Even though I wasn’t the one covering it for TPM, I was waiting to hear ex-President Trump’s speech last night because he remains, even after the presidency, a looming presence in our national politics. I watched. I listened to him brag. I listened to his standard barrage of lies about immigration. And then I thought, “Fuck this guy. I don’t need to hear this.” I turned off the feed and went to work on a woodworking project.
This might be a normal response for some. But it’s not for me. When everyone else was treating Trump as a joke I said it was folly to ignore him. Within weeks of his getting into the race in 2015, I thought he’d win the Republican nomination. Indeed, long before Trump, in most everything written at TPM I’ve pressed a basic point. There is a breed of quaint liberal myopia that says that if we just ‘don’t give oxygen’ to awful people that will somehow make them go away, like a toddler who think covering his eyes means you can’t see him. We’re told we shouldn’t “amplify” the likes of Donald Trump. This is all congenial, well-intentioned nonsense – the sort of head in the sand thinking that lets you wake up one day and not now how we ended up with Donald Trump being President.
And yet here, nope.