…I was asked by a friend, in reference to this piece at the Zman blog.
Before I offer my reply, a couple of lines from the Zman blog post; the basic idea is that the only way to clean house is for Trump to play the strongman:
For the last three decades, probably longer, the guys allegedly on the side of the rest of us, have been obsessed with playing by the rules. The thing I don’t fear is that Trump will “go too far” or fail to respect the rules of the game. I don’t care about those rules anymore. Those rules are the bars of the cage.
In reference to the Ninth Circuit judges ruling against Trump’s immigration order:
If what it takes to break the stranglehold this cult has on society is a dictator willing to toss a few judges from a helicopter, then sign me up for dictatorship.
With the brief introduction out of the way, my reply (slightly modified) to the query: where are we headed?
It is difficult to contemplate because it has the potential to be very personal; also because there are few - if any - places that one might comfortably use as refuge.
I think of Codevilla, who I reviewed here. From his conclusion:
We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate where it will end.
Trump isn’t the fear; it's what comes after Trump. It's what the people will demand - those on the right will demand a more overt police state (in addition to taking matters into their own hands), and who can blame them? Those on the left will increase their looting and burning until the police and those who take defense into their own hands start shooting. How that circle of violence ends, who can say?
I think of the French Revolution - and one of many reasons I do not have wishes along the same line as presented in the Zman piece; the first strongman might cut the heads off of your enemy, the next strongman will decide you are the enemy. In the end, anyone who had the inkling to stand up to the strongman is headless and dead - then what?
This does not mean I have a reasonable alternative to the Zman’s wishes; again, where we are headed is a difficult question to contemplate because there are no good answers. The best I can offer is for men of goodwill to make common cause with Trump on those issues where we have common cause; he is the first president in my lifetime to make allowable much which has been previously unallowable in terms of discussion and action.
Beyond this, the only peaceful way out is secession and decentralization; even at least some on the left are now speaking favorably of this. Unfortunately, neither Trump nor any president will likely want to be known as the president who disbanded the United States. Anyway, we also know both the bloodshed and how this ended seven score and twelve years ago
It would be nice to have a Gorbachev.