The disgraceful hooting and whistling that greeted Melania Trump last week when she spoke against the opioid epidemic in Baltimore, and particularly the somewhat supportive description of it in parts of the anti-Trump media, illustrate the depths that have been plumbed by the Trump-haters.
The first lady’s performance in her difficult position has been entirely dignified and positive. She has not uttered an inappropriate word or made any awkward or unsuitable gesture, and enjoys quite widespread public approval. Nasty criticism of her in the media cannot be seen as anything but an indication of the malice and desperation of Trump’s enemies.
Most media comment in the aftermath of the 2016 election was that Trump never expected to be elected, that he only undertook the campaign as a brand-building exercise to promote the sale of products carrying his name, from shirts and ties to mattresses and mineral water. He was supposedly surprised to have won, and would shortly prove a buffoon afflicted by primitive misogynistic, racist, and homophobic opinions, and someone whose conduct of foreign relations would threaten world peace and whose domestic ideas would weaken the economy and aggravate poverty and related problems.
The nonsense of collusion with Russia was improvised even before Trump’s inauguration and was cited by Hillary Clinton in her quickie book about the election (What Happened) as the principal reason for her defeat, along with being “shivved three times” by James Comey, who in fact exonerated her rather implausibly, despite lacking authority to do anything of the kind.
Clinton cited the Steele dossier as evidence of Trump’s illegal and supposedly traitorous association with the Russians, although she presumably knew that her campaign and the Democratic National Committee had paid for Steele’s findings and that they were a pastiche of defamatory fabrications. (Or “fake news.”) The day after Trump’s inauguration there were a total of 606 marches in the United States and 84 other countries, and Bruce Springsteen spoke for all of the millions of protesters when he declared, in Perth, Australia, that ”We are the new American Resistance.”
Three years have elapsed, and what was assumed to be a doomed presidency, clownishly incompetent and misguided, and in any case corruptly elevated and likely to be concluded by the vice president as a caretaker until the return of the Democrats and the docile Republicans of the McCain-Romney-Bush school, now is acknowledged even by Trump-haters very likely―in spite of the serious national danger they predict―to be reelected. Polls are rarely reliable about Trump but those that were accurate in 2016 indicate that he probably has enough support to be reelected now, albeit almost as narrowly as he was in 2016.
The country seems to be quite closely divided in its regard for the president, but when it is polled on individual issues that Trump has emphasized, especially the economy and immigration, he does well for delivering on promises and there are many indications that he is making inroads with minorities who were hostile, though suburban women have not overly warmed to him. Even so, he is no longer an absurd or unthinkable president. Even his most vituperative enemies acknowledge that he is a formidable leader, though, they insist, a retrograde one.
It is likely that many prominent Democrats will be discomfited by the findings of the inspector general of the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney in Connecticut (who is special counsel on the origins of the Trump-Russian collusion canard). And no Democrat is very pleased with the unprepossessing range of their presidential candidates, including newcomer Michael Bloomberg, who professes to have entered the race because of the shortcomings of the other 16 remaining declared candidates.
We cannot be far from the time when the Democrats will have to face the fact that Trump is a real president and not an imposture, that he has a record of substantial achievement, and their efforts to delegitimize him with the Russian fraud and an impeachment inquiry that will blow up if they send it to the Senate are no substitute for presenting a plausible alternative.
The remarkable feature of this pre-campaign run-up is the entitlement the Democrats and their media parrots inherently believe they have to represent Trump as a freakish and corrupt ogre who must always have a partisan investigation riveted to his back and someone whom they may represent constantly, and without anyone questioning it, as a beast, and a monster, in punishment of the nation for its disobedience and effrontery for not electing their candidate.
They still pretend, every day, that he is an abstemious Washington Dinsdale, the drunken nincompoop chosen as sheriff in the western film “Destry Rides Again” to ensure that no one got in the way of the crooks running the town. (Trump no more fits the role than Hillary Clinton makes it as the leading actress in the film, Marlene Dietrich.)
Eventually, this fraudulent levitation of pseudo-moralistic snobbery will yield to a small still voice impartially speaking within the thoughts of reasonable and unpolarized voters, sensible people who only wish that the president be someone who does the job well. This voice will make the point that Trump has reestablished the United States on the plateau of its greatness, is meeting the Chinese challenge purposefully but with moderation, is reviving the concept of nuclear non-proliferation in respect to Iran and North Korea, has ended oil imports and involuntary unemployment, has drastically reduced illegal immigration, avoided foreign wars and reduced taxes, crime, and poverty, and stopped the Green Terror.
At some point in the next 11 months, the country will turn on the spirit of unreason that must possess goons who would boo Melania Trump when she speaks out against opioid use and bullying. (In fact, they were mainly young people in Baltimore brain-washed by their elders.)
The barrage of Trump-hate has been so intense and comprehensive, it has caused much of the country to sublimate the fact that this president, on his record, is one of the ten most accomplished in the country’s history, and would be so judged if he suddenly disappeared for any non-stigmatizing reason, as soon as this oppressive smog of cant and emotionalism subsided. It is now an unnatural political climate. Apparently, civilized people approve of gross discourtesy toward the first lady whose conduct is impeccable. Normally serious commentators treat a moronically spurious impeachment inquiry seriously. All Trump did was ask the president of Ukraine to determine whether Joe Biden and his son did anything improper in that country. There is nothing wrong with that and the country has a right and need to know the answer (especially the Democrats if they’re serious about nominating Biden for president).
Right now, and for the last three years, the American public square has been a cacophonous fantasyland and the president’s enemies have been somnambulating. If it comes to it, they will awaken themselves on Election Day, but such a climate of artificially incited hatred will not vanish quickly.
The present charade is the most egregious episode of false criminalization of policy differences in the United States since the impeachment of Andrew Johnson 151 years ago. And then the country had the excuses of having tragically lost its greatest leader and of having endured a terrible war in which 750,000 people died in a population of just 32 million. There is no such excuse for what is happening now.