The Best And Worst Of America

This week showcased the best and worst of America. American Olympians continued to dominate and inspire in Rio while, back home, the flailing and failing Trump campaign unveiled Trump 2.0. On Tuesday, just hours after saying he would not pivot and proclaiming “I am who I am,” Trump named a new campaign manager and a new campaign CEO. The result? A prepared speech two days later in which he expressed “regret” for the “personal pain” he’s caused, and blamed it on “the heat of debate.” This is a man who has to pay people to tell him how to exhibit even a minimal level of decency and maturity. But you can’t rebrand depravity. As Trump himself said, he is who he is — no matter what script some new employee loads onto his teleprompter.

Maybe that $2 billion in free media attention is finally coming back to bite him: Too much of America now knows exactly who he is, which accounts for the dismal poll numbers that obviously prompted his “regret” — the desperate last ditch effort of a car salesman as you’re walking out the door. Meanwhile, we saw the best of America in Rio, which Trump tellingly, though not surprisingly, has failed to acknowledge in his ample Twitter feed. It’s not just that the effort ran contrary to his bitter message that America can’t win, but that the America that won — a diverse, hopeful, inclusive America that looks like the future — is the one he wants to erase.