Anti-Trump demonstrations are far from irrational. The opposite is more likely.
Every day I hear exasperated Trump-backers exclaim that the Left has gone crazy. And their complaint seems justified, at least up to a point. The demonstrations against Trump, which now involve such gestures as setting fires, destroying property and beating up suspected Trump backers, look utterly “irrational.” It’s as if the election and subsequent inauguration of Donald Trump released forces of madness that can no longer be contained. Wild accusations are being made against those who voted for Trump, that they yearn to exterminate blacks and gays and put Jews into concentration camps, etc. One of my close acquaintances has turned her home into “a safe space for Jewish children,” so there will be no more Anne Frank-deaths during the terrible persecutions that our “illegitimately appointed, fake head of state” will soon supposedly unleash. I myself have been called by leftist ex-friends a “Holocaust-denier” because I think Trump’s decision to stop the influx of visitors and immigrants from terrorist-laden countries is entirely justified. How this shows that I deny Hitler’s murderous activities is never explained to me, but I’m sure the Trump-haters in Hollywood, CNN and at Berkeley would understand the connection.
Note that I’m not saying that everyone out there making noise or burning property is a model of scientific rationality. Nor am I claiming that the entertainment community makes sense when they scream against the Donald, or that students who recently set fires on the Berkeley campus to protest a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos were engaging in Aristotelian reasoning. What I am asserting is that viewed from the top, this agitation and violence reveal careful thought. In fact, from the vantage point of George Soros and such protest organizers as the Democratic National Committee and the leaders of the grievance culture, noisy demonstrations are a reasonable means toward a predetermined end. Max Weber, Vilfredo Pareto, and other sociologists who understood functional rationality as working systematically toward a desired end would have pointed to these protests as illustrating perfectly rational action, at least on the part of those who organize them.
The useful idiots are all over the place, but that’s exactly what they are, mere stage extras. They are impressionable adolescents, Hollywood airheads, middle-aged women who want to “assert themselves,” perpetually incited racial minorities, and Muslim activists. Many of them can be mobilized at the drop of a pin to “march for tolerance,” however that term is interpreted by those who organize the march and by politicians, like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who seek to increase their influence through well-prepared displays of “righteous indignation.” Please note that Schumer’s obstructionist tactics in the Senate, blocking or delaying cabinet nominees and threatening to shoot down Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, have been applied to the accompaniment of non-stop anti-Trump protests. Only a fool or unthinking partisan would believe these events are unrelated.
Most of what we see and hear is profoundly hypocritical. Trump is not threatening gays or blacks; he is far from being an exterminationist anti-Semite, he is surrounded by Jewish family members and Jewish advisers and is adored by the population of Israel. He is not an anti-Muslim religious bigot; and the temporary travel restriction that he established last week affects non-Muslims as well as Muslims trying to enter the USA from certain countries. Only 109 travelers were detained last weekend because of the ban; and one may easily surmise that other passengers who were jostled by the loads of screaming, gesticulating demonstrators suffered far more grievously than those who were temporarily detained. Moreover, since Obama imposed a four-month travel ban on passengers from Iraq in 2011, we may assume that even more people during the supposedly sensitive Obama years were inconvenienced. But, strange as it seems, I don’t recall mass demonstrations by our selective humanitarians against Obama’s travel restrictions. Perhaps I didn’t notice them when they were taking place.
I also hear from establishment Republicans, and even from family members who should know better, that Trump is bringing all this on himself because he is too free with his words. If only he could explain himself calmly and read more often from a teleprompter, none of this would be happening. Moreover, if Trump were a nice conciliatory guy, like, say, W, Romney or Kasich, the PC crowd would be pacified—or would stop running riot. This gives me food for thought. Does anyone really believe that the Left was nice to George W. Bush, whom they also smeared as a racist and religious bigot? And is any Republican or Never-Trumper naïve enough to believe that if it had been Ted Cruz rather than Trump naming Neil Gorsuch as his pick to the Supreme Court, there would be no demonstrations against this outstanding non-leftist jurist? Perhaps if the silver-tongued Cruz were defending Gorsuch in Ciceronian accents, Schumer and his friends in the Senate would not be trying to block the confirmation? Come to think of it: Cruz has already endorsed Gorsuch—to no effect.
The only question that should be asked in this matter concerns the end game of those who are organizing the insurrectionary masses. What do they expect to gain from the continuing noise and escalating violence? At the very least they may hope to disempower Trump and his administration--perhaps to render them so powerless that they won’t able to do anything that the Left and the Democratic base (to make a perhaps unnecessary distinction) don’t want them to do. The Democrats are also hoping to take advantage of the chaos to which their fans and operatives have contributed by posing as the true party of order. Only the Democrats, the electorate will be impelled to assume, could end the civil unrest by bringing back the glorious days of the Obama administration.
This transfiguration of the bungling leftist Obama into the guarantor of American order may not be as strange an idea as it first seems. Last week I found myself sitting next to a sixty year old black woman on a train going to Philadelphia; and this traveler began telling me how nice it had been under Obama. At first I reminded her of the growing criminality in our cities during the last few years, but then I noticed she wasn’t talking about crime. Things had been nicer under Obama because back then one didn’t witness daily and even hourly eruptions of organized anger, with the media, entertainment industry, and in varying degrees the Democratic Party egging on the mobs. The woman whom I spoke to wasn’t looking for deeper causes. All she knew was that since Trump had taken office, pandemonium was loosed on the country. And it’s not yet clear that this pandemonium will be blamed on those who are causing it, namely the organizers, the media, and the throngs of useful idiots.