The Trump “Crisis” and the Democrats
Crises are, always, opportunities. They are opportunities to take stock, so to speak, of one’s situation, study what led to the crisis, and to imagine alternatives to avoid such a crisis from recurring.
Assuming momentarily that Trump’s presidency is a crisis, the Democrats have not served the nation well in their response to that crisis. In response to Trump’s presidency, they have not articulated any reasonably thoughtful analysis of what preceded and led to this presidency. They seem content to engage in Trump bashing, which has culminated in Trump’s impeachment and, eventually, his acquittal, an acquittal that reflected the Trump bashing that led up to it. To rest impeachment on a phone call of minor importance, when Trump’s assassination of the leading Iranian general brought us to the brink of war with Iran, was ill conceived from several points of view.
I cannot help but think that the Democrats have chosen this strategy because they don’t actually want to know or acknowledge what led to the Trump presidency. And they don’t want to acknowledge this because they know that their actions and policies have led to Trump’s presidency. They prefer to think that the order they had created pre-Trump, an order that gave us the presidencies of Clinton, Bush, and Obama, represented a distinctly full and almost final political order, one that cannot be imagined to be significantly different or better. In their mindset – a mindset that informs the thinking of all status quo politicians – Trump represents an aberration that is difficult to understand, except by labeling his supporters “deplorables” or mindless people looking for the security offered by a demagogue.
So, the thinking is, get rid of Trump and return to the halcyon days of Clinton, Bush, and Obama. All was well before Trump and all will be well once again after Trump.
In this way, the opportunity offered by Trump’s ascendancy to take stock of how our political order contributed to Trump’s rise if forfeited. No doubt this is what mainstream Democrats like Pelosi and Schumer want, especially in light of the challenges they face from those labeled “left-wingers.” So, they engage in bashing Trump – much as he bashes them – while supporting his “defense” budget or attempts to overthrow Assad in Syria or the democratically elected government in Venezuela. To say such a strategy constitutes “a resistance” in any meaningful sense is to reduce resistance to the almost child-like petulance of a two-year old. Such “resistance” provides no basis for a political order that would be immune to the likes of a Trump in the future.
But then this too is favorable to the mainstream Democrats because, without Trump, their legitimacy and their authority would be tottering on the edge of an abyss. It is difficult not to think that the “Trump crisis” was created by these Democrats to fortify and perpetuate their rule. Such a situation might seem weird, even “conspiratorial.” But the other option, that it is merely coincidental, seems altogether delusion.