OPINION | The patriotic left is beating Trump in battle of ideas
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If the left imitated President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE, liberals would parade around the country chanting “lock him up” as investigations of Russia widen and deepen and rumors spread about Trump considering preemptive pardons to protect those who may face criminal charges in the scandal.

If the left imitated Trump, liberals would say that if Trump or his associates are ever indicted, they cannot be tried under a judge who is caucasian because a white judge would be biased in favor of Trump — as Trump once charged a Mexican-American judge would be biased against him.


There is a deep and rising wellspring of American patriotism throughout the left in America today. We are outraged that any racists or Nazis could praise any American president, as some of them praise Trump today.


We are appalled that any president could pardon former sheriff Joseph Arpaio who was held in contempt of court, as Trump did. We are indignant when any president violates what we consider core values of Americanism, when he praises foreign dictators and falsely questions the patriotism of our free press, as Trump does.

The patriotic left is roused because it believes, as a majority of Americans believe, that something has gone wrong for America during the presidency of Donald Trump.

Because the patriotic left rejects the attitudes of Trump and his alt-right supporters who attack major media, no liberal congressman would physically attack a conservative reporter on Election Day like Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) did to a Guardian reporter during the recent special election. 

Because the patriotic left does not imitate Trump, progressives do not praise Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and root for him to commit cyberwar and espionage against any party in America, or in favor of any candidate for office, as Putin attacked Clinton and backed Trump in 2016.

The patriotic left fervently believes, as most Americans believe but President Trump does not, that human rights and civil rights should always be upheld and foreign dictators should never be praised 

Because the patriotic left abhors Trump and what he stands for, liberal Democrats will not tolerate the continuing voter suppression tactics that Republicans have employed in countless precincts across the nation.

Because the patriotic left abhors Trump and the alt-right forces that support him, it would never occur to the patriotic left to refer to white immigrants as rapists and criminals, as Trump once notoriously described Latin American immigrants.

Because the patriotic left offers the antithesis of the political dark age Trump now champions, the left will someday win passage of a bill to create a free public college education but will never promise that Mexico will pay for it.

Because the patriotic left respects and supports all of those who serve our country, we honor American prisoners of war and were outraged when Trump said he prefer troops who were never captured in reference to Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOur military shouldn't be held hostage to 'water politics' Meghan McCain blames 'toxic' hostility for 'The View' exit Beware the tea party of the left MORE (R-Ariz.).

The patriotic left is appalled whenever the president, who once compared our intelligence services to Nazis, praises foreign dictators and tyrants who attack the freedoms that Americans hold dear.

Because the patriotic left offers the antithesis to the values of Trump, we would never say that women who voted for Trump are fat slobs and bimbos, as Trump has described women who met with his disfavor.

The patriotic left respects the rights of all women and would strengthen rather than weaken the Obama-initiated rule to advance equal pay for women, which Donald Trump attacks with support from Ivanka Trump and their far right friends.

Because the patriotic left offers the antithesis to Trump, liberals do not spend hours of their day and night watching Sean Hannity on Fox News and others in the media who are biased in Trump’s favor, and we condemn Trump’s deceit that the free press is the enemy of the people, dastardly slander Trump repeated again in a recent speech

The patriotic left wants 100 percent of Americans covered by affordable health insurance, and we condemn the president and his Republican allies in Congress who would oversee 20 million Americans losing the insurance they have.

This is why the patriotic left is winning the battle of ideas against the alt-right advocates and the Republican president they support. This is why Trump is the most unpopular president in the history of the nation after seven months in office, while Bernie SandersBernie SandersWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Progressives see budget deal getting close after Biden meeting MORE remains the most popular political leader in America.

This is why the summary of polling from Real Clear Politics shows the Republican Congress is approved by only 15 percent of voters and disapproved by more than 70 percent, and show Democrats defeating Republicans by 9 percent ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

This is why a majority of Americans trust the major media more than Trump in a revealing recent poll.

This is why so many Senate Republicans are publicly criticizing Trump and why some members of Trump’s cabinet, including his secretaries of State and Defense, are increasingly distancing themselves from ill-advised comments and viewpoints offered by him.

The patriotic left is winning the battle of ideas because we stand for the highest values of American politics, the noblest vision of the American dream, the vigilant protection of American security from foreign attacks, the equality under law that is a hallmark principle of the U.S. Constitution and the respect for diversity that is a cardinal principle of the American idea.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), then-chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. in international financial law from the London School of Economics. 

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.