I’ll give him this. In victory, Donald Trump tried to be generous. Yet even as he prepared to say something nice about his opponent, Trump’s narcissism won through.
“She congratulated us - it's about us - on our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign.”
None of us knows what Trump's actual policies will be. No one expects a Mexican-funded wall. But everything we know about the man, from his history of bilking investors and contractors, to his penchant for turning on friends and betraying wives, to his glowing admiration for Vladimir Putin, makes one thing very clear: Trump will use the office of President to boost his power and wealth as much as he possibly can. In Italy under Berlusconi, this made for laughs. In America, it could turn into global catastrophe.
With Republicans in charge of every branch of government at every level, very little stands in his way. But if there's one thing that every American can agree on, it is surely this: the genius of the Founding Fathers was to recognize that power must never be concentrated in a single pair of hands. The separate but equal branches of government were intended to prevent tyranny, and on that score they will be tested like never before.
Following the end of the Soviet Union, we have seen Russia swiftly slide from roughhouse democracy to murderous tyranny. You might think it's absurd to even suggest a comparison with the United States. But this election has produced an absurd result. A man repudiated by most of the Republican establishment, a man declared unfit by every competent assessor, a man who literally promised on the eve of the election to make every dream come true, has been voted into the highest office in the land.
I don't expect responsible Republicans to speak up now. I can only hope that they recognize the awful responsibility in their hands: Only by making alliances with Democrats in Congress can they use the veto override to constrain the power of a President Trump. In the Supreme Court, only by migrating toward the center in defense of basic constitutional rights can the justices hope to forestall American fascism.
We have to come to together. We have to do this for ourselves. There will be no American troops coming to our rescue, no Marshall Plan to rebuild us if we fail.