The Trump Mirror

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

A frequent complaint about President Trump is that he is divisive and constantly picking fights. He seems uncontrollable in his tweets, and even many of his supporters wish he would tweet less and focus more on his accomplishments. On the other hand, many of his supporters love his tweets, and their reason is illustrative. For this latter group, the key is that Trump’s tweets are not an aberration of the political discourse. These supporters have seen the Left saying comparable things about conservatives for decades, yet with very little reaction.

In politics, it is natural to attack your opponent, and at times this does get dirty.  But there is a difference between the parties.  To somewhat oversimplify, but not too much, Republicans attacked Democrats as good people with bad policies. They are caring, but with wasteful spending, weak on defense, etc..  Democrats attacked Republicans as bad people, uncaring, greed, etc..

Nowhere is this clearer than with issues of race. In many respects, the hoodwinking of the public on this issue has been astounding; it is a testament to how much the Left dominates academia, the news, and entertainment media. From its founding, the Democratic party has been the party of race, first supporting slavery, and then later Jim Crow. It played a major role in both the rise of the KKK and its renewal.  The KKK was effectively the military arm of the Democratic party, enforcing its dominance in the south.

The Republican party, on the other hand, was formed to oppose slavery and ended it following the civil war. It opposed Jim Crow and suppressed the KKK in its first incarnation only to see it revied when Wilson, a Democrat, became President. The Republicans were the party of civil rights; the Democrats opposed it with filibusters in the Senate.

Then came the 1960s, and, as the myth goes, the parties somehow switched sides. Now on the face of it, this is absurd.  While it is understandable how individuals who were racists could come to see the light and realize how evil racism is, the reverse is more difficult to understand. What is not understandable is how this could happen to large groups, and particularly for this to happen simultaneously and so quickly.

The explanation for this magical switch is the person of Richard Nixon, and his supposed “southern strategy.”  Yet, this would at best only, explain why the south changed from Democrat to Republican. Even then, it is not supported by the timing. The major Civil Rights Acts passed before Nixon, and the actual switch in party allegiance in the South came later under Reagan. But why let facts get in the way of a good myth.

A better explanation is that the parties remained essentially the same at their core, and only modified their language and expression. Before the mid-1960s, the Republican view of civil rights that dominated was best summed up by Dr. Martin Luther King when he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” This view remains the main Republican view today. It is the individual that matters, not the group.

Democrats, on the other hand, always saw race as highly significant, and they still do. The Democratic party still divides people into groups, where one is a member of a group before they are an individual. In recent years this has been formalized in the concepts of intersectionality. It is seen, for example, in Biden’s recent statement that a person is not Black if they don’t vote for him.  In short, the issue of race is still at the core of the Democratic party.

To hide their legacy, Democrats have redefined racism. Racism used to be judging people based on their race.  Now, not considering a person’s race when judging them is racist.  Segregation used to be seen as one of the evils of racism. Now segregation is encouraged by the Left as an expression of racial pride in things like the growing movement for all-black dorms at colleges.

Every election, Democrats still play racial politics, as they always have, just with somewhat different expressions. While they claim it is the Republicans that are racists, given their history, is it any surprise that the condition of minorities has only gotten worse in those areas that have been strongly Democratic for decades? Still, every election we have statements like Biden’s in 2012 saying Republicans are going to put blacks “back in chains” or Pelosi’s recent statement that Republicans are “trying to get away with the murder of George Floyd.” Comments like this were the “civil” discourse before Trump. Similar “civil” comments occurred in a wide range of areas beyond race.

What is “divisive” about Trump is not the tone of his rhetoric, but the fact that the fights back. Trump has a very large ego, even for a politician. You treat him nicely, and he will treat you nicely. You attack him; he will attack you. In this respect, Trump is a mirror. Thus to those on the Left and the Right, Trump is something new, a Republican who can give as good as he gets.

The Left is not used to this.  Democrats are used to calling Republicans racist, greed, and uncaring. They are used to saying Republicans want the poor to suffer, kids to drink dirty water, and grandmother to die. They claim voting for Republicans will cause black churches to burn, and show Paul Ryan pushing grandmother over a cliff. They do this constantly, and Republicans cower.  Then Trump comes along and gives as good as he gets, and his supporters cheer. Finally, someone is fighting back.  The calls for someone less divisive are just calling for someone who will surrender to the Left, someone who will not fight back.

For conservatives, it is probably good that Democrats did not figure Trump out early.  While Trump is the most conservative President in history, he is not really a conservative.  Again Trump is a mirror.  He is nice to those who are nice to him. He supports those who support him, and he attacks those who attack him.

Had the Democrats realized this early on, they probably could have sweet-talked him onto their side.  If they had played to his ego, given the negotiator in him, he would have given them something, and probably more than conservatives wanted.  They have certainly been uncomfortable with some of his offers. Democratic acceptance of these concessions would have brought criticism of Trump from conservatives, and the dynamic of his Presidency could have been reversed.

Luckily for conservatives, the shock of the Trump victory led instead to the attempt to destroy his Presidency with the phony Trump-Russia narrative. Pushing Trump even further into the Republican camp and enhancing the power of the far-left in the Democratic party.

Jul 16th, 2020

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