An encircling elite still can’t see that it is the bully.
Even as they encircled Trump, pouring scorn on him from their commanding heights in the arts, academia, and media, the most entitled members of the elite cast Trump during the presidential campaign as a “bully.” But the claim fell flat. Most Americans didn’t see Trump in that light. They saw him more as an underdog and a fearless spokesman for underdogs viewed by Hillary Clinton as “deplorables.”
Just a few weeks into his presidency, all the same elitist hue and cry of the campaign reappears: a cavalcade of celebrities, pampered pols, and arrogant academics, all of whom ludicrously conceive of themselves as victims, try to hector the people into seeing Trump as a bully; out-of-touch journalists speak gravely of a “presidency in crisis”; glib pundits and pollsters who discredited themselves with cocky predictions of Trump’s demise during the primaries and general election now pretend to ponder if his “presidency can be saved”; effete Republicans, who won on his coattails or line up for jobs in his administration, gossip about his “mental health” and second-guess his every move.
Who cares? If anything, this nonstop gibbering plays into Trump’s hands, turning him into a perpetual underdog. An elite that calls him a “bully,” then blesses the bullies of the left, only makes him look sympathetic. An elite that calls him “crazy,” then laughs at sick parodies of Kellyanne Conway on Saturday Night Live, only looks unhinged. An elite that calls him “extreme,” then treats common sense as controversial and rudimentary nationalism as fascism, looks unserious.
The irresponsibility and vulgarity of the elite seem to grow in proportion to their lectures on statesmanship and temperament. Turn on almost any cable show and this fraudulence is on display: Guests will go from trashing Trump for his “immaturity” to wallowing in their own. After Piers Morgan, for example, dissented from the hysteria of Bill Maher and his guests last Friday night, how did Trump’s supposed moral and intellectual betters behave? They showered Morgan in obscenities and flicked him off, and after the show, they cited approvingly a “children’s author,” J.K. Rowling, who tweeted: “The fact-free, amoral, bigotry-apologism of celebrity toady Piers Morgan is, of course, why it’s so delicious to see him told to f-ck off.”
All Morgan had said was that the anti-Trump reaction suffers from overstatement and inaccuracy. But even that slight deviation from the elite consensus is deemed “amoral.” Has the foul-mouthed Rowling been told to “be better” by Michelle Obama? Has she been reminded by Hillary Clinton that “our children are watching”? Of course not. She is now an anti-Trump heroine, who joins the pantheon of artists and activists for whom no act of crassness is too great to stop a “crass” president.
“3-0,” Hillary Clinton, joining in the immature glee of last week’s anti-Trump frenzy, tweeted out after one of the most liberal courts in the country rejected his pause on immigration from seven terrorist countries. It is that kind of fist-pumping over chic and frivolous causes that cost her the election. Her political instincts remain as defective as ever.
Once again, the conventional wisdom is wrong. Trump is somberly instructed by the self-proclaimed great and good to waive the white flag and timidly return to the status quo. But he should welcome this fight: The longer it continues, the more it draws the Democrats deeper and deeper into an insane identification with foreigners at the expense of basic American interests. Let the Democrats become the party that invents rights for foreigners while abolishing rights for Americans. That sets them up for an even bigger loss in 2020.
As usual, elites assume the people share their sanctimony and outrage over “disrespected” judges. Did they not notice that Trump won in large part because he ran against activist liberal judges? Do they really think that aligning even more with those judges will enhance the Democrats’ populist appeal?
Here, too, Trump looks like an underdog, as the judicial branch blatantly usurps the authority of the executive branch on a matter as fundamental as the entry of foreigners from dangerous countries into the country. How is anybody supposed to take the claim of Trump as a “monstrous threat to the Constitution” seriously when Democrats and judges are busy extending the Constitution to foreign nationals in Libya, Somalia, and other terror hot spots?
The Democrats and media are digging a hole for Trump into which they will fall. By treating this controversy as a fight for “American values,” they render that phrase meaningless and expose themselves as untrustworthy guardians of them. Long victimized by insular ideologues disdainful of the most obvious imperatives of American sovereignty, the people will not punish Trump politically. Instead, after the din of easy denunciation fades, they will see him as a protector against an elitist party that puts America last.