A Democrat drinks some Trump Kool-Aid

Karlyn Borysenko was a strong New Hampshire Democrat for 20 years. Considered Trump supporters all racist, “horrible (yes, even deplorable),” as is Trump himself. But now, writing on Medium.com,* she’s almost reversed that view, calling Democrats out of touch and headed for an ass-kicking.

It started with her knitting circle — encountering “roving gangs of online social justice warriors” who “started going after anyone in the knitting community who was not lockstep with their ideology.” A wave of viciousness, prompting her effort to escape her echo chamber and actually listen to Trump fans. She found they weren’t bad people, not racists or Nazis, and could justify their opinions using arguments — in contrast to the left’s “shouting and ranting.” She says it’s driving other Democrats to leave the party.

Wearing a red hat reading “Make Speech Free Again,” Borysenko noticed people on both right and left each saw it as aimed at the other side.

Then she attended Trump’s New Hampshire rally, and was struck by the positive energy there, marked by optimism and love of country, in contrast to a recent ill-attended Democratic event where people booed and shouted at those backing the “wrong” candidates, and were all doom and gloom and criticism of America.

Borysenko acknowledges that Trump lies. “But the strength of this rally wasn’t about the facts and figures. It was a group of people who felt like they had someone in their corner, who would fight for them . . . they believe he has their back.”

She concludes, “most people on both sides are good, decent human beings who want the best for the country and have dramatic disagreements on how to get there. But until we start seeing each other as human beings, there will be no bridging the divide.” Borysenko voted in the NH primary for Buttigieg and then changed her registration to independent.

* * *

I changed my own registration from Republican to Democrat in 2017. Because I actually couldn’t see my lifelong party through Borysenko’s rose-colored glasses.

Yes, there are honest disagreements about America’s direction. Yet honesty is not the hallmark of today’s Republicanism. At the top it’s disingenuous to the core. Epitomized by weaponizing phony concerns about election fraud to block many citizens from voting.

Borysenko is right that most in the rank-and-file are not bad people. But unfortunately they’ve been sucked into a cult of followership for someone very bad indeed. Seeing Trump as speaking for them, having their backs, would be quite understandable were there any reality to it. But it’s all a big con; everything about Trump and his presidency is bullshit. The only back he has is his own.

And as for the country’s direction — while we’ve always had policy disagreements, this is about America’s character. Respect for truth, facts, and reason — when that goes, everything else goes. Humankind has made great progress from a dog-eat-dog world. America had a huge role in the vanguard of that progress. But Trump is Mister Dog-Eat-Dog.

* * *

I enrolled Democrat to combat what, for years, I’ve excoriated the left for, that Borysenko writes about. The mindset of totalitarian intolerance. The insistence on ideological purity, with any deviation delegitimized, punished. Long seen on “liberal” campuses, it’s metastasizing in our wider political culture.

Some Sanders fans are mere starry-eyed idealists. But too many are hard left, latter-day Torquemadas, lusting for a new Inquisition to burn heretics. These are the hateful voices that so repel Borysenko. Supporters of Biden or Buttigieg aren’t like this.

But Borysenko is wrong in seeing the problem only on the left. Certainly there’s Republican intolerance for anyone not a total Trumpsucker. And meantime he’s not only whipped up a deranged hatred for Democrats, it’s mainly based on lies. I was no Hillary fan, but her demonization bore no relation to reality. At least Democrats’ hatred for Trump is grounded in what he actually does.

America today is in a profound crisis of its civic soul. It’s no hyperbole calling this our most important election at least since 1860. The Republican/Russian campaign will be a shitstorm of lies, disinformation, and ruthless dirty tactics. Yet facing this crisis, Democrats, in a fit of foolish self-indulgence, seem on track to put up an utterly ridiculous candidate.

Sandernistas fancy he’ll energize many new voters. Maybe so; but such polarizing extremist candidates energize even greater numbers to show up to vote against them. You say you want a revolution? Thomas Friedman wrote, I’ll show you a revolution: four more years of Trump. America will be irretrievably transformed.

What we absolutely don’t need is a November gotterdammerung between two opposing revolutions. Instead, a return to decency, honesty, sobriety, sanity. For two centuries we’ve progressed greatly in making life fairer and better for more and more people. We need not revolution but to resume that incremental humanistic evolution. Unfortunately, that’s not what Bernie is about.

I’m starting to wonder if, pragmatically, Bloomberg is the last hope. Can he buy the election? Gosh, it would be money well spent. Unlike Trump whose “charity” was (of course) a self-serving fraud, Bloomberg is a genuine philanthropist, with the public good truly at heart, and willing to use his money to promote that.

I’d rather have Bloomberg buy his way to the presidency than Trump lie his way to it.

*https://gen.medium.com/ive-been-a-democrat-for-20-years-here-s-what-i-experienced-at-trump-s-rally-in-new-hampshire-c69ddaaf6d07

8 Responses to “A Democrat drinks some Trump Kool-Aid”

  1. Lee Says:

    Bernie Sanders is not my first choice, but I have to call for more from you on your statements “But too many [Sanders fans] are hard left, latter-day Torquemadas, lusting for a new Inquisition to burn heretics. These are the hateful voices that so repel Borysenko.”

    With Donald J. Trump there are lists of statements and actions that are dishonest or hateful. That some of your blog readers would disagree about the quality of these statements is not the point; the point is that these statements are out there and we can discuss them. Do you have statements from Bernie Sanders that are dishonest or hateful?

    Or do you think that Sanders is good, just that his supporters are bad? Even if you disagree with Don Marquis, who says “An idea isn’t responsible for the people who believe in it,” again I must ask you for your sources. Where is the evidence that a majority of Sanders supporters are lusting for a new Inquisition to burn heretics?

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    I never said a majority. I said many. I have observed it myself.

  3. Lee Says:

    Cool, so Bernie Sanders gets a clean bill of health and so do a majority of his supporters. In any group that involves tens of millions of people there are going to be 1% who are creeps, and that’s hundreds of thousands of people in this case. I do not disagree that there are these “1%” creeps out of there, regardless of the candidate in question. But, I don’t let my political will be swayed by these creeps.

  4. rationaloptimist Says:

    It’s way more than 1%, it’s a big phenomenon of concern, and it’s not seen in connection with other Democratic candidates.

  5. Lee Says:

    Anecdotes from the Internet don’t really do much for me regardless of which candidate they are disrespecting — one set of creeps is exaggerating the misdeeds of a different set of creeps to the extent that you’d think that both groups are more than a small minority.

    Ideally, you’d share some collected statistics from a respectable source. Baring that, perhaps you could share an anecdote that you experienced personally.

  6. rationaloptimist Says:

    I’ve certainly personally been trashed in comments on this blog (mainly the Times-Union version; also re-postings on the local Humanist society’s FB page) by Sanders fanatics. There’s a lot more evidence out there, it frequently surfaces on WAMC radio.

  7. Lee Says:

    Blogs tend to attract that 1% / fanatics. I don’t see how we can blame Bernie Sanders or other candidates for this phenomenon.

    WAMC or any face-to-face interactions you have had seem more likely to attract the more typical supporters of candidates. If you could report on one such incident that stands out for you. that would help me to evaluate the thesis that Bernie Supporters are more likely to be like Tomás de Torquemada than supporters of other candidates.

  8. Joe Goncalves Says:

    “Epitomized by weaponizing phony concerns about election fraud to block many citizens from voting.” You criticize republicans for weaponizing lying yet you just lied.

    “this is about America’s character. Respect for truth, facts, and reason” You’re repeatedly lying, posting opinion and not facts and using feelings and not facts. Not to mention you would rather have someone buy an election than the democratic method established.

    “Seeing Trump as speaking for them, having their backs, would be quite understandable were there any reality to it. But it’s all a big con; everything about Trump and his presidency is bullshit. The only back he has is his own.” Yet you’re OK with Bloomberg buying the Election?? LMAO talk about major hypocrisy.

    “I’d rather have Bloomberg buy his way to the presidency than Trump lie his way to it.” Just stop, you’re neither rational or an optimist. You’re a contradictory moron with a blog. Especially when you talk about dog-eat-dog world and want someone to use their money to become the most powerful man in the country/world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s