I voted twice for President Trump. But he has indisputably been a polarizing figure. He doesn’t seem to mind; he basks in his opponents’ hatred.
The Democrats are more than happy to oblige him. The last Republican they hated with this fervor and fever was Abraham Lincoln.
At least in the case of Lincoln, the Dem hatred was on the basis of policy, not personality. The Dems hated Lincoln for his policy against slavery. (An aside: many millennials think Lincoln was a Dem and the southern slave owners were Republicans. It’s possible they are taught that.)
In the case of Trump, the Dems originally hated him not for his policies but for his existence. They hated him because he denied the presidency to their anointed one, Hillary Clinton.
That hatred grew, as hatred does. The Dems went from a party a decade ago that preached love and compassion – though their talk was always better than their walk in that regard – to one that openly hates people who disagree with them. They cancel, censor, shout down and name-call. And they seem to delight in doing so.
Now they hate everything about Trump. It pleasures them to imagine and even depict his severed head. They came to hate his hair, his wife, his son and his girth. They all but crucified him.
It was natural that they came to hate his policies too, just because those policies were his. Their hatred of his policies became awkward when it was pointed out that those policies were either the same as those of his Dem predecessor, as in the “immigrant-children-in-cages” meme or were different but much more successful, as in his tough-but-pragmatic approach to the Mideast.
Such details didn’t matter to the Dems. What’s important to people driven by hate is not understanding and justifying their hatred, but feeling and fueling it.
This is consistent with the theory that Republicans tend to vote with their heads while Democrats vote with their hearts. I don’t mean that as a compliment to Democrats. Voting with one’s heart is much more destructive than it sounds. Hating or loving a person or his policies because you love or hate his policies or his person, is childish. It’s not the behavior of a responsible electorate. It’s the behavior of tribal fools who don’t deserve a democratic republic and probably won’t have one for long.
But it worked for the Dems this time. Barring a successful Hail Mary at the Supreme Court, the Dems succeeded in defeating Trump with some combination of fraud (the exact extent of which we’ll probably never know) and hate.
But their Trump-hatred had no coattails. The GOP picked up a dozen seats in the House where they were predicted to lose that many. In the Senate, the GOP was predicted to lose control but have almost certainly retained it (we’ll know for sure after the Georgia run-offs in January).
The American people didn’t like Trump’s polarizing antics, but they also didn’t like vagrants camping on the sidewalks and pooping in the gutters, decent people having their careers or lives ruined for saying something politically incorrect a decade ago, police being de-funded, undisguised socialism, reverse racial discrimination, animus toward religion, loser anarchist thugs seceding from the union in our once-great cities, and crazy theocrats in Iran getting nukes.
AOC is not the face of America, or even the real face of the Dems despite the click-hungry garbage media portraying her as such.
So now what? The Dems can no longer run against Trump. And Mitch McConnell doesn’t exactly put fire in their belly.
The Dems will instead have to govern. The people will judge them on their effectiveness in doing so.
Expect moderately left governance, not radical rhetoric. Radicalism by definition excludes approaches that are proven to work. Most Dem politicians know that, and most of them want to get re-elected. And re-elected and re-elected.
Getting rid of Trump is thus a huge setback to American radicalism. The next four years will be prosperous as COVID goes away and the media’s obsession with it fades, politics finally gravitate back toward the middle of the road where most of America lives, and radical fantasies are subdued by reality, by the GOP senate and by the desire of Dems not to get thrashed again in down-ballot contests.
In 2024 the Dems may crank up their hate machine again when a savvy Republican like Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley or Marco Rubio runs against an ineffectual successor to an enfeebled Joe Biden. But it will never operate as well as it did the last four years. Because nobody is quite as hate-able and loveable as Donald Trump.
And so now he gets the last laugh. I don’t like you, Mr. President, but I salute you.