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E.J. Dionne: Revulsion at Trump is the “Driving Force in American Politics”

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“Coalition of the Decent” strongly opposes Trump’s worldview on immigration and backs a more inclusive vision of America

Last week featured President Trump at his unhinged, hateful and fact-free worst on immigration. But Trump’s ongoing efforts to rile up his political base over fear of the “other” should be viewed as the failing strategy of an increasingly desperate president.

As syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne explains in a new must-read column, “revulsion at Trump is now the driving force in American politics.” As we have seen in recent elections across America, Trump and his GOP acolytes’ obsessive anti-immigrant focus isn’t working and, in some locations, is backfiring by energizing the broad “Coalition of the Decent” (h/t Steve Schmidt) who strongly oppose Trump and his worldview.

America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry tackled this dynamic in his Medium post last week: the 2018 elections promise to be an epic battle between the populism of “us vs. them” and the pluralism of E Pluribus Unum — and the energy is with those of us who believe in a more inclusive vision of America.

Dionne’s column complements Joshua Holland’s story published last week in The Nation — an article that assessed why Trump’s rabid anti-immigrant focus could backfire in both the short-term and long-term, exposing the racism of the anti-immigrant movement and helping to mobilize progressives ahead of this November’s elections and as permanent members of the immigrant defense movement.

Read E.J. Dionne’s column, “Trump’s politics of outrage is failing him,” which we excerpt below:

“President Trump doubled down last week on his repulsive charge that immigrants from south of our border are “rapists.” It was another sign of what an appalling man he is but also an indication of how much political trouble he faces.

Trump is a demagogue who relies on the angry energy of his supporters. But he finds himself in an untenable position: No matter how many hot buttons he pushes, he cannot arouse the passion he needs on his own side to counter the determination and engagement of those who loathe him.

The upshot is a vicious cycle that could be disastrous for the Republican Party this fall. So far, Trump has failed to stir his base, but he has become, unintentionally, one of the most effective organizers of progressive activism and commitment in the country’s history.

…Trump’s latest rape comments illustrated his obsession with pushing issues that appeal to Fox News and conservative talk radio fans at the expense of building his standing with the broader electorate.

…If there is a rational explanation for his seemingly erratic and often outrageous behavior in recent days, it involves a calculation that the coalition he built in 2016 lacks both a clear sense of who the adversary is and a set of causes around which it can rally.

…Trump’s opponents are deeply motivated to put a check on his presidency. His supporters are discouraged and demobilized.