In the scale of American blunders — from the Dred Scott decision of 1857
to the Neutrality Acts of the 1930s, to the tragedy of Vietnam — is the Trump presidency really unique?
(Bret Stephens, August 30, 2018)
Stephens is asking, have we done worse things? We’ll sure, but I would say that these single unfortunate and destructive acts of the past are not appropriate actions against which to measure the Trump presidency.
What Trump is doing to America, to all of us, and so far without effective opposition, is undermining the shared humanity that always has and still does account for our very greatest achievements, be they cultural, artistic, scientific, or intellectual. Without our cherishing our neighbors as belonging no less than ourselves to one and the same human family our lives are subject to constant warfare, of tribes endlessly warring among themselves. the Middle East being not the only example but the most pronounced of what may happen when our shared humanity is no longer felt.