Each of us has been a journalist for more than 40 years. We are old enough to remember the racism of George Wallace, the crimes of Richard Nixon, and the stupidity that squandered vast amounts of blood and treasure in Vietnam and Iraq. But nothing prepared us for the wholesale criminality of this administration, or a president for whom “cruelty is the point,” in Adam Serwer’s memorable phrase.
Not since the Civil War has the nation suffered such prolonged, vicious, and effective assaults on all the mechanisms that have given the republic a pulse for 244 years. In just a few days we will learn if there is enough strength left in our democracy’s arteries to allow its revival.
If the Republicans and their Russian allies can’t pull off a hidden hack of the voter tabulations in Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, and Michigan, right now there is a reasonable chance that the decency and intelligence of Joe Biden will prevail over the breathtaking mendacity of his opponent.