I have a friend who tells me that attempts to understand Donald Trump in the ordinary ways we understand politicians, even truly remarkable politicians, are doomed to failure. My friend is pointing to the astonishing revelations Trump has precipitated.
One such effect is that people in public life are ripping off their masks—and what is being revealed is shocking. Bill Kristol has told us he is all for the deep state. George Will came out in support of the co-head of the Clinton crime family. James Comey stood before the whole world to explain why Hillary should be indicted—and then said she would not be indicted.
And just look at what the Democrats are doing. They now openly advocate that America open its borders to all comers. They have abandoned “safe, legal, and rare” and are now in a hurry to legalize infanticide. The Democrats are done with hiding their real intentions from voters. That’s amazing, when you think about it. Until now, hiding their real intentions has been the secret of their electoral success.
The important point is that we now know who these people have been all along. They are simply making known what they have kept hidden. What my friend is pointing to is this: Trump, somehow, has caused them to unmask themselves. They can’t seem to help themselves . . . because Trump.
This really is astonishing. Call it “the Trump effect.” And the Trump effect does not stop with people unmasking themselves.
With the advent of Donald Trump, prominent Republicans—men like John McCain and Paul Ryan—seemed to undergo a rapid process of spontaneous miniaturization which revealed that they were always too small for their shoes. At the same time, the press and Hollywood underwent a kind of spontaneous combustion. Reporters threw off any pretense of reporting the news; celebrities went berserk about everything Trump says and does. They were unable to restrain themselves.
Because what was once hidden is now revealed it is finally easy for us to understand what had been going on before. The Left’s indifference to Planned Parenthood selling baby parts is perfectly understandable given what their drive to legalize infanticide reveals about them. The media’s “slobbering love affair” with Barack Obama is now revealed as something more darkly sinister than simple naïveté.
What has happened at the heights of our society has also happened all around us. Friendships and families have been torn apart as some of our fellow Americans hurry to declare their allegiance to the news-and-celebrity frenzy and the new radicalism of the Democrats.
It is now clear that opposition to the American idea is much more deep-seated, thorough-going, and widespread in our country than many of us ever imagined before Trump. Of course, on one level, this is frightening. Consequently, many good Americans understandably recoil from the truth about America that has been revealed. They long for a return to the way things were before Trump—but that is the one thing that is definitely not going to happen. We are in revolutionary times. The Trump effect has made it clear to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear that the survival beyond our time of what remains of the Founders’ gift is not assured.
The good in all this is that we now know what the situation is. If you and I want to keep our republic, we need to assess carefully what we can do to make a difference and then do it to the very limit of our willingness to make a difference. The time is now.
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