The US president arrives this week from a divide nation amid signeds of a Democratic revival

Reality. We all used to know what it made. The macrocosm as it is. Objective facts that provide the foundation for rational- not psychological- judgments and actions.

But the old-fashioned definition of actuality has taken a serious thump during the nearly three years Donald Trump, the reality-show president, has been in office. Partly because Trump himself seems to live in a reality separate from the one the majority of members of us occupied. Partly because too many people still can’t accept the objective facts of his presidency.

This reality car crash will be on full display on Wednesday when Trump attends the Nato heads of government meeting in Watford, while in Washington the House judiciary committee takes over hearings from the intelligence committee, the next step towards his inevitable impeachment. Pictures of magnificence and ceremony and outrageous Trump behaviour will be juxtaposed with indication about his high crimes and misdemeanours.

Trump’s presidency has disclosed current realities of what America has been for some time: a hopelessly segmented nation whose institutional structures are rotten. The economy is riddled with decay. Education is in a wretched state.

The Washington press corps has proved itself incapable of reporting the Trumpian reality. Reporters too often indulge in clickbait speculation about his mental and physical health. They report as fact chitchat about who is about to quit the administration and blow the whistle on him. So far nothing of members of the general and other high-ups humiliated and obliged out of his cabinet or as chief of staff have is doing so. Washington writers continue to feed a commercial modeling of journalism where it is understood that reporting objective happenings doesn’t pay the bills. Speculation and rumour leading to online traffic do.

Trump followers at a rally in New Mexico. Photograph: Howard Korder

And, of course, Trump backers don’t interact with the mainstream press; they live inside the Fox News filtered happenings zone, a separate reality.

In politics, Trump’s Republicans have become a dangerous clique as defined by James Madison in the Federalist Papers. They are a single-minded group whose actions are” untoward to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate the best interest of local communities “.

But that didn’t happen after Trump was elected. It was a process that has steadily unfolded over the last quarter of a century. In the last seven general elections the GOP has won the popular vote just once. Yet the Republican faction acts as if America is essentially a one-party- their party- state.

Republicans have relentlessly refused to work at the most basic bipartisan level with Democrat. They have purposely tried to wreck Democratic presidencies, culminating in Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to give a hearing to Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

Although the GOP’s elites balk Trump initially, it is necessary to no surprise that they have come around to backing him blindly. He delivers for them and for their base.

The reality of the Trump voter has been plain to see since the latter stage of the 2016 safarus. I was in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, right after the strange debate performance where he stalked Hillary Clinton round the stage like a psychopath. What I learned in there demonstrated what I had found out in Ohio several months earlier – his supporters were unswayable. They were loyal to the man. Good-for-nothing would represent them change their minds.

And he has been loyal to his supporters. Although Trump lies like no other president in history, he has been surprisingly true-life to his promises to the unswayables.

He promised to appoint ” conservative” rights to the Supreme Court and delivered two. He made good on his hope of a massive tariff cut, even if the biggest beneficiaries were the very rich.

He promised to build a wall with Mexico , and even though he’s had no success in doing so Trump continues trying to get it constructed. In the meantime, he is severely punishing those unfortunates who sought to cross into the US , especially children. That works for his supporters. They no longer care about his promise to do Mexico pay for the barrier. The main thing is to keep the strangers out by whatever signifies necesssary.

Trump’s admirers’ don’t interact with the mainstream press; they live inside the Fox News zone ‘. Photograph: Howard Korder

Trump promised to placed “America First”, a motto whose origins are currently under 1930 s isolationist push. And he has pursued an independent, isolationist foreign policy, heedless of international relationships.

The way he’s done it has been unpresidential, but the US has been headed towards isolationism since the failings of the Iraq war followed by the 2008 disintegrate. In 2016, candidate Trump told the New York Times his opinion on America’s capacity in global insurance. Asked if he would remove units from Japan and South Korea, he said:” I would. I has not been able to do so merrily, but I would be willing to do it … We cannot afford to be losing vast amounts of billions of dollars on all of this. We precisely can’t do it any more .” Asked about Nato, he said, “Nato is obsolete …” and complained about how much the US paid to keep the organisation going.

Around the same time, President Barack Obama told the Atlantic magazine.” I suppose you could call me a realist in think we can’t, at any given moment, allay all the world’s hardship .”

When Obama walked away from his own red strand in Syria and refused to strike the Bashar al-Assad regime after the Syrian dictator lowered chemical weapons on his own beings, was it that different from Trump walking away from Kurdish allies in northern Syria? Each was taking a step towards redefining the extent of American leadership in the west’s insurance architecture.

Of course, Trump and his supporters would bristle at the relevant recommendations that he was just following in Obama’s steps. Much of the time Trump seems to be a living paraphrase of Karl Rove‘s explanation:” We’re an empire now, and when we act we develop our own world .”

But there are important realities too easily forgotten in the panic caused by the Trump reality distortion field. His base is unswayable, but it is far from the majority. Trump backers represent at most 26% of America’s eligible voters. He lost to Hillary Clinton- an unpopular campaigner- by 3 million votes.

Trump has had a galvanising effect on the Democratic grassroots. A year ago, during the midterm elections, I expended a Saturday morning in suburban Atlanta with a bunch of Democratic party volunteers who is currently canvassing the locality. They were overwhelmingly women who had no prior political know. Many had gone on the Million Women March the day after the Trump inauguration.

All over the US, beings like them facilitated the Democrat regain control of the House of Representatives. In Georgia, Lucy McBath, the status of women of colour, operated as an anti-gun candidate in Newt Gingrich’s old district and won. Stacey Abrams, another blacknes woman, is located within a whisker- and a knot of stifled referendums- of prevail the governorship of that state. The trend continued into 2019′ s off-year election. Democrats took over the legislature in Virginia. They kept hold of the governorship in Lousiana. The Democrats’ surge in the old Confederacy included taking the governorship of Kentucky- despite the Republican tying himself tightly to Trump.

In the separate reality Trump and his supporters inhabit these results may not mean much; in current realities you and I occupy that is a positive show for the 2020 election.

Michael Goldfarb is the legion of the First Rough Draft of History podcast.


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