From today’s New York Times. This one is titled Count Me Among the Mob, and has the subtitle of “If it means people who stand in opposition to Trump’s degradation of the country.”
Trump has of course on the campaign trail used the label of a mob to describe those who gather to express opposition to him, his programs, his nomination of Kavanaugh. We have seen Trump’s lackey Lindsey Graham demanding that Democrats be punished (electorally) for daring to accost Republican senators — in elevators on Capitol Hill, in public venues — to viscerally express their opinions. Of course, those words are NOT used by Trump or his lackeys with respect to the Proud Boys organized/encouraged by the head of a local Republican Party to accost and attempt to intimidate Nancy Pelosi. And then, of course, there are the crowds Trump riles up against the media at his “campaign” events.
Blow argues that resistance to Trump is essential, but insufficient, that
resisting what Trump represents becomes a central point of moral rectitude and ultimate patriotism. Resistance is a reaction to Trump.
that can’t be the sum total of one’s statement of principles. You must be driven toward a concept of what you want this country to become, and not just driven by a fear of what the country could descend into.
We know this. After all, Obama twice won the majority of the popular vote with a message of hope and possibility, not anger and retrenchment. Trump clearly, as Blow notes, has a default position of fear. He is campaigning on it because it works to rile up the base he once said would not abandon him even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. And Blow offers us a cautionary:
Make no mistake: Trump’s strategy will work. He now knows the people who support him very well. He has never stopped playing to them and campaigning for them. They are family. They feast together on hatred and intolerance.
Our response cannot be limited to merely opposing this, and we should stop playing by Trump’s rules. As Blow writes:
This election and indeed all that follow it must no longer be about reactions, but about realignment.
We must conceive of the country we want and drive relentlessly toward it, not because we are thunderstruck by the sheer immorality that has risen to the pinnacle of power, but because we know that power is in fact a possession of the people in a democracy and we can both harness it and assert it.
That is why Blow is not worried about how Trump will label us, as a mob or as something else. We cannot let him dictate the future by dictating the terms of the debate.
Which is why Blow closes like this:
Stay focused on the future. It belongs to an America that looks absolutely nothing like Trump’s America. Vote!
I think the entire column is worthy of your attention.
Please do yourself a favor and go read it now.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.