Sidney Plotkin

This great progressive intellectual saw America trapped between competing impulses — which Trump embodies perfectly

President Donald J. Trump is stuck in a frustrating contradiction -- and his intractable government shutdown pulled the rest of us along to suffer it with him. To assuage his “base” by evoking a barbaric aversion to immigrants, Trump demands a wall along America’s southern border. On this point, he refuses to budge, save by restoring immigrant protections that he himself revoked. That supposed offer to end the shutdown was one Trump expected Democrats to accept, for he surely wouldn’t open the government first.

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