What’s missing is the second half of the argument: explaining to us how Trump, or our more full-throated support for Trump, is going to help fight that threat. Most of the outrageous examples of politically correct intolerance, like The Atlantic‘s firing of Kevin Williamson or the stultifying political groupthink at Google, are outside the authority of the president of the United States. How is he going to reverse them?
The phenomenon of leftist intolerance for political dissent is a very large one, deeply embedded in elite culture going back more than a century. Carrying water for Trump seems an inadequate and ineffectual response. In fact, Ericsson makes no argument for this claim, not even an attempt at an argument—which makes the whole debate a bit of an intellectual anticlimax and probably not worth the sally Goldberg put forth against it. There’s no “there” there.
Yet this does express a growing trend among the Right, a trend of which Trump is not the cause but the symptom: a kind of existential panic, producing an angry impatience with ideas and intellectuals and pundits. It is a desire to do something, to break things, to rebel—with no attempt to figure out how this dramatic action is going to produce a beneficial result.