One is Simply Wrong; the Other, Complexly Wrong

wrong way

Simply Wrong

Jennifer Rubin, Here’s how staunch progressives can win the hearts of Never Trumpers

Her answer to the question she posed? Endorse 14 procedural ideas. E. g., “Report to the House and Senate intelligence committees deviations from the normal security-clearance process on behalf of senior officials.” And “Repudiate use of executive orders designed to sidestep or avoid court rulings.”

Just do this sort of thing, and the Never Trumpers will cheerfully vote for a progressive Democrat.

Silly, silly column. But I suppose everyone is entitled to an off day.

Complexly Wrong

Harry Olsen, Yes, Trump’s tweets are offensive. But there’s one big reason Republicans stand behind him.

And that reason is … Drumroll …

Trump’s primary appeal to millions of people is that he protects them from something much worse. So long as that perception exists, those people will back him no matter how offensively he behaves.

He could lose that support, but only if he betrays that core appeal. If Trump started to appoint liberal judges or took positions that threatened what evangelicals perceive as religious liberty, many would start to rethink their backing for him. If he were to turn on a dime and undo many of his tax cuts, many fiscal conservatives would rethink their support. But so long as he keeps his deals, the alternatives are so unpalatable that Trump looks fine by comparison.

Those who want to defeat Trump should read the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu. He said that a general should leave a route free when an enemy is surrounded. “Do not press a desperate foe too hard,” he wrote, knowing that a cornered person will fight to the death. The more people who feel cornered, the more people will disregard Trump’s statements and character to defend what they hold most dear. Until Trump’s opponents grasp this fact, nothing Trump says will do anything to weaken his support.

Thank you, Mr. Olsen, for sharing your views with us.

And now let me tell you a few things. First off, your claim that Trump is actually “protecting” anyone from anything is highly problematic, on multiple levels. But let me just, for the sake of the discussion, accept your premise.

There appear to be about 42 percent of our population who feel an intense need to be protected from the views and policy objectives of about 52 percent of the population. As long as the 42 percent haven’t found a way to establish a Dictatorship of the Culturally Aggrieved, they need to outvote the 52 percent. Can’t do it no other way.

How do 42 percent outvote 52 percent? Obviously, by somehow depressing the enthusiasm and the turnout of the 52 percent, while getting everybody on their own side really riled up.

If Trump the Protector grasped that basic point, he probably could find some effective ways to implement the strategy.

But no, he’s not doing that. Instead, what he’s doing is riling up his own base, and, at the same time, doing things that (a) peel away some of his remaining marginal supporters and (b) royally piss off the 52 percent side.

We see it in tonight’s House vote on the racist tweets resolution. Sure, the majority stayed with him—and a minority of Republicans vigorously endorsed the racist tweets. But some had had enough. If you’re in the minority, you really cannot afford to lose the marginal supporters and the reluctant fellow travelers.

So, Mr. Olsen, whatever it is you think Trump is protecting you from, he’s doing a piss-poor job of it.

And, by the way, Mr. Olsen, to win, our side has to gin up our own base, and then outvote you at the polls. And that, sir, is exactly what our side is by way of doing.

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 7.28.51 PM