The past 100 days have confirmed the obvious fact that President Trump is comprehensively unfit to hold public office. This reality is privately acknowledged among political and policy professionals in both parties–including by many who serve within the Trump administration itself. It’s still hard to believe that we elected a grifting, alt-right demagogue to our highest national office. I certainly presumed America was better than that, that the traditional guardrails of our political system would protect us. Apparently, we are not, and these guardrails turned out to be weaker than we thought.
France faced a rather similar dilemma heading into this week’s election. French political leaders’ handling of this challenge provides an aching reminder of what might have been.