by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
It’s deep-breath time. It’s understandable that partisans would be upset after losing a hard-fought campaign, and it’s prudent and humane to give people a few days of space before reading too much into their words, but it’s clear that in some quarters anti-Trump fervor may be yielding a persistent hysteria that’s far, far out of proportion to the facts and probabilities of a Donald Trump administration.
The worst case against Trump goes as follows: He’s a Klan-endorsed champion of an alt-right that is racist and willing to use threats, intimidation, and violence to get its way. He hates Latinos and Muslims and wants to introduce national stop-and-frisk targeted at black men. He will rip families apart, go house to house in search of illegal aliens, and leads a vast army of white-supremacist voters who are intent on re-establishing their cultural and economic dominance. One writer, Slate’s Jamelle Bouie — in a piece called “There’s No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter” — even compared Trump supporters to the people who watched lynchings.
But wait, wasn’t there also a worst case against Hillary Clinton? As much as the Democrats try to normalize her, isn’t she a Communist-party endorsed champion of a Black Lives Matter movement that is not only committed to “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” it has inspired riots and deadly violence from coast to coast? Didn’t she mishandle the nation’s national-security secrets and support attacks on Americans’ religious freedoms? When she lost, didn’t some of her supporters align themselves with anarchists and other radicals (including “Black Bloc” thugs) to stoke violence in American streets?
Sadly, both of these worst-case scenarios have more than a few kernels of truth. There is an alt-right, it is evil, and a key member of Trump’s team — Steve Bannon — bragged about turning one of the Right’s most-trafficked sites into a “platform” for that vile movement. Trump’s own record of insensitive and outrageous comments and policy ideas is too well-known to repeat. As for Hillary, she did of course carry with her the Star Wars–cantina of radicals and revolutionaries that tags along with virtually every modern Democratic nominee. Some of these radicals did riot. She did mishandle our nation’s secrets, and she was an extremist advocate of abortion rights.
So what’s the case for the deep breath? Simply put, the vast majority of Americans didn’t and don’t support the fringes (if they were even aware they exist), the American system is built from the ground-up to block radicalism, and the real-world proposals that are so far on the table for the Trump administration are in the main sensible, conventional, and hardly revolutionary (even when I disagree.).