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“Donald Trump is impulse-driven, ignorant, narcissistic and intellectually dishonest. So you’d think that those of us in the anti-Trump camp would go out of our way to show we’re not like him — that we are judicious, informed, mature and reasonable. … But the events of the past week have shown that the anti-Trump echo chamber is becoming a mirror image of Trump himself — overwrought, uncalibrated and incapable of having an intelligent conversation about any complex policy problem.”
“This is not a wave election; it’s a realignment election. The results Tuesday will not be shaped by some crest of momentum behind the Democrats. They are going to be shaped by the fact that people are hardening into their categories, and those categories tend to produce a Democratic House and a Republican Senate.”
“At certain times Donald Trump has seemed like a budding authoritarian, a corrupt Nixon, a rabble-rousing populist or a big business corporatist. … But as Trump has settled into his White House role, he has given a series of long interviews, and when you study the transcripts it becomes clear that fundamentally he is none of these things. … At base, Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.”
“In America, the basic fabric of civic self-government seems to be eroding following the loss of faith in democratic ideals. According to a study published in The Journal of Democracy, the share of young Americans who say it is absolutely important to live in a democratic country has dropped from 91 percent in the 1930s to 57 percent today. … While running for office, Donald Trump violated every norm of statesmanship built up over these many centuries, and it turned out many people didn’t notice or didn’t care. … The faith in the West collapsed from within. It’s amazing how slow people have been to rise to defend it.”
On the surface, this seems like a normal Republican convention. There are balloon drops, banal but peppy music from the mid-1970s and polite white people not dancing in their seats. … But this is not a normal convention. Donald Trump is dismantling the Republican Party and replacing it with a personality cult. The G.O.P. is not dividing; it’s ceasing to exist as a coherent institution.