Point of View: Cacastocracy?

David Brooks wrote the other day about his fear that America might soon become a kakistocracy, and, of course, I had to look the word up. Derived from ancient Greek, it means, our dog-eared Webster’s dictionary tells us, “government by the worst men.”

I had been thinking along the lines of caca, and cacastocracy, and hadn’t, as it turned out, been far off the mark, but for some reason, perhaps because I remain an optimist in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, I tend not to agree with the columnist’s dour outlook for the year 2019.

Trump, he seems to think, when it all comes down, will, like a wounded wild boar (my analogy), run roughshod over everyone, over the Constitution, the rule of law, common decency, all that.

Will there be sages the likes of Archibald Cox, Elliot Richardson, and Judge John Sirica (he could also have included in that number Sam Ervin, Howard Baker, and Peter Rodino) of Watergate fame to stand up to him, and, in so doing, reassert the equilibrium that our system of checks and balances intends?

Or will we be thrown — a likelihood in his view — to the wolves of party loyalty, ideological fervor, and general calumny?

And yet, and yet. . . . When the chips were down, a fellow East Hamptoner reminded me at a holiday party not long ago, Americans tended in critical moments to put their shoulders to the wheel and to do, in concert, the right thing.

We were talking about countering East Hampton Airport’s pollution (the airport itself being a Depression-era offspring of that can-do spirit), but his assertion can be applied to the amelioration of any number of ills, whether environmental or societal, that cry for attention.

I am an optimist and I believe him, not the dour David. People of good sense will stand up, sweet reason will win the day, that’s my New Year’s prediction.