It is apparently de rigeur to make fun of President Donald Trump supporters these days. It is not enough to go after the Great Leader, who is tweeting himself into messy, muddy waters with some nonsensical twiddle. We must make the supporters of the president look like fools, idiots and rubes who are one row short of a full set of dentures.
Case in point: NPR decided to tweet out the Declaration of Independence, and some sad folks didn’t recognize the brilliant blueprint for our inalienable rights. They thought it was a call to arms from that violent and revolutionary news source that is more likely to kill you with boredom than with sedition. Anyone who actually believed NPR was encouraging a coup has spent a little bit too much time hanging out on Sesame Street.
But worse than the people who didn’t get the joke, the mainstream pooh-bahs decided to take a swipe at the president’s people by suggesting they were the only ones who fell for the tweetstorm. How stupid, they implied, that these idiots actually didn’t recognize the handiwork of Thomas Jefferson, delivered up in 140-character servings.
Sniff, gawd, bring on the brie and Chablis.
The assumption that only Trump supporters were boondoggled into believing that NPR was calling for the overthrow of government is the same type of pretentious arrogance (I know, to-may-to, to-maaa-to) that caused so many people to react violently when President Barack Obama talked about the poor folks who “cling to their guns and their religion.” It is the sort of progressive put-down that made a lot of people vote for Trump as a big “F U” to the establishment, without actually considering the consequences of their act of defiance.
I’m not saying everyone who voted for Trump did it to “get back” at the schoolyard bullies, the ones who were always telling them they weren’t good enough, tolerant enough, organic enough, multicultural enough, tech-savvy enough, gender-sensitive enough, and so on and so forth to the tenth power of nausea.
I am saying that suggestions like the one that only Trump supporters got fooled by the NPR tweets are the reason CNN will fail in getting the nation riled up over another tweet involving a wrestling match. When North Korea is sending missiles into the air and you are still licking your wounds about being dissed by the White House, you clearly have not gauged the spirit of the “Hillbilly Resistance,” the one that doesn’t wear cute little pink crochet hats or throw around hashtags like peace signs.
I’ve been annoyed at the childish, churlish nature of our president. Who but the most die-hard devotee hasn’t? Yet, every time I get on my high horse to complain about the most recent outrage from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., I see this absolute disdain for the men and women who voted for the “wrong” candidate, and I understand why the cable news shows will not get their wish.
Trump will not be impeached on their watch, and it’s not because there won’t be any grounds dug up from the bottom of a bottle of vodka. There may indeed be something that Robert Mueller uncovers in his search to shake the cobwebs out of the Trump campaign.
But I have a hard time believing that the men and women in Congress, who were elected to represent their constituents to the best of their abilities and not spend their time insulting them, would be persuaded to vote in favor of impeachment without a real smoking gun.
Mika and Joe can write all the op-eds they want complaining about how “not sane” the president is, and it will just make his supporters that much more convinced there is a vast left-wing conspiracy out to get him. CNN can complain about being attacked on a daily basis by the president, and the base will continue to believe the network deserves it. NPR can try to stay above the fray, as it usually does, but unless it decides to tweet out a few episodes of “Duck Dynasty,” I’m not sure any of Trump’s supporters will pay attention.
A lot of people out there are tired of being called stupid, whether directly to their faces or indirectly with the raised eyebrow of the highbrow. I almost think they can deal with being called racist, sexist or homophobic (which some are, some aren’t and who cares anyway, since liberals are exactly the same,) but cannot deal with being ridiculed for their allegedly inferior intellects.
When people do that, they just galvanize the Hillbilly Resistance to reject any notion that the press is in danger, that Trump is a beast, that Ivanka is a Stepford daughter, that Melania lives in a tower and lets down her hair on weekends, and that we are in danger of another revolution.
Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.