The story of Diogenes the Cynic, looking for an honest man, or more accurately, looking for an exemplar of humanity, reminds me of our quest today. We need to look for a Republican. I am not one. But I know in my heart there must be one out there somewhere. In the spew of fecal fertilizer that is blasted over hill and dale from those who claim to be Republicans, I have to hang my head and say, "I can find none."

But there have to be some who can stand and walk past the smoke and mirrors and be exemplars of what Republicans are, and can be. Yet alas, I see no one standing up and striding forth through the blasts of buffoonery and take the mantle of maturity amidst daily idiocracy.

I long for the days when I could have a quiet, civil, and good-spirited interchange with a thoughtful Republican. Take Bill Kristol for instance. In an articulate and substantive debate, he would mop the floor with me. I welcome being that mop, if only someone like Bill Kristol could, or would, be the exemplar that can quiet some of the misanthropic miscreants, and show this country of lost souls that a good Republican is not an oxymoron.

The orange gorgon fever dream has to stop somewhere. Have we become so cynical that we are beginning to believe that the lava of lies cannot be stopped and the inertia of the deplorables is bound to doom our democratic experiment? Is there no Perseus?

My hands are wringing and my hope is finding no root. Why can't our good of the left and right Czech our bags of verbal vitriol at the door and gird ourselves against the horde of horribles that are taking our country to the edge of insanity?

I have no answer. I am daunted and dumb. I want to wake up to a morning of a different light, but the darkness is still far from the dawn.

To all of you who are full of ultimatums and self-priority: All of us are better than any one of us. Let's back-burner our personal boxes of soap and see the full-on beast in front of our face and say, "You are a beast. I will not be afraid of you. Leave me." We need to unshackle ourselves from the PTSD of the last six years and leave everything else behind except our commitment to commonality and consanguinity...and of course, bring home the head of Medusa.

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You write about "putting lipstick on the Trumpian wildebeest." I respectfully submit that what they are trying to do is put lipstick on the Trumpian warthog.

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Idiocracy is a good, accessible word. But I still prefer kakistocracy which hints at not just stupidity, but also malevolence.

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OMG! Charlie, your daily columns are a treasure, but your Sunday ones outdo them all because of your mailbag. These emails from your readers give me HOPE! (Also, please have someone from the Bulwark nominate you for a Pulitzer Prize in Commentary. You have no equal!)

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Guys! Charlie said our comments were “lively and diverse!” I FEEL SEEN ❤️

Also- it shouldn’t matter what political spectrum you come from if both sides are intelligent & making smart critiques from a good place. Fellow libs, please consider following these steps when debating a conservative with whom you disagree:

1) Listen to their points before jumping down their throats.

2) Ask questions to clarify their positions.

3) Try to find a point with which you both agree even if it has to be incredibly broad.

4) Say your points w/out name calling, use facts from good sources (don’t just link to HUFF POST for crying out loud), and try to stay calm.

5) If it turns out they are a crazy MAGA in disguise, just slowly walk away or bang loud pots and pans and try to appear bigger than you actually are.

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In respect of the VA Congressional race, if the itch is bothering Mr. Riggleman, he should definitely scratch it in the next primary.

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Democracy sure is messy.

Any reader of the Bulwark or subcriber to the Bulwark has already shown their level of intellectual acumen simply by showing up. They are involved citizens looking for honest information.

Personally, I fear that many of the folks that need to be convinced of the seriousness of what is coming our way in 2022 are simply too disengaged, unaware, insulated, or otherwise "safe" from the consequences of their inaction.

I tend to align with JVL in most of the analysis of the current political world and there are just too many ignorant (meant in the neutral way) citizens.

I have hope, but I accept reality.

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anti-Trumpism is, of course, less an idea or set of principles that it is a cult against a personality and series of angry impulses. But even the ugliest movements have their pseudo-philosophers and their rationalizers.

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