Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism
The transformation of the Democrats into the Anti-Trump Party has had two equal and opposite reactions on the 2020 campaign trail.
A clown bus of governors, congressmen, senators, mayors, and dog catchers, plus Oprah's spiritual adviser, is running for the big job by competing for ActBlue cash. There is no position too radical and no idea too terrible, from outlawing cows to packing the Supreme Court that the leftists and born-again leftists won't embrace to pander to the resistance lefties on ActBlue who have cut back on their tofu and Tesla bills to spend every extra thousand bucks donating to any fringe candidate who patriotically hates Trump and America. (It's the order that makes it patriotic.)
But the guy out front has failed to meet most of these pledges. Joe Biden is treating the primaries as an afterthought to the general election. And he isn't about to write Trump's attack ads for him by endorsing racial reparations, serial killer voting or a ban on planes.
But despite Biden's unwillingness to embrace the crackpottery du jour, the same Dem primary voters who are split on the Boston Bomber voting from prison, are backing him instead of a field progressively mau mauing itself to death.
And for the same reason.
The Democrats are prepared to contemplate any terrible leftist idea because they hate Trump. And they're also backing Biden, even though he hasn't proposed letting cows vote or paying reparations to terrorists, because they hate Trump so much that they want a sure bet.
Biden is the worst idea of a bad bunch. And he's still beating out lesser bad ideas like the Green New Deal.
Lefties have a long list of ideological indictments of Creepy Uncle Joe, but the Dem front-runner could grope a woman on Fifth Avenue while endorsing fossil fuels and calling for a border wall, and his support among Democrats wouldn't waver by a decimal point.
The Dems haven't become leftists as much as they have turned Anti-Trumpist. Ideology is just a signifier for their hate and fear of the orange man. They will adopt leftist politics out of hatred and fear, and refuse to adopt leftist politics for the same reason.
In the Anti-Trump era, the Democrats have never been as radical or as disinterested.
House Democrats can't do anything except investigate Trump. No progressive policy has a higher priority than trying to obtain Trump's tax returns.
The clown bus of senators, governors, mayors and mule skinners tossed aside their old moderate credentials under the impression that the entire Dem field had gone Netroots. Now they've come to the painful realization that a majority of Democrats would vote for George Wallace if they thought he could beat Trump.
The Left had raised up a storm of fear and hate after the 2016 election hoping to break American politics. And it looked like it worked.
But the Anti-Trump Democrats have become a party defined by a hatred and fear of one man. And the movement that the radicals thought they owned is about to nominate an old, white man, and a former Republican, whose treatment of women makes Bill Clinton seem discreet, and whose ideology is measured in dollar bills.
Their alternative candidates are a Baskin Robbins menu of identity politics and radical ideas. But none of them make Democrats feel safe.
The Democrats don't want policy. They want to stop being afraid of the orange man. Bernie, Beto, Pete, Kamala, Liz and the thousand other candidates on the clown bus may have a thousand plans, but they're missing something.
The Alpha male touch.
After all the identity politics and the pink hats, the Democrats want a strong man to protect them. And between the elderly socialists, shrews, and pajama boys competing for the top 5 slots, Creepy Joe is the next best thing.
The Anti-Trump Party crawls to 2020 with a reactionary front-runner who is only there in the top spot because he's the only one of the top candidates who looks like he can change a tire.
The media claims that Trump has remade the GOP in his own image. They neglect to note that it is the Democrats that have been remade.
Like neurotics, they have come to be defined not by their hopes and dreams, but by their fear and hatred of one man.
What was once the party of Jefferson and Jackson has become the party of Anti-Trump.