As it stands currently, the left despises President Trump. In a few short years, they will likely hail the president as the last remaining disciple of moderation and decency to survive the desolate rot of the waning, radicalized Republican Party.
Democrats do this thing where they form a reluctant, unreciprocated alliance with past enemies on the right in order to neutralize the GOP’s most recent and most prominent threat to Democratic control. In 2008, the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) challenged then-Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) for the presidency of the United States. Republican President George W. Bush had just capped his second term and it was time for Democrats to swing the political pendulum back to their side of the aisle. What did Democrats do when Sen. McCain stood in their way?
As Joe Concha of The Hill recounts:
“McCain was labeled as a racist, a get-off-my-lawn grouch with a divisive temper.”
The left, including the trustworthy and objective mainstream media, launched a completely legitimate, non-partisan effort to land their preferred candidate in the White House.
According to Pew Research, a mere 14 percent of media coverage pertaining to McCain was positive in the final weeks of the election cycle, a stark contrast to the 36 percent positive media coverage of Obama.
Ezra Klein argued that McCain’s ad campaign against Obama was “crypto-racist,” with Bill Press adding “deliberately and deceptively racist.” Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed McCain didn’t have the “temperament” to be president. CNN’s Don Lemon, of course, believed McCain was “creating a political environment that is inciting hate and hate speech.” Any of this sound familiar?
This is all to evidence that the left despised John McCain in 2008, branding him the same kind of racist as President Trump. So, what is it that changed over the last decade?
Could it be that McCain, incensed by President Trump’s questioning of his war hero status, voted against the GOP’s attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, ultimately striking down the legislative mutiny?
Suddenly, McCain, who died a short time later, was the left’s darling. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who said of McCain in ’08 that he “doesn’t particularly empathize with the plight of the average person,” praised McCain, claiming now that he “was never afraid to speak truth to power.” According to Gallup, less than half of Democrats viewed McCain favorably in 2008, as opposed to 71 percent in 2017 after he spited President Trump.
As Republican strategist Mark Corallo recognizes:
“Democrats [and the press] love Republicans who attack Republicans [until] that Republican is running for high office. Then they’re the devil incarnate.”
Apparently, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) was a slaveholder incarnate until he sparred with Trump himself. In 2012, when Romney was challenging incumbent President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden remarked to a room of black voters that Mitt Romney was “going to put y’all back in chains.”
President Obama castigated Congressional Republicans and candidate Romney in 2012 for their supposed radicalism. He claimed, “Instead of moderating their views even slightly…they have proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal.” He condemned the Romney-endorsed, Republican budget proposal as being “an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country.” Molly Ball wondered, “Can Obama Convince America Romney Is a Radical Right-Winger?” I think electoral history has answered that question.
Yet, the left has warmed up to “Moderate Mitt” Romney since the former governor excoriated President Trump as a “fraud” and “phony,” including a rebuke of “[the] bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics.” Now Romney is viewed as a quasi-ally of the left and a moderate within the radicalized GOP. If Romney is suddenly a moderate, then that means President Trump must be the current radical.
Leftist actress Jane Fonda regards the president as being reminiscent of “Hitler and the Third Reich.” (https://variety.com/2018/scene/news/jane-fonda-compares-donald-trump-to-hitler-and-the-third-reich-1203018248/) Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) declared, “[W]e now have a President of the United States who is a racist.” Don Lemon, remarkably still employed by CNN, opened one evening with this objective gem:
“This is CNN Tonight. I’m Don Lemon. The president of the United States is racist.”
Today, President Trump is a fanatical, racist Republican, just as the now-enshrined John McCain was in ’08 and the allied Mitt Romney in 2012. Tomorrow, likely after criticizing Republican leaders of the future, Trump will become a fond memory of a time before the true radicalization of the GOP. A moderate and an ally. Someday the left will speak fondly of President Trump. Until that future election cycle, though, he is just a radicalized, racist, modern-day Hitler in the eyes of Democrats.
Kevin Catapano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.