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Why can’t the Left let go of Trump? Those who thought they were fighting a monster are in danger of becoming one

Do you believe that a single person can steer history? Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Do you believe that a single person can steer history? Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images


January 22, 2021   5 mins

There’s a moment in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight when the Joker, played by Heath Ledger, has a sudden change of heart. For some 90-plus minutes of screen time, he’s been dead set on murdering Gotham’s caped crusader — only now, he realises that getting what he wanted would ruin everything. The battle isn’t a battle at all, but a precious symbiosis, a reason to keep getting out of bed in the morning. If he wins and he kills his nemesis, he loses.

“I had a vision of a world without Batman,” he muses. “And it was soooo
. boring.”

Today, the American Left is faced with a similar crisis. Donald Trump is, perhaps needless to say, not Batman. (Much as he might like to think otherwise.) But he is interesting, and for quite some time he’s played an essential role in motivating his opponents to action. After all, there’s no Resistance without a powerful force to throw one’s weight against.

For four years, Democrats and a handful of Republicans have looked forward to Trump’s defeat, and with it, an end to the fight. Only now, with the war won and a new president in office, it seems that nobody wants to let go. Not Donald Trump, who spent the last months of his presidency claiming to have been robbed, fomenting insurrection, and getting himself banned from every social media platform — but not his opponents either.

Trump, with his trashy aesthetics, vulgar xenophobia and thin-skinned arrogance, was the perfect villain. We couldn’t have invented a better one if we’d tried (although we occasionally did anyway, embellishing his idiocy until it became the stuff of legend). And while a free and fair election evicted him from the White House, all evidence indicates that he’s still living rent-free in our heads. We’re not done; we’re still so angry. Where is all that pent-up emotion supposed to go?

A look at the cultural landscape suggests a transference is taking place, with the loathing rippling outward to land on anyone Trump-adjacent. The society pages have taken up jeering at the President’s various progeny, particularly Ivanka and Jared, whose impending social death amongst the New York elite is the stuff schadenfreude is made of. “Ivanka Trump apparently thinks she’s going to ride this insurrection out and be president one day,” reads one Vanity Fair headline. At the same time, political activists are intent on hounding Trump’s enablers out of public life; in publishing, a petition to bar anyone in the administration from receiving book contracts is currently amassing signatures.

But more than Trump’s friends and family, it’s the still-active MAGA masses who will bear the brunt of our displaced rage. Imagine Trump being toppled from his presidential pedestal and shattering into a thousand sentient pieces, a scurrying horde of mini-Trumps, all with targets on their backs. The several hundred idiots who stormed the Capitol may have failed to overturn the election, but they’ve given new purpose to a cadre of online progressives who want to play Poirot. An entire community has sprung up, devoted to identifying the rioters foolish enough to attempt a coup unmasked and on camera. The pink-hatted women who marched en masse against Trump in January 2016 have found a new calling this year, honey-trapping the rioters on dating apps and reporting them to the FBI.

Meanwhile, the Left’s calls to defund the police have fallen abruptly silent; instead, we fantasise about more laws, more cops, more ways to wield our newfound authority against these Trumpist transgressors.The protest movement that defined us last year, the mass national outcry against police impunity and unbridled authoritarianism? As it turns out, these things are only a problem if you’re not the person in power. “I hope he can hear the sirens approaching at this very moment,” tweets a self-described advocate for democracy and social justice after one rioter is identified. Another replies, “I hope he hears nothing; a black SUV pulls up along side him at the grocery parking lot, a bag over his head, and they speed off to an undisclosed location.”

Is this Donald Trump’s legacy? Have those of us who thought we were fighting a monster become one ourselves? Six months ago, progressives marched against police overreach and scolded their fellow citizens for calling the cops on looters. Today, these same people fantasise openly about seeing the MAGA rioters behind bars. Activists who used the public sphere of social media to transform a hashtag campaign into a global movement for justice now celebrate the silencing of their political opponents.

And journalists, who have spent four years proclaiming their commitment to boldly speaking truth to power, seem to have forgotten that this is still their job, even when that power has been transferred into the hands of someone they prefer. This shift was already apparent in the lead-up to the election: compare the breathless coverage of Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct, from the Access Hollywood tape to the Stormy Daniels scandal, to the general scepticism that greeted Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault by Joe Biden; or the gleeful speculation surrounding Trump’s Russia collusion to the poo-pooing of the peculiar contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.

But the contrast has been even starker in the months following the election, as some journalists reversed course and decided that they were true patriots after all. Questioning the validity of the election, a favourite pastime back in late 2016, became taboo verging on treason. Faithless electors, once hailed as the great hope for an against-all-odds Hilary Clinton presidency, were now scrutinised as seditionists.

When Trump’s supporters rushed the Capitol, some reporters not only compared it to September 11, but cheered the notion of a Patriot Act-style crackdown on the so-called “domestic terrorists”. Granted, these “terrorists” did not topple any buildings that day, but they did throw an unprecedented tantrum that frightened our lawmakers and got several people killed. Washington Post columnist Max Boot was one of many journalists who called on on our new government overlords to urgently step in: “Biden needs to reinvigorate the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to slow the lies and sedition from Fox and other right-wing broadcasters,” he tweeted. “Or else the terrorism we saw on Jan. 6 may be only the beginning, rather than the end, of the plot against America.”

The fact that this “terrorism” looked less like an organised movement, and more like a group of dogs who unexpectedly, improbably caught the car they were chasing, is irrelevant. In fact, it’s an American tradition: if no genuine plot against the country exists, we can always invent one, cobbled together from scraps to look like something real. A secret Iraqi bunker full of weapons of mass destruction; a secret coup being plotted deep in the bowels of QAnon and Parler.

We have spent four years in a state of energising, symbiotic hatred; we can’t just let it go. Battling Trump gave us a sense of purpose, and in some cases, even a sense of self. Winning, on the other hand, is a dull affair with boring prizes — so much so that many of us are would rather stay where we are, unwilling to declare victory, grinding our defeated opponents into smaller and smaller pieces until there’s nothing left to punish. We are chasing the dragon of outrage just to feel alive again. The fight was what united and defined us. What’s a Resistance warrior to do?


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

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Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Your no saints,
The lists are being drawn up, people being barred from working again, banned from publishing, speaking!
You are the mirror image of what you say you hate.
What a world you are creating and I know what happens to people like me when people like you draw up lists…..

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Don’t worry. You and I will probably be long dead but there will dawn a day when the hangman comes for her. Revolutions always eat their own.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

TDS begins to finally see the light of morning. The drunk orgy of Trump hate is becoming the sober hangover of self awareness. ’embellishing his idiocy? what ever… ‘Free and fair trial’? I suppose if you call sending out postal votes en-mass although the State rules did not always allow that, but doing it anyway, and judges not reviewing the evidence but closing the cases anyway.

No it has been pure TDS, an illness created by the Frankfurt School education industry, which has not yet had an effective vaccine, but maybe a couple years of Kamala/Biden/Pelosi will finally act as one.

Barry Coombes
Barry Coombes
3 years ago

Trump was a reaction to the villainy on your side, not the other way round.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  Barry Coombes

Standard left wing approach. They accuse others of their own crimes.

mdoocey
mdoocey
3 years ago

Ms Rosenfield entirely misses the obvious when she fails to recognize that the Fascism that the Left continues to project onto Donald Trump is entirely their own.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Is this Donald Trump’s legacy? Have those of us who thought we were fighting a monster become one ourselves?
No and yes. The legacy is your own, one created by a 24/7 blind hate that refused to consider any worthwhile accomplishment and magnified anything you didn’t like. I’m sure the media will conduct itself similarly with Biden, won’t they, being such a body of professionals.

Trump’s “sins” was not being part of the club. The media called Romney, McCain, Bush, etc. the same names, too – racist, sexist, Hitler, and so forth. But those were guys were part of the political club; they could be counted on to support the duopoly’s business-as-usual, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, while the peasants thought it was really two competing sides. Then came a guy not beholden to some lobbyist or other. And now we have Biden who, on day one, shafted an ally and put a lot of people into unemployment.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Exactly. They are going to shaft lots of people whilst they loot. Look at it as looting. The money will flow to BAME and Latino. Not on the basis of need, but on the basis of race. The white trash will be screwed, along with the middle class.

So roll on 4 years. If Trump is smart he campaigns now, doing the rallies, setting up his own network and doing weekly talks by the fireside. He should just ignore the democrats, don’t debate with them, don’t talk about them. Just go out and do programs about the people they have screwed.

At the same time work out how you will do the bit you didn’t do. You built the wall by getting the Mexicans to police it. You didn’t start any wars. The missing bit was drain the swamp.

Second, there is SS. 250 trillion in debt, owed to people, not banks. But the MSM just worries about banks. So have an external audit of SS, you will discover the liabilities are off the books. So get them published, a statement sent to all tax payers. That will screw the swamp for ignoring it. Doesn’t solve it because there is no palatable solution. If you really want, add on what people would have had if their money had been invested like the rich. That screws socialism.

Mike Fry
Mike Fry
3 years ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

Trump or better yet someone running on his policies, needs to campaign on what he touched on a bit in 2016. Term Limits! He had to drop that after he got electrocuted because he would have lost all support from his Republican backers in the senate. Now that these Dino have once again shown us that they are just trying to save their jobs rather than fighting for the American people it’s time to them out.
Term limits are the only way to drain the swamp. Too many people on both sides of the aisle that became millionaires while “working for the people.”

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Wasn’t his greatest sin that he and all his family were New York Democrats who did a hostile takeover of the Republican Party to carry out his programme, so now both parties hate him? Oh, and people voted for him in huge numbers, with enthusiasm.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Biden will double the price of Energy on ALL business & Residential use,for ”Green wash” projects

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago

Basically, you’re talking about double standards and hypocrisy. Something the left excel at.

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

Both sides excel at it. That’s the point.

Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

HA! The right sucks at it. They try, but they tripped over their own shoelaces on the way out the door. I’m definitey anti-Democrap at this point, but I’ve got to say – the Repubs are a clown show. Dems are just flat scary evil.

Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
3 years ago
Reply to  Kelly Mitchell

The best and brightest conservatives aren’t interested in running for office. Liberals are collectivists and see government as the best place to apply their efforts. When government fails they must blame their opponents. The alternative is too painful – their policies just DON’T Work.

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

All sides excel at it. By ignoring that fact you allow the dictators of one side to take over as you watch (in your case) the lefties dragged off to be “educated”…….then they will come back for you

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
3 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Ripley

That’s funny. During the WHOLE COLD WAR no ‘lefties were dragged off to be “educated” despite the country being run by patriots and conservatives.

Michael Cowling
Michael Cowling
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

I think that you forget McCarthy. People certainly lost jobs, and some possibly innocent people ended up in prison.

Greg Eiden
Greg Eiden
3 years ago

But there was no Communist infiltration of the US Dept of State, no giving away of our nuclear secrets, no spies in Roosevelt’s delegation at Potsdam, all just McCarthy’s fevered imagination? And innocents went to prison–I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, first time that’s EVER happened.

Toby Aldrich
Toby Aldrich
3 years ago

Good article, thanks, giving me my favourite quote of 2021, regarding the so-called ‘domestic terrorists’ who stormed the Capitol: “this “terrorism” looked less like an organised movement, and more like a group of dogs who unexpectedly, improbably caught the car they were chasing”.

The bedwetting of of many journalists has been cringe inducing.

Gary Greenbaum
Gary Greenbaum
3 years ago

There is an assumption in this article that the left is going after Trump and his supporters because of January 6. I don’t think that’s so. I think they would have gone after him, and them, regardless.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Greenbaum

There is at least the possibility, given the presence on Capitol Hill of a number of agent provocateurs, that the whole thing was a provocation to allow the Dems to ban Trump from ever running for office again. That’s how much they fear him personally.

Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Greenbaum

They were going after him from before he was elected. He was constantly misquoted and Obama’s FBI illegally surveiled his campaign.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

The forces are represented and embodied by the Democrat-Military-Media-Tech-Pharma complex are far more monstrous than Trump ever was. All Trump wanted was peace, secure borders and jobs for American workers. His opponents want to ship more jobs to China’s labour camps, take on Russia (possibly in a military sense) and invite the whole world to come to the US, leading to more Covid-riddled slums and, probably, a few terrorist attacks.

This article is just one dimensional garbage. We can get that from the Guardian and BBC etc.

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“All Trump wanted was peace, secure borders, and jobs for American workers.”Really? And you believe this because?Leaving aside the fact that you couldn’t possibly know what he wanted, I don’t think even Donny knew what the hell he wanted once he got in.To use the author’s apposite quote: he was “like a dog who unexpectedly, improbably caught the car they were chasing.”

Saul D
Saul D
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

…perhaps because that’s what he said he wanted consistently from the 1980s on US Talk Shows. Plenty of clips on youtube.

My reading is that I don’t think he expected to win the Presidency and was totally unprepared when he got into office, not actually knowing what a president could or couldn’t do under the law, lacking skilled appointees and no political alliances among senior GOP politicians.

He knew what he wanted to happen, but had little understanding of how it could come to fruition. That allowed courts to put in blocks due to flawed orders, holdovers to stay in place and leak and bury policies, and Democrats to stall on appointments. Turns out he was very bad at being a dictator. Contrast that with Joe Biden’s aggressive start.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

I can believe it because he was obsessive about the border and the impact of illegal immigrants, because he didn’t start any new wars and was working to bring back the troops still engaged, and the last part requires no explanation. Now, you may not like how he did or disagree with his entire agenda, but don’t act like that quote you pulled is some great surprise.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

You seem to be certain about many things that you accuse others of knowing nothing about…

Ross Holloway
Ross Holloway
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

I think it was always pretty clear what Trump wanted – his opponents juts smeared him as stupid, as you are doing here.

“All Trump wanted was peace, secure borders, and jobs for American workers.” seems a good summary of his campaign to be President and his Presidency.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
3 years ago

It is the same reason a certain ilk of Remainers can’t let go of Brexit, and why the Left in media & academia can’t let go of GamerGate. These were each a cultural Stalingrad, defeats that indicated the world did not work the way High Status opinion demands that you think & say it does. Hoi Poli keep throwing bricks through the Overton window & polite society really doesn’t like that.

So the people invested in these High Status opinions (shared by everyone they know) are obsessed by the fact they suffered defeats when they are suppose to own the future. They may have gotten rid of Trump now but the fact he was elected in the first place gives lie to their comfortable “inevitable march of history” narrative.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago

But they aren’t polite society, they are gangsters made good. The tens of thousands at Trump’s rallies represent the polite society.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago

I’m not sure it is everyone they know. Their acquaintances may include a number of people who have been bullied into expressing thoughts in which they don’t believe.

James N
James N
3 years ago

1) It’s too late, they’ve already become the dystopian hypocrites you fear.
2) New Year’s resolution: Let’s stop talking about BLM like they’re MLK Jr. They ain’t.
3) Loved “this “terrorism” looked less like an organised movement, and more like a group of dogs who unexpectedly, improbably caught the car they were chasing”

Dave Tagge
Dave Tagge
3 years ago

“The pink-hatted women who marched en masse against Trump in January 2016 have found a new calling this year, honey-trapping the rioters on dating apps and reporting them to the FBI.”

Will this new hobby at least keep them from spending their time yelling at people who are outdoors, 20 feet from anyone, not wearing a mask? There has to be huge overlap between these three groups.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Tagge

Anybody who saw those ‘pink-hatted women’ would understand just how hilariously unsuccessful any honey-trap attempts would be. I mean, come on. I wouldn’t touch them with yours.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Yes, I wondered about that. Perhaps they use some other women’s pictures, ones who are far more attractive than they themselves are?

David Cockayne
David Cockayne
3 years ago

“In War: Resolution,
In Defeat: Defiance,
In Victory: Magnanimity
In Peace: Good Will.” Winston Churchill

The left, of course, can always be relied upon never to follow such honourable rules-of-thumb.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  David Cockayne

Well, the left can rest easy now that OBiden has again removed the Churchill bust.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Shouldn’t it be O’Biden?

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Not unless it’s O’Bama

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

But I thought he hailed from Ballina, Co Mayo?
Not Kenya like the Obama person.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

It was Trump yesterday and now they’ll turn on themselves. They’ll be tearing at each other like cats in a sack.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Not if they can convince enough people that the people who favor Trump are “Homegrown Terrorists”., which is what I suspect is the major impetus behind their recent rhetoric. They MUST have an enemy lest the people start looking at them.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

Battling Trump gave us a sense of purpose, and in some cases, even a sense of self.

The danger for me is that people are going to be encouraged to think: “Since Trump was terrible and we were Trump’s most vocal opponents, our views must be correct and we can go overboard implementing making our most far-fetched claims gospel truth and implementing our most lunatic policies.”

That will inevitably be followed by yet another backlash which they will refuse to accept any responsibility for, instead presenting it as evidence of an inherent and almost ineradicable fascism in the US.

Mike Ferro
Mike Ferro
3 years ago

‘a free and fair election evicted him from the White House’
No, Madam, the election which evicted Mr Trump was not free and fair. To be free and fair an election must be carried out by secret ballot. This election was largely by postal voting which is not secret – no one knows under what circumstances a postal vote is cast, what threats or inducements are brought to bear, or, indeed, even who has cast the vote.
Mr Trump won on the polling station vote, which is secret and so free and fair, but lost on votes sent in by post, many of which arrived after polling day.
Postal voting is wide open to fraud, which always favours the left who are fundamentally opposed to democracy. Here in Britain election results have been set aside as a result of proven fraud.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Ferro

So, are you also claiming that UK elections also aren’t free or fair because of the use of postal ballots?

Mike Ferro
Mike Ferro
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Absolutely, for the reasons laid out above. Postal votes should be limited strictly to those unable to attend a polling station and require to be renewed at each election

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago

Yep, they can not let go of Trump because Trump is the excuse to unfold their own fascist regime

pauls7973
pauls7973
3 years ago

Though we have the likes of Biden, Gaga and Timberlake to lead us – the World no longer feels such a safe place.

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago

Trump I am afraid is one step ahead of you. Similar to the tactics of BLM which actively sought to consolidate the Liberal vote and only just about succeeded, Trump simply used the pretext of election fraud to consolidate the Conservative vote.

In other words, the Liberal Left are being duped to reinforce what Trump has achieved. The more the Left seeks to punish and expunge Trump adjacents, the more they are helping to consolidate Trump’s narrative that the SJW Left are the true authoritarians and the true enemies of the American Dream.

As usual, the sanctimonious Left forget the basics like Newton’s third law of motion. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

In other words, the self righteous Left are already sowing the seeds of their own downfall.

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago

“Why can’t the Left let go of Trump?”

Hate. This most powerful emotion fuels the actions of many, in particular leftists who act on emotion rather than reason. It’s the same reason negative campaign ads more effective than positive ones. After they get tired of playing whack-a-mole with the various people from the Trump penumbra they will turn their hateful emotions on various apostates, essentially eating themselves.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry M

There is a darkness in every human heart. Hate can actually feel very good; I remember even decades later what a sweet release it was when I said, of a former friend who had betrayed and humiliated me, “I hate her!”, and I wrote her a letter bluntly telling her that, that I hated her and never wanted to see or talk to her again. I felt ashamed of myself shortly thereafter (though still haven’t reconciled with her, and have had no desire to), but that sweet feeling can definitely become addictive. When it’s not directed toward someone you actually know, and interacted with as a fellow flawed human being, perhaps it’s harder to feel ashamed of.

alison rain
alison rain
3 years ago

“Why can’t the Left let go of Trump”
well its simple its not the real left, the majority of people who are caught up in this are the faux left who are actually centrists. who rely on the culture wars to promote their brand as they have no actual policies except ‘trump is bad’.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  alison rain

Most of the people of “the left” that I know are not even centrists-they are “go along to get along” lefties-many with little skin in the game. Almost all of the assured income government employees that I know are of the left.

alison rain
alison rain
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

id be willing to put money on the fact that they are centrists/liberals if you get down to the nitty gritty of what they actually believe in, policy wise.

pauls7973
pauls7973
3 years ago

Ah, poor Dem’s – they now have to ‘do’ instead of block, vilify and criticise.
Good luck with that one.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  pauls7973

Oh they have plans “to do”…they plan to do it to you and me.

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago

Meanwhile, the Left’s calls to defund the police have fallen abruptly silent; instead, we fantasise about more laws, more cops, more ways to wield our newfound authority against these Trumpist transgressors.

I know! Isn’t it awesome? The left has started to care about law and order again! No longer do sticks in the mud such as myself have to choose between the side led by a moral imbecile or the side making excuses for riots – now that Trump has started a riot, everyone has remembered that oh right, civilisation is good and anarchy is bad!

Honestly, I should write him a thank you card.

Chris Mochan
Chris Mochan
3 years ago

They’ll soon forget this new found admiration for law enforcement when its not politically useful anymore.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
3 years ago

What do you mean it was a riot? I have been told that when people dress up like cosplayers, shout brain dead slogans, and commit acts of vandalism and violence, it is a “mostly peaceful protest.”

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Bingo. It was “Street Theater”, a technique developed by the left in the 60’s to make their points with clownish acting out in public.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago

When you write him, perhaps you should ask him to send you a clue or two?

Joe Francis
Joe Francis
3 years ago

The second article in Unherd I’ve read this morning where a journalist is desperately trying to keep Trump — or more accurately, the idea that he may actually have been the good guy — out of their head. May I give some free advice? Let him in. The entire world may change around you, but change is often a good thing and it’s always surprising. And if the lefties are really as bored as The Joker, it may actually brighten up your life.

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago

My question is why the author and Unherd in general can’t let go of Trump…

Joe Francis
Joe Francis
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Some things are so big, it takes a while.

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Francis

Then the article (or at least the title) is pointless.

Dave Tagge
Dave Tagge
3 years ago

“The protest movement that defined us last year, the mass national outcry against police impunity and unbridled authoritarianism? As it turns out, these things are only a problem if you’re not the person in power.”

While I assume Ms. Rosenfield realizes this – and simply didn’t include it – I still feel the need to point out that Trump (and the Republican Party) were by and large *not* the political powers behind the police forces who were the subject of last year’s protests.

To name just one city, the last Republican Mayor of Minneapolis left office in 1961. (I am not counting Richard Erdall, who was mayor for 1 day in 1973 due to a peculiar set of circumstances.)

That’s a consistent story across almost all of the large U.S. cities where people protested police behavior.* They’re solidly controlled by Democratic Party politicians. In most of them that’s been the case for decades. And, in the U.S., local politicians have far more control over the conduct of police than does the President.

* New York City is a notable exception, where Giuliani (Republican) served as mayor from 1994 to 2001, followed by Bloomberg (Republican then Independent as mayor – because he couldn’t get through an NYC Democratic Party primary) from 2002 to 2013.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Tagge

That’s a consistent story across almost all of the large U.S. cities where people protested police behavior.
It’s also a malicious truth and you can’t go around repeating those too often. It’s the same with the current exodus from various US cities due to a combination of remote work opening new possibilities and policies finally reaching a point where the people who voted in the politicians behind those policies have had enough. Unfortunately, what seldom happens is those people who leave realizing the reasons for their departure. They simply repeat the same patters in whatever new place they reach.

grier.dorian
grier.dorian
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Destroying the new places and alienating the native residents (aka gammons in the UK elitist parlance). Colorado a sad example.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago

In opposition the Democrats were able to hide their true character by claiming that they weren’t Trump. In power, they will have to expose themselves for who they are.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

10 days on, they are deep into the exposition…

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

Battling and forever demonising an easily identifiable apparent oppressor and magnifying their threat is part of the human condition and helps to energise and unify what would otherwise be rather fragmented parties of interest in the pursuit of their ultimate, glorious defeat and humiliation.

The trouble is is that Democrats have spent pretty much the entire time of Trump’s 4 year presidential term, a man who was democratically elected lest we forget, pursuing this seemingly tried and trusted approach by any means necessary, fair or foul, and yet support for Trump in the US has barely wavered percentage wise over that time.

Evidenced further by one of, if not the biggest turnouts for a presidential candidate in US electoral history bar the man who actually finally beat him, one Joe Biden.

With this in mind this, particularly in light of the ongoing, clearly nothing but vengeful, divisive impeachment proceedings, it’s difficult to see the Democrats ‘victory’ as anything but a hollow one despite the expected, tiresome lofty rhetoric of unity.

By far the greatest casualty of all here being the very democracy that the ironically monikered ‘Democrats’ purported to be championing all along.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Sounds like a bit of the old Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Syndrome: spent years fighting against the Soviet Union, resulting in the production of several masterpieces of Russian literature. The fight defined him and his art. Then flees the Soviet Union and ends up in the unfettered freedom of the USA, where he becomes convinced that, actually, American individualism is a plague on people’s lives. Presumably died wondering what it was all for.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

An amusing article with a very important point at it’s core. Biden and the Democratic Party have called for unity but those who are most obsessed with getting revenge on Trump for winning in 2016 don’t want unity or reconciliation. This movement, more than any other, will guarantee the defeat of the Democratic candidate in 2024.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Assuming of course that we will have elections and that they will be elections that are legitimate. That is a huge unknown after the election we just held and of which even insinuating that there MAY have been a bit of vote fraud can get you fired, banned, and, as I suspect we will see shortly, arrested. We are dealing with Fascists here, just look at the track record. These people believe that the Capitol protest was the Reichstag moment that gives anything they do to conservative thinkers license.

dturtleman150
dturtleman150
3 years ago

BECOME monsters?!? Many of these people already WERE.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
3 years ago

‘And while a free and fair election evicted him from the White House.’ You checked? Repeat a lie often enough…

Paul Reidinger
Paul Reidinger
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

I’ve noticed that this kind of assertion is constantly made in what formerly passed as the “mainstream media.” The claim is unsubstantiated and essentially liturgical. Apparently the election was so free and fair that any suggestion to the contrary, any expression even of doubt or of the need to look into the matter at all, is enough to get one flagged on social media.

Peter Kriens
Peter Kriens
3 years ago

… fair election …

The election was likely mostly legal but when Zuckerberg et. al. invested $400,000,000 in helping election bureaus combined with the use of fundamentally undemocratic, (because they are not anonymous) mail in ballots, and the main stream press colluding with social media to suppress a news story that was not good for Biden, one can hardly say it was a fair election.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago

Trump is necessary to the current Democratic Party because it consists mostly of conservative timeservers and opportunists. As always, it’s doing its best to extrude ‘the Left’. I foresee a coalition of the Democratic Party establishment and the respectable half of the Republican Party, with the Trumpoids breaking off to the right, and the proggies, social democrats, and sort-of-lefties breaking off to the left — in short, a three-party system. But it will be a long time before the Democrats let go of Trump.

Joe Francis
Joe Francis
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

That’s an optimistic forecast. If, as I believe, the Democrats are an organized criminal conspiracy, then there’ll be no break up of the party. Criminals know when they have it good. People are used to thinking of the Democrats in Kennedyesque terms, but Kennedy was an outlier among Democrats. He didn’t represent their history and true nature. He was the peak of what the party might once have been capable if the criminals were put back in their box, but he couldn’t keep them there and he wasn’t representative of the party at large. Whatever he stood for, it never took root. It’s ironic — and a bit sick, frankly — that a) sexually, he made Trump look like a monk and b) his memory as a president is what the Democrats continually and cynically hold out as the true face of their party.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

I don’t observe much “extruding ‘the left'” taking place.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

I think you’re right about not letting go of Trump anytime soon. We may be too young to remember, but I’ve read that Dems ran against Herbert Hoover long after his presidency ended in March of 1933.

john.hurley2018
john.hurley2018
3 years ago

“vulgar xenophobia” means clarified us/them. That’s what it’s all about. At some stage you have to split with the other party (reject them) otherwise the state has equal affection for Chinas people as Americans.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago

Pity Kate doesn’t have a better grasp of history, but never mind. After all she and her ilk created Donald Trump and the MAGA movement.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
3 years ago

That is so very sad to read. What a waste of life, to be so filled with hate. The left are so pathetic.

Stefan Hill
Stefan Hill
3 years ago

You are likely to mirror
people you socialise. Unconsciously you start to behave like your friends. This also applies when you fight an enemy. Your behaviour will be influenced by your enemy.

Example: The majority of people being scalped in North America was being scalped by Europeans rather than Native Americans.

When fighting Donald Trump, and pretending that he was Adolf Hitler, the Resistance are likely to become Donald Trump, or in a worst case: Adolf Hitler.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Stefan Hill

They already have become Nazis. They just can’t see it for themselves.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  Stefan Hill

The problem with that approach is that they think 48% and more of the population are Nazis.

So when that 48% becomes 51%, they are screwed. They may well end up with a president who is, rather than the character of one.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

Nazis? So, the people who are deploying tactics straight out of the brown shirt playbook are the ones fighting the fascists? Sure, go with that. By the way, there was rioting in three American cities on inauguration day, carried out by the Jacobins who are not satisfied with the election outcome alone. They want blood. Presumably the blood of those “nazis” in your fevered dreams.

George Wheeler
George Wheeler
3 years ago
Reply to  Stefan Hill

Please don’t use as your EXAMPLE, something that you obviously know nothing about.

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago

In my view, this is an essay that practically writes itself.  Anyone with even a shred of intellectual honesty can see the immense hypocrisy on the left.  Still, it needed to be written and the author has done an admirable job of it, with colorful descriptors and eminently quotable lines.

Governance is a boring and sober affair and it can be challenging to engage an electorate in the decidedly unglamorous process of rolling up one’s sleeves and getting to work effectuating policy.  As much as they decry right-wing populism, the left is at least equally guilty of invoking populist rhetoric to mobilize its base.  Both parties are well aware that it’s easier to energize their supporters by casting the opposition as evil lunatics than by providing a calm and persuasive account why their policies are the best on offer in the marketplace of ideas. Politicians focus so singularly on what they oppose that we forget what, if anything, they purport to stand for.

Ultimately, there is no better way to get people worked up and excited to donate and vote for a political cause than by casting them in the roles of courageous revolutionaries combating unspeakable evil on the cusp of destroying all they hold dear.  It creates a sense of moral and political urgency and allows adherents to enjoy an overblown sense of self-importance that they are fulfilling an indispensable role in the noble task of saving the world.

And yet, most adherents tacitly recognize this doomsday roleplay for the propoganda it is and stop short of anything more radical than some aggressive tweeting.  The problem is that a certain cross-section of the population swallows the kool-aid, hook, line, and sinker, and takes it at face value.  On the right, this results in situations like the Capitol debacle.  On the left, we see Antifa setting up an anarchist jurisdiction in Seattle and attacking the Democratic Party of Oregon’s headquarters on inauguration day.

At least most of the right had the decency to swiftly condemn their supporters who took things too far.  The response from the left has been mixed, at best, with most of the leadership ignoring their embarrassingly overzealous adherents and a certain number actively encouraging the illicit conduct.

I hover somewhere between atheism and agnosticism and for much of my life I have been deeply critical of organized religion.  In recent years, I have been forced to admit that there appears to be a correlation between a decline in religion (and the attendant loss of meaning) and an increase in a religion-like political fervor.  Humans crave meaning in their lives and political dogma is rapidly filling the vacuum caused by the waning popularity of religion.  This crisis of meaning is exacerbated by social media, which replaces neighborhood and local community with highly toxic and dehumanizing global platforms.  I’m not sure what we can do to address this crisis of meaning in the age of the internet, but we better sort it out quickly before society tears itself apart with some sort of Twitter-fueled 21st century Crusades.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago

All those new powers, the left are having a major wet dream.
So when we get to the sequel, and Trump is back in the Whitehouse, are they prepared for the result?

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

It may not be Trump, but the pendulum will reach the peak of it’s arc soon, and then they will harvest the result…

Ben
Ben
3 years ago

Time for you journalists to go out and get proper jobs.

Paul Marks
Paul Marks
3 years ago

Like most of the charges made against Donald John Trump the charge of “xenophobia” is false – in reality he likes many countries, he just uses blunt Queens Borough New York language about the things he does not like – at home as much as overseas. The real things he is guilty of, most important of all terrible weakness on government spending and the Credit Money financial system, the establishment do not accuse him of – because they are even more guilty of these things.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

So Trump just goes away to obscurity? Millions of new mothers will try to discipline their children saying, “If you don’t behave, the bogey man will come for you.” and then back it up with a picture of an orange man with funny hair.
I don’t think so. There are just two many supporters.

Jaden Johnson
Jaden Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Only two?

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

Really enjoyed the article, thanks.

police impunity and unbridled authoritarianism?

Would that be the impunity that has George Floyd’s killer currently in jail awaiting trial?

And what does the unbridled authoritarianism refer to?

Is this Donald Trump’s legacy? Have those of us who thought we were fighting a monster become one ourselves? Six months ago, progressives marched against police overreach and scolded their fellow citizens for calling the cops on looters.

It’s certainly not entirely Trump’s legacy – there has always been a huge hypocritical, authoritarian, censorious and rather vicious tendency on the left, just like there is on the right. (But I suspect the author knows that.)

The fact that this “terrorism” looked less like an organised movement, and more like a group of dogs who unexpectedly, improbably caught the car they were chasing, is irrelevant.

Nice one.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Alleged killer please, we haven’t even had a trial yet, so such a pejorative statement is factually incorrect.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

and we must not go too deep into old armed, felonious, fentanyl-imbibing George’s pistol whipping of a pregnant woman.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

The toxicology report made interesting reading, even his testicles were rammed with the stuff.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Indeed. Floyd the ‘hero’ (read ‘serial criminal’) died resisting arrest, having toted a gun against the belly of a young pregnant woman and the odious and utterly malign BLM, having backed the thug, receives support in every Premier League match from the obscenely over-paid multi-millionaire footballers ‘taking the knee’ as well as from the recently knighted (good grief!) and grotesquely posturing tax exile Hamilton now wearing black uniform, black mask and driving only black cars.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

I really liked the “dogs catching the car” comparison.

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago

Why has my comment twice now been removed as spam? Hello, Unherd, anyone home? Bad automated system or censorious moderators? Raising concerns with the moderators often feels like trying to converse with god; I’m not sure if anyone is there or if they’re listening.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert G

The Unherd ‘censorship’ algorithm doesn’t like rude words spelt as they are, doesn’t like cut and paste and doesn’t like links, most particularly live ones in any way shape or form.

Hope this helps.

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Thanks for the suggestions. There were no rude words or links. I tried typing it all over from scratch to avoid the use of copy/paste. No luck. I’m at a loss.

pdrodolf
pdrodolf
3 years ago

What to do…….how about get to work. Get to work doing the hard job of leading a fractured country out of a pandemic. Get to work reunifying a country and reestablishing that which we all will know and recognize as “common good”. Get to work doing all the things you have accused the prior administration of not doing. You won…..now get to work.

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago

In my view, this is an essay that practically writes itself.  Anyone with even a shred of intellectual honesty can see the immense hypocrisy on the left.  Still, it needed to be written and the author has done an admirable job of it, with colorful descriptors and eminently quotable lines.

Governance is a boring and sober affair and it can be challenging to engage an electorate in the decidedly unglamorous process of rolling up one’s sleeves and getting to work effectuating policy.  As much as they decry right-wing populism, the left is at least equally guilty of invoking populist rhetoric to mobilize its base.  Both parties are well aware that it’s easier to energize their supporters by casting the opposition as evil lunatics than by providing a calm and persuasive account why their policies are the best on offer in the marketplace of ideas. Politicians focus so singularly on what they oppose that we forget what, if anything, they purport to stand for.

Ultimately, there is no better way to get people worked up and excited to donate and vote for a political cause than by casting them in the roles of courageous revolutionaries combating unspeakable evil on the cusp of destroying all they hold dear.  It creates a sense of moral and political urgency and allows adherents to enjoy an overblown sense of self-importance that they are fulfilling an indispensable role in the noble task of saving the world.

And yet, most adherents tacitly recognize this doomsday roleplay for the propoganda it is and stop short of anything more radical than some aggressive tweeting.  The problem is that a certain cross-section of the population swallows the kool-aid, hook, line, and sinker, and takes it at face value.  On the right, this results in situations like the Capitol debacle.  On the left, we see Antifa setting up an anarchist jurisdiction in Seattle and attacking the Democratic Party of Oregon’s headquarters on inauguration day.

At least most of the right had the decency to swiftly condemn their supporters who took things too far.  The response from the left has been mixed, at best, with most of the leadership ignoring their embarrassingly overzealous adherents and a certain number actively encouraging the illicit conduct.

I hover somewhere between atheism and agnosticism and for much of my life I have been deeply critical of organized religion.  In recent years, I have been forced to admit that there appears to be a correlation between a decline in religion (and the attendant loss of meaning) and an increase in a religion-like political fervor.  Humans crave meaning in their lives and political dogma is rapidly filling the vacuum caused by the waning popularity of religion.  This crisis of meaning is exacerbated by social media, which replaces neighborhood and local community with highly toxic and dehumanizing global platforms.  I’m not sure what we can do to address this crisis of meaning in the age of the internet, but we better sort it out quickly before society tears itself apart with some sort of Twitter-fueled 21st century Crusades.

Philip Burrell
Philip Burrell
3 years ago

I am going to take this in the way it was surely intended viz: as a light-hearted satire and very good it was too.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago

Yes – you have already become the monster, maybe always were.
You may never be punished for your transgressions but more of your armed forces will bear the brunt of your political stupidy

and arrogance.
This is posted, without fear, under my own name.

tylerkent
tylerkent
3 years ago

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago

In my view, this is an essay that practically writes itself.  Anyone with even a shred of intellectual honesty can see the immense hypocrisy on the left.  Still, it needed to be written and the author has done an admirable job of it, with colorful descriptors and eminently quotable lines.

Governance is a boring and sober affair and it can be challenging to engage an electorate in the decidedly unglamorous process of rolling up one’s sleeves and getting to work effectuating policy.  As much as they decry right-wing populism, the left is at least equally guilty of invoking populist rhetoric to mobilize its base.  Both parties are well aware that it’s easier to energize their supporters by casting the opposition as evil lunatics than by providing a calm and persuasive account why their policies are the best on offer in the marketplace of ideas. Politicians focus so singularly on what they oppose that we forget what, if anything, they purport to stand for.

Ultimately, there is no better way to get people worked up and excited to donate and vote for a political cause than by casting them in the roles of courageous revolutionaries combating unspeakable evil on the cusp of destroying all they hold dear.  It creates a sense of moral and political urgency and allows adherents to enjoy an overblown sense of self-importance that they are fulfilling an indispensable role in the noble task of saving the world.

And yet, most adherents tacitly recognize this doomsday roleplay for the propoganda it is and stop short of anything more radical than some aggressive tweeting.  The problem is that a certain cross-section of the population swallows the kool-aid, hook, line, and sinker, and takes it at face value.  On the right, this results in situations like the Capitol debacle.  On the left, we see Antifa setting up an anarchist jurisdiction in Seattle and attacking the Democratic Party of Oregon’s headquarters on inauguration day.

At least most of the right had the decency to swiftly condemn their supporters who took things too far.  The response from the left has been mixed, at best, with most of the leadership ignoring their embarrassingly overzealous adherents and a certain number actively encouraging the illicit conduct.

I hover somewhere between atheism and agnosticism and for much of my life I have been deeply critical of organized religion.  In recent years, I have been forced to admit that there appears to be a correlation between a decline in religion (and the attendant loss of meaning) and an increase in a religion-like political fervor.  Humans crave meaning in their lives and political dogma is rapidly filling the vacuum caused by the waning popularity of religion.  This crisis of meaning is exacerbated by social media, which replaces neighborhood and local community with highly toxic and dehumanizing global platforms.  I’m not sure what we can do to address this crisis of meaning in the age of the internet, but we better sort it out quickly before society tears itself apart with some sort of Twitter-fueled 21st century Crusades.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

For me here in the UK, it seems that ex-presidents of the USA have just disappeared. OK, Clinton earns a lot of money as an after-dinner speaker and Carter was still active for a while.

So, is Trump going to just disappear? He has to be unelectable personally; maybe he wants to pull the strings behind a puppet in the family. His age is against him as well. It is difficult to believe that we won’t hear from him again. Perhaps this is why he is still interesting to journalists.

bob alob
bob alob
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Unfortunately the reverse is probably likely, Trump will be tied up in court cases until he is dead, and the media will keep him going as a bogeyman even after his death.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  bob alob

True, and the reason is they fear him. Like or loath Donald Trump the reality is he tapped into a huge well of pent up resentment. People like Kate might be celebrating now, but eventually that well of resentment will explode.

Ian Howard
Ian Howard
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Biden is 78 and got elected with dementia/advanced senility so how in your reckoning would Trump be too old?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Howard

Because age doesn’t work the same for everybody. Not just an actuarial calculation.

Dave Tagge
Dave Tagge
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

There’s a long tradition in the U.S. that former Presidents largely disappear from active politics and, in particular, don’t comment on the policies of their successors. It’s not always fully honored, but it’s considered a norm.

Trump was, as you might expect, always considered unlikely to go along with that tradition (whether he was leaving office this year or in 2025).

David Long
David Long
3 years ago

It’s been a day for gawd’s sake!

Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell
3 years ago

imo, Trump was always a patsy, set up to be the Left’s personal Hitler. Movements based on hate create a lot of power (sadly), so they created a most-hated person. The left fell hard. tbh, the right has done so in the past. I don’t think they hate as intensely as the Left, but they hate.

Gary Greenbaum
Gary Greenbaum
3 years ago
Reply to  Kelly Mitchell

The left spent 40 years demonizing Herbert Hoover in that way. Then there was Nixon.

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago

As an observer from another country, a) it only a few days since Trump left and his various followers were still making noises about claiming victory ( to say nothing about the QAnon lot) b) The USA seems deeply divided c) this article seems to do little or nothing to reduce division and if anything, perpetuates it

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
3 years ago

Batman and the Joker, the US and the USSR, Rome and Carthage, Bing and Unherd. They all need or needed each other, just as the Left need Trump so as to demonise the right.

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago

Because he’s the only one who took them on and won, as the other so-called conservatives whereas other so-called conservatives did nothing but surrender while gorging at the trough

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago

Hmm, Seems like the US really has no idea whether all the troops in Washington actually come from Russia, China or the USA.

Paul Marks
Paul Marks
3 years ago

The aesthetic sense improved with age – the brash Modernist who built Trump Tower, was gradually replaced by someone who had more appreciation for Classical architecture.

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago

In my view, this is an essay that practically writes itself. Anyone with even a shred of intellectual honesty can see the immense hypocrisy on the left. Still, it needed to be written and the author has done an admirable job of it, with colorful descriptors and eminently quotable lines.

Governance is a boring and sober affair and it can be challenging to engage an electorate in the decidedly unglamorous process of rolling up one’s sleeves and getting to work effectuating policy. As much as they decry right-wing populism, the left is at least equally guilty of invoking populist rhetoric to mobilize its base. Both parties are well aware that it’s easier to energize their supporters by casting the opposition as evil lunatics then by providing a calm and persuasive account why their policies are the best on offer in the marketplace of ideas. Politicians focus so singularly on what they oppose that we forget what, if anything, they purport to stand for.

Ultimately, there is no better way to get people worked up and excited to donate and vote for a political cause than by casting them in the roles of courageous revolutionaries combating unspeakable evil on the cusp of destroying all they hold dear. It creates a sense of moral and political urgency and allows adherents to enjoy an overblown sense of self-importance that they are fulfilling an indispensable role in the noble task of saving the world.

And yet, most adherents tacitly recognize this doomsday roleplay for the propaganda it is and stop short of anything more radical than some aggressive tweeting. The problem is that a certain cross-section of the population swallows the kool-aid, hook, line, and sinker, and takes it at face value. On the right, this results in situations like the Capitol debacle. On the left, we see Antifa setting up an anarchist jurisdiction in Seattle and attacking the Democratic Party of Oregon’s headquarters on inauguration day.

At least most of the right had the decency to swiftly condemn their supporters who took things too far. The response from the left has been mixed, at best, with most of the leadership ignoring their embarrassingly overzealous adherents and a certain number actively encouraging the illicit conduct.

I hover somewhere between atheism and agnosticism and for much of my life I have been deeply critical of organized religion. In recent years, I have been forced to admit that there appears to be a correlation between a decline in religion (and the attendant loss of meaning) and an increase in a religion-like political fervor. Humans crave meaning in their lives and political dogma is rapidly filling the vacuum caused by the waning popularity of religion. This crisis of meaning is exacerbated by social media, which replaces neighborhood and local community with highly toxic and dehumanizing global platforms. I’m not sure what we can do to address this crisis of meaning in the age of the internet, but we better sort it out quickly before society tears itself apart with some sort of Twitter-fueled 21st century Crusades.

Chris Chris
Chris Chris
3 years ago

The true problem is a lack of candidates that people would want to vote for.

Trump only got in because people didn’t want to vote for Hillary.

Biden should have had an easy clear obvious victory over trump yet it waxx as my the case.

The choice of presidential candidates was atrocious.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago

in danger of becoming one? Oh boy… that ship sailed several years ago… starting with the Russiagate nonsense. He’ll make a good straw man though when paradise doesn’t arrive. The demonrats will just blame it Trump because he messed up everything so bad.

eva3
eva3
3 years ago

It is probably the same reason the British cannot let got of Hitler nearly 80 years after WWII.

rbrown
rbrown
3 years ago
Reply to  eva3

Really? Trump = Hitler? Ok Eva.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  rbrown

Wasn’t Eva the name of Hitler’s sweetheart whom he married at the last moment?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  eva3

Interesting thought but it’s the British right who find it hard to let go of Hitler: those who salute Churchill’s statue with zeig heils, those who see Brexit as standing up to Germany’s authoritarian empire building, those who see Muslim Britons as a racial and religious enemy within.

Jonathan Barker
Jonathan Barker
3 years ago

To battle with the Donald was only to further empower him and the true believers of the Donald Cult that he created.

The Donald was of course the first “reality”-TV President.

Fakery-all-the-way-down was/is both the medium and the message.

I remember reading an essay by an astute social psychologist who predicted that the Donald would be elected. He posited that such was entirely due to brand name recognition .With TRUMP being the brand name implanted into the unconsciousness of his long running TV show The Apprentice.

Furthermore the destructive anti-culture created by TV, and of which the Donald was/is the principal vector is at root fundamentally indifferent to, and even hostile towards the well-being of human beings, and all sentient beings on this planet too.

I quite like the assessment of the Donald provided by Kevin Williamson in two essays on The National Review website. The essays are Witless Ape Rides the Helicopter, and Trump’s Final Insult.