Civility Strikes Back

Tue, 2017-04-11

Style and substance are both yielding to societal norms - at last

From the moment Donald Trump down rode that escalator straight through Inauguration Day, he forced America to conform to him. Since the inauguration, we increasingly have forced him to conform to us.

Since taking office, Trump has been reined in on policy. This is as the Founders intended: absent a clear mandate to, say, repeal the Affordable Care Act, the status quo stays. President Obama’s signature program will therefore remain with us, warts and all.

Subtler than specific policies, but more important for the long-term health of the body politic, are the constraints on breaking political norms. On this, we may have just witnessed the turning of the tide.