The last days of Trump

From New Statesman:

Since 2016, liberals have adopted a strategy of delegitimisation, condemning Mr Trump, and his supporters, for degrading political life. A grass-roots campaign of Democrats, Independents and Never-Trump conservatives, which describes itself as the “Resistance”, has also protested Mr Trump at every turn: over his treatment of women, the separation of immigrant families and his hostility towards Black Lives Matter.

Through mass activism, the Resistance has limited the president’s worst excesses, and during the election campaign it effectively mobilised large numbers of people to vote for Joe Biden. But far from recognising Mr Trump as a product of what came before, the Resistance has made him into an aberration, someone whose rise and fall says nothing about the conditions that made his presidency possible. “Resistance” has substituted for liberal self-criticism, and represents a shrunken politics, one based on sloganeering – “Never Trump” – and false historical comparisons, rather than on transformative ambition. No amount of alarmism can make up for the narrow stock of ideas with which the liberal left now hopes to restore the United States.

Those who warned about the coming of fascism may see in Biden a Democratic president who will redeem the original sin of Mr Trump’s victory in 2016. But while Mr Trump’s presidency may be over, the underlying problems that caused his political rise remain. Unless the Resistance can offer a transformative project, rather than a purely defensive one, the spectre of Trumpism will continue to haunt the republic.

More here.