The title of this post is hyperbole on two counts: Trump is not yet president, and of course he’s not being impeached.
He’s being pre-impeached, and I’m using the word “impeached” in the more general sense:
2. Chiefly Law. to challenge the credibility of: to impeach a witness…
4. to call in question; cast an imputation upon: to impeach a person’s motives.
5. to call to account.
2. to cast doubt on; especially : to challenge the credibility or validity of…
The attempt is to invalidate Trump’s presidency in many people’s eyes before it even begins, as well as to brand him with many labels, but most particularly “racist.”
Now, anyone who follows this blog knows I have a history of not being a Trump fan, to say the least. Now that he’s president-elect, I’ve been relatively pleased with his behavior and his choices, particularly considering what my expectations were. But most of all, I try to be fair.
But although “fair” may be what I try to be, I certainly don’t expect fairness from either the politicians, the press, or the left. And the press in particular is certainly living up to my low expectations, and then some.
I was at a social occasion last week where about ten women I know were present. Most, not all, were liberals, with one leftist thrown into the mix. The talk turned to politics and Trump, and most of the ones doing the talking (maybe five or six of them, that is) were expressing a fear—and not just a fear; almost a certainty—that his election would result in so much racism that we’d be back in Jim Crow days or worse. They made it clear that they believed that Trump himself and most or all of his supporters were racists of the worst kind, and now they were in the driver’s seat.
These women were not talking about some white supremacist fringe of the alt-right who supported Trump’s presidency; they were talking about Trump himself, his appointees, and all his supporters. And in this astounding point of view they have been egged on by a great many people in the press, so it really shouldn’t be surprising that they believe it.
Slate offers the latest entry entry in the business of stoking these fears:
“Trump wanted to ‘make America great again,’ where ‘America’ was a metonym for a traditional, industrial, and white America, set against a rising tide of racial threats, from Hispanic immigrants and black protesters, to Muslim refugees and the specter of ‘radical Islamic terrorism…’” wrote Jamelle Bouie [this article in Slate]. “Roof, in his own telling, wanted to awaken white America to the alleged threat of blacks and other nonwhites.”
“There’s no causal relationship between Trump and Roof, no tangible link between the two events. From a certain view, this means they’re unrelated,” Bouie admitted. “But that view is too narrow.”
“Roof’s depiction of black Americans as violent and dangerous is just a few steps away from Trump’s depiction of black communities as violent and dangerous hellscapes that threaten the safety of the entire nation,” he continued. “Trump did not cause Roof. But their temporal proximity reveals thematic connections between the two.”
And of course, you can see for yourself the amazing amount of furor over the possible Russian hacking that we’ve known about for months, which almost certainly did not affect the election and which Wikileaks’ Assange says Russia was not involved in anyway (for what that’s worth).
Is it any wonder that many people like some of my friends, who were already distraught and fearful (which would certainly be logical for liberals at the Trump and the Republican victory), are now feeling even more so, with the flames of that fear fanned by the press?
This cannot possibly be good for the country, of course. I’m not even sure it’s good for the left, not that I much care about that aspect of it. But for every person who is stirred up by it, there may be another one (or two) who is turned off by it. What’s more—and everything really depends on this—if they fail to stop Trump from being inaugurated (and I believe they will fail in that endeavor), and if he acts without any particular racism during his administration, might at least some of the people who’ve been worked up to a fever pitch right now end up blaming and distrusting the press?
Well, I can dream, can’t I?