Among other things, Green’s plan is a great lead-in to our next presidential election, which I am sure readers are clamoring for as eagerly as this correspondent. When MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asks whether Trump’s plan in 2020 is “to run against antifa, Berkeley undergrads, and Colin Kaepernick,” the answer is yes. What’s more, it will almost certainly work. Whether inflaming the imaginations of right-leaning gerontocrats is a serious strategy that will serve the GOP’s best interests in 2024 and beyond is irrelevant. No one, not even Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, cares less about the fortunes of the Republican Party beyond this presidency than Trump.
For anyone attempting to make sense of this state of affairs, the most tempting response is a kind of omnidirectional cynicism, a refusal to take anyone’s words at face value. NFL players who refuse to stand for the anthem are cynical millionaires throwing tantrums over nothing; sexagenarians who claim to be upset by the actions of the former are racist dog whistlers whose attachment to rectangular pieces of colored cloth is evidence of widespread mental illness. Perhaps there is truth to both of these interpretations, but I doubt that it is the whole story, especially in the former case.