Robert Kagan has written an extraordinary essay in the Washington Post detailing the danger that Donald Trump and his followers pose to the viability of the American constitutional order.
One point that deserves attention is that the many sophisticated academic and journalistic arguments that seek to trace the roots of Trump in conservatism, in the modern Republican party, or in the pathologies of the constitutional order itself unwittingly contribute to the demise of democracy today. It is not that there is no truth to those sophistications. It is rather that the truthful elements pale in comparison to the ways in which Trump and Trumpism break from the past. They deflect attention from the seriousness of the crisis. Indeed, they foster a collective sense that there is no crisis.
Like all living things, regimes eventually die. The only hope manifest in Kagan’s essay is the possibility that our political cancer may be still treatable, if we diagnose it properly.
Kagan is a well known conservative scholar. He is not afraid to call Trump what he is — an aspiring fascist. This essay should be a wake-up call to the many Trump critics who have not taken Trump seriously enough and who ignore or downplay the danger he continues to pose to the fragile American constitutional order.