The defining bookends of the Donald Trump era were seemingly unprecedented levels of both love and hate emanating from the balkanized sides in a titanic twilight struggle for what Joe Biden came to term “the soul of America.”
At the same time, there was always some sense that much of the outrage over Trump was manufactured strictly for political purposes. Construct a boogeyman and then tear him down. Gaslight Americans into believing that a Fourth Reich was being constructed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Thus, any and all means which availed themselves for kneecapping the 45th president would be considered fair game. Off-limits would be a term excised from the leftist lexicon.
There are many people who subscribe to this theory that the extreme reaction to Trump was not really personal but manufactured, all based on political tactics and strategy, from the moment the Russia hoax began before the 2016 election all the way through to the 2020 election and beyond. They point to left-wing detestation for previous GOP presidents Bush (43 in particular), Reagan, and Nixon, and conclude that the bitter opposition to Trump just falls in line with the left’s typical, long-standing demonization of Republican presidents.
In doing so, they underestimate how the left’s Trump deep-down, soul-level hatred for Trump can continue to form extreme and dangerous paranoid fantasies in their minds.
The Vast Trumpist Conspiracy
A piece just published by a long-prominent progressive newspaper and website – one thought to be intellectually honest if not exactly objective – puts the lie to the notion that the left’s obsession with Trump is strictly or even mostly political. Entitled “Terrifying for American Democracy: Is Trump Planning for a 2024 coup?,” the narrative in The Guardian appears to be almost trying to convince its own author and left-wing paranoiacs that Donald Trump is actually preparing to unleash a full-on coup d’etat during the 2024 election. Seriously.
Author Ed Pilkington cleverly introduces the argument by citing Mitch McConnell’s dire warning to his fellow Republicans on January 6 not to overturn the results of the 2020 election for fear of “damaging our Republic forever.” And then he unleashes the conspiracy theory:
“Eleven months on, McConnell’s words sound eerily portentous. What could be construed as an anti-democratic scramble for power at any cost is taking place right now in jurisdictions across the country … With the former president hinting strongly that he may stand again, his followers are busily manoeuvring themselves into critical positions of control across the US – from which they could launch a far more sophisticated attempt at an electoral coup than Trump’s effort to hang on to power in 2020… The stage is being set for a spectacle that could, in 2024, make last year’s unprecedented assault on American democracy look like a dress rehearsal.”
The author further drives home his desperate warning by referring to Trump continuing to dispute the last election, his praise for Ashli Babbitt, the woman shot dead during the Capitol riot and his impassioned defense of the peaceful majority of the crowd for his speech on January 6.
But what really scares the left is how Trump loyalists have all but taken over the GOP, overwhelming tame, old-style Republicans in the trenches. Many of these Trumpists have refused to let go of “stop the steal” regarding 2020. With fear and trembling, the author cites a recent poll by Public Religion Institute concluding that a full two-thirds of Republicans continue to believe that Trump won the last election. The apparent presumption here is that a candidate whose supporters refuse to accept the results of one election will attempt to commandeer or overturn the results of the next one.
Trump Supporters Still Not Buying It
Even as they reveal themselves as dangerously paranoid, leftists are not wrong about the extent to which the GOP has been subsumed by this former president. By 2024, Trump loyalists figure to dominate most all available intra-party races for the position which controls how votes are counted, Secretary of State. They will overwhelm traditional Republican officials who thwarted Trump’s attempts to dispute various statewide results the last time around.
A recent analysis by Reuters found that 10 of the 15 Republican candidates running for Secretary of State in various battleground states are advocates of the stop the steal argument. And Trumpists are also targeting local and county canvassing boards and administrators as they attempt to dominate election apparatuses in the vital swing states captured by Trump in 2016, and Joe Biden last year. The presumption on the left, of course, is that these officials will find a way to swing their states to Trump or whoever is the GOP nominee, no matter what.
So, you can call them delusional, paranoid, or even completely unhinged. But don’t make the mistake of thinking leftists’ loathing of Trump is merely politics. Publishing, for all the world to see, a serious claim that he is actually planning an electoral coup d’etat in 2024 proves once and for all that their radiating hatred for this man is matched only by their genuine fear of him rising once more.
~ Read more from Tim Donner.