When Trump Goes Low, His Haters Follow His Lead

Circumstances around the image of the crying girl are of little concern when your primary motivation is to attack. This refers to the circumstances of the photo itself as well as those surrounding the greater immigration debate.

Within this debate, there are two valid concerns in play: 1. humanity for the suffering of foreign people and 2. protection of citizens from dangerous intruders. Trump obviously favors an approach that favors the latter concern. Has this led to harms? Yes, it has. But so has liberal immigration policy, which has allowed in (and protected ) people who would go on to murder.

It’s clear we need a compromise, but these don’t come easy in such polarized times — where no one in authority takes the high road. Trump’s crass, “low road” style is well known. What isn’t is the harm caused by the anti-Trump movement following his lead.

Their hate isn’t just undermining truth and journalistic ethics, it’s counterproductive.

Low blows like this magazine cover and protesters at Trump’s rallies strengthen and grow his base, because: 1. Most Americans want secure borders, and faulty or not, at least he’s addressing this issue. 2. Most Americans believe in free speech and dislike interruptions to this right. 3. Trump’s accusations of “fake news” are validated.

Yet despite the benefit to Trump, the people and organizations loudest against him prioritize their need to vent and attack in place of constructive efforts such as offering solutions to the country’s problems or working on a strategy to win voters in 2020.

This makes sense if you look at this scenario from the perspective of ego (the source of hate, because we get afraid when our egos are threatened). Perhaps Trump’s continued success is exactly what their hatred wants. What better way for hate to ensure its own survival than by maintaining the cause of its existence — even if it means exploiting the images of crying immigrant kids?

As shocked as I was to see Trump win, I’ve been equally shocked at how dastardly Trump’s foes have been — and who they’ve been. Once-reputable news outlets and fun-loving talk show hosts have lost their integrity in the face of a Trump presidency. I would have predicted these cooler heads (certainly cooler than Trump, I had assumed) would have sat back and simply reported on the car crash of a Trump presidency. But his presidency still stands, and voices inthe anti-Trump movement have gone recklessly on the attack.

I’m not sure how they’ll stand once they’re done with Trump. And looking back at these years, this may be the real story.

Perhaps it’s best to think of Trump not as good or evil but as a catalyst, a social forest fire burning down the rot of old institutions (legacy media, government bodies) to be replaced by fresh growth (internet media, empowered individuals). When looking at history, we usually separate eras by wars. Current times might be partially defined as pre/post-Trump.

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