Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gives voice to what I think is a disturbing and undeniable truth. No matter what happens with Trump, if we manage to get him impeached or otherwise removed from office, it will not change the fact that such a large percentage of the population is willing to support someone like him and are prone to his demagoguery.
He can stay, he can go. He can be impeached, or voted out in 2020.
But removing Trump will not remove the infrastructure of an entire party that embraced him; the dark money that funded him; the online radicalization that drummed his army; nor the racism he amplified+reanimated.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 24, 2019
Exactly right. This is not just the case of one charismatic person managing to get elected, this is the rebirth of the John Birch Society, the Know Nothings and other bigoted, nativist, xenophobic movements that have long plagued this country in spurts. Trump has tapped into and unleashed those tendencies that are never far from the surface with his sheer demagoguery, scapegoating and demonizing Muslims, immigrants, racial minorities and other marginalized communities. The genie is now out of the bottle once again, as it was in the 1960s, the 1920s, the 1880s and previously. And putting it back in will be a task that long outlasts Trump’s political career.
I don’t know about AOC’s proposed solution here. Talking to our political opponents, it seems to me, holds little hope of success. I do not propose a better solution, unfortunately, because I don’t have one. But let’s not be pollyannaish about this. It’s going to be a long, difficult slog to fight this scourge and it’s going to get very ugly in the process. Strap in, folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.