New Republic: ‘What Do We Do About All These Trump Supporters?’

A man protesting US President Donald Trump holds a sign during a protest in front of the US Supreme Court on Capitol Hill on January 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty

The New Republic has published an op-ed in which the writer asks: “What do we do about all these Trump supporters?”

The premise of the article is that President Donald Trump created the divisions in the country, and that his supporters are to blame for having “divided families and destroyed friendships.” They are to be treated like defeated Confederates — saddled with historical guilt, a burden on the society, presumed racists who should forever be regarded as second-class, or inhuman.

Andrew Cohen writes:

Like the Civil War, which pitted brother against brother, and the Vietnam War, which pitted father against son, the Trump presidency has cleaved relationships from sea to sea. It has forced people to take sides. It’s caused psychic wounds that figure to grow worse, not heal, in the days and weeks to come. Trump’s angry, divisive tenure has accomplished the destruction Stan Van Gundy, to use another example from the world of sports, surely meant when he tweeted, on September 30: “For me the saddest thing about this whole Trump presidency has been finding out that people I knew, liked and respected, including some guys I coached support this racist, misogynistic, narcissistic person. Painfully disappointing revelations.”

I admire but cannot emulate all the earnest people who have made it their mission this election season to try to convince these people of the errors of their ways. The patient folks who undertake granular debates with those Trumpists who scorn science and who believe fiction over fact. The ones telling me to narrow the great divide by respecting the perspectives of the Trumpists in my life. I admire a little less those who see the problem in bipartisan terms, as if the two sides are equally to blame for the cognitive dissonance we face. And, ultimately, no one really has a good solution about how to strongly and honorably respond to the Trump supporter in our lives. Do we forgive and forget? Turn the other cheek after it’s been slapped?

Cohen wonders: “[H]ow exactly does one go about “humanizing” the person who supports an administration whose elemental policy feature is the dehumanization of migrants and so many others?”

Other liberals, such as broadcaster Keith Olbermann, wondered openly before the election if Trump supporters should be prosecuted for their supposed crime.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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