Democrats are targeting the “20% of Trump’s voters [who] told exit pollsters they didn’t like him” hoping these reluctant Trump voters will help power a “blue wave” in the 2018 midterms and defeat President Trump in 2020.
One problem with that theory: The left’s nonstop, over-the-top attacks on Trump are not peeling those voters away from him; they are pushing them further into the president’s camp.
In recent weeks, Trump derangement syndrome on the left has reached critical mass.
- First, there was Robert De Niro’s “f— Trump” tirade at the Tony awards, followed by
- Samantha Bee’s calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless c—” on her TV show. Then the owners of the
- Red Hen restaurant threw out White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders because she works for the president, while chanting
- protesters heckled Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant.
- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) added fuel to the fire by openly calling on mobs of left-wing activists to “absolutely harass” Trump officials. Then, there were the countless Trump opponents in the media, Congress and on Twitter who
- compared family separations at the southern border with Nazi Germany, and the
- Time magazine cover depicting Trump staring down heartlessly at a crying migrant girl and implying she was separated from her mother (until it emerged that she had not in fact been separated from her mother). And now come the
- threats to block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before he has even nominated one.
.. How do liberals think that 20 percent of reluctant Trump voters respond to these displays of unbridled contempt? They are outraged not at Trump but at his critics. The unhinged hatred for the president makes these voters almost reflexively defend him.
.. “He’s not a perfect guy; he does some stupid stuff,” he tells the Times. “But when they’re hounding him all the time it just gets old.”
.. Democrats are deluding themselves if they think they lost because of “#NeverHillary” voters who will come home when she is not on the ballot. They lost because they have become a party of coastal liberal elites who have lost touch with millions of ordinary citizens in Middle America — working-class voters who are struggling with factories closing, jobs leaving and an opioid epidemic that is destroying their families. These voters concluded in 2016 that Democrats no longer care about their problems and that Trump does.
.. Spasms of anti-Trump outrage are not going to win them back. If anything, they are confirming these voters’ conclusions that Democrats still don’t get it — and don’t get them. The left’s miasma of contempt may feel cathartic, but it is the best thing that ever happened to Trump. Indeed, it may very well get him reelected.
The conservatives claim to be against outrage culture, but they play the outrage game when it suits them.
They claim double standard when they falsely equate Rosanne Bar with Samantha Bee.
They claim to care about free speech, but are indifferent when the President calls for Samantha Bee to be fired.
Dear Robert De Niro, Samantha Bee and other Trump haters:
I get that you’re angry. I’m angry, too. But anger isn’t a strategy. Sometimes it’s a trap. When you find yourself spewing four-letter words, you’ve fallen into it. You’ve chosen cheap theatrics over the long game, catharsis over cunning. You think you’re raising your fist when you’re really raising a white flag.
You’re right that Donald Trump is a dangerous and deeply offensive man, and that restraining and containing him are urgent business. You’re wrong about how to go about doing that, or at least you’re letting your emotions get the better of you.
When you answer name-calling with name-calling and tantrums with tantrums, you’re not resisting him. You’re mirroring him. You’re not diminishing him. You’re demeaning yourselves.
Many voters don’t hear your arguments or the facts, which are on your side. They just wince at the din.
You permit them to see you as you see Trump: deranged. Why would they choose a different path if it goes to another ugly destination?
.. If you want to make sure that at least one chamber of Congress is a check on Trump, talk to them about that... the Melania madness. Floating the idea that she’s a victim of domestic abuse merely supports Trump’s contention that his critics are reflexive and unfettered in their contempt for him and that all of their complaints should be viewed through that lens.
This was not the first time that Barr has trafficked in social-media racism or directed a simian comparison at an African-American closely connected to the Obama Administration. She has also directed anti-Semitic barbs at George Soros and promoted conspiracy theories pushed by the far left and the far right.
.. Donald Trump, who congratulated Roseanne for her high ratings, said nothing about the egregious racism that led to the show’s cancellation. He did, however, deploy his own hallucinatory sense of victimization. Why, he asked, had ABC not apologized for the “HORRIBLE” things it has said about him? That statement functioned on two levels: first, in implying that the network had tolerated equivalent offenses when directed at him, he deflected the idea that Roseanne had done anything beyond bounds.
.. The second level of Trump’s remark was that, in pointing to his own wounds, he resorted to the aged, reactionary cliché that the real racists are not bigoted whites but, rather, black people who point out said bigotry.
.. She had initially told her more than eight hundred thousand followers not to defend her, but they seem to have persuaded her after all that she had been wronged. “You guys,” she told them, “make me feel like fighting back.”
.. Bee apologized, conceding that her joke had “crossed a line.” Her apology, though, served to highlight the chasm between her contrition and the complete absence of the concept in Trump’s public behavior.
.. Has his antagonism toward norms freed his opponents to flout those same rules, or is it more important than ever that they be upheld?
.. whether Al Franken should have been pushed to resign, given that Trump himself has been accused of far worse behavior
.. Michelle Obama famously noted that “when they go low, we go high,”
.. The question, among hundreds that arose in response to the 2016 election, is, How does that work out in real life?
.. Emily Nussbaum has pointed out, Trump’s insult-comic persona allowed him to portray the groups and the individuals whom he was attacking as dour, humorless marks, who were so fixated on his demise that they treated his jokes as policy statements.
.. The flip side of this has been Trump’s own gossamer-skinned inclinations, the way that he consistently complains about “unfairness” in his Twitter rhetoric. To the outsider, he appears as the classic bully, capable of dishing it out, incapable of taking it.
.. To the truest of his believers, however, he is cast in heroic terms, pointing out his wounds to show how deeply he has suffered on their behalf—a vulgar Jesus showing off his stigmata at the golf club.
.. It has become common to cast Trump as hostile toward democracy, but his hostilities, like his appetites, are far more basic. They are not aimed at undermining democracy but the norms of decency and accountability that make democracy possible.
.. That Roseanne Barr seems to have decided that maybe she was wronged only affirms the wisdom of ABC’s decision. The threat is not that Trumpism will destroy our sense of decency but rather that it may goad Americans into doing it for him.