Trump Forced Washington to Confront Its Failures

The election is becoming a test of public support for the Washington consensus.

A former Reagan administration official had just one piece of advice for me before the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “Watch it with the sound off,” he suggested—not because he disapproved of what the two candidates would say, although he did, but because what most viewers would take away from the debate wouldn’t be an argument or policy but just a visual impression.

I didn’t heed my friend’s advice—I kept the sound on—but the visual contrast between Clinton and Trump was nonetheless striking.