Ahab had his white whale. Wile E. Coyote has his Road Runner. Charlie Brown had the football that Lucy wouldn’t let him kick, and a lot of other things that made him exclaim “Rats!” And columnist David French has the destruction of President Donald Trump as his obsession. He’s the inverse of that in Germany, which was a minor internet celeb a while back. It became fixated on a tractor. It got some harmless pleasure out of ardently chasing the puttering machine round and round a lawn, but it’s hard to see what French gets out of hatefully hounding Trump in the pages of National Review. The swan’s love fantasies may have filled its head with images of the tractor joining it to glide upon a placid pond or to soar side by side through an azure sky. Maybe it dreamed of little cygnet-tractorling hybrids in some golden-hazed future. What does French imagine will result from his hate fantasies?
Does French share the dreams that progressives have of the Bad Orange Man chained to a wall in Leavenworth to subsist on stale crusts and water from one of AOC’s mythical concentration camp toilets? Does he envision a joyous “Trump Impeachment Day,” with progressives and Never Trumpers merrily conga dancing in the streets? Would French sing “Kumbayah” while hugging Nasty Nadler and Mad Maxine? Will he nod agreement when Elijah Cummings insists that Charlie Brown is a racist for saying “Rats!”? Would he rejoice if, as happened after Watergate, Democrats take power in Washington with a President Jimmy Carter 2.0? Maybe French would just brew himself a nice cup of tea, sit in a comfy chair, tune in MSNBC, and smile as Congress draws up articles of impeachment against President Pence for not personally handcuffing Trump for the perp walk out of the White House.
Why does French hate Trump? He decries the president’s lack of true conservatism as he defines it. Lots of other Republicans don’t match French’s ideal conservative, but he doesn’t chew on their ankles. What really got him going, it seems, is that Trump is reactive. Unlike other Republican politicians, Trump doesn’t smile timidly when attacked for stealing school lunches from starving kids, or for wanting to push granny over a cliff to reduce Medicare spending, or for being BFFs with David Duke. He replies in kind, with details. This goes over well with Hillary Clinton’s irredeemable deplorables. They are tired of being bullied by smug people who insist they are superior beings entitled to rule them because, as once said of the bi-coastal, liberal elite: “We have chef Wolfgang Puck; they have Chef Boyardee.” French prefers a Republican like Jeb! or Romney, who responds to insults with the plastic calm of a men’s store dummy.
French’s opinions have brought him some nasty, threatening criticism. Law enforcement should protect him and all of us from evil people. We don’t, however, limit free speech so long as it doesn’t violate the law. French is a little iffy on this. He conflates his being harassed with the “Trump is a white nationalist” narrative that the Democrats have been hyping and joins in their efforts to injure Trump by urging that something dramatic, yet ominously ill-defined, must be done.
In a piece titled French asserts that “The United States is now facing a deadly challenge from a connected, radical, online-organizing community of vicious white-nationalist terrorists. They are every bit as evil as jihadists.” The word “community” gives French a lot of elbow room to link white nationalist terrorism to Trump’s rhetoric.
French mentions the word “invasion,” which Trump and others have used to describe the masses of illegal immigrants surging into the United States, as “invoking a military response.” He states: “Tell people we face an invasion often enough, and some people will act according to the ordinary meaning of that term. The El Paso shooter called immigration an invasion, and he responded in the way that people historically respond to ‘invasions’ — with armed force.”
If we are to set a measure on the militaristic quality of words, French’s title, which explicitly calls for a declaration of war, is a louder battle cry than “invasion.” Might some progressive nut “respond” by enlisting in his war and start shooting? As a writer, French might do well to be wary of blaming words for the actions of evil men. It’s a bit like the old “society is to blame” excuse, but now it’s “bad words are to blame.” How does French suggest we improve public speech to prevent malicious minds from reaching mad conclusions and acting upon them? Does he favor “speech codes,” “hate speech policies,” and censorship? French notes in passing progressive “hyperbole,” without remarking on the gigantic scope of the hate spewing out of Washington, Hollywood, and the mainstream media or its vicious nature. Will his speech regulations apply to it?
French concludes, “Our nation’s leaders need to focus on reconciliation and unity, and if they are not up to that most basic and fundamental aspect of their job, then they must be replaced.”
Just hours after the shootings in , one hopeful replacement for our nation’s leader leaped forward, but not with a message of reconciliation and unity. Democratic presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” responded to a reporter’s question about who to blame with: “You know the s— [Trump has] been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f—? Hold on a second. You know, I — it’s these questions that you know the answers to, I mean, connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country.”
O’Rourke was followed by the other Democratic politicians, most of the media chatterers, and various progressive celebrities who rushed to “connect the dots” without waiting to see what the authorities identified as the killers’ motives. Those motives remain unverified, but a few dots appear to be out of the places Beto assumes. The El Paso nut hated immigrants, but his hatred is said to have predated the Trump presidency. He is also said to have held progressive views about corporate America and the environment. The reportedly criticized ICE, supported Antifa, and lauded Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders while ironically wishing Biden’s generation, which includes Warren and Sanders, to “hurry up and die.” One of his victims was his sister. How her death could have a political connection is puzzling. Indeed, his interest in mass shootings like Columbine suggest he may not have had any political motive.
The pronouncements of killer morons should be viewed skeptically. They are usually a knot of inconsistencies, ignorance, illogic, vanity, and lunacy. Lee Harvey Oswald considered himself an intellectual and would lecture anyone who didn’t tell him to shut up on the glories of Marxism. He was really just a pompous idiot. Abundant, unjustified self-adulation appears to be a common trait in killers who seek to make headlines.
The tragic shootings have allowed progressives to expand the smear that Trump and those who voted for him are racist. Before the shootings, Hollywood liberal , best known for his role as “Meathead,” insisted this was true. This was a surprise to minorities who had voted for Trump and for non-minorities who didn’t know they were racist. If they had voted for Obama last time and Trump this time, had racism crept in a window at night and bit them in the neck turning them racist? If they voted for Trump but voted for a black mayor, were they partially racist and to what degree? Did it vary as to the elevation of the elected office? Of course, Reiner could mitigate their racism by telling them the candidates to vote for in the future. He could tell them which of two white candidates was not racist or which of two black candidates was more deserving or if the member of one member of a marginalized group was more marginalized than another member of a marginalized group so the voter wouldn’t erroneously cast a vote for a less-marginalized marginalized group member over a more-marginalized marginalized group member. Reiner has an infallible racism detector in his garage, similar to Santa’s Naughty and Nice Surveillance Machine that the actor can use to identify racism anywhere in America. He may lend it to French.
The reconciliation and unity French piously urges upon us won’t come while one side routinely and falsely calls the other side “racist.” Exploiting national tragedies to advance political and personal agendas doesn’t bring reconciliation and unity, either.
Too bad that instead of hating Trump, French didn’t fall in love with a tractor.