The Use and Abuse of History

The irrelevance of the past has been a fond illusion of most Americans. When we say “It’s history,” we are consigning some event to oblivion. Our eyes are fixed on the future: With the element of time, as with so many categories of thought, we have erected a frontier toward which we are eternally advancing. The rise to the presidency of Donald Trump blew up that illusion. Trump was an impossibility that needed to be explained. One explanation might have portrayed him as a political mutant—a freak selected by the public to be a weapon in its revolt against the … Continue reading The Use and Abuse of History