Since the election, Democrats have been apoplectic about losing the presidential race.
Republicans not only won the White House but kept their majorities in the House and Senate and now control a record number of state legislatures as well.
As a conservative, even one who did not support President-elect Donald Trump, it’s difficult to avoid the rush of schadenfreude at the collective freak-out by those on the left, made all the more delicious given their previous certitude of a sweeping Election Day victory.
That satisfaction aside, I still have real fears about a Trump presidency, among them that he will continue to engage in dangerous and divisive rhetoric, that he will follow through on some of his more outlandish campaign statements, that his cavalier and intellectually shallow approach to campaigning will carry over to the White House and that he will damage conservatism for a generation.
With the exception of the last, these fears are shared by many people on the left.
The normal and appropriate response to such concerns would be to wait until Trump’s tenure has begun and then to hold him accountable for his decisions as president.
If he fails or disappoints, voters should replace him in four years or elect people to Congress who will derail his agenda.
But some progressives aren’t reacting appropriately, and frankly, their unreasonable response is starting to make me happy Trump won.
In cities across the nation, protesters have taken to the streets carrying signs that read “Not my president.”
Sadly, they seem unaware of the basic tenants of our democracy — that even if you didn’t vote for the person who wins, that person is still your president.
He wasn’t my choice either, but it’s time to get over it.
Some demonstrations have turned to violence.
In Portland, Ore., and Oakland, Calif., protestors caused millions of dollars in damage to cars and businesses; they threw Molotov cocktails at police and graffitied buildings.
On college campuses, despondent students are largely avoiding violence, but their response to Trump’s election is equally absurd.
At the University of Pennsylvania, one dormitory hosted a post-election “breathing space” for students overwrought by Trump’s election. This included “cuddling with cats and a puppy, coloring and crafting, and snacks such as tea and chocolate,” according to the College Fix.
About 150 Rice University students gathered for a healing “group hug” to help comfort one another.
And Cornell University held a “cry in” that provided students mourning the election results with a “safe space” to share their feelings.
Sniveling and whining is not the way to build empathy for your cause.
Some progressives skipped the crying and went straight to finger-pointing.
Writing in The Atlantic, Jamelle Bouie asserted that “there is no such thing as a good Trump voter.”
Indeed, he argues that nearly half of voters will be morally responsible for any acts of racism, sexism or xenophobia that occur during the Trump administration.
He cites a reported rise in hate crimes since the election as sign of things to come.
While I don’t dispute Trump’s election has emboldened bigoted elements of society — indeed, that’s been one of my concerns from the beginning — I have a healthy skepticism that all of these alleged crimes can be blamed on Trump voters.
Given the number of hate-crime hoaxes, including a recent fabrication by a Louisiana student alleging an attack by two men, one she said wore a “Trump” hat, it seems just as likely that Trump’s election will be an opportunity for progressives to perpetuate discord.
And asserting that all Trump voters are bigoted will not help build bridges or heal the nation, which is explicitly what many progressives are demanding Trump do.
This perspective illustrates also how many on the left have completely failed to understand what precipitated Trump’s election in the first place — not racism, but a complex mix of factors including the sense that many Americans felt ignored by the political and pundit class.
In the words of President Obama, let me be clear: I’m not thrilled about Trump, either. But the behavior of many on the left is making me grateful for this outcome.
My message to progressives: Please stop.
Cynthia M. Allen is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Readers may send her email at [email protected]. Column courtesy of the Associated Press.