Pretty, It Isn’t Going To Be, But…

Pretty, It Isn’t Going To Be, But…

Seven months into the Trump presidency, we can now see forward for the next three and a quarter years more accurately.

It’s fair to say that by now we all have a full measure of the man who is President. His base is no less enthusiastic and every bit as ardent. His colleagues in the Congress are shifting some in their views, but their silence on the most part suggests a fervent commitment to moving forward on as much of the Republican agenda as possible and to enjoying at whatever cost the prerogatives of the political majority.

Those who are not behind the President (much of the media and Democrats) are more exercised and more unified than before, their voices louder, but they are relatively powerless to change the course of events.

It is unlikely that anyone will enjoy the mantel of moral authority in the period ahead, but in this sharply divided country such a role may have been a myth all along.

It’s going to be far more noisy until a new president is elected at the conclusion of the Trump term, the divisions within the society will be far more in everyone’s face, and the stock market will certainly not continue its goldilocks soar. But, baring a catastrophe on the international front (and it is not at all certain that we will be able to avoid one), the country will probably come through this presidency unscathed long term.

So, it is incumbent on us all to look beyond these immediate years and to plan for a better time -- a time where we finally have the opportunity to make important strides confronting global warming, healing some of the difference among us, recapturing what has been and will always be the stunning differences between the American experiment and the rest of the peoples on this globe.

To get through this period, we all need to take the longer view, recognizing that what is before us is a test of our resolve to make it through the short term, to participate as much as possible to keep our and others’ cool, and to put Donald Trump – an old and rigid seventy-one year-old -- in perspective.

January 2021 is not that far away.

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

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