This program was co-presented by World Affairs and The Commonwealth Club of California.
As Donald Trump seeks the presidency again, one of the country’s most insightful political observers wonders whether American politics has already passed the point of no return in terms of its divided politics and culture and decayed social order.
New York Times columnist Thomas Byrne Edsall, author of the new book “The Point of No Return: American Democracy at the Crossroads,” fears we might be headed over a cliff and argues that the 2016 election of Donald Trump was the most serious threat to the American political system since the Civil War.
In his book, Edsall documents how the Trump years of 2016–2021 negatively impacted the US, in his opinion. He’ll explain the demographic shifts that helped make Trump’s election possible, and describes the racial and ethnic conflict, culture wars, rural/urban divide, diverging economies of red and blue states and the transformation of both the Republican and Democratic parties that have left our politics in a state of permanent hostility.
As the country continues to reckon with the January 6 insurrection and prepares for the 2024 presidential election, Edsall warns that American democracy remains under siege, and that the forces behind Trump’s 2016 election—and the “stop the steal” true believers—have pushed the nation to the brink. Can we step back from it? Please join us as the the prominent columnist explains what might lay ahead.