Welcome and welcome back.
Nine years after the abrupt end of its run at the Washington Post, White House Watch is back as an independent website.
Despite the abundance of Trump coverage, I see two ways it can add value above the din:
- By relentlessly putting Trump’s incremental actions in their proper, alarming context as an ongoing, corrupt assault on pluralism, shared truths, and core liberal democratic values; and
- By convening an ongoing online dialogue about what we need to do once Trump is gone, with an emphasis on strengthening our democracy and curbing executive branch powers that have grown unchecked.
We can’t allow this to become the new normal. So how do we restore pre-Trump expectations? And having learned some very painful lessons, how do we apply them to rebalance and reenergize our democracy?
I don’t have the answers, but I’m excited about asking the questions and reporting what I hear.
In addition to multiple postings using the latest news as a point of departure, I’ll do my own reporting and interviews. I’ll talk to experts about the weakening of the checks and balances intended to protect us from tyranny, and how to strengthen them. I’ll review literature on key topics, especially related to the violation and restoration of norms. I’ll experiment with online annotation of articles, essays and white papers. Depending on the site’s budget, there could be podcasts and even teach-ins.
I’m also intent on offering a megaphone to the growing community of groups and individuals already focused on the work of restoring and protecting democratic principles. The endless scandals, outrages and distractions of the Trump era have robbed them of the national attention they deserve. White House Watch will work with them on internet time to inject their important perspective into the daily political discourse.
The original White House Watch resonated more strongly with readers than anything I’ve done since.
To do it again, though, I’m going to need your help. Please participate. That means brainstorming about the subjects at hand. It also means telling me what the site can do better and needs to fix, or change.
Spread the word. Share widely. And please consider supporting White House Watch through donations of money or services. White House Watch has a hybrid business model that includes some institutional support and some private support, so If you’re a like-minded group, let’s work together. Please donate here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.