If there’s one thing at which progressives always have excelled it is intimidation.
For all the talk against “bullying,” the political left has engaged in coercion since its inception. Under every left-wing despot from Stalin and Hitler to Mao and Chavez, those who dared differ with state-approved orthodoxy were threatened, beaten or simply killed. American progressives aren’t quite to the “murder” stage just yet, but given the escalating hatred they’re stirring up, that mile marker can’t be far over the horizon.
Think what you will of Donald Trump and the things he’s said … he’s only said things. Yet whenever he gathers with supporters to say things, an organized and well-funded progressive mob gathers outside to intimidate and attack people who simply want to hear the man speak. Their shirts may be all colors of the rainbow, but their actions are decidedly brown.
The Sturmabteilung, more commonly known as “Brownshirts,” were the fanatical enforcement wing of the Nazi Party during its rise to power. The Brownshirts intimidated opponents of Hitler into submission through threats and violence. Ultimately they were simply “useful idiots,” discarded (read: purged) after their usefulness had run its course. But the concept of a fanatical, violent mob to silence opposition lives on in the progressive movement.
That mob currently is being organized against Trump, not for policy inconsistencies or even substantive policy differences, but for rejecting political correctness and – the ultimate and only sin in the progressive worldview – existing wrong.
Donald Trump is not politically correct. This is not breaking news. This is, perhaps, his greatest asset. What he lacks in policy specifics or core principles and respect or understanding of the Constitution, he makes up for with bluntness. When it comes to the issues that truly stir emotions – economic stability, growth, and people’s ability to provide for themselves and their family – Trump says the things you’d overhear at a local VFW or union hall anywhere between New York and California.
Despite his silver spoon upbringing and current lifestyle, Trump knows how middle class, hard-working, beer-swilling Americans talk and think. Whether he means it or believes it remains to be seen. He is not like them. He was born incredibly wealthy, always has been the boss and never has consumed alcohol. But that hasn’t mattered so far.
What has mattered is millions of people who’ve been force-fed nonsense by self-proclaimed academics and out-of-touch Harvard elites have rallied to a candidate who isn’t afraid to call out BS as BS without using the initials, just like they do when talking to the people they know.
If you’ve watched politics on any level, you’ve almost certainly heard a politician explaining his stance on something and thought, “I could do a better job than this idiot.” It’s the same mentality that causes baseball fans to turn on batters who miss a 95-mile-per-hour fastball when they couldn’t hit a ball out of the infield off a tee. It’s human nature.
Now the people who generally are mocked by coastal snobs find themselves identifying on an emotional level with a thrice-married billionaire who travels in style on his private jet plane. Leftists have derived power through division and fear – segregating the population by race, gender, etc., trying to convince people there’s a conspiracy to harm them and painting themselves as the great protector.
Trump grates against that mentality, becoming “one of us” who “gets it.” It is a different emotional appeal, and it is trumping the progressive-inspired fear.
Confused and afraid, progressives have gone back to the well to which they always return – the angry mob.
These rioting goons are organized by people who know what they’re doing; they’ve been conditioned to hate anyone “not on their team.” And just like the Sturmabteilung, blind loyalty to their righteous cause crowds out their dignity and basic humanity.
This was easier when the left’s control of a few key media outlets was enough to slow communications and monopolize thought. The press was the almost exclusive domain of Walter Duranty-types who served up the New York Times as Stalin’s personal press shop. Those days are done, thanks to the Internet, and they’re never coming back.
There’s no longer a monopoly for progressive propagandists with press credentials. For all its faults, Twitter destroyed the polemicists’ power. As progressives indulge in their typical tactics, the world is seeing it, unfiltered, for the first time. And people are discovering it’s every bit as ugly as it’s always been.