Before long the Right will need to reunify, so let’s not burn any bridges.
How is the Right going to work together as a coalition after Trump?
In short: If you want to win, you need allies. And if you want to survive losses, you need friends. You always will.
The second group for whom there is a rational explanation is those who emerged for the first time as voices in the Trump era, and fear that they won’t be able to continue if a New Normal sets in. Trump was the first leader of the Republican party in my lifetime that a large segment of the conservative commentariat could not stomach at all. Driving a lot of established and talented people into opposition, or at least personal opposition of the party leader, created a vacuum: There were still pro-Trump messages to be carried, and too few people to carry them. As in any era, some of the people who jumped on those opportunities are shrewd folks with something worthwhile to say. But others just got jobs because jobs needed doing, like the NFL replacement players in 1987 who found themselves out of work again when the strike ended.
Every time Mr. Medford dips into the political debate — either with strangers on Facebook or friends in New York and Los Angeles — he comes away feeling battered by contempt and an attitude of moral superiority.
.. “There are at least some things about Trump I find to be defensible. But they are saying: ‘Agree with us 100 percent or you are morally bankrupt. You’re an idiot if you support any part of Trump.’ ”
.. But that momentum is provoking an equal and opposite reaction on the right.
.. conservative voters said they felt assaulted by what they said was a kind of moral Bolshevism — the belief that the liberal vision for the country was the only right one. Disagreeing meant being publicly shamed.
.. Protests and righteous indignation on social media and in Hollywood may seem to liberals to be about policy and persuasion. But moderate conservatives say they are having the opposite effect, chipping away at their middle ground and pushing them closer to Mr. Trump.
.. “They are complaining that Trump calls people names, but they turned into some mean people.”
.. Yet many seemingly persuadable conservatives say that liberals are burning bridges rather than building them.
.. Many experts compare today with the 1960s and the Vietnam War protests. That period was far more violent but culminated in a landslide victory for Richard Nixon in 1972, after he famously appealed to the “silent majority,” who he believed resented what they saw as disrespect for American institutions.
.. And for many Trump voters, even peaceful protests are unsettling.
.. But she has drifted away from the party over what she said was a move from its middle-class economic roots toward identity politics.
.. “The Democratic Party has changed so much that I don’t even recognize it anymore,” she said. “These people are destroying our democracy. They are scarier to me than these Islamic terrorists. I feel absolutely disgusted with them and their antics. It strengthens people’s resolve in wanting to support President Trump. It really does.”
.. he has high marks among moderates who lean Republican: 70 percent approve, while 20 percent disapprove.