Dale Anderson, Choose Democracy Now
October 14, 2022
Move on, or look back? I suspect this question may be facing each of us. Having survived four years of Donald Trump and a global pandemic, we all may want nothing more than to forget what happened in the United States between 2017 and 2021 and look for better times to come.
But reliving those years through the eyes of reporters and writers who have compiled a more complete story through interviews of key players and victims, can fill gaps in our understanding. They can provide a more integrated picture of this remarkable episode of our history.
I hoped looking back could help me put current events into perspective as part of our larger evolving political saga. So, in pursuit of a better understanding, I read (or listened to) three books.
I found this lookback surprisingly re-balancing and clarifying. These accounts provided connections of events and people that prior to my visiting these books were disjointed and not necessarily chronological in my mind. I found all three absorbing. “The Divider” and “Nightmare Scenario” were the most informative. Maggie Haberman’s book was useful in understanding the early years of Trump before his presidency. All three provided me a certain sense of closure for this tragic episode of our nation’s history. I could better move on.
As an aside, I returned to a 2017 book by law professor Eric Posner entitled “The Demagogue’s Playbook” looking for his comparison between “statesmen” and “demagogues.” Political demagogues are unique politicians capable of taking a nation down a very dark path, and in the process destroying its political, civic, and social fabric.