Right now, as East Texas grapples with wind damage and catastrophic flooding from an unpredictable storm that may last for days, there is something we know for sure: When it’s over, the people of the Gulf Coast will pick up the pieces amid the destruction. Lives may be devastated and some things will be lost forever, but rebuilding is what they will do.
It brought me back, once again, to Masha Gessen’s “Autocracy: Rules for Survival,” as Donald Trump rampaged on democracy further last night under cover of intense media coverage of the hurricane. Gessen, a Russian immigrant who lived and worked as a journalist in Putin’s Russia, had written the rules in The New York Review of Books shortly after the 2016 election. I’ve re-read them many times. This time her last rule stuck out first as I re-read:
Rule #6: Remember the future. Nothing lasts forever. Donald Trump certainly will not, and Trumpism, to the extent that it is centered on Trump’s persona, will not either. Failure to imagine the future may have lost the Democrats this election.
It’s in moments such as last night, when Trump showed his complete contempt for civil society and safeguarding rights in his pardoning notorious former sheriff Joe Arpaio and signing an order banning new transgender military members, that we must imagine that future ― and stay focused on beating him and Trumpism no matter how daunting it seems right now. Last night showed us, however, that before that future happens, the present is only going to get much worse.
Trump’s Arpaio pardon, coming after Trump has only been in office for little over seven months,…
click here to read more