Trump and the End of the Beginning
Here in New England, there comes a moment, generally in March, when you can tell that Winter has turned the corner. The nights are still frigid. The ground is still strewn with filthy snow, cold but angry mounds, pitted black with icy gravel. And there might be more snow on the way. But there is something in the slant of the afternoon sunlight, something in the scent and texture of the air, that tells you that Spring is nigh.
I have a kindred feeling about the progress of the anti-Trump hysteria that has been plaguing the country since the early hours of November 9, 2016. The hysteria, I admit, has gone on far longer, and has been far more virulent, than I anticipated. I thought the insanity would dissipate quickly after January 20, when Donald Trump was inaugurated. Instead, it has accelerated, abetted by a scurrilous and irresponsible media and grandstanding Democratic politicians encouraged by their deep-state enablers.
The hysteria reached a crescendo over the last week. There was Kathy Griffin and her ghoulish ISIS-by-proxy photo shoot depicting her holding a blood-soaked likeness of Donald Trump’s severed head. There is the ongoing production in New York of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, replete with a Donald Trump lookalike in the title role and lots and lots of stage blood spilled when we come to the Ides of March. There was James Comey’s truly bizarre testimony before Congress last week. Then there was the disgusting treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions by his former colleagues in the Senate: the names of Martin Heinrich and Mark Warner will occupy a place of special obloquy in the annals of disgraceful and nakedly partisan vilification. These anti-Trump players, each in his own way, helped to create the toxic environment into which James Hodgkinson, an anti-GOP zealot and Bernie Sanders supporter, strode Wednesday morning when he showed up at a congressional baseball practice session in Alexandria, Virginia. “Democrats or Republicans?” he was overheard to ask. Told that the field was occupied by Republicans, he took out a high-powered rifle and began shooting, seriously injuring several, including Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, before being felled himself by the Capitol Police.
What’s the take-away of all this? That we’re on the verge of a Civil War? There are some who say so. Certainly, as I have noted elsewhere, what all those who style themselves part of the “resistance” to Donald Trump are actually resisting is the result of a free and open democratic election. Trump met the qualifications to run for president of the United States: he was old enough and was a native-born American. And then he won the race by racking up more electoral votes than his opponent, despite being outspent nearly two to one.