Brace Yourself for Donald Trump’s Chaotic 2019

Even by the standards of the Trump administration, the closing months of 2018 have put American democracy in turmoil. In the lead-up to the midterms, Republicans stoked nativist fears about immigration and doubled down on voter suppression techniques—purging hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls in states like Ohio and Georgia, for example, and making it extremely difficult for Native Americans to provide voter I.D. in North Dakota. On Election Day, the country rebuked the GOP and its president by putting Democrats back in charge of the House of Representatives. But within a few weeks, the GOP was shamelessly stripping power from incoming Democratic governors. It’s maddening and frustrating, and next year promises even more relentless attacks on our democratic norms.

Congressional Democrats have promised to wield their subpoena power to hold Donald Trump accountable for his lies and misdeeds. The president, in turn, says that he will assume a “war-like posture” if the opposition party investigates his administration. It seems just fitting that 2019 will begin with the government still shut down.

Here at the Washington Monthly, we are working to help make sense of what is happening in American politics, bringing you up-to-date analysis on everything from the latest Obamacare lawsuit to Trump’s decision to entirely withdraw from Syria. But we are also engaged in a bigger project: combatting Trump’s ongoing assault on democracy and generating policies that will improve the country. We’ve explored how letting people vote at home bolsters turnout and prevents suppression; we’ve chronicled one political operative’s efforts to make climate change into an election-winning issue; we’ve laid out a simple plan for reducing health care costs by a third or more without disrupting anyone’s existing insurance.

I joined the Monthly this year because I wanted to be part of an organization that takes our collective political frustration and channels it into something productive. I have the benefit of working with a team of incredible editors and writers. But it’s a small team, and as a nonprofit, nothing we do would be possible without the generosity of our readers. As we gear up for another year of covering politics and policy in the age of Trump, we need your support.

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Daniel Block

Daniel Block is an editor at the Washington Monthly.