Insight and justice at the end of the worst year in American political history.

We must be grateful for the smallest of blessings. Last week I saw and heard some things that provided a measure of hope and nuance in these grim and hysterical times. First, in San Francisco I saw two formidable legal teams contesting the guilt or innocence of a homeless Mexican man accused of murder in a case that was pivotal in Donald Trump’s political rise; their work restored any lost faith in the rule of law and American due process. A few days later, in Montgomery, Alabama, in the relics room of the first White House of the Confederacy, over…

Jeff Flake, Val Venis, and enlightenment at the downtown Phoenix Carl’s Jr.

Photo: Getty

The day following Trump’s rally, I talked to Senator Jeff Flake on the phone. I was still in Phoenix, and he was elsewhere in Arizona, and we were talking about decency in American life and American politics when he brought up the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise. “I worry that too many good people are turning away from politics when they see the vitriol that is on display,” he said. “One of the most stark examples is the baseball practice in June. All of the sudden, bullets are being fired at the field. I just remember thinking, ‘Why us? …

Scenes from a debacle in Phoenix.

Photo: Getty

In downtown Phoenix, in the space of a few blocks, there were 15,000 Trump supporters and 10,000 anti-Trump protesters. There were Bikers for Trump and a platoon from the John Brown Gun Club, an anti-fascist group carrying loaded handguns and semiautomatic weapons. There were roving packs of weightlifters wearing pro-Trump attire. There were men in sleeveless Confederate flag jackets, and there was a giant inflated chicken made to look like Donald Trump. There was a man with a megaphone who asserted throughout the afternoon that homosexuals were going to hell, drunk drivers should die, and women who wore skirts deserved…

Dave Eggers

Writer. Founder of McSweeney’s and co-founder of 826 National.

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