Before last year’s presidential election, Donald Trump was solidly the candidate of anger — anger at elites, anger at the media and anger at the yawning gap between the rural and urban Americas. As part of this anger, Trump foretold destruction — draining the swamp and dismantling NATO, all while building a big beautiful wall. He was a “disrupter,” that faddish term economists use to describe upstart startups. Clinton’s message of hope couldn’t withstand Trump’s brand of change.
Now Trump and his motley crew have taken over the White House and those who were angry before are no longer quite so. Populist elements of his blue-collar base have been soothed by his attacks on those “enemies of the people,” on the fourth estate who have been conjuring news from thin air. (“The leaks are real, but the news is fake.”) Big business — the greediest alligators in that Washington swamp — have also been riding high as stocks soar and Trump promises a bonfire of red tape (I wonder if the fumes will do anything more to further addle the man’s brain).
Thus the mantle of anger has passed to the left. The Women’s March and the protests against the immigration ban fiercely demonstrated the resistance Trump can expect to his blundering policies.
However the most virulent expressions of rage on the left have not been directed at any new policies or any new actions by those in power, but at free speech. One has only to look at the recent…