What Did You Do During the Political War, Daddy?

Years from now, when some young person, maybe your own kid or grandkid, asks you, What was it like living through the Trump presidency, and what did you do about it? what will you say?

That’s going to be a tough question for many of our Republican friends. I imagine it’ll elicit a lot of hemming and hawing—about Hillary’s emails, the Supreme Court, and so forth. If you’re a Democrat, and your answer is, I was traumatized, I stopped following the news, I felt America was hopelessly screwed, I tended my own garden—well, that’s not a good answer either.

But since you’re reading this, and are therefore probably a regular reader of the Washington Monthly and washingtonmonthy.com, it’s safe to assume that you have a better answer. At the very least, during the first nightmarish year of the Trump administration, you performed the basic duty of citizenship and kept up with current affairs, no matter how disturbing.

And my guess is you did way more than that. Chances are you forwarded scores of stories you read here and in other outlets to your family and friends to keep them informed or challenge their thinking. Perhaps you contributed your own thoughts in our comments section, or emailed us story tips (if so, thanks, keep it up!). If you live in places like Virginia or New Jersey, you almost certainly voted in the off-year elections this month—and if you don’t live in those places, maybe you donated to the campaigns of candidates there, many of whom had never run for office before. If so, you have reason to be proud.

The truth is, despite the dire situation in our country—indeed, because of that dire situation—we are living through a renaissance of democratic activism. Average Americans all over the country are informing themselves and mobilizing in ways we’ve not seen in decades. Where it’s all headed no one can say for sure. What we do know is that this is a time of testing. All of us will have to answer for what we did, or didn’t do, to fight the insanity and help set a better course for the nation.

Here at the Washington Monthly, we’re trying to do our part. Every day our online writers—Nancy Letourneau, Martin Longman, and their colleagues—are providing you with analysis and commentary on breaking news that is informative, brilliant, and unique. And in our print magazine, our writers and editors are doing what they do better than any group of journalists operating today: looking under the surface and over the horizon for the problems and the solutions that the rest of the press and the political class should be talking about but aren’t—about how to bring back economic growth in the middle 90 percent of the country, how to think correctly about regulation, how to reform our electoral system, and how to really drain the swamp in DC.

If you think the work we’re doing is valuable and important, there’s something you can do to help: make a donation during the fundraising drive we’re conducting over the next 10 days. In fact, do it right now. Give whatever you can—$10, $20, $30, $50, $100, $1000—and for a limited time only your contribution will be matched, dollar for dollar, thanks to a generous challenge grant we’ve received from three respected foundations. Your contributions to the Washington Monthly are vital, tax-deductible, and much appreciated.

Paul Glastris

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly.