Why would anyone treat Adolf Hitler with civility? This rhetorical moral aphorism is now a tangible question that progressives wrestle with under the current administration. The Democrats have turned Donald Trump from what he is — a boorish, imprecise narcissist with an authoritarian streak — into an amorphous ink blot of Nazism. Armchair social justice revolutionaries revile few things more than citizens who stay silent in the face of evil. If Donald Trump, then, is a burgeoning Führer, plotting gulags and scheming to intern a racial group like Democratic demigod FDR did to the Japanese, the moral imperative is to riot in the streets. Judicial originalists like Neil Gorsuch are the new SS and clumsy school-choice advocates like Betsy Devos are the new Adolf Eichmann. The modern progressive outrage faction, inculcated on campuses across the country, is hardwired to unbridled indignation.
If you think Donald Trump is Hitler, you have a moral obligation to be an insufferable ingrate who politicizes everything. Progressives, to their credit, have largely been successful in this charge. Every channel of freedom, such as the press, entertainment and mobilized protesters have, by ethical deduction, an obligation to speak truth to the fascistic power. ESPN personalities like Dan LeBatard have of late remade their once sports-focused shows into platforms for the espousal of their political persuasions. LeBatard and others have justified their ceaseless delve into the political fore by rebuking those who dare suggest a sports network ought to offer sports as a respite from the political news cycle by appropriating Trump’s presidency as an apocalyptic cataclysm, yanking with it the veneer of normalcy expected from the sports world.
Many conservatives believe that progressive outrage would be similarly intemperate if Mitt Romney, John McCain or Marco Rubio were president. I’m sympathetic to this argument, mostly because of how the progressive ideology has transformed as it has remade itself in the image of the identity-centric wing of the party. Much of the campus sensitivity gestapo in America is comprised of tolerant hammers in search of intolerant nails; collegiate progressives are wound up to unleash fits of vocal outrage at the moment’s definition of intolerance, which can manifest in expressions ranging from benign pro-life beliefs up to and including defending the First Amendment.
As such, the moral calculator surrounding the degradation of “human rights” would be equally set ablaze by someone seeking to restrict a mother’s “right” to kill her unborn child as by an overly construed immigration halt. The Women’s March against an ethereal patriarchy would still be filled with bra-burners pronouncing their ever-confusing allegiance to Sharia supremacy, marching in the name of single payer medicine, government coercion in private business and other leftist tropes wrapped in the blanket of “women’s” issues, whether the 45th president were Evan McMullin, Mitt Romney or Ben Carson.
Far be it from me, who didn’t vote for Donald Trump, to vigorously defend the man. But the hysterical hand-wringing of mainstream progressive media is absolutely exhausting. The outrage that a panoply of ESPN personalities feel when asked to “stick to sports” rather than spout talking points from the DNC is only morally justified if President Trump is indeed Hitler. Otherwise, the talking heads who peddle chaos are further feeding the divides in the American culture.