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Facing History in the Age of Trump


Facing History in the Age of Trump

Robert C. Koehler

Tempting as it is to isolate Donald Trump as the worst president in history (and “worst” is putting it mildly . . . more like the most narcissistically infantile, the most Nazi-friendly), doing so achieves nothing beyond a fleeting sense of satisfaction.

Yeah, he’s scary. His supporters are scary. But he comes in a context.

Whether or not he’s impeached, or removed from office via the 25th Amendment, his effect on the country won’t go away. Trump can’t be undone, any more than an act of terror — or war — can be undone.


“Maybe he can foment, in spite of himself, not simply change, but national transformation. Realizing this, and seizing hold of the moment he has created, may be a far more effective way of dealing with his unhinged presidency than merely exuding endless shock.” (Robert Koehler)


Well put Robert - and I agree.


There’s one thing that Donald Trump needn’t worry about.

There will never be any monuments of him constructed which will be torn down in the future by people appalled at the Hate he instilled in others.

Except perhaps at Trump Tower.


Trump bragged that he was"more elite" than everybody else:


Jeeze, he can’t even SPELL.


“The generals and the military-industrialists have their war in Afghanistan back, for instance. Trump may be a blowhard and a white supremacist — he may be an international laughingstock — but he’s no match for the dark forces that actually run the country.”

Dark forces? Is this Star Wars? We now know what Trump wants to do about Afghanistan although what he has said is sketchy at best, but do we know what politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren think we should do? Are they also aligned with the “dark forces” or have they provided some insight on moving in a new and better direction? Is there an alternative out there among the leading progressive politicians?


“oh no, mr. bob!” i must admit when i saw the title my jaw dropped. only two days ago i posted the following in response to an article on a sister site decrying how trump has utterly changed this "great country.“

uh-huh. i clicked on this but scanned immediately to read the comment section. i refuse to read any offering with words like “the age of trump,” trump’s america” and such in the title. the democratic party wants us to believe everything was hunky-dory until the world changed dramatically one day in november, 2016.
thank goodness, i have more faith in koehler’s keen observation skills and did read this essay before attempting to post. so many of these “age of trump” posts are but thinly veiled attempts by opposing politicians hoping to seize an opportunity to jump back aboard and ride the wall street’s gravy train. good for bob koehler! he did not disappoint

Trump may be a blowhard and a white supremacist — he may be an international laughingstock — but he’s no match for the dark forces that actually run the country.

you know? as a young adult i wondered why each newly elected president who rode into office on his high sounding platitudes like protecting our environment or “the wrong war at the wrong time” immediately reneged on every major goal. then the clouds cleared and i realized those off-camera powers–those we do not elect but remain and retain their control no matter who occupies the white house. these are the real “deciders.”

And sometimes Trump blurts out an obvious truth about this — with the audacity of a bratty kid who doesn’t know any better.

oh, yes he does! that’s why our “professional” politicians and media who presume to speak for all of us insist we need an experienced politician in the oval office–someone who understands that a projected image of goodness is more important than truth.

yes, we all see trump as the quintessential egocentric narcissist, don’t we? yet to some degree that quality of false pride plagues our species. other than as works of art like “the thinker” we should stop attempting to immortalize war and political “heroes” in stone. we always lose the man while creating a fabulous legend.


Very good points in this article. You hope they would be more written about. But no, not. It’s far easier to write about “he said” “she said”.


Yes and yes: Their statues need to come down because we need to re-imagine a new nation with new symbols of unity, equality. We owe it to the original victims of white supremacy–the First nations people and the African Americans.