10 November 2016

'Not My President'

In the most literal sense, the thousands of people demonstrating against Donald Trump last night were correct. Trump is not their president, yet --but he will be by the end of January. I'm sure the protesters are realistic enough not to think they can prevent his inauguration, unless they plan more drastic steps than demonstrations. From what I saw on the news these were mostly young white people, apparently organized by hard-core left groups like International ANSWER. Probably this is an attempt to stake out a position as the real opposition to Trump in the face of the apparent bankruptcy of the Democratic party. There are good reasons for leftists to maintain vigilance against the President-elect. But their slogan reminded me of how people were treated when they said that Barack Obama was not their president. It was taken for granted that such people were bigots, especially since it was unlikely that anyone other than white people would say that. But if bigotry refuses respect to people due to race, religion, sexual preference, etc., ideology is a kind of intellectual bigotry that denies respect to people's opinions without making any effort to listen to them. That sort of bigotry has no more place in a democracy than any other kind. If you're an American citizen you can't say that Trump won't be your president because you don't like his attitude, so long as the voters and the Electoral College say otherwise. Yet I'm sure the protesters feel that they're only exercising a right of conscience embedded in the First Amendment. I agree that there is such a right, but if these protests escalate into my worst-case scenario, a large-scale attempt to disrupt Trump's inauguration, it will only prove again that any good thing is bad in excess. That may be more true in our kind of democracy than anywhere else.

Update: Right now there's probably an early disconnect between Trump and his fans. The President-elect is getting kid-glove treatment from President Obama and the Democratic leadership and seems to be responding in kind -- Obama, he said today, is "a very good man" -- while his followers only see the protesters from Wednesday night and are blaming everyone to the left of themselves. Through my sources I get the impression that Trumpites are angrier at these protests than they've been at Black Lives Matter demos and their attendant riots. While Trump may be waxing conciliatory the rank and fire are only getting into a more retributive mood. I don't know if Trump himself has opined about the demonstrations or if the coddling he's receiving right now is cancelling out whatever anger he may feel at them, but whether Democrats have any influence over the crowds or not -- and given the hard-left tone of the protesters, I doubt they have much -- it would probably be a good idea for the President, the Clintons, etc. to urge people to take a breath, take a break, do anything but do that again right away, because the constituency for a crackdown is growing. On top of being the sorest losers since 1860, their outbursts could well make their fears of "fascist" suppression of dissent a self-fulfilling prophecy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd say tRump supporters at this point are the same people who were claiming 8 years ago "He's not MY President". So for them to complain now is hypocrisy - but at the same time, those on the left whining that "he's not my President" are the same people who, 8 years ago, were calling their opponents traitors for making that claim. It only further proves to me that the average American is a brainless idiot who deserves contempt.