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I mean, don't get me wrong, "President Trump" is like a Stephen King character or something. I don't like him.

On a personal note, though, I grew up in what was probably the most institutionally liberal place and time to ever exist - the East San Francisco Bay Area in the last part of the last century. I was raised with progressive values which I hold dear. However, I have seen over and over again how easy it is to twist those values into something that looks more like a conservative religion than a society with freedom of thought and conscience. So I have a real leeriness of what looks like entrenched dogma, and to me that was what Clinton and the DNC represented.

But you actually do speak to some of my hopefulness when you talk about the question of "permanent damage". Not that I want permanent damage! Let me explain:

I think Trump is doing damage, yes. However, I actually think that the benefit of it may be in its very impermanence.

As someone who wants systemic reform, I think this presidency is showing us where we are weak. Showing which systems are too easy to corrupt or destroy, challenging entrenched views, and exposing cultural rifts. If society is a social organism, then the function of pain is to indicate damage. And much of that damage was already there... Trump is just exacerbating it.

Barring the possibility that left-wing fervor drives the center towards the right in the next election, we won't have Trump for much longer. But we will have the legacy of being shaken up and shown what we need to fix.

The most truly lasting damage I think he has already inflicted is in diminishing America's presence as the global hegemon... but even in the case of things like climate change, this may drive other nations to take action of their own accord without relying on the United States, and I'm not sure that's a bad thing.