Blindingly obvious statement of the month: There are those who support President Trump’s agenda and those who stand against it. Beyond the policies, though, the brash and often unfiltered outsider who unexpectedly captured the White House in 2016 has already made a lasting impression on American politics. Most notably, he has brought out the very worst in some people – and that is a good thing because now we see them for who they really are.
It is the reaction to Trump the man and Trump the leader that may yet be judged by history as his most significant achievement, though it was not, perhaps, something he consciously set out to accomplish. What does that mean? Venting their rage and indignation over this president’s populist, America-first, boat-rocking approach, establishment politicians and other prominent figures – particularly in the media – have revealed their authoritarian natures. They have given voice to their elitist views that the people should shut their mouths and do as they are told.
From the moment he descended that Trump Tower escalator to herald his presidential run, The Donald has driven the ruling bureaucracy to reveal its utter contempt for not just Trump himself but for regular Americans. With each reaction to the president’s words and actions, the Swamperati give themselves away – revealing their tyrannical tendencies and their belief that only they know what is best for America. Those annoying voters – and especially the ones wearing MAGA hats – should be seen and not heard. Preferably, not seen too much, either.
This trend of giving away their disdain for regular folks began with Hillary Clinton’s infamous “basket of deplorables” comment during the 2016 presidential campaign. To this day, Clinton probably does not understand how much that outrageously offensive statement contributed to her defeat at the ballot box.
Then there was Joe Biden recently blurting out that the American people “don’t deserve” to know where he stands on packing the Supreme Court. Biden has made disparaging comments about Trump supporters, too. Perhaps he did not learn the lesson Clinton unwittingly presented during the last battle for the White House.
During a speech he gave in 2018, Mr. Trump’s election opponent referred to the president’s supporters as “the dregs of society.” For proper context, Biden was referring to “these forces of intolerance,” saying: “This time they have an ally. They’re a small percentage of the American people. Virulent people. Some of them the dregs of society.”
Right before that “dregs of society” comment, though, Biden had been talking about “[A]n administration, and some of its most ardent right-wing supporters …” He mentioned the KKK for effect – even though his own party has a long association with that organization. There was no mistaking his implication, though: President Trump’s supporters are the dregs of society.
Mitt Romney and Dangerous Ideas
It is not just Democrats, however, who have been driven over the edge by Donald Trump. Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah perhaps despises Trump mostly because the political outsider and dark horse achieved what he, Romney, could not, with all his own wealth, connections, and political experience. Be that the case or not, Romney has constantly sought to distance himself from the president. His most recent criticism of Trump, though, betrayed a distinctly elitist ruling class attitude toward the American people.
Sen. Romney railed against Trump for not condemning QAnon. Whatever anyone knows – or thinks they know – about QAnon, there are only a few basic facts relevant to Romney’s comments: QAnon is not a physical organization of political activists; QAnon has not burned down any cities or torched police headquarters. In fact, this elusive figure or network of people has never made a single political or economic demand. Nevertheless, Romney describes it as “an absurd and dangerous conspiracy theory.” That’s right; Mitt Romney believes that ideas are dangerous. That way of thinking is the hallmark of every totalitarian regime that has ever existed.
Romney was not just targeting Trump, to be fair: He raged against politicians in general as if he himself is not a politician. “Politicians and parties refuse to forcefully and convincingly repudiate groups like Antifa, white supremacists and conspiracy peddlers,” he lamented. The senator went on to decry the refusal of these other politicians – among whom he does not count himself, strangely enough – for not denouncing “anti-vaxxers, militias, and anarchists.”
There’s a pattern here. Romney believes that politicians – read that as the ruling establishment – should “expel” (Romney’s word) any idea, belief, or opinion that has not been approved by the authorities. Suspicious of vaccines? You are a danger to society. Want to abolish the government? Well, then, of course, you are a danger to those in government, and so you must be “expelled.”
What about the militias, though? If one reads the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution correctly, one cannot deny that militias are, in fact, legally sanctioned organizations. Romney considers them dangerous, though, because what is a militia other than an organization of armed citizens? For the Utah senator and his ilk – the ones who believe they have practically a divine right to rule over us plebes – there is nothing more threatening than an armed citizenry.
Trump seems to have been the catalyst for this venting of raw emotion, not least by the political elites who consider themselves superior to ordinary folk. How did this happen? Why has it happened? The answer is really not that hard to fathom: The American people have been conditioned to vote for drab, dishonest, bureaucracy-loving statists – both Democrat and Republican. Nobody gave ordinary folk permission to reject the rules of this established custom laughingly known as an election. The sheer audacity of people to choose this loud-mouthed, un-presidential real estate tycoon over the approved choices! What ungrateful peasants they are!
That is why the establishment hates Trump but hates those who voted for him even more. That is why those who see themselves as the anointed leaders are no longer able to conceal their dislike – and fear – of the people they consider their lessers. Donald Trump’s most outstanding achievement may be this revelation.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.