But the Trump presidency will leave gaping wounds nearly everywhere, and ruination in some places. Truth as a concept has been battered from the highest office in the land on an almost hourly basis. The Republican Party has been radicalized, with countless Republican lawmakers and other prominent figures within the party having revealed themselves to be moral cowards, even, and in some ways especially, after Trump was defeated. During the Trump presidency, they were so afraid of getting crosswise with him and his supporters that they failed the Solzhenitsyn test: “The simple act of an ordinary brave man is not to participate in lies, not to support false actions! His rule: Let that come into the world, let it even reign supreme—only not through me.”
During the past four years, the right-wing ecosystem became more and more rabid. Many prominent evangelical supporters of the president are either obsequious, like Franklin Graham, or delusional, like Eric Metaxas, and they now peddle their delusions as being written by God. QAnon and the Proud Boys, Newsmax and One America News, Alex Jones and Tucker Carlson—all have been emboldened.
These worrisome trends began before Trump ran for office, and they won’t disappear after he leaves the presidency. Those who hope for a quick snapback will be disappointed. Still, having Trump out of office has to help. He’s going to find out that there’s no comparable bully pulpit. And the media, if they are wise, will cut off his oxygen, which is attention. They had no choice but to cover Trump’s provocations when he was president; when he’s an ex-president, that will change.
Read the entire piece at The Atlantic.