The Trump dissenters are not a single, unified organization. There seem to be three types of constituencies among the Trump dissenters: 1) the true believers, 2) the pragmatists and 3) the anarchists.
The true believers on the Left are convinced that the republic is in peril from the policies of the Trump administration, and that their control of the federal government means at least a transformation of America from our current condition to a far worse state of affairs, and at worst a catastrophic decline.
They believe that the Obama era, while not perfect, was moving in the right direction. Their primary focus is on domestic issues, a cultural evolution toward a society which celebrates diversity, that is, equal recognition and respect for all ethnic and gender groups as a first principle of American culture. The true believers were absolutely committed to seeing the first woman president, who unequivocally accepted and promoted diversity as a guiding principle for all public policy. She was, if nothing else, a champion of the cultural revolution embodied by Mr. Obama.
They were completely devastated by the election of Donald Trump because his election meant that the cultural revolution, which is like a religion to many, was rejected by the American public. Mr. Trump’s victory was not the defeat just of Hillary Clinton, but of a world view fervently held by the true believers. For them, the alternative universe which they had been fighting for, and which they believed had gained universal acceptance by the American public with the two elections of Barack Obama, had suddenly re-asserted its power by being given total control of the federal government.
It seems that many of the dissenters did not pay Donald Trump any attention during the campaign and therefore are exposed for the first time to his ideas and activist mode of operation. All they know about him is what he says in brief TV clips, which are selected and critiqued by hostile reporters who interpret everything he does and says in the worst possible light.
The true believers find this picture very disturbing, as the press intended. This impression combined with the pent-up frustration of people who have suffered for years under a bad economy makes for a combustible mixture. It needs only a demonstration to ignite a factually starved but emotionally charged afternoon on the pavement. Government’s dependence on the media for informing and shaping public opinion has never been more evident.
There is also another factor in the hatred of the true believers for President Trump. Much of the energy of the diversity movement derives from opposition to the traditional power structure. The group which is routinely accused of violating this diversity mantra is the ethnic (white) European Americans, particularly white males, who have historically dominated America’s establishment. White women are usually exempted from this scorn, because they are thought to be fellow victims of white men.
Since many of the dissenters obviously do not know many facts about the new president’s positions, they accept as fact the propaganda the press puts out as truth – and often add the most outlandish charges and conspiracy theories, it seems clear that they oppose him for other reasons. After all, he has been president for only a few weeks. He cannot be responsible for all the complaints of the opponents.
My conclusion is that he is a symbol to these folks, rather than a real person. They are predisposed to oppose Mr. Trump principally because he represents the resurgence of white males, and all the historical associations that implies, especially slavery and male primacy. In appearance and manner, Mr. Trump fulfills that stereotype quite conveniently.
The pragmatists see everything differently. These people are not extremists. They believe that the status quo ante has worked quite well for the past 50 years, and they do not want to see it replaced with something different which may not work as well and which is therefore a leap in the dark.
I have a whole church full of relatives who are solidly anti-Trump but are certainly not extremists. They are lifelong Democrats, solid citizens in a Midwestern state (Michigan) which has been governed with few exceptions by union-backed governors and senators ever since the Depression. They are against Mr. Trump because they don’t like his style but primarily because they don’t understand him and don’t agree with what they do understand, a lot of which comes from the heavily biased media. Most Democratic politicians also fall into this category.
The only way this president can become credible to this group is results. If congressional opposition cannot in the end defeat his agenda despite their best efforts, and if that agenda works – especially by encouraging a thriving economy among the working class – their opposition will subside and some level of bipartisanship will reappear. (These results will also reduce the temperature of my relatives!) Ultimately, they are all pragmatists – seeing is believing.
The last classification is the anarchists. To the extent that they have an ideology, it is that chaos is the preferable state of society. Mostly, they are simply against any and all authority, even to justifying violence. There is a movement which appears to be behind much of the violence we have seen from the Left in recent years. It is called Blac Bloc. It is called a “tactic” rather than an organization – as befits a group of anarchists.
There is a very thorough primer under that term on the internet – posted apparently by some non-organizer. It describes in intimate detail how to incite a riot, what to do (break windows, set cars on fire, start a looting rampage, etc.), and what to expect (“You probably won’t need a flak jacket …”). They dress in all black, including a black hood and mask. This manual is in fact a very accurate description of what happened at Ferguson, Baltimore, the Trump inauguration, and Berkeley. These people are reminiscent of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Black Panthers who advocated senseless violence in the 1960s.
Blac Bloc frequently infiltrates a peaceful demonstration and turns it into a Leftist mob. One of my sources interviewed three of these masked agitators during a recent rampage in Chicago. They identified themselves (one black, two white) as unemployed men in their 20s who have never been able to find a job. So, they did the “natural thing” and took to the streets to turn a peaceful demonstration into a riot of burning and looting.
It is hard to believe that any of the regular Democrats (with the exception of Barack Obama) condone their actions. No one has been killed by the Blac Bloc that we know of. However, if the adults in the Leftist hierarchy do not take a firm stand against this violence, especially with the most susceptible members of their movement, meaning youths on and off campus, deaths will inevitably follow. This will hurt their cause more than anything Mr. Trump can do.
The level heads among us must speak out to be heard above the din of a biased press and the emotional divide we are in. There are level heads on both sides. They must be found and addressed before this thing gets out of control.