Democracy is a very bad form of government…but all the others are so much worse.
Enough is a heartening reminder that somehow, and so far, we are managing to preserve our Democracy, ever embattled and direly threatened though it remains. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’s chief aide, twenty-five-year-old Cassidy Hutchinson, working at lofty levels in the Trump White House, soon directed by the problematic Meadows to become “my eyes and ears” and hence afforded access to, and direct knowledge of, crucial behavior of Trump and his key people, gives us here what might usefully be called a psychological drama of miracles which sustain our Republic, a State Ben Franklin described as such–what he and the other Founders had fashioned–and the fate of which depended on his and future generations of Americans’ ability to keep it alive. As he famously explained, “A Republic…if you can keep it.”
Enough is Hutchinson’s memoir of her youthful life to and just beyond her famous, incriminating testimony in the House January 6 investigations.
Probably the most frequent accolade for her now is: Bravery. It is virtually an understatement. We all owe this young woman.
To their credit, publisher Simon and Schuster, I am confident, gave considerable editorial support to Hutchinson. Her book-cover portrait must have been sourced by da Vinci’s famous painting. Her narrative skillfully takes the present tense in portions of great excitement and overwhelming events. Careful selectivity is shown in emphasizing childhood and teen episodes which anticipate and illuminate later key outcomes in her White House days and during her appearances for Congressional testimony. Enough is a good read.
I say that with the deep realization that literary appraisal is hardly the central point about Enough.
The main point is this: Cassidy Hutchinson suffered disillusionment and fear–she suffered greatly–and overcame them (obviously a great rarity in the Trump “Administration”).
–She was a mere kid at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
–Her girlhood dreams had been realized almost incredibly, given her job with Meadows.
–All the natural tendncies toward loyalty–a grateful loyalty–to Trump and his Prominents were powerful and obviously in play within her in her early days at the White House.
–Trump charmed her at the beginning, complimenting her diligent and very useful work in a few asides.
–She was a player in a place of Great Power.
–When she began to understand the Trumpian effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, she felt very much alone in her irresistible concern that her first obligation was to the Contitution and, indeed, our Democracy. (Remarkable and heartening.)
–When she was out of work following the Biden victory, she was financially in trouble–going back to her parents wasn’t a real option–and then, to shorten the story, she was unable to find a lawyer willing to work pro bono when she learned of the likelihood of a formal summons for Congressional testimony. For obvious reasons, she did not want to ask for a “Trump World” lawyer given the inevitable assumptions about “loyalty.”
–She did finally obtain excellent pro bono representation but experienced great fear and trembling on the several occasions she testified. (Liz Cheney helped Hutchinson greatly).
–She feared for her post-testimony safety, as did the generous law firm which supported her. That firm financed security measures, including her removal to a safe location outside Washington, DC.
As Liz Cheney sums it up in a cover endorsement:
(Cassidy Hutchinson’s) superiors–men many years older–a number of them are hiding behind executive privilege, anonymity, and intimidation. But her bravery and patriotism…were awesome to behold. Little girls all across this great nation are seeing what it really means to love the country and what it really means to be a patriot.
Enough ends with Hutchinson embracing 97-year-old Alex Butterfield, the lonely-at-the-time man who blew up the Nixon scheme by testifying on Capitol Hill to the existence of “recording devices” in the Presidential office.
Two miracles. Let us hope such never cease.
Buy and read Enough. To say the least: Money well spent.