As I see it, Frum’s mission in this article was not to incite panic. I believe it was to galvanize the final check and balance in any democracy, aptly captured in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index as “political participation.” The wealthy have long participated in our democracy with their money and their power. The public too wields great power. Numbers. The sheer amount of people who turned out for protests, who phoned Senators in opposition to the refugee ban, are a formidable force. They are the separation between this world and the apocalyptic specter President Trump has conjured in the public imagination.
The protests rail against Trump’s policy proposals, his weaponization of race, gender, and class stereotypes, and his allergy to evidence-based reasoning. Although not wrongheaded, the protests missed a critical component that may very well be the glue that binds disparate identity groups together and returns cohesion to the Democratic Party, and liberals more broadly.
President Donald Trump is a source of bad. But he is also a source of unintentional good. And it is conceivable that either through his deliberate actions or simply by inertia he will cause further good to this country. If we are to get a full picture of Trump’s presidency and identify when action should be taken and when matters should just run their course, we must learn to discern objectively between the two.
As President Trump charges forward with campaign promises to revive the American oil industry, he also ignites environmental protection groups intent on thwarting his efforts and preventing future damage to citizens, the lands they inhabit, and ultimately, the globe
In short, all I see before us is division. But I also see opportunity. We are exposed. All the guile is removed. It’s scary, sure, but it’s not new. The most underrepresented and mistreated among us knew this brewed beneath the surface of American life. And now we must all confront it. We cannot deny it.