In the midst of public outrage over its separation of migrant children from their parents and heading into midterm elections, the Trump administration – along with other Republicans – have grabbed ahold of liberal “incivility” as the latest talking point to gin up support from the Republican base.
President Trump quickly latched on to recent incidents involving public confrontations of White House staff members to accuse the left of being intolerant and inappropriate - and using those situations to intimate that Democrats have gone too far in their opposition to his agenda.
Trump’s reliance on demonizing his political opponents and casting them as friendly to criminal gangs — most recently with a White House event at which parents of people killed by undocumented immigrants were invited to recount their grief in lurid detail on national television — reflects thinking among his outside political advisers that the Republican tax cuts aren’t enough to get voters to the polls in November.
One Trump adviser described the move as the president’s “putting a mirror in front of the Democratic Party to show the American people who they really are.”
“It’s this idea that Democrats are the extreme ones,” this adviser told POLITICO.
Trump is no stranger to painting his rivals as the ones who are out-of-step with reality or keen on taking things too far. Even as he locks up children at the border, away from their parents, the president chides Democrats as the evildoers:
“Let everybody come in. Let everybody pour in,” Trump said, mocking Democrats at a campaign stop last week in Duluth, Minnesota. “We don’t care. Let them come in from the Middle East; let them come in from all over the place.”
Trump added: “Democrats put illegal immigrants before they put American citizens. What the hell is going on?”
He who called for violence during campaign rallies, regularly seeks to intimidate and insult with his tweets, and has shown little to no desire to compromise with lawmakers from across the aisle is now accusing his opposition of “incivility” as Americans become increasingly intolerant of the Trump administration’s lies and deeds.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) tweeted Monday -- and the president retweeted -- that “Trump haters still haven’t realized how much they help him with their condescension of those who either voted for him or don’t share their hatred of him.”
He went on to say that so-called Trump haters help him via their “irrational hostility” toward the administration.
The president is locking up innocent children he has separated from their parents, and his staff defend, support and help carry out his decision.
It is fully rational to adamantly oppose such a policy, as well as those who enforce it.