It turns out there are two Americas.
There’s the America that got through the Trump inauguration without doing this:
An anti-Trump protester screams 'no' as Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th US President pic.twitter.com/qmsaFmMSkr
— ITV News (@itvnews) January 20, 2017
And there’s the America that didn’t.
Today, Saturday, 21 January, the first America is doing things like being at work (earning a living), stacking sandbags because there’s another storm coming in, recreating with the kids because it’s Saturday and time is precious, watching the NBA games, preparing to watch the NFL conference championships tomorrow, getting in some target practice at the range, doing the weekly chores, knitting, whittling, painting, singing, reading, snowboarding, weightlifting, volunteering, playing bagpipes, playing chess, having ritual cigars and brandy, hanging out with the other old coots at the doughnut shop, shopping eBay and Amazon for people’s upcoming birthdays, barbecuing in the snow (because who doesn’t?), picking up trash on highways, driving miles and miles to visit in-laws and grands, attending concerts, ice-skating, parasailing, going to cooking class, and kvetching on Facebook about, among other things, the decline and fall of English grammar.
The second America, meanwhile, has been shrieking about Trump for weeks, continued shrieking about Trump throughout the inauguration ceremony on Friday, and is now shrieking about Trump some more.
The folks on the left I understand. Let’s say I’m not surprised by them. They see Trump as a threat to the political privileges they have had for the last 25 years, amplified and empowered by both the media and the overblown bureaucracies of America’s federal, state, and big-city governments.
The left-wing protesters can’t articulate how Trump threatens their actual rights, of course. That’s because he doesn’t. But in general, the activist left is simply reacting in what has become its typical pattern.
The folks on the right, on the other hand, have had the power to surprise me. Some of their reactions to Trump’s inauguration speech have bordered on unhinged. Even the elegant and unflappable George Will simply lost it yesterday, and he wasn’t the only one.
Regulars readers know that I haven’t by any means been a card-carrying Trump supporter. I still have my concerns about what he’s going to do. But I’ve been a politically engaged person basically my entire life (do let me know if you spent two summer weeks watching the political conventions on TV, utterly mesmerized, when you were younger than eight); I’ve been an old-school “Reagan conservative” for all of it; and I simply don’t feel this itchy, visceral animosity toward Trump that’s coming from the right.
I get the disappointment about voters preferring Trump. I preferred Cruz. But I don’t get the need to – well, to caterwaul about Trump. To try and prove something – what? – by letting loose with undisciplined barrages of adjectives and epithets. I don’t know; he just doesn’t provoke that in me…