A couple of must-read columns

If you still have visits left to the New York Times’ Web site this month, spend them reading these columns.

Michelle Goldberg’s Democracy Grief probably overstates the case — but not by much.

Lately, I think I’m experiencing democracy grief. For anyone who was, like me, born after the civil rights movement finally made democracy in America real, liberal democracy has always been part of the climate, as easy to take for granted as clean air or the changing of the seasons. When I contemplate the sort of illiberal oligarchy that would await my children should Donald Trump win another term, the scale of the loss feels so vast that I can barely process it.

Donald Trump is dismantling the norms that sustain the liberal West, and has nothing to replace it on offer. There is nothing at work within him but malice. I still believe, as I have said more than once on other occasions, that the only good thing about Trump’s election is that anybody with 2-eyes connected to a properly functioning brain can finally see clearly the malice that drives the Evangelical Right.

In a similar assessment of the damage Trump has done to the country, Charles Blow offers this:

Trump and his administration have so overwhelmed the country with successive outrages that it all begins to flatten out, to smooth out, to become a kind of toxic new normal.

To be clear, not everyone sees what Trump is doing as outrageous. The country now exists in two worlds on the issue of truth and facts. One acknowledges some basic truths; the other is un-tethered from them.

It was clear long before the election that Donald Trump is a mean-spirited ignoramus — and that’s what some people voted for because they hate the well-educated people who have left them behind in a world that can scarcely understand; there is a lot of malice underpinning Trump supporters — and the morons are so stupid and shortsighted that they’re willing to take the whole country down in order to hurt the people they despise. There will never be any reasoning with them, and there will never be any communion of goodwill. They must be defeated.

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