This is what Donald Trump’s critics feared most. A nation on the brink of emergency. A moment when his half-truths and bumbling could have deadly consequences.
But the arrival of the new coronavirus is not just a test of the president’s leadership. It’s a test of the whole fractured, paranoid culture that elevated him to power.
It’s a test of our increasingly brittle bonds.
We live in a moment of profound distrust. Of deep suspicion of the “other side.” What we believe is less and less a matter of hard evidence — or shared national values — and more and more a byproduct of our increasingly rigid political allegiances.