Character Is Destiny, Personnel Is Policy

Former President Donald Trump leaves the New York State Supreme Court during the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization in New York on December 7, 2023. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

I sense a Dispatch family quarrel developing.

A minor one. All Dispatch family quarrels are minor, but they tend to be really minor when the subject is Donald Trump, as regular readers know.

In a normal family quarrel, one side might argue that Trump’s second term will be dystopian while the other argues that it’ll be restorative. He’ll make America great again (again?) at last—or end the American experiment altogether. But in a Dispatch family quarrel, the argument is over just how freakishly dystopian a second Trump term will be. Will he end the American experiment, or will he merely damage it irreparably without quite ending it? Are we looking at actual civic death—or just a severe maiming?

On a scale of alarm from 1 to 10, some of us have already gone full Cheney and maxed out. Others, more cool-headed, are clocking in at a nine.

Maybe even an eight after a few drinks.

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