Down, down, down on the escalator he went four years ago this day, gliding from the ground floor to the basement of 721 Fifth Ave.
Down, down, down, he continues to drag the nation with lies and abuses of power and petty cruelties and indignities, dividing America internally while inviting foreign help in the next election after what should have been an agonizing education about getting it in the last one.
Our June 17, 2015 editorial in this space called Donald Trump America’s very own Naked Cowboy.
We admit it: Knowing him as well as we did over so many years, as a bloviating developer-huckster nobody ever trusted far enough to throw, we were among those who did not take him seriously.
We didn’t anticipate his electoral rise. We didn’t see what millions of voters saw in him.
But we did see, we still do see, the raw truth about the man, which reveals itself every day he purports to lead the United States.
That he mistakes swaggering boasts for achievements.
That he builds up bogus bogeymen, be they Muslims or Mexicans or people from “shithole countries” or Democrats.
That he foments foaming rage against the press.
That he asserts ever more unaccountable authority for the office he occupies.
That he talks about cutting deals, then forecloses the possibility of compromise by acting like an ignoramus.
That he hides his own financial records, to keep any conflicts secret.
That at home he is consumed by keeping enemies lists.
That overseas he has a soft spot for authoritarians.