Leftists have taken a more compromising position than Kellyanne Conway
© Getty Images

Women have assumed far more compromising positions in the Oval Office—and under Democrat presidents—than Kellyanne Conway did during President Trump’s meeting with representatives from the United States’ historically black colleges this week. Yet a photograph of the campaign-manager-turned-presidential-advisor sitting on her knees with her heels dug into the crotch of a sofa in the Oval Office has aroused the bloodlust of Trump detractors on the prowl.

Trump opponents on each side of the aisle—but more Democrats than Republicans—are fast reducing the political discourse in our civil society to a game of whack-a-mole. The firestorm ignited by Conway’s pose as she positioned herself for a group photo is the latest example of the hypocrisy of leftists and right-leaning “NeverTrumpers” who whined a superficial Trump would turn the presidency into a reality TV show. Well, well. Who lacks substance now?

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Surliness, sauciness, and outright smearing are by no means innovations of 21st-century American politics. Our history is rife with irrational and even violent responses to politicians and their positions (ideological and physical).

 

Nevertheless, the more advanced American civilization becomes, the more bloodthirsty our population gets. The greater our “enlightenment,” the less we exercise self-control. The greater our capacity to solve crises, the less measuredly we react to mundane events. Few dissect arguments anymore; most would rather disembowel opponents. How ironic it is that the further we progress in time past the French Revolution of the 1790s, the more we resemble the blood-drunk mob.

This is a problem, an even bigger problem than Kellyanne Conway sitting on the couch with her high heels.

Some would compare the lethal populism of the French Revolution to the populist spirit that elected Trump over the elitist, entitled, and now politically executed former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run MORE. During the campaign, right-leaning NeverTrumpers invoked the warning of Alexis de Tocqueville, the Frenchman whose immortal analysis “Democracy in America” most voters will never read, that populism threatens to turn republics into tyranny as much as elitism does.

The comparison is marginally instructive, at best. As a rule, the populists who elected Trump lack bloodthirstiness, a trait more ascribable to Trump’s opponents than to Trump’s supporters.

The mainstream media’s bloodthirstiness is well-documented by Trump himself, most recently in his Feb. 16 press conference excoriating “fake news” outlets for fabricating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia to distract from real, newsworthy problems, such as leaks of classified information to the press—leaks directly benefitting the media. 

The media’s bloodlust matters not because they are the voice of the people, but because they pretend they are. The fact is more Americans think Trump is likelier than the media to tell the truth, according to recent polls by Emerson College and Fox News. Predictably, Quinnipiac University countered with a poll claiming the reverse to be true. For a tiebreaker, consider the nation’s election of Trump despite the media’s self-admitted attempts to help Clinton win.

Bloodthirsty or not, however, the mainstream media is just another elitist faction. Bloodier and thirstier is popular opposition—not only to Trump, but to free speech, property rights, border security, bathroom security, and police. For examples of irrational, violent populism animated nominally against Trump, but really against civil society, look to the people.

In February, masked protestors lit objects on fire and caused $100,000 worth of damage on campus at the University of California-Berkeley in a tantrum opposing a college political group’s invitation of provocateur Milo Yiannopolous. These protestors weren’t just college kids blowing off steam. Leftist billionaire George Soros wrote them a $50,000 check sometime in the past two years, according to tax forms obtained by The Daily Caller.

On Inauguration Day, leftists in other cities modeled rational discourse by destroying public and private property and assaulting police officers “with clubs, sticks, and throwing unknown liquid at officers,” according to CNN.

In 2015, during what should have been the climax of President Obama’s racial unification of the country, rioters caused damages costing the city alone an estimated $20 million, not counting damage to businesses.

Clearly, the reason Trump opponents are crying “Get off the couch!” along with “Off with their heads!” is opponents have already lost theirs. 

Michael T. Hamilton (@MikeFreeMarket) is a Heartland Institute research fellow and managing editor of Health Care News, author of the weekly Consumer Power Report, and host of the Health Care News Podcast.


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