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One year later...

By Leonard Pitts Jr., Tribune Content Agency on

One year later, the man who asked African Americans "what the hell" they had to lose by voting for him, is praised by tiki-torch-wielding white supremacists -- "very fine people," he says -- and his name is chanted as a racist taunt by white mobs.

One year later, we live in a state of perpetual nuclear standoff, a Cuban Missile Crisis that never ends.

But hey, at least the stock market is doing well. Of course, it did well under President Obama, too, but nobody seems to remember that.

Not that a bull market mitigates -- or even addresses -- the sense of ongoing upheaval, of constant chaos, that have become our new American norm. This guy is flat-out exhausting.

Give him this much, though. He has banished apathy, made fools of those people who once declared with pontifical certitude that we should "blow up" the system and said voting didn't matter because there was no difference between the parties. More, he's galvanized a powerful resistance that has claimed upset victories from Alabama to Wisconsin and left Gumby-spined Republicans looking over their shoulders. That resistance might even save this country, assuming the guy leaves us anything to save.

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If that sounds bleak, well, that's where we stand. Indeed, one year later, both our despair and our hope are encompassed in the same five syllables.

One down. Three to go.

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(Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132. Readers may contact him via e-mail at lpitts@miamiherald.com.)

 

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