That brings me to my second point: the normalization of the Clintons. Liberals may have thought the Trump campaign’s exploitation of the women Bill Clinton allegedly (and in some cases admittedly) sexually mistreated was tawdry and beyond the pale. Fair enough. But you know why such tactics worked? Because Bill Clinton was tawdry and beyond the pale — but liberals not only normalized him, they lionized him and demonized his critics.
You may object to Trump’s allegedly shady business practices; I certainly do. But I objected to the Clintons’ schemes as well. When the Clinton Foundation finally started to become an issue in the campaign, James Carville insisted that “somebody’s going to hell” for daring to question the Olympian goodness of Clinton, Inc. That encapsulates how the Clintons responded to all of their critics: great moral superiority combined with base intimidation.
Liberals knew when Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992 that he was a tawdry, corner-cutting cad (and that Hillary Clinton was a conspiratorial schemer). But he was on their side, so it was okay. Besides, once elected, he deserved the benefit of the doubt — even though he won a smaller share of the popular vote than Trump did — because you have only one president at a time, and in a democracy, elections are inherently normalizing.
Maybe Trump deserves similar treatment?