One of the great positives of the Trump presidency is the way that it has forced a confrontation with wrongs and evils too often shrugged off. The overwhelming visibility of President Trump has projected his lifelong cruelties and brutalities onto the world’s hugest Jumbotron for all to see—and from that sight, millions of decent Americans have decently recoiled.
But if the recoil is powerful enough, it can propel those feeling the recoil to extremes where they would never have voluntarily traveled. Taking offense at mention of the Anglo-American legal heritage is merely absurd. For Conan O’Brian to rebuke Trump’s “shithole” comments by posing with a tropical drink in the aquamarine water of a Haitian resort is to pass from the absurd to the insensitively cruel. Fewer than half of Haitians have reliable access to water, the World Bank reports; almost 10,000 have died of cholera since 2010.
And the worst of the anti-Trump political reactions may wait ahead. In reaction to Trump, many Democrats are speaking as if immigration enforcement is inherently immoral, as if every Trump voter is a deplorable racist, as if the proper response to Trump’s ethnic chauvinism is an equal and opposite counter-chauvinism.