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I hear this question over and over. What was it about Trump that makes him such a source of anger and indignation? It’s hard to understand the depths of this antipathy. It’s more than anger, more than ire. The Democrats hated Nixon, but he was hardly an inspiring Republican leader and no conservative. They hated him because he defeated them, twice. Remarkable for his lack of charisma, his victories demonstrated a profound rejection of liberalism, of Leftism, and they hated him for it.
Jimmy Carter rode Nixon’s paranoia, Watergate incarnate, into the White House, but Carter’s form of liberalism as a theology of pacifism, redistribution, and retreat failed on all fronts to inspire the electorate. Reagan thumped him after one term.
And of course, the Left hated Reagan for it. Worse yet, Reagan was a cold warrior bent on the defeat of the Soviet Union. He was no Pacifist. And he was a staunch Conservative. His economic policies of low taxation, deregulation, and individual liberty brought decades of economic prosperity. The Soviet Union failed and Reagan won re-election in a landslide. Reagan, despite tepid initial support, even opposition from the moderate (read: liberal) core of the Republican Party, moved the entire party right with the help of William F. Buckley Jr, and National Review.
Where did this lead? To an even hotter hatred on the Left and unending investigations. Reagan’s second term was hijacked. Attempts to taint his legacy were largely ineffective, but they were effective in interrupting his inspired conservative renaissance.
Bush 1 was never a committed conservative and his presidency was no extension of the Reagan Revolution. Instead, it allowed the milquetoast Republican establishment back into the public policy business. The charismatic, centrist Bill Clinton, with the help of third-party kook Ross Perot, the deficit hawk, capitalized on Bush’s failed no new tax pledge and peeled away enough of Reagan’s supporters to launch the glib Clinton to victory. Clinton was clever and never really embraced the Liberal agenda. He rode the remains of the Reagan economic wave, extended by the dot-com boom, to a second victory.
W. Bush squeaked out a narrow victory over Clinton’s doppelganger VP, Al Gore. This was before Gore invented Global Warming. The Democrats hated the younger Bush for this. The country was already fractured at this point, with the coasts and big cities entrenched in liberalism and the rest of the country, conservative. The fact that Gore won the popular vote allowed many on the Left to deny the Bush electoral victory. The hatred for W was palpable and galvanized the Democrats and the Left. 9-11 changed everything and for a brief time, including W’s re-election, the country was unified. But when the war in Afghanistan dragged on and when victory in Iraq proved far simpler than dealing with post-war chaos, W lost support. Hatred of W on the left turned hot, and the press piled on, leading to the elevation of Obama, a virtual unknown, as a Democrat savior.
Obama was clever. He knew where the line on the Left was, and he danced on it. The old Lefties knew he was one of them; in fact, he was further to the left than they were, but for all outward appearances, he was not. He favored traditional marriage. He was biracial and raised by his white family. He was Hawaiian. He was a constitutional scholar.
He conned his way into the White House. Twice. But after eight years of Obama, the country was not thriving. The economy was floundering. The world was suffering from waves of Islamic radicalism. The US was half-involved in wars around the world, leading from behind. China was on the move. North Korea was threatening, as was Iran despite US attempts to buy Iranian contrition with planeloads of cash. Inside the US, old racial grievances were reanimated. Conservatives were crushed, denigrated, and frustrated whenever possible. The country’s Leftward lurch with Obama was hardly inspirational. It was depressing. And yet, the press loved him.
Along came Trump. He entered politics without reservation and with his libidinous, flamboyant past in full view. He always was and remained a public man. He had no real friends in Washington, no favors to be returned, no alliances to be maintained. And he didn’t need money. He was, in a word, inscrutable. And as a result, he was also unpredictable. This bothered many Republicans in Washington. Trump spoke his mind without a filter and sometimes, his words were shocking. This was heresy in Washington circles where there were lines that one dared not cross, but Trump crossed them with impunity. National Review and establishment Republicans were flummoxed. Despite their opposition, Trump won the nomination and won the Presidency. And they never forgave him for it.
But their antipathy for Trump was nothing compared to the ire Trump inspired on the Left. It started with his antipathy for the mainstream press. He called them out for their blatant liberal advocacy, yet another line that could not be crossed, a tendency that could not be outed. And yet, Trump did it. Trump said it. Every day. Over and over. They reacted poorly. Advocacy and anti-Trumpism became their calling, objective reporting be damned. It suffused everything, sports, movies, everything in print and on the air.
The Democrats’ initial hatred of Trump was reflexive. He, like Reagan, proved that Leftism was antithetical to an American constitutional republic. And, like W, he failed to garner a majority of the popular vote. The pre-election antipathy was different. Trump was a phenomenon, much like Obama was when he ran his first presidential primary campaign. Hillary had been stung before. She and the Democrat party knew the threat that Trump might represent. They had to marshal whatever forces necessary to neutralize him, the Never Trumpers, the Press, their fellow Leftists. Obama had to protect his legacy. Hillary had to secure hers. Both failed
It’s taken them more than four years to get their revenge and they’re not done.
I sense, however, a change in the tone of the war on Trump. He’s been defeated, so why press on so vehemently? I didn’t understand this tack until I saw the Democrat leadership’s reaction to the so-called Capitol insurrection. They hid in closets, under desks. The Democrats showed their true colors and feelings. Yes, they still hate him, but it’s more than that. They are afraid. They fear Trump and his supporters. Perhaps they fear them because of what Durham may divulge. Perhaps they fear them because of the continued calls for investigation of election fraud and changes in election accountability. Perhaps they fear them because his supporters have not abandoned Donald Trump. Perhaps…
Biden is 78. Trump will be 78 at the end of Biden’s first term.
Time flies when you’re having fun; ask Obama.
Democrats: afraid; very afraid.Published in