Posted by Curt on 13 November, 2016 at 10:10 am. 1 comment.


Kevin D. Williamson:

As the philosopher said: “Life comes at you pretty fast.”

Ten minutes ago, somber progressives were lecturing Donald Trump over his “Make America Great Again” slogan. “America,” they sniffed, is already great. Five minutes later, out came the “F*** AmeriKKKa!” signs and American flags were being burned in the streets.

Ten minutes ago, Democrats were fretting that Donald Trump and his partisans would refuse to concede defeat, and insisting that Trump must make a dramatic public commitment to personally working toward a peaceful transfer of power. (Well, he did.) There were whispers of political violence, of riots in the streets, arson, smashed windows, violent assaults. Five minutes later, all of that came to pass — perpetrated by progressives in reaction to Trump’s winning the election fair and square.

Ten minutes ago, Democrats were complaining that Trump’s talk of “rigged” elections undermined faith in democracy and in the legitimacy of the United States government. Five minutes later, Democrats were complaining that the elections were rigged against them by an electoral system that treats the states as states — entities with political interests of their own — rather than as administrative subdivisions of the federal government. With their candidate set to lose the presidency in spite of her being projected to win the most individual votes, Democrats once again turned their rage upon the American constitutional order itself, and out came the signs: “America Was Never Great!”

Par for the course, I suppose: We all remember how the Mormons rioted after 2012. Things grew so lawless that a car was spotted double-parked on a Sunday morning across from a church in Provo, and several young men were spotted nearby with their ties slightly askew.

And so it goes. As windows were smashed, fires were set, and bystanders beaten, our progressive friends tut-tutted that the protests were “mostly peaceful.” “Mostly peaceful” is another way of saying, “Peaceful, if you ignore the violence.” But even if we set aside the arson and vandalism and the assaults, there is plenty to lament in the non-violent protests, too: Those “AmeriKKKa” signs and burning flags are a reminder that what the Left really hates is not Donald Trump, his supporters, or Republicans at large (though the Left hates all these, too) but the country itself. They believe the United States to be not only imperfect (an understanding of the imperfection of human beings and their institutions is the foundation of conservatism, after all) but wicked, depraved, filled to the gills with hatred and bigotry, one step away from building concentration camps for homosexuals.

Donald Trump of Manhattan and Palm Beach, a man whose personal style makes Liberace look like Danny Trejo, is, according to this view, going to be the great catalyst for anti-gay pogroms. You could make a case for racist and sexist — a pretty good one — but anti-gay? Not really.

(One suspects that they just need an easy rhyme for their chants. “Racist, sexist, divorcé! Trump Steaks made a poor filet!”)

There is much to dislike about Donald Trump, a man who is morally and intellectually unfit for the office to which he has been elected thanks to a cheesed-off Republican primary electorate and the fact that the alternative was . . . ugh. But the Left does not quite seem to get what he is about. His views on trade, and on economic relations with foreign countries in general, are very close to that of Senator Bernie Sanders, and his views on immigration are not all that different, either: It was Senator Sanders, not Trump, who whispered darkly of a shadowy “open borders” plot being hatched by American billionaires to undermine the economic and political power of the working class. Trump is not quite Ron Paul on foreign policy, but he is the closest thing to a Taft-style non-interventionist that Americans have elected since . . . since they didn’t elect Senator Robert A. Taft. He has some truly daft and potentially destructive ideas . . . that he mainly shares with the people out calling for his assassination.

We conservatives sometimes get bored of pointing out double standards, but recall that when well-behaved Republican protesters gathered to criticize some aspects of the Florida recount in 2000, the media described it as a riot — the “Brooks Brothers riot” — and Democrats such as Representative Jerry Nadler wailed that there was a “whiff of fascism” in the air. If the election had gone the other way and crowds of angry Trump voters were out in the streets beating people (they aren’t, though there are hate-crime hoaxes aplenty) there would be klaxons of alarum sounding 24 hours a day — and zero talk of how the protests were “mostly peaceful.”

Perversely, the Trump presidency is bearing some worthwhile fruit before it even begins: Once more, dissent is the highest form of patriotism, free speech is an absolute right that must be defended at all costs rather than regulated away in the name of reform, presidential power is to be limited, and the anti-war movement on the left, which went silent right around the time the fellow who won the Nobel Peace Prize started assassinating American citizens in extralegal drone strikes, has once again found its voice.

Two cheers for all that.

For eight years, Democrats celebrated the aggrandizement of the already inflated presidency left to Barack Obama by George W. Bush. You remember the greatest hits: “If Congress won’t act, I will.” “I have a pen and a phone.” “Elections have consequences.” And, my personal favorite: “I won.”

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