A Test of Endurance
The Stoneman Douglas High School shooting confirmed what many feared: every public event in America will now be politicized. The victims' families had scarcely registered the tragic facts before the blame game got under way at full steam divided almost exactly along ideological lines. The liberal narrative was predictable. The NRA was a merchant of death; the benighted American was pathologically obsessed with military grade firearms, and it was time for the US to join the civilized world. The conservative talking points were equally familiar. They revolved around how liberals set up gun-free zones as kill boxes; how law enforcement acted with extreme incompetence and possible dereliction of duty.
Politics, which was ironically invented to make deals between competing factions possible has instead served to make the very simplest acts of governance impossible. Many believe that governance has become zero-sum. Mark Ellis for example argues the Russian collusion investigation has become a self-fulfilling prophecy creating the very effects it solemnly aims to prevent, destroying the village as it were, in order to save it. In this charged atmosphere Ellis thinks the only path to national survival is to "make the Deep State pay" in the forthcoming midterm elections.
It is in the hands of the country’s voters now, Republicans, independents, and concerned, open-minded Democrats, to send an incontrovertible message about corruption and real collusion in the upcoming midterm election.
However those voters may feel about President Trump’s first year, an electoral alignment with the president is the best (if not only) way to show disgust about what has been orchestrated at the highest levels of the Deep State bureaucracy, the top-tiers of our federal law enforcement agencies, and by the Democrat Party apparatus.
But it's unlikely to end the fight. While the victor of the 2018 midterm elections is anybody's guess, it's a safe bet a liberal defeat in the 2018 would enrage its base to an heightened degree. An administration gain in the midterms would send a clear signal the liberal setback of 2016 was not a fluke. The hope the president was simply an outlier and that future elections could only deliver a regression toward the mean -- a return to business as usual -- would receive a cruel blow. An administration loss on the other hand is likely to increase the sense of persecution and alienation Deplorables already feel.
Destroy the Deep State! Impeach Trump! -- choose.
In either case the conflict is likely to intensify, for reasons that will become clear, before it eventually subsides. Europeans are already beginning to suspect that Brexit was not a fluke. Political developments Hungary, Austria, Poland and the slow decline of Angela Merkel are convincing evidence that the liberal establishment is facing more than a run of bad luck. The race goes on.