The Phony Grassroots and Escaping the Python’s Grip
Writing in the Daily Beast, Asawin Suebsaeng traces the recent “spontaneous” progressive rallies, marches, and riots to a network of left-wing organizations:
News reports and TV broadcasts about the week’s protests described the events as “spontaneous protests” mounted in response to the Trump administration’s travel and immigration executive order.
But to Make the Road New York, and the groups like it across the country, there was nothing “spontaneous” about it. As some observers and activists were quick to point out, these grassroots and professional organizers had been waiting and planning for this type of mass, direct action—ready-made to go viral on social media—ever since, well, Nov. 9. From the moment Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the general election, they’ve been anticipating and mapping out their battle plans for Trump’s orders on deportations, bans, and detention.
I differ on one point: Primed with cash from a handful of billionaires, from non-profit foundations that shuffle money to progressive causes, and from taxpayer funds laundered through various stimulus and other Obama Era conduits, these groups were prepared to spring into action to back Hillary Clinton and pull her to the political left had she won the presidency.
On a recent Commentary Magazine podcast, the pundits made an interesting jump from politicized Super Bowl commercials to President Trump’s objectionable equivalence between the United States and Putin. On the first topic, the trio couldn’t quite formulate a theory as to why advertisers would strike poses that would seem likely to alienate a good portion of their audience (particularly a Super Bowl audience). On the second topic, Noah Rothman commented that the basic problem is probably less that Trump believes in the equivalence, but that he is simply not willing to back off any statement once made. There may be a connection between the two.
It may be that large corporations (in “the bubble”) have been persuaded by a progressive strategy that makes them see the world as it actually is not, with the added threat that, whatever their numbers, leftists will be very active in targeting companies that look like they could be useful examples. With its dominance in cultural institutions, the Left is effective at this sort of narrative construction.
That raises the question of whether any other politician could have broken the hold that the constricting progressive python had on our society. Trump may be irrationally willing to fight for every small hill, but conventional center-right politicians are prone to believing that every hill will be the death of him or her and therefore being in perpetual retreat.
I don’t like either approach, frankly, and I might even have more sympathy for the latter, but as I’ve been saying, if Trump takes his role as message interference while his conservative appointees run things, he may have hit upon the only formula that could pull the country from the Left’s asphyxiating grip.