Which to Choose: Democracy or My Right-Wing Agenda?


My advice to cartoonist Gerald Scarfe: don’t hold back, tell us what you really think.

In a review titled The Worst of the Worst, Michael Tomasky reviews Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury and David Frum’s Trumpocracy.

Please read the review. Please read the books.

At the end of his article Tomasky arrives at the point where the rubber meets the road. The right-wing agenda is very unpopular. If permitted to vote, a majority of the people will not vote for it. So you have a choice: either moderate your agenda and compromise for whatever you can get, or prevent people from voting. Tomasky writes,

Frum’s criticisms are not limited to Trump. He devotes several pages to an attack on recent Republican efforts to suppress the votes of Democratic-leaning constituencies, advancing the argument, which many conservatives are still loath to make, that Trump, far from being an aberration of modern Republicanism, is in fact its logical endpoint:

It was not out of the ether that Donald Trump confected his postelection claim that he lost the popular vote only because “millions” voted illegally. Such claims have been circulating in the Republican world for some time, based in some cases on purported statistical evidence. Beyond the evidence, however, was fear: fear that the time would soon come, and maybe already had come, when democracy would be turned against those who regarded themselves as its rightful winners and proper custodians.

Conservatives, he writes later, will never abandon conservatism. If the day comes when they conclude that their side can’t win elections democratically, “they will reject democracy.” Trumpocracy warns that the day of reckoning is upon us—that the liberal democracy that is our heritage “imposes limits and requires compromises,” and that Trumpism is its mortal enemy. As the lies mount, questions that once seemed overwrought can no longer be put to the side. We probably have three years of this—at least—to go.