In Reagan’s America: Innocents at Home, Garry Wills described the 40th President’s relationship with the voters as “a kind of complicity,” implying that Reagan and the electorate had colluded to commit some sort of crime. The offense was, of course, their mutual refusal to imbibe the propaganda ladled out by the liberal establishment and the media. This defiance caused Reagan and his supporters to be written off by their “betters” as a collection of cretins. History proved precisely the opposite, but the Beltway brain trust never absorbed the lesson. They are thus repeating their error with President Trump and his supporters.
In the New York Times, for example, Charles Blow advises us that the President has hijacked the GOP and now presides over a reign of terror that prevents “mainstream Republicans” from taking a stand against him. Having difficulty remembering a Times writer acknowledging the existence of “mainstream Republicans?” The Gray Lady’s editorial position has long been that the GOP is a gang of dirty rotten scoundrels whose sole mission is to do down widows and orphans on behalf of rightwing robber barons and rabid racists. Blow would have us believe that, under Trump, the GOP base has further devolved into a national threat:
Republicanism is Trumpism, with no daylight between them. Traditional Republicans are now afraid to stand on principle because they do so at great peril of being drummed out of politics. The voters are now Trump’s noxious base, ergo Trump holds each of their fates in his hands.… Viewed that way, Trump’s base itself becomes the enemy of the Republic.
But the President’s base is “viewed that way” only by TDS victims. The Democrats are already losing support because of the #WalkAway movement. Meanwhile Trump’s “beastly base,” as Blow also calls them, already consists of about 63 million voters and public opinion polls show that his support among crucial Democratic constituencies is increasing dramatically. If Blow had any sense, he would realize that insulting the customer isn’t an effective sales technique. He would hesitate to alienate any additional voters. But neither Blow nor his colleagues are rational. Last week another TDS victim, Dana Milbank, wrote the following:
Trump and his Fox News-viewing supporters dock their spaceship in a parallel universe where truth isn’t truth. At Tuesday night’s rally in West Virginia, Trump’s irony-challenged audience could be heard chanting “Drain the Swamp!”… Republican lawmakers fear that with 87 percent of Republican voters backing Trump, crossing him is political suicide.
And they are obviously right. What sane Republican would deliberately cross a president of his own party whose support among his constituents approaches 90 percent? The only politician willing to even consider doing so would be someone expecting to retire or otherwise leave office. House Speaker Paul Ryan fits the bill to the extent that he’s retiring, and has thus received some unsolicited advice from NBC talking head Chuck Todd. Todd, a lifelong Democrat, professes to be worried about the future of the Republican Party if Speaker Ryan doesn’t sic the House Judiciary Committee on President Trump post haste:
The way a functional Washington would work is that Congress, there is a process here. The sitting president is accused of a crime. The Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives would begin to look to see if there’s enough evidence to start investigating and drawing up articles of impeachment, but this is not a functional Congress. This is a Congress controlled by Republicans.
Paul Ryan may not be the most dynamic Speaker of the House, and he famously criticized candidate Trump after the infamous Access Hollywood tape was released (not exactly an exclusive club), but he isn’t an idiot. Why would he take the advice of a guy who believes that while the Republicans hold majorities in both Houses, “this is not a functional Congress,” and has dismissed the Trump White House thus: “It’s like we’re living inside a parody.” At least Todd has not directly insulted the voters. That cannot be said about Politico’s Marc Caputo who mocked attendees of a recent Trump rally as toothless “garbage people.”
In addition to such demeaning insults, there is the breathtaking hypocrisy. CNN commentator Sally Kohn published a book in the spring titled, The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity, in which she advocates treating everyone with respect — including Trump supporters. In an interview with Vanity Fair she actually said, “I don’t see how demonizing people who disagree with you gets you closer. And morally, you are not walking the talk.” Sadly, Kohn is a classic lefty hypocrite. Last week she outed herself with this Tweet: “MEMO TO ALL TRUMP SUPPORTERS: YOU, TOO, CAN GROW A CONSCIENCE!”
And this Tweet came after Kohn told Vanity Fair that no genuine progressive standing up for dignity and humanity can say, “Listen, I think we should treat everyone with equality and fairness and dignity except Trump supporters.” Nonetheless, after banking the money from her book sales, she tells us that we can “repair our humanity” without respecting those who support Trump. Does that mean Trump supporters aren’t really human? Charles Blow suggests as much when he refers to the President’s supporters as “beastly.” This kind of dehumanization is familiar. Where have we seen this? The History (a.k.a. the Nazi) Channel?
Oh my, Catron. That was way over the top. Perhaps, but this is the image evoked when the media and the Democrats mock voters for the crime of wearing MAGA hats. These images are hard to banish when it comes time to cast a ballot on Election Day, considering the sordid history of the Democratic Party. Trump voters are daily reminded that, at best, they are second class citizens. That pisses them off, thus they pull the “R” lever. And their relationship with Trump does indeed involve “a kind of complicity” to make America great again.