As President Trump’s opposition falls, its violence rises. The danger in this insidious inverse response is that the divergent fortunes of Trump and his opponents is likely to grow. This sets the stage for even greater leftist outbursts and their contributing to the outcome they desperately want to avoid.
It is no coincidence that as President Trump has recently done well, the Left has behaved badly. Examples of their poor conduct include the UC Santa Cruz assault on college Republicans, the attack of a New Hampshire teen for handing out pro-Trump literature on Primary Day, and a van’s ramming of a Republican voter registration tent in Florida. There have been attempts to shame, scold, and intimidate since before the president’s inauguration, but recent incidents have had a more sinister side. The Left has clearly taken a turn for the worse. What once was hidden behind fringe Antifa masks now appears openly and frequently. The Left is now seeking to coerce those it cannot convince.
At the same time that the Left’s increased violence has become unmistakable, the president has been more successful. The killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani did not simply deal a deadly blow to terrorism but also did not provoke the conflagration the Left predicted.
The president did not just secure two huge trade wins; he also got significant numbers of Democrats to support both. The president was not just acquitted on both impeachment charges; he was acquitted by majority votes.
And his State of the Union speech did not just showcase the president at his best — every president gets that annual opportunity. It also showcased Democrats at their worst — a mute temper tantrum punctuated by the tearing up of his speech on national television.
As Trump has been rising, Democrats have been falling — if not pratfalling. In almost every instance of Trump success, there has been a Democrat contribution to it. As with Soleimani, their predictions have failed. As with the trade deals, they have had to grudgingly go along. As with the acquittal, their years-long effort and hyperbolic rhetoric came to naught. And in some instances — notably the Iowa caucuses — they have floundered even without the president’s intervention.
To make matters worse for the Left, the trend of Trump successes and Democrat failures does not look like it will soon reverse.
The economy is strong and shows no signs of slowing. In fact, it is now so obviously strong that the Democrats are seeking to claim credit for what they were, until recently, denying. Further trade deals, which the administration is busily pursuing, could further help. To the economy, Trump will add the advantages of incumbency and money over 2020’s course.
In contrast, Democrats are countering with a fractured race that only gets worse as it gets more tiresome. Already eight months old, their debates still fill a stage, yet the race can barely field a front-runner. Their campaign careens left and away from electability — even among Democrats.
That Democrats somehow will do better against Trump than they will against each other is dubious. Their nomination fight is likely to leave many with hard feelings and — if their nominee is as far left as now appears — many more left out. Against an incumbent with a unified party, a strong economy, and big money, the separation between Democrats and Trump likely grows.
If divergence is already fueling insurgence, expect more to beget more. Certainly the establishment media will try to ignore it, as they are now, or try to hide it, by pretending it is a general problem of today’s politics rather than a particular one of today’s Left. As evidence continues to accumulate, however, it will be harder and harder to tell Americans that they are not seeing what they clearly are: a Left unhinged by frustration. And it will be harder still to prevent them from being repulsed by the repulsive.
The Left is facing the real possibility of encouraging what it most opposes: the president’s reelection. Already having helped solidify his base by its rabid opposition, it is fracturing the Democrats and well on its way to driving crucial nonaligned voters to Trump. In 2016, Trump’s greatest political advantage was his opponents; in 2020, that advantage will likely be even greater because of the rabid Left.