If you want an example of how American politics have departed from traditional norms to introduce an element of Third World Strongman unreality into our discourse, look no further than what just happened to Medicaid.

Step 1: Campaign on a promise not to cut Medicaid
Step 2: Cut almost a trillion dollars from Medicaid
Step 3: Insist that cutting almost a trillion dollars from Medicaid made it better (alternate excuse: they're not "cuts", they're ways to give states "more flexibility" – presumably the flexibility to kick a lot of people off Medicaid)

And of course it will work. Millions of die-hards, many of whom have no meaningful idea of what Medicaid is or how it works, will from this day forward insist to their last breath that not a penny was cut from it, or any cuts that might have happened made it way better.

It gets sadder by the day that so many voters in this country could not figure out what the French were able to: that a choice between a bad candidate and a candidate who literally threatens the basic institutions of democracy to increase his or her odds of being able to establish authoritarian rule is an important choice and one worth making.