I was hoping for a brief moment that the political illiteracy of Trump would bring about a rejuvenation of genuine political activity among both politicians and the public (including compromise and movement toward synthesis creating some unity and its strengths); that the mania for entertainment would give way to sustained, coherent, respectable political and social engagement. Knowing American culture well, I wasn’t going to bet on this of course. Nonetheless, I could hope — couldn’t I. But it becomes increasingly clear, entertainment and the titillation of scandal is going to continue to blot out genuine, restorative political activity and engagement. David Brooks closes his op-ed with a quote from Trump that may very well be right — although as a long-time target of the FBI, I have no doubt about this agency’s abilities and interests to create fake news and enflame the public with grossly exaggerated and deliberate demonizations about individuals and circumstances (as in the Fairfield, CT, area the FBI has persuaded any number of individuals, many with advanced degrees, that I am a suspected terrorist who is a threat to patrons and staff at local libraries and stores, q. v., my lawsuits at Federal and Connecticut websites with Henry Berry as plaintiff). Besides Trump’s remark quoted by Brooks — surprisingly complex, acute, and relevant for Trump — I look to Putin’s observation about what is going on — namely, a characteristic and predictable phenomenon signaling once again the essentially batty nature of politics in a decrepit America which is both an amusement and alarm to the rest of the world.