We’ve made a mistake. All of us. Those who voted for November’s result have been condemned, heckled, and mocked with a desperate fervor that suggests we fear, or know, that they cannot be held solely culpable. The nature of a democracy, even one as long-compromised as ours, is that all play a role in the construction of political reality. Our current reality is this: The president of the United States is a bigot, a fool, and a pig. Even against the backdrop of a political history populated by more louts and degenerates than we often care to acknowledge, the oafishness and odiousness of our current head of state feels inescapably significant. Our leaders and pundits offer explanations for what has happened that seem safely peripheral: in the election we are told to see the fruits of a crisis in American manners, a crisis of political partisanship, or a failure to address the needs of this or that particular group of Americans. There may well be truth to some or all of these contentions. But the strangeness of our current situation suggests that we ought to inquire as to the health of the American project itself.