Tod wrote an essay for the Desert Sun about the year that was 2016:
What had we become? What was there left to say? Who, in their right mind, would want to lead us?
“The center was not holding,” Joan Didion wrote in Slouching Towards Bethlehem nearly fifty years ago, but she could have been talking about today, about yesterday, about the last twelve months of our republic. “It was a country of bankruptcy notices and public-auction announcements and commonplace reports of casual killings and misplaced children and abandoned homes and vandals who misspelled even the four-letter words they scrawled.” These words of Didion’s are a comfort though, when you think about it, because what Didion was describing – the year 1967 – sounded like the end of the American experiment, when in fact it was just another year that seemed impossible, that we somehow got through.