On May 22, 1856, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks entered the Senate chamber and approached Charles Sumner, who was sitting at his desk applying a postal frank to copies of his “Crime Against Kansas” speech, in which he excoriated Senator Andrew Butler for embracing “the harlot, Slavery.” Brooks beat the unsuspecting Sumner senseless with a dog-whip cane, sending him into convalescence for the next three years and ending what remained of “reasoned discourse” in the Senate. A half-decade later, the nation plunged into the Civil War, settling disputes on the battlefield that could not be addressed by a civilized exchange of views, which had been crushed by passions of the time.
Today’s passions explode from elites embracing harlots of hatred and denunciation sufficient to shock the sensibilities of any ante-bellum orator: fake severed heads, assassination threats, enough F-bombs to obliterate America’s enemies, along with endless verbal assaults against President Trump, saturate Progressive bellowing. All of which is insane, of course: if only H. P. Lovecraft (Mountains of Madness) were around to help us cope. Absent that, we always have the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, though its entries apply to individual cases and not to entire categories of people losing their minds. What, then, can be said? What explains such unbridled hatred of President Trump? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Trump is an outsider. Trump is not a normal Republican, or a normal Democrat, or a normal anything. He burst into the political scene late in his life, with few political obligations to anyone, least of all to entrenched elites in both political parties. Progressives have been accustomed to milquetoast Republicans for many decades; even Ronald Reagan didn’t depart from the script in ways that threatened the established order. And both Bushes, regardless of their occasionally bellicose policies, were eminently manageable; Bush I reneged on his No New Taxes pledge in a heartbeat and Bush II even expanded Medicare. Of course, both were still vilified, but, hey, that’s the leftist script. Plus, like most Republicans, they didn’t complain too much. Heck, they’re almost one of us! Trump isn’t.
2. Trump fights back. The last thing leftist mudslingers expected was a Republican who would bring a cannon to a gunfight. In fact, President Trump’s loose Twitter lips have punctured enough egos among his opponents to prod battalions of leftist potty-mouths to sue for copyright infringement. Donald Trump’s intemperate (and often ill-advised) responses to filthy onslaughts against him has had the effect of tarnishing his opponents’ brand names—especially in the media—by triggering even more extreme attacks. Before Trump, ideological hemophiliacs on the left bled fashionable resentment with every minor cut, every perceived slight; now, here comes a guy who declares elite media as the “enemy of the people.” His denouncers are in full Keith Olbermann mode, now, competing for an award that celebrates obscenity-screeching madness. Would be entertaining if it were not so sickening, so pathetic. And dangerous.
3. Trump loves America. He loves the country, that’s it. No apologies, no equivocations, no “on the other hands”—he stands up for America, for ordinary citizens, for every skin color, from sea to shining sea. He stiffs welfare-state besotted Euro-weenies, demands a level playing field in trade, and insists that government’s main concern should be for American citizens, and not foreign lawbreakers either in China or across the Rio Grande. Progressives have contempt for America. They spit on the flag, despise at least half of our citizens, trash our history, sneer at capitalism, denounce our founders, the Declaration, the Constitution, and dismiss most Americans with a blizzard of acronyms. And then they wonder why Trump won. Go figure.
4. Lib-Progs are spoiled rotten. They’ve had their way for the past half-century without serious interruption and still fully expect to transform the rest of the country to conform to the one-party systems they’ve clamped onto academia. A transformed America has no guns, no free speech, no boundaries, no conservatives, no Christians, a strictly controlled economic system, and a monstrous government in thrall to Lib-Progs’ lunatic weather cult and its grotesque commitment to infanticide. In short, totalitarianism. And then along came Trump.
5. Lib-Progs’ entitlement complex. Nothing in life is a matter of merit, achievement, or individual responsibility; everything is a matter of administratively determined entitlement, with an arc of history thrown in. Both ensure that the country rumbles along in a direction culminating in rule by an elite corps of Platonic guardians—liberal progressives controlling government, media, entertainment, academia, everything. In short, the country, history, owes them. And then along came Trump.
Although these suggestions offer hints to solving the Trump-hatred puzzle, one may still be left with a sense of incompletion, that something else still needs to be understood, an overlooked variable. Unfortunately, we may never understand such hatred completely, and even if we did, this knowledge may not thwart leftist plans for America. Normal cycles of politics will return liberals to government eventually; perhaps then, greater numbers of Americans besides the “deplorables” will more fully grasp what their self-described betters have in mind for them.
The only question is whether such a realization will arrive in time to save the country from those who despise Donald Trump and everything he stands for.