…to expend energy exploring the implications of the so-called “Age of Trump” is to engage in a fool’s errand. Trump’s antics serve to obscure the real story. Indeed, in a fundamental sense, the Trump phenomenon represents the embodiment of “fake news.”
The real story is this: Ours is an “Age of Autonomy,” in which received norms—the basis of freedom as my grandmother understood the term—are losing their authority. This is notably the case with regard to norms that derive from religious tradition. How and whether the forces displacing those norms—science, the market, Big Data, social media—will foster a durable basis for a morally grounded community is at present impossible to foresee.
Yet this much is for sure. Long after Trump has retired to Mar-a-Lago, the revolution that predates his rise to prominence will continue, with implications far outweighing anything he—or any other president—may do. Someday even the New York Times may notice.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) June 3, 2017