I probably disagree with Dinesh D'Souza on the vast majority of things, but that article was definitely spot on. All told, America will probably go down in history as one of if not the most "virtuous" superpowers in history. We've made our mistakes, sure, and we have our faults. I am a vociferous critic of our country on a number of fronts, but I can absolutely appreciate that relative to our peers we've done a bang-up job. Our (recent) misguided wars were just that: misguided. Which is a fair sight better than malicious. Historically we've been more racist than your average European nation, but only by a little and recently we've made great strides towards intending to do better, whether we're fully succeeding or not. And etc. So props to the article, even if it's the last time this year he says anything I agree with.
As for the Donald, I've had a number of heated arguments (on their side) with people who share my leftward lean but disagree about whether Donald Trump is a racist. Or a sexist. Every Democrat is convinced he is, it seems, except me. My contention has been all along that he isn't a bigot, he just inadvertently acts like on because he is above all else a narcissist. His one core belief in his heart of hearts appears from all the evidence I've seen to be that he is better than everyone else in the world, period. In Trump-brain, Donald Trump is the Platonic Ideal of humankind.
The logical outgrowth of this view is that the farther one deviates from Donald Trump, the more imperfect one is. Donald likes whites better than non-whites, men better than women, people of non-fundamentalist Christian heritage better than those of other sects, the rich better than the poor, celebrities better than the unknown, the brash better than the restrained, and so on for every aspect of his background and personality. We all have this urge, the natural inclination towards groups we consider ourselves a part of. It's just turned up to 11 in our president, and the result is... distasteful. I'm gonna go with distasteful, because the goal here is to share ideas, not hurl insults.
Of course, there's competing moral arguments as to whether it is better to be inadvertently bigoted due to narcissism, or whether it's worse to be an outright bigot. Prior to seeing Donald in action for the past three years, I would've surely argued (and did, for a while) that being supremely self-absorbed was a far smaller sin than bigotry. Now though, I dunno. The narcissism also leads to the compulsive lying, since admitting that he was wrong or that there is a reality in which he is not perfect is antithetical to his core beliefs. And the lying is a pretty big deal.
And for my money, his war on objective truth (meaning facts that both sides of any argument, political or otherwise can agree on before starting a debate) is easily the most destructive legacy of his time in office so far. Sure, some amount of it is that he isn't very articulate, and he fails to clearly highlight his points of disagreement with the mainstream narrative. This explains things like his contention that only a handful of people died in Puerto Rico: he's trying to dispute the way in which the post-storm death toll is tallied, he's just doing so rather incoherently. And sometimes he quotes numbers, percentages and the like that are inaccurate, but only because he isn't sure what they are off the top of his head. "True but not accurate" kind of stuff. No one cares if you round someone's batting average up from .298 to .300 to make a point on a baseball blog. It's far more problematic if you're president because he's often quoting statistics where accuracy matters, but laziness is a minor sin.
What's most troubling is that there are times, far too many times, that he simply makes things up off the cuff that have no grounding in reality. Claiming that millions of people voted illegally in the election, blatantly lying about what is or isn't included in hugely important constructs like the Iran nuclear deal, NAFTA, the ACA, the Paris climate accords, his recent limp-wristed handshake deal with North Korea. There's his penchant for claiming that we are living in historic times, that everything is the best, the worst, the biggest ever! We were at an all-time low for every metric under Obama, and then the second Trump arrived we were made great again overnight by his... uhm, presence, I guess. Best job numbers, lowest unemployment, best stock market, largest tax cut, on and on. Who cares that none of those are true (well okay, the stock market if you squint and tilt your head juuust right), that the Great Depression once happened, that the recovery started under Obama and continued essentially unaltered under Trump. His poll numbers are higher than anyone ever, even Abe Lincoln! And then there's his willingness to blatantly lie for political gain, to make things up out of whole cloth that are clearly not true. Obama was born in Kenya, Ted Cruz's dad killed Kennedy, Hillary Clinton is a hardened criminal, and Bob Mueller and Rod Rosenstein are democrats.
This isn't a NE Patriots "he cheats because he wants to win more than everyone else does" situation. This is a man whose disregard for facts and truth is so fundamental to his character that he has made it impossible to have even the simplest political discourse in this country. We were polarizing already, but Trump's incessant assault on the national dialogue has pushed us into dangerous, possibly irreparable territory. We can't trust the government and we don't trust each other. That's one surefire way to kill a democracy. And so long as it makes him feel good about himself, lets him reaffirm his place at the center of the universe, our commander in chief really doesn't care.