KADNER: The year of Trump now turns into an era

SHARE KADNER: The year of Trump now turns into an era
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President-elect Donald Trump waits to step out onto the portico for his Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. | Patrick Semansky/AP

This was the year of Donald Trump.

Sworn into office as our 45th president on Jan. 20, 2017, Trump changed this country, perhaps forever.

He would love that description because Trump wants to be remembered as the most important guy ever. If that’s for the best or the worst, it likely doesn’t matter.

It’s impossible to predict with any accuracy what Trump’s impact is going to be in 2018, let alone in the years to come. But I would guess it is going to be huge, tremendous and change the future in ways that no one can foresee — including his backers.

OPINION

Newton’s Third Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Politically speaking, that means people are going to get involved in politics because they want to be proud of America again. They want a country where dreams can come true. They want a government that will be a beacon of hope to people throughout the world.

The people who back Trump may hope those who disagree with them will simply disappear. But that’s not going to happen any more than the Trumpsters are going to vanish once their leader leaves center stage.

That’s right. Just as Ronald Reagan launched a political revolution that led to Trump, there will be another permanent change in the political discourse of this country.

The tax reform passed by Congress will hardly be a footnote when historians write the World According to Trump.

It is now acceptable to say things in public about your political opponents that were considered shameful, ignorant, politically incorrect for decades.

This President has criticized the FBI, CIA, the news media, Democrats, the court system, even his own political party, in ways normally associated with members of radical fringe movements.

He has created “alternative facts” and then insisted they were true when they were proved false.

And it does not matter. The true believers in Donald Trump and what he represents do not care if he ignores the truth because what he says, to them, signifies a deeper truth.

They know there are people working to destroy this country. These are the people who kneel during the national anthem. These are people who wish their neighbors a “Happy Holiday” instead of a Merry Christmas. These are judges who say laws must be obeyed by police officers to toss bad guys in prison, or shoot them, or even put them in a squad car.

And you know what? There are people on the other side of this debate who believe the Trump supporters are just as wrong and evil.

There are still people in the middle. But that group is narrowing because, well, Americans don’t have any patience for fence sitters or people who want to study all the facts.

Intellectuals who read books are jerks.

TV news networks that offer conflicting points of view, or no point of view at all, are boring.

We can get all the news we need from Facebook and Twitter, even if it is actually fake, produced by someone with a political agenda, or a foreign power out to destroy our democracy.

In the Era of Trump, such stuff no longer matters. And so even the enemies of Trump become his disciples.

There is a greater truth. We all know what we believe and do not need experts telling us we are wrong.

As the year 2018 dawns, we step into the future. And it is never what the Past said it was going to be.

Email:philkadner@gmail.com

Send letters to: letters@suntimes.com

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