Anti-Trump Progressives are suffering from an existential despair that has them believing his presidency means the imminent end of all life on earth.
I was speaking the other day with a very good friend, who is one of the kindest people I know and who is also a fervent anti-Trump Progressive. Her Progressivism comes about because, despite being highly intelligent, she really does lead with her heart. This means that Leftist pleas to emotion are catnip to her. Blinded by Progressive media photos of illegal immigrants being marched away from their families — families they had even knowing they could get caught and deported — she is blind to the families of those killed by illegal immigrants who shouldn’t have been here to kill in the first place. After all, the heart-wrenching photos of the victims of illegal killers do not make the front page of the New York Times and their families never ended up on Oprah.
But as I said, she is a good friend. She’s stood by me through thick and thin, and never allowed the fact that I’m a conservative to sway our friendship — something I cannot say about many Progressives. That’s why I forgave her when, upon hearing that the CIA can program cars to turn into assassination mobiles, her first response was “That can’t be true. If it were true, they would have killed Trump and we wouldn’t have to suffer this way.”
Normally, I’m not one to condone wishing for or celebrating the assassination of a democratically elected leader. I learned that moral lesson back in 1981, when I was a student at Cal and the news came down that Reagan had been shot. Unlike the horror that attended JFK’s assassination in 1963, at Cal in 1981 people were thrilled that Reagan had been shot . . . and then deeply disappointed to learn that he’d survived the attempt.
When I spoke to my parents later that day, and repeated these UC Berkeley sentiments as if they were my own, my parents turned on me. They were absolutely horrified that any moral person could (a) wish for the murder of a democratically elected leader and (b) cheer on anyone’s death.
My parents, who had lived through WWII, knew death. They didn’t like it. And while they had no qualms about killing Germans and Japanese to win the war, they were sufficiently moral to understand that, while a kill-or-be-killed situation makes killing “the other” reasonable, we lower ourselves when we cheer on the death of our own or when we dehumanize people as the Germans and Nazis did . . . or as I and my fellow Cal students did. I never made that mistake again.
Even now, while I can devoutly hope that every single ISIS soldier gets killed (with or without attendant suffering), because these men are unspeakably cruel and brutal, I do not forget that they are human beings who went to the dark side and that, under better circumstances, they could have been decent men. Yes, I can hold both thoughts in my mind. One thought is about my own and my country’s survival and about abstract justice against overarching evil; the other thought is about my own humanity and the fact that the enemy is a complicated mix of men who have given themselves to evil and men who are themselves so trapped by evil that killing them is still a necessity.
But still, when my friend said that awful thing, I kept silent. It wasn’t just that she’s such a fundamentally good person in my life who, as it turned out, was at the tail-end of an awful day at work, that caused me to hold my tongue. It was also because of that tag end to her sentence. Trump should have died, she said, so “we wouldn’t have to suffer this way.”