In the New York Review’s Daily blog, Marilynne Robinson’s essay “Year One: Rhetoric & Responsibility” reminds me that we had a President in Obama who could appreciate her gifts and actually carry on a conversation at this level.
I specially like this paragraph:
The Trumps are a special problem, unembarrassed money-grubbers in whom other motives seem undeveloped. The countries of the former Eastern Bloc are extremely vulnerable to looting, a land of opportunity for those low enough to stoop to plunder, including certain of the president’s friends and associates. Perhaps it is in this light, as an Orient of riches there to be taken—by those with the right connections—that Russia can seem so alluring, and legalistic America so tedious and uninteresting. The present regime seems to find this country unworthy of the attention that would be required to produce coherent policy, except as it can be made more post-Soviet, so to speak, more billionaire-friendly. Whether the president can think at the level of global stability or true national interest is an open question, but his love of money is beyond doubt. He is not alarmed or offended by those sinister Russian pranks that worry the rest of us. He is only frustrated that he is barred from aligning his government with this great kleptocracy.
However, the rest of her essay is important to read as she expounds on the divisiveness in our county, its threat to democracy, and takes the higher learning establishment to task for dumbing-down (a phrase she did not use) the American political (or any) dialog.