And now, the needle seems to tilt Trump’s way.
This correction is not that hard to understand. You see, Trump has an invincible ally at the far end of the ideological spectrum. I don’t mean the extreme right, the nationalists, paleoconservatives, and fringe groups that the media relentlessly tie to the President. He has better friends at the other pole, people on the far left who see the world only through the lens of race, gender, sexuality, and victimhood.
That’s right — all those inventions and discoveries that we honor and the geniuses we remember had a racist underside, by her lights. Elsewhere in the article she wrote, “No questions have ever been off-limits for white scholars,” a statement that would surprise every white scholar I’ve ever known.
People who still can’t assimilate the ascent of Trump need to pay closer attention to these accusations. They’re not uncommon. Sensible liberals shrug them off as, well, kind of true but not really significant to health care, the environment, reproductive rights, and other progressive planks.
But people who voted for Trump have become especially attuned to such charges, and it only takes a quick playback by Rush Limbaugh or Tucker Carlson of the day’s denunciation of America, white males, or the West by Professor X, Opinionator Y, or Celebrity Z to stoke their sense that the intellectuals loathe them. The more the accusers talk, the more rock hard Trump’s base becomes.
Never mind that leftists have relentlessly politicized every demographic group in the country. Trump voters feel that by invoking her make-believe American Indian heritage, Sen. Elizabeth Warren played on those very identity politics to advance her career and mark her as more worthy of an elite job than any old white man.
The culture wars and Twitter spats that Trump has fought have delighted his fans but cornered senators, who may be realizing that the opinion of the Great Unwashed is more important than the opinion of, say, The New York Times — more important, that is, to their job security.
When you sit at the top with an office in the Capitol and people lining up to tell you how wonderful you are, an academic on MSNBC going on about white privilege, toxic masculinity, and cisgender bias doesn’t bother you.
Nor does a school board that approves opposite-sex bathroom privileges for transgender students and casts concerned parents as “phobic.”