It is customary this time of year for opinion columnists to review their performance and offer a mea culpa where appropriate. My list is long enough that I thought I’d get an early start.

My biggest mistake is actually four years old, which can be explained but not, as it turns out, justified. On the eve of Election 2016, I wrote that we’d survive as a nation no matter who won, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I did not say we’d be fine. Mere survival seemed a fairly safe bet and, so, I gambled all my chips on our system of checks and balances.

Writers often say they write the books – or columns – they need to read. Though I had been consistently critical of Trump since the first rumor surfaced that he might run for president, I had become convinced six weeks before Election Day in 2016 that he was going to win. This insight was based upon my familiarity with his base – the folks Clinton called “deplorables.” But I thought we’d get through it OK. That proved to be a mistake.

Every time Trump did something objectionable, Twitter would remind me of my earlier error. The checks and balances conceived by the creators of our republic and in which I had placed my faith weren’t nearly as strong as I had believed. They’ve only eroded further under Trump, leaving us at the end of his term, literally, not surviving.

No one could have predicted the coronavirus pandemic. In retrospect, it’s not surprising that Trump mishandled matters during the early stages of the virus when swift, decisive actions might have made a difference. We now know that he is that bad a human being and that lousy a leader. We’ve come not to expect just worse from him but the worst. If once I thought that he’d be at least rational – or I viewed his rallies as harmless sideshows – I’ve been thoroughly disabused of such notions.

Not much could be worse than hosting superspreader events and refusing to wear a mask or urging people not to fear the virus because, after all, he caught it and was treated by the best doctors in the world. It isn’t much of a leap from that kind of behavior to 49% of Americans saying they would not get the coronavirus vaccine if it were available today. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all who are vaccine-resistant are Trump supporters. But I wouldn’t be surprised if a Venn diagram showed a significant overlap. Trump’s only modest shot for redemption for his performance on the virus is to get the vaccine in a very public way and encourage others to do the same. It’s not too late to change minds and save lives.

In the meantime, the bonds of trust between leaders and citizens are nearing an irrevocable breaking point. Trump’s call to overthrow the 2020 election has exposed the underbelly of the GOP. There’s nothing some Republicans won’t do to hold on to power, even at the expense of the country’s dwindling chances to unite in common cause.

For Pete’s sake, people: What is wrong with you?

What’s wrong is Trump, was Trump, forever-will-be Trump. His effort to overthrow the election was almost certainly doomed because there simply is no evidence to support his claims of voter fraud. Facts still matter. But the mess he’ll leave behind in less than 40 days won’t be tidied up soon, if ever. I’d like to un-write that column. To anyone who may have read it and found solace in my words, I apologize.

(21) comments

Enough Already

No need to apologize Kathleen; you were right the first time but you are heavily invested in WAPO and it is probably a condition of employment that you wrote this column exactly the way you did. It sucks to be you and all the other lemmings hanging on every word from the legacy media. Just hang on, the best is yet to come!

Koheleth

"Just hang on, the best is yet to come!"

I don't know about all that, but I do know that come 1/20/21 we'll be evicting the current occupier of the White House. That is truly great news.

Enough Already

Uh huh. You need to get a new act Vladmir.

Koheleth

No need for a 'new act'. Reality isn't amenable to our wants or desires. This is something that you will come face to face with very soon. You just keep on donating to the Con man, he needs your type badly.

And just like Vlad. I'll continue to impale your weak ass arguments.

Enough Already

I'm looking forward to it Vladmir.

Parameter Estimator

Ah, the white-men-with-jobs hater reveals themselves.

Enough Already

Thanks for pointing out Koheleth's hypocrisy.

You go girl!

Koheleth

Aww, look at EA trying to curry favor with PE. I personally haven't a clue as to what exactly they are getting at, but those two sure make a cute couple.

theleftisright

Sensitive about your racism and misogyny?

Enough Already

Of course you don't. Tis an inside joke and your are inside.

Koheleth

"Tis an inside joke and your are inside."

You sir are the gift that keeps on giving.

Enough Already

And you are the joke that is never funny...

Koheleth

I hear ya Kraken. I hear ya SCOTUS. I hear ya alright.

Enough Already

The goal of socialism is communism. ~ Vladimir Lenin

The goal of Koheleth? socialism of course, gateway drug to communism.

How many Koheleth does it take to screw in a light bulb? Koheleth not able to screw in a light bulb. To complex a task for a single cell organism.

Probability Koheleth divides and doubles intelligence? None, he is already at his peak.

Koheleth

"socialism is communism"

Define either one, or better yet, both of those terms for us.

"The goal of Koheleth? socialism of course, gateway drug to communism."

Asserting as fact that which is not in evidence.

"How many Koheleth does it take to screw in a light bulb? Koheleth not able to screw in a light bulb."

Now that's just poor grammar. The first sentence should be plural as in... 'Koheleths'. You are referring to a quantity after all. The second should contain the verb 'is' after Koheleth and before 'not', if using a singular pronoun, or the contraction 'aren't', omitting of course the 'not' while maintaining the plurality of the pronoun 'Koheleths'. Unless your preference for communication is something akin to the syntax patterns one would expect of a troglodyte that is.

"To complex a task for a single cell organism."

That should read too. As in; 'Too complex a task for a single cell organism'.

"Probability Koheleth divides and doubles intelligence? None, he is already at his peak."

This does impose some dire consequences for you should your claim hold true. See all the above to deduce your quandary.

Enough Already

Confucius say: Koheleth book smart, but rock dumb. He trade freedom for $15 dollar hour wage, but too dumb to understand everything go up when wages raised. He okay with simpleton as president as long as he keep his obama-phone and subsidized rent.

Koheleth too dumb to breathe without government jumping on chest.

Koheleth think democrats love him. Democrats say Koheleth useful idiot. Confucious agree with democrats this time...

Koheleth

Typical dodge.

Enough Already

As usual, Koheleth = artificial intelligence. Dodge one of big three, but always #3. Dodge = Koheleth favorite because less required. Koheleth owned by foreign entity. Not surprising, so is Dodge. Suggest: Koheleth strike deal with Hunter Biden, maybe get intro to Joe and Happy Chinese Family. He live happy ever after off American taxpayers, become Chinese inside joke, like Hunter Biden...

theleftisright

How irrational to offer such pointless comments to bona fide criticism of the Trump term. Unless one is a Trump cultist, the ineptitude and blatant corruption has been quite obvious to an objective observer.

Enough Already

If you would take off those pro-communist filter glasses you always wear, you would see that everything you have said is BS. When everything you hear and see is from leftist media corporations, it is just a matter of time until they wash your tiny pea brain. You have arrived dofus. You are officially a useful idiot.

Koheleth

Pro-communist = Trumpist

Reality filtering glasses = Trumpist

Things continually proposed as defenses of Trump which have already been demonstrated to be BS = Trumpist

Everything heard and seen is from a propagandist 'news' source = Trumpist

Pea brain level cult member allegiance = Trumpist

Silly usage of derogatory jargon = Trumpist

Extreme displays of willful ignorance and/or overt asininity = Trumpist

EA = Trumpist

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