Highest Rated Comments

Anonymous_A_Warning679 karma

Good evening. Thank you for taking the time to join tonight. Not everyone will agree with my rationale, but anonymity has a long tradition in American politics, as far back as the birth of our Republic. When debating whether or not to ratify the new Constitution, for instance, the Founding Fathers wrote public essays about the controversial subject and disguised their names under pseudonyms. They hid their identities, not because they were scared to debate the issue openly, but because they wanted the public to focus on the message and not the messenger. They didn't want their personal involvement to be a distraction. I'm not Alexander Hamilton or James Madison by any stretch, but I don't believe they were cowards for using anonymity as a tool to refocus the debate. Trump thrives on distractions, and anonymity is a way to deprive him of his favorite weapon of mass distraction--personal attacks--and force the discussion to center on the substance, his character.

We've seen this on full display in the past few weeks, as the President has mercilessly attacked honorable public servants, from an anonymous whistleblower to aides on his own National Security Council. He can't win on ideas, just on mud slinging and personal attacks. So he's trying to use the long arm of government to unmask and undermine his critics.

Anonymous_A_Warning189 karma

The children I know tend to speak more respectfully.

Anonymous_A_Warning173 karma

For starters, my original argument has been thoroughly debunked. In the New York Times op-ed, I suggested that the "Steady State" of top officials in the Administration could ameliorate Donald Trump's lapses in judgment. I was dead wrong. No one can thwart his attraction to wrongdoing. Americans cannot and should not rely on a group of unelected bureaucrats to maintain stability. Their confidence in the Executive Branch should be measured primarily by their faith in the President himself, not be the people around him, even if those people are able to dissuade him sometimes from making poor decisions.

That said, anyone should be able to see the chaos has worsened as the guardrails have come off. The President has little handle on the day-to-day operations of the federal government and is trying to run our Administration with a skeleton crew. He is hurtling between different controversies and ignoring important matters of state, abusing his power with some regularity, undercutting vital democratic institutions daily, and debasing the national dialogue tweet-by-tweet. We can expect this and much, much more if he is reelected. The last guardrails are coming off, and if reelected he will feel emboldened to follow those dangerous impulses to unknowable and alarming ends.

There is a great deal that was left out of the book, out of necessity. But there is more to come, in due course.

Anonymous_A_Warning172 karma

The only credible way to stop Trump is at the ballot box--and by a convincing margin. He has to be defeated badly enough that Republicans will recognize they cannot support Trump's claim of voter suppression, or tampering, or fraud. He will never willingly acknowledge defeat and will fuel conspiracy theories for years to come. That will be dangerous for the country, so we've got to deprive him of those arguments with decisive electoral action.

Anonymous_A_Warning145 karma

I am going to offer what--in any other year--would be the worst advice you could possibly offer during the holiday season: It's time to talk politics this Thanksgiving. I'm not suggesting arguing with your relatives and friends about Trump, but rather engaging earnestly with one another about the divisions that have split our country. Ask each other, what is at the source of the discord? How do we emerge from this era not divided but unified? What can we each do to better understand the other side and debate with dignity, not malice? Those are the political questions to be confronted around Thanksgiving dinner. For many, this will be their last chance to have that dialogue at home before campaign season heats up and detracts from civil discourse.