We need to talk about the “Resistance.”
Many conservatives, and a few of the more intellectually honest progressives, had a good long gander at these very silly people running around in vagina costumes and their even sillier — but less funny — associates engaged in violence and rioting, and thought: “You know, this doesn’t seem to have an awful lot to do with President Donald J. Trump.”
Trump is, in many ways, exactly the sort of politician Democrats keep telling Republicans they need to support: urban rather than rural, socially moderate to liberal (a Clintonian personal life, to the left of Senator Obama on gay marriage, and, whatever he’s been saying for the past five minutes, possessing the most robustly pro-abortion rhetorical record of any Republican president in the past 40 years), and a pragmatist rather than an ideologue. If the archetypal Republican is a small-town family man whose intellectual poles are the Apostle Paul and Milton Friedman, then Trump is about as far away from that as it is possible to be. What is he?
There are basically two kinds of politician. The first is the Salesman, the transactional politician, a type that is more common historically and remains more common outside of the United States. The Salesman’s appeal is relatively straightforward: “I want to do x, y, and z, and here is what I’m willing to trade to get that done.” Examples of the type include Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Johnson, and George H. W. Bush — as well as crooks like Chakah Fattah and careerists like Hillary Rodham Clinton. Transactional politicians dominate at the lower levels of government, particularly at the municipal level. Indeed, one of the reasons that the Republican party fails to connect with black and Hispanic voters in the cities is that its leading figures hold the transactional politics with which these Americans are most familiar in contempt.