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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

A Warning

A Warning

America survived the first Trump term, though not without sustaining serious damage. A second term, if there is one, will be much worse.

By Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic

Like many reporters, I’ve been operating in Casaubon mode for much of the past eight years, searching for the key to Donald Trump’s mythologies. No single explanation of Trump is fully satisfactory, although Atlantic staff writer Adam Serwer came closest when he observed that the cruelty is the point. Another person who helped me unscramble the mystery of Trump was his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Early in the Trump presidency, I had lunch with Kushner in his White House office. We were meant to be discussing Middle East peace (more on that another time), but I was particularly curious to hear Kushner talk about his father-in-law’s behavior. I was not inured then—and am not inured even now—to the many rococo manifestations of Trump’s defective character. One of the first moments of real shock for me came in the summer of 2015, when Trump, then an implausible candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said of Senator John McCain, “He’s not a war hero … I like people who weren’t captured, okay?”

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