December 5, 2023

The Great Trump Freakout Begins

Democrats are panicking and playing the “fear” card as they ponder Donald Trump’s potential return to the White House.

Fear is all they’ve got. It’s all they ever had.

Last week, The Washington Post’s Robert Kagan unspooled a nearly 6,000-word essay on the looming threat of Donald Trump’s return to the White House. The essay’s title tells it all: “A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending.”

It wasn’t easy to slog through such a fearmongering polemic, but we read every word so you wouldn’t have to.

Kagan, who has no doubt noticed Donald Trump’s massive lead over the Republican field and the recent polling showing him beating Joe Biden head-to-head, thinks Trump’s Republican Party nomination is a fait accompli. But remarkably, he also thinks that the American media are somehow split in their support for him. Get a load of this howler: “The American press corps will remain divided as it is today, between those organizations catering to Trump and his audience and those that do not.” Let’s analyze that “divide,” shall we? On the one side, we have ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and every leading newspaper in every major city in the United States. And on the other side, we have Fox News. Okay, and Newsmax. And we have talk radio.

Kagan says Trump has “declared the news media to be ‘enemies of the state,’” but that’s a lie. Trump drew an important distinction between the news media in its entirety and what he famously called the fake news media — and it was the latter that he dubbed the enemy of the people. And, frankly, who can deny that he’s right?

Kagan writes, “In a Trump presidency, the courage it will take to stand up for them will be no less than the courage it will take to stand up to Trump himself.”

More nonsense. In Trump’s first term, all sorts of people stood up to him and spoke out against him, from congressional Democrats to CNN and MSNBC reporters to private citizens. The idea that folks will be too gripped by fear to denounce Trump is laughable, ludicrous.

In order to stoke our fears of Trump’s looming despotism, Kagan invoked the names and deeds of past presidents: “Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, the Wilson administration shut down newspapers and magazines critical of the war; Franklin D. Roosevelt rounded up Japanese Americans and placed them in camps.”

Ooooh. Trump did nothing even remotely resembling these unconstitutional outrages in his first term, and — mark our words — he won’t do any such things his second time around.

Kagan says that in just a few short years, we’ve gone “from being relatively secure in our democracy to being a few short steps, and a matter of months, away from the possibility of dictatorship.” Anyone who thinks we’ve been “relatively secure in our democracy” under Joe Biden hasn’t been paying attention. Biden has been far more dictatorial than Trump.

In closing, Kagan turns the volume up to 11: “To shift metaphors,” he writes, “if we thought there was a 50 percent chance of an asteroid crashing into North America a year from now, would we be content to hope that it wouldn’t? Or would we be taking every conceivable measure to try to stop it?” Kagan continues:

At each point along the way, our political leaders, and we as voters, have let opportunities to stop Trump pass on the assumption that he would eventually meet some obstacle he could not overcome. Republicans could have stopped Trump from winning the nomination in 2016, but they didn’t. The voters could have elected Hillary Clinton, but they didn’t. Republican senators could have voted to convict Trump in either of his impeachment trials, which might have made his run for president much more difficult, but they didn’t.

Clearly, Kagan doesn’t understand the point he’s repeatedly making: they didn’t. Republican primary voters were free to choose Jeb Bush as the establishment standard-bearer in 2016, but they chose not to. The American people were free to elect the repugnant Hillary Clinton, but they chose not to. Republican senators were free to convict and remove Trump from office following his impeachment by the Democrat-controlled House, but they didn’t because they knew his persecutors were merely exercising a political vendetta rather than standing up for Rule of Law.

Kagan closes with his umpteenth warning that we “continue to drift toward dictatorship, still hoping for some intervention that will allow us to escape the consequences of our collective cowardice, our complacent, willful ignorance and, above all, our lack of any deep commitment to liberal democracy.”

Might it simply be that what he sees as “collective cowardice” is merely a growing preference among the American people for Donald Trump’s vigorous leadership and “America First” policies over Joe Biden’s undeniable weakness and ineptitude? Might it be that he mistakes complacency for quiet resolve, and willful ignorance for informed approval?

Kagan, though, isn’t the only Trump-deranged hysteric. Former Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney is another, and her historic electoral thumping back home in Wyoming last year didn’t cause her to reconsider the disgrace of her January 6 Committee collaboration, nor how woefully out of step she is with the new Republican Party and its standard-bearer.

Instead, Cheney continues her work as a useful idiot for the Democrats, calling the possibility of Trump’s reelection “an existential crisis,” and even admitting that she’d like to see the Republicans lose the House.

Early next year, in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Nevada, patriotic Americans will make a choice. And it’s our sense that they won’t be suckered by the Democrats’ fearmongering. Instead, they’ll reject the poisonous anti-Republican message of Liz Cheney and they’ll support the America First policies of Donald Trump.

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