The Age of the Raging Democrat
FLINT — I’m the sort of guy who is quite likely to do the opposite of what you tell me to do.
It’s my thing.
So when alt-right types tell me people of the liberal persuasion should stop fussing and hollering and just fall in line behind the president, no matter how badly he acts, despite the fact they never did with Clinton or Obama, I know that’s precisely what we dare not do.
In fact, I think the angrier the righties get, the louder, longer and harder lefties need to protest.
The future of the country is at stake.
Yes, yes, I know. That sounds a bit dramatic. Maybe a lot dramatic.
But in this case I think it also happens to be true. If Trump and his cronies aren’t held in check, by the time they’re done with America it will be meaner, smaller, dirtier, poorer and more divided for generations to come. (For most people, anyway. For the wealthy, whoo boy, it’s going to be a living paradise.)
Fortunately, my side has recently rediscovered its backbone. It’d been missing for decades. In fact, I thought it was gone altogether. Dems watched passively as the country turned slowly and consistently from left-center to arch right, after all.
So who’d have thought they’d suddenly start caring now?
“It won’t last,” I thought as protesters coast to coast went nuts after Trump won. (I was among those who said, “Where was all that passion before the election? Try voting next time.”)
“It won’t last,” I said when people protested Trump’s SCOTUS pick, not because of the nominee himself but because Republicans screwed Obama out of his choice.
“It won’t last,” I thought after protesters clogged airports across the country after Trump issued his Muslim ban. (Righties: “It’s not a Muslim ban! It’s extreme vetting!” Yeah, extreme vetting aimed at keeping Muslims out. Ergo, a Muslim ban. How stupid do you think we are?)
“It definitely won’t last this time,” I said a few days ago when people flooded a town hall and chanted “Do your job!” to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which isn’t doing any oversight of Trump’s financial dealings.
After that protest, Chaffetz said, “It doesn’t faze me. It’s a very, very small minority. It’s a very vocal, very frustrated, scorched earth mentality that’s not representative of the average person, certainly not in Utah. It might be in San Francisco or Seattle but not here. Not in middle America.”
A year ago, I’d have agreed with him. Sustained caring isn’t the left’s strong suit, not when there are low-fat soy lattes to be had.
But now I think he’s wrong. This wave of Dem anger isn’t just sour grapes, I suspect. It’s not fringe. It’s not a coastal lib thing.
It’s born of a genuine, visceral fear for the future, and that’s not the sort of anger that dissipates. It’s the sort that grows. The great Age of the Raging Democrat, I suspect, is upon us.
It’s long overdue and most welcome.
Rage on, my friends. Rage on.
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Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at andrewheller.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.