Come January 20, right around 12 noon, I expect dissent will become patriotic again. I imagine we will be treated to four years (and maybe eight) of 1960s-style protests by the Left as it once again finds itself in opposition.
Already we’ve had one 60s-style protest — the sit-in in Senator Jeff Sessions’ office yesterday by some NAACP activists (including its president) opposing his nomination as Attorney General. (The activists disgustingly continue to describe Sessions as “Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions”, no doubt because they think it makes him sound like a Southern Confederate and therefore a racist. Wonder what they thought of people who used “Barack Hussein Obama.”) The day after the inauguration there will be a protest in DC. We’ll no doubt be treated to occupations, sit-ins, street theater, etc. for the next four years. Hopefully minus the sexual assaults and defecation on police cars.
And if President Trump should take military action somewhere, prepare for the wailing and protests of the antiwar movement, reinvigorated by having a Republican in the White House. They will try to relive the 60s again, just as they did in opposing the Iraq War — as I chronicled in my book, Vietnam Envy and the Emerging Iraq Syndrome (copies available here! Very cheap for your Kindle!) Hopefully the Park Service will stock up on cleaning supplies for the mess that Occupy and antiwar protesters will no doubt leave behind in Lafayette Park and on the Mall over the next four years.
It will be imperative on the incoming Trump Administration to put these protests in proper context. They may be loud and get a lot of press — the adversarial press is due to arrive at 12:01 pm on January 20, too — but they don’t reflect a lot of America. They will begin to reflect a lot of America if the Administration doesn’t fight back, though. In Iraq, the antiwar movement grew to a crescendo and slowly built antiwar support in the mainstream, making fighting and winning the war more difficult. The same will happen to any Trump Administration initiative as well if it does not fight back and counter any untruths that the protesters will purvey and the media will endlessly repeat until the untruths harden into conventional wisdom.
It’s already happening with the election itself. The Left’s claim that Russia “hacked the election” is hardening into conventional wisdom in an obvious effort to delegitimize Donald Trump’s election, even though (1) no election vote-counting systems were hacked; (2) there is no hard evidence that any hacking was done to benefit Donald Trump; and (3) the John Podesta emails that were made public were relatively trifling, inside-baseball emails that, in any event, no one claims to be forgeries. Still, the reaction of the media and the Obama Administration (with its sanctions and bellicose reaction) is an obvious attempt to cast doubt on Donald Trump’s election. (Sure would be nice if the Left felt the same way about other Russian and Chinese provocations.)
This is only the first of many efforts to form conventional wisdom around inaccurate, misleading, or deliberately skewed information (“fake news,” anyone?). The Trump Administration will need to fight, fight, fight with everything it has to oppose these efforts when they begin, not after they have hardened into conventional wisdom.