Daily Clips: October 21st, 2016
This year Trump is dismantling those restraints one by one. By savagely attacking Carly Fiorina’s looks and Ted Cruz’s wife he dismantled the codes of etiquette that prevent politics from becoming an unmodulated screaming match. By lying more or less all the time, he dismantles the fealty to truth without which conversation is impossible. By refusing to automatically respect the election results he corrodes confidence in our common institutions and risks turning public life into a never-ending dogfight.
Clinton has contributed to the degradation too. As the James O’Keefe videos remind us, wherever Hillary Clinton has gone in her career, a cloud of unsavory people and unsavory behavior has traveled alongside. But she is right to emphasize that Trump is the greatest threat to moral capital in recent history and that the health of that capital is more fundamental than any particular policy position.
Indeed, frantic to lift his brand above the swirl of electoral filth, Ryan has wrapped himself in the role of policy missionary, his sights firmly trained on leading the American people into a better, brighter future—no matter how uninterested they may seem. Rejection, disdain, mockery, abuse: Ryan has endured them all in his proselytizing. (“I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda,” declared Trump, during one of their passive-aggressive skirmishes.) But mostly, his efforts have been met with overwhelming indifference, which may be the most discouraging response of all for a man convinced that he holds a map to the Promised Land.
Voter suppression is a much bigger problem than voter fraud: Someone should tell Kim Wyman.