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Count Me Among the Mob

4 705 13988

One thing that I find profoundly disappointing about modern liberalism, particularly as it now stands in opposition to Trumpism, is the degree to which it is reactive, governed by what is being done to it rather than its own positive vision.

It is true that Donald Trump is not only antithetical to liberal values, he is antithetical to most American values, and as such limiting his power and limiting the duration of his tenure are of paramount concern and absolute urgency.

Therefore, resisting what Trump represents becomes a central point of moral rectitude and ultimate patriotism. Resistance is a reaction to Trump.

But that can’t be the sum total of one’s statement of principles. You must be driven toward a concept of what you want this country to become, and not just driven by a fear of what the country could descend into.

Liberal enthusiasm can’t hinge solely on prospects for overwhelming victory due to conservative lethargy. Enthusiasm can be a highly fluctuant variable in a political cycle. The only enthusiasm you can control is your own.

All campaigns are to some degree an act of public manipulation, hopefully to the good, but often to the ill. There are two ways to drive turnout: excitement or incitement. Voters can either be animated by hope or fear, optimism or........

© The New York Times