New York Times’ Op-Ed: Trump’s Evil Is Infecting Our Nation
The rise of President Donald Trump has shown America precisely what happens when good people stand by and do nothing to thwart the worst impulses of the downright evil, Timothy Egan argued in a recent op-ed for The New York Times.
His threat to bomb Iranian cultural sites — mimicking “the kind of barbarism practiced by the Taliban and rogue-state thugs” — was met with little more than a shrug by those on the right.
His pardon for an accused war criminal, described by a fellow SEAL members as “freaking evil,” was met with no consternation from his fellow Republicans, Egan recalled — though the move came as no real surprise.
The examples of presidential action driven by Trump’s most base instincts are plenty, and so too are the number of political figures who remain impervious to his darkness.
“On any given day, Trump is vindictive, ignorant, narcissistic, a fraud — well, his pathologies are well known. But it’s time to apply the same word to him as the brave Navy man did to the renegade in his unit,” Egan wrote. “Under Trump, the United States is a confederacy of corruption, driven by a thousand points of evil. And that evil is contagious.”
Egan reminded readers of the old adage that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing,” and he surmised that the United States is learning the wrong side of this lesson.
“The Trump presidency has shown just how many ostensibly good people will do nothing, and how evil, when given a free rein at the top, trickles down,” Egan said, going on to recall a handful of times Trump displayed his evil — from tweeting a “fabricated image of the two most important Democratic leaders of Congress dressed in Islamic garb in front of the Iranian flag” to putting migrant children in cages and tearing them from their families.
This president “has so desensitized us that a day without a round of blunt force cruelty from the White House is newsworthy,” he wrote, and now looks set to realize the greatest triumph of his presidency to date: escaping consequence for trying “to force a struggling democracy into doing his political dirty work for him.”
By all accounts, Republican lawmakers — whom Egan described as the “smaller evils” — lack the courage to say aloud that yes, Trump violated his oath and should be removed from office.
“Do not, as my party did, underestimate the evil, desperate nature of evil, desperate people,” Egan quoted from Rick Wilson’s new book, Running Against the Devil. “There is no bottom. There is no shame. There are no limits.”
Egan closed with two steps that are now required of all good people in this country: “First, realize the level of depravity that has taken over the White House, and second, fight accordingly.”