "Tax and spend democrats?" has to be offset for example by "bankrupt and betray republicans." Never again do republicans get to claim the flag, lapel pins, that song, veterans, keeping us safe, a devotion to civil rights, freedom, our very Constitution as their personal and proprietary property. Their stock in trade is lies, hypocrisy, and betrayal on the most foundational level.

  190. "We ought to resist, resist, resist until we hurl the demagogues and tyrants from their imagined thrones." Alexander Hamilton The struggle is perpetual. It was not won in Hamilton's day, it was not won in Lincoln's day, it will not be won in our lifetime. But as Martin Luther King observed, "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. " Two hundred plus years ago Americans freed themselves from a king. One hundred fifty plus years ago Americans freed blacks from slavery. In our lifetimes we have won greater recognition and respect for all human equality. Never perfect, never done. The struggle is perpetual. Recently we have lost ground. New tyrants and demagogues appear. There will always be evil. Recently we have been shocked by how many of us are followers of demagogues. But the arc still bends towards justice and we must persevere, we must "resist, resist, resist"!

  191. Charles, While I'm heartened by the taking back of the House, I see a long hard two years of trial and tribulation ahead, as good decent people here in America, and everywhere on our planet, try to deal with what Trump and Trumpism is trying to do, which in a nutshell is simply nothing good for all species, including humanity. There is real rot at the core of America, apparently virulent, seemingly pushing it's way relentlessly to the surface, until it accomplishes what it is being designed to do, such being a nation fraught with division, anger, and a consequent desire for vengeance, and the purveyor of this disease sits in our White House, aided and abetted with great pleasure, by his minions, many we can see, and unfortunately many are hiding in plain sight in every village, town, community, and city throughout our dying democracy. I meet them every day; they are abhorrent, and here's the thing; they are convinced they are right. Can goodness and decency prevail ? I thought I could believe it eventually will, but I'm no longer optimistic.

  192. I agree with Charles. Time out. A nite off from commenting on Trump. Time to remember and mourn recent victims of mass shootings. And time to be grateful for the efforts and sacrifices of our military and first responders. We are blessed in that regard.

  193. As one gets older, it becomes easier to accept how little control we have over life, even our own. This does not mean we no longer stand up against what is wrong. It is just that it keeps anger at bay - because it is anger that will burn us out. Nevertheless, I do not believe the questions regarding the other half of the country are really the right ones. Instead, we should be asking how so many people came to believe the unbelievable? Conversely, how can so many people not believe what is true, even when obvious? And now, when we face an existential battle of democracy vs. racial superiority we can't even agree on what the truth is, much less compromise on anything. How did we ever get the ridiculously absurd notion that money is a measure of intelligence?

  194. Mr. Blow, This was an excellent article but I hope you're wrong. America can't withstand another 2 years of maniacal leadership that appears to have the full backing of the GOP.

  195. I thought this was a really positive and thoughtful column. We all have to take a break from politics and the constant, in your face, craziness that seems to have a grip on politics. It may be best for the Trump administration to unravel of its own accord. The fact is that the American people own this debacle, and they will get to fix it in 2020. I think the energy is on the Democratic side. Exciting candidates, a young, diverse and energetic electorate, and a Republican Party that simply lies and insults with no plan except militarizing our southern border, destroying Medicare and Social Security, depriving people of health care and destroying the environment. I think that schtick is wearing thin on everyone.