When people “act out,” it’s often because a particularly raw nerve has been touched, some basic fear triggered.
And acting out is clearly what John Lewis and the umpteen (as of now 58) other Democrats are doing in refusing to attend the inauguration (Lewis apparently not for the first time). They claim this is because Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, etc., etc., anathema to everything an “inclusive” America should be, and therefore unfit for the office. Not only that, Vladimir Putin put him there.
But that’s the surface of what’s really upsetting them, what the shrinks call the “presenting complaint.” Deep down it’s something else, something far more potent.
They’re afraid Donald Trump might actually succeed.
In a world where we often talk of disruptors in business, Trump is the ultimate political disruptor. What if this supposedly vulgar, rude man who makes politically incorrect comments about various people and groups were the one finally to put our disadvantaged communities on the road to economic recovery and opportunity? What if Donald Trump made the inner cities great for the first time?
What would that do to the John Lewises of the world (not to mention the more obviously exploitative Sharptons and Jacksons)? It would make them irrelevant. More specifically, it would show them to be irrelevant, because they already are.
Yes, I know I’m supposed to revere Lewis for what he did in Selma, but we can admire someone for his actions over fifty years ago without inoculating him from criticism in the present. And the “present” has been going on for awhile.
The liberal-progressivism espoused by Lewis and those following him has been a failure for decades in many areas, but especially for large numbers of African-Americans. Nothing has demonstrated this more clearly than the Obama administration, during which we have seen a rise in unchecked violence, largely black-on-black, in many African-American communities (notably Chicago and Baltimore); substantially diminished labor participation rates, particularly among the young; the tragic continued disappearance of the black middle class family; and the rise of what are essentially reactionary, separatist groups like Black Lives Matter. MLK’s dream of integration inherent in the civil rights movement of Lewis’ time has been and is being trampled.
Meanwhile no new solutions for our minority communities have been offered. In fact, no solutions at all, old or new, were put forth by the previous administration, unless you see such exercises as Eric Holder’s advocating national discussions on race as a solution. More likely, these discussions would be the reverse — morally narcissistic enterprises designed to justify current policies, if you can figure out what they are, and maintain the status quo (i.e. identity politics).
Whatever he is, Trump is clearly not about the status quo. This is also what frightens our media to such an excessive degree, a group that lauds “change” in theory but loathes it in practice. They are the kings and queens of stasis, the true permanent government, the preservers of what some call the “deep state.” Threatened as never before, all aspects of this “deep” — therefore not very democratic — “state” have done their best to wound Trump in every possible way before the inauguration. They have succeeded to an unfortunate extent because their efforts are clearly reflected in his poor poll numbers. They may not be as bad as they seem, as Trump himself insists, but they are not as good as they should be at the beginning of a new administration.
This fear of Trump’s success also explains the far-more-than-normal determination of his adversaries in their attempts to protest the inauguration, the actual acts of planned sabotage, and the reports that upwards of $2500 per individual are being paid to those willing to come to D.C. to demonstrate.
Demand Protest, a San Francisco company that bills itself as the “largest private grassroots support organization in the United States,” posted identical ads Jan. 12 in multiple cities on Backpage.com seeking “operatives.”
“Get paid fighting against Trump!” says the ad.
“We pay people already politically motivated to fight for the things they believe. You were going to take action anyways, why not do so with us!” the ad continues. “We are currently seeking operatives to help send a strong message at upcoming inauguration protests.”
The job offers a monthly retainer of $2,500 plus “our standard per-event pay of $50/hr, as long as you participate in at least 6 events a year,” as well as health, vision and dental insurance for full-time operatives.
Not a bad job in today’s world, even if there is no pension plan. (But it would be amusing to see how the innocents signing on would react if they realized they were simply henchmen of the old status quo, that deep state, and not the revolutionaries they think they are.)
In any case, this is all happening against a background of what is indeed an unspoken calamity for the media, Lewis, his ideological cohorts, and whoever it is investing all this money (Soros, et al.). Liberalism and progressivism are dead. They’re out of ideas. That’s the untold story behind the failure of the Hillary Clinton campaign. She had no plan to run on because there is no longer a liberal-progressive plan to have, one that works anyway. There was no longer a there there. Trump won because of that, even with all those forces aligned against him.
But the wound is too severe. Even devoid of a viable ideology, they fight on tooth and nail. Power itself has always been more important than what it stands for. The battle, as is clearly evident, is far from over.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. He will be be participating in the panel commenting on Donald Trump’s inaugural speech on the Steve Malzberg Show, Newsmax TV, 1pm. ET, January 20, 2017.