Whether you love Donald Trump or hate him, you have to enjoy the panic he’s inspired within the liberal media. These elitists have been enjoying the rarefied air for years, only occasionally emerging from their lofty tower to swat some persistent pest. They emerged (briefly) in 2008, when Sarah Palin threatened to bring down their messiah, quickly making short work of her populist uprising. They made an even lazier effort with Mitt Romney, barely forced to break a sweat. And with Trump, they didn’t even bother. Let him hang himself with his own rope, they said, treating his fledgling campaign as the mid-summer amusement they all thought it was.
And here we are, two months later, and Trump is still on top of the Republican primary field.
And now they’re scared.
Just look at this editorial written by The New York Times board, excoriating Trump for his “despicable” stance on illegal immigration. This editorial was clearly conceived after a meeting where someone said, “Guys, we have to do something about this, and we have to do something now.” The strategy of maintaining a cool, tongue-in-cheek approach to Trump’s rise isn’t working. He’s tapped into something real and powerful.
“It has been a hard job to keep the highly combustible immigration debate on the right side of sanity and reality,” reads the editorial. “That progress is now being undone before our eyes in the presidential campaign, courtesy of the faux-populist billionaire who says immigrants are the reason this country is weak and frightened and going to hell.”
This is the danger of spending most of your life inside an airtight liberal bubble. The editorial reads like an email from the Hillary Clinton campaign. No one’s surprised to see the NYT editorial board stick up for illegal immigration, but they act as though the vast majority of Americans are in favor of open borders. If that were the case, Trump’s popularity would be a mystery. But they aren’t, and it isn’t. The United States of America does not begin and end at the Manhattan borders.
“The solutions” for illegal immigration, according to the editorial, “are well known.” Cities that provide illegal immigrants with drivers licenses are showing us the way forward, in line with the American consensus that illegals should have a path to citizenship.
“The danger,” warns the board, “is that when the campaign is over, no matter what becomes of Mr. Trump’s candidacy, he will have further poisoned the debate with his noxious positions, normalized an extremism whose toxicity is dulled by familiarity and is validated by a feckless party.”
The danger? No, that’s the hope. And if you’re so caught up in your liberal echo chamber that you see border security and law enforcement as “extremism,” it may be time to take a trip to the heartland. Spend a week or so in a small Georgia town and realize that there is life after Harvard. Get to know some of the Americans living in Texas border towns. Unpack some of that classroom arrogance and join the rest of us here in the real world. You know, the one where Americans still have this wacky idea about enforcing congressional law.
It’s a nice place. We’d love to keep it that way.