Jonathan Kirshner: “America, America”

Mourning and melancholy after the defeat:  ‘We will now find out. The social experiment on which we are embarking is a treacherous one, from which it will not prove easy to recover. Trump promises a revolution.  Trump promises a revolution … Still, even the rhetorical invocation of “revolution” is yet another in an overflowing field of red flags about the danger to our democracy. Americans can have a soft spot for “revolution,” since our war of independence from the British Empire was so nifty. But most revolutions are not. They are usually overtaken by their most extreme elements, spiral beyond the control of the principled, and lead to the collapse of social order and gratuitous and senseless bloodletting. “Reckless audacity came to be understood as the courage of a loyal supporter; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice,” Thucydides described, recounting conditions on the eve of the corpse-strewn Corcyraean Revolution.’

‘We have lost, we are lost. Not an election, but a civilization. Where does that leave us? I think the metaphor is one of (political) resistance.’