At Politico, Joe Keohane wrote in April 2016 about “the sad mind and evil media genius behind @realDonaldTrump.” Steve King sputtered this in an article titled “Donald Trump’s Undeniable Evil” for Death and Taxes magazine: “He is a cancerous tumor devoid of any redeemable quality, slowly infecting and corrupting everyone and everything around him.” Billionaire entertainment mogul Barry Diller told CNBC that Trump’s candidacy was an “evil miracle.” No nuance there.
Since the inauguration, the “sinister president” theme is only metastasizing: “Narcissist or evil genius?” asked the National Catholic Reporter. “Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin: The plutocratic evil twins” opined the headline on a Paul Rosenberg piece in Salon.
Strange, isn’t it, that when the tables are turned, the liberal pushers of moral ambiguity are as absolutist as any fundamentalist preacher associated with George W. Bush? There’s a lesson or two to be learned here. With all due respect to Brzezinski, the right doesn’t have a lock on paranoia. And dualism — our side good, your side evil — is actually baked into human nature and doesn’t really have much to do with how smart you are or how many shades of moral gray you think you can discern. Whenever you let loose your moral indignation at high decibel, someone somewhere will be laughing.
So who are the Manichaeans now?