February 16 2017
The high pitch of protests against Donald Trump's fledgling presidency makes birtherism, the easily pilloried and also easily disprovable opposition movement to President Obama, look mild by comparison. Trump fever seems to be seeping into every nook and cranny of the progressive mind.
The other day a distracted liberal friend told me she wanted to buy a blouse on sale "at Trump--I mean Nordstrom's." The obsession is not healthy. Commentary's Jonathan Tobin believes we're veering into very dangerous territory:
The idea that Donald Trump is now inexorably on a path to impeachment has taken almost gleeful hold in the wake of the Michael Flynn resignation among liberal elites and anti-Trumpers generally—and everybody better stop and take a deep breath and consider what might arise from this. This isn’t fire we’re playing with, it’s a nuclear war.
. . .
I am myself unnerved by the evidence of high-level lawlessness in the Flynn matter, but a “coup d’etat” refers specifically to a military ouster of a leader, not a leak-driven campaign using the press to nail someone. This is sure to persist, though, if the Flynn-Russia matter accelerates—and if the reluctant House and Senate do begin investigating the matter in earnest. If the language surrounding the investigation remains florid and purple, if Democrats try to please their Trump-hating constituents by screaming impeachment and liberal media tries to garner audience by jumping openly and vociferously on the bandwagon, the Trumpians will respond in kind by stirring the pot through their media and their argumentation.
The result might well be violence. Not rhetorical violence. Actual violence. Actual political violence. Actual conflicts between anti-Trumpers and Trumper.
Might well be violence? Take a look at Berkeley.
You'd never know from the shrillness of the opposition that Trump won the election or that millions of people are pulling for him and the want to see his campaign promises fulfilled. Doesn't Trump deserve a more loyal and less threatening opposition?
But I am not sure how representative the protests are. Mary Eberstadt has a terrific essay in Time over the divide between The Resistance (which, regrettably, borrows the name of the nobler French Resistance, when resisters took actual risks) and other Americans who'd like to give the president a chance. Mary writes:
I’ve been filtering some of this recent news through my sister, a Trump voter. Non-religious and a registered Independent, she’s a nurse, mother, and recent grandmother who lives in northern upstate New York. Her take is very different from that of people who cheer today’s burgeoning anti-Trump protests as some kind of Progressive Spring.
She wonders whether the demonstrators have jobs – and if so, what kind would allow them to spend so much time in the streets. She wonders why they seem to have nothing better to do than keep other people (Schumer and Trump) from doing their jobs.
About footage of the Women’s March, she asked how so many people had the financial wherewithal to travel to Washington, D.C., and spend the weekend there. She noted that many marchers seem well-heeled (literally: lots of UGG boots). She is baffled-to-disgusted by the Women’s March vernacular — especially the promiscuous use of words that she wouldn’t want her grandkids using, including the one used to describe the emblematic pink hats.
Pop in your red ear-buds, rather than your blue ones, and some of the cultural noise out there sounds very different from what supporters of today’s demonstrations are hearing.
The protests reveal a class divide. It’s about people who worry more about snow tires than heteronormativity; about the kinds of places where policemen are thought of as sons and brothers, not as targets for assault; about women who think inter-generationally first, and intersectionally second — if at all.
CNN commentator Sally Kohn has even come up with a way to impeach Donald Trump and make Hillary Clinton president after all through a circuitous route. Remember those peaceful days when Mitch McConnell merely wanted to legitimately oppose President Obama's policies in Congress and thus make him a one-term president? The innocence of those days seems very far behind us, doesn't it?