It takes a bully

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There’s a saying: “It takes a thief to catch a thief.” A bit of a twist on this old saw quite accurately sums up the Donald Trump phenomenon.

Fresh off of his strong Super Tuesday performance, Trump is forcing people to consider the very real possibility of his becoming the eventual Republican nominee for President of the United States. And as support for Hillary Clinton continues to be flaccid (at best) in the face of multiple scandals, even the biggest skeptics are wondering aloud whether Trump could go all the way.

Despite early efforts to paint Trump’s support as limited to lunatics or “angry white males,” it has become abundantly clear that it is no such thing. Trump is drawing support from wealthy, middle-class and poor, male and female, young and old, all racial and ethnic groups, independents, Republicans (of a certain stripe) and “Reagan Democrats” who have often found themselves politically homeless since 1988. Perhaps the Trumpkins whose support is most baffling are evangelicals, who support Trump in staggering numbers, notwithstanding that his lifestyle and his personal demeanor are not what one might consider to be stereotypically “Christian.”

Why is this happening?

Because the left has become an army of bullies, and Americans are sick to death of it.

There was a time, decades ago, when the political left was a movement that defended personal and political liberties against an establishment that curtailed them. They took pains to argue and persuade that their positions were superior.

No more. The left has become the establishment. They are everywhere, they never rest, and there is no escaping their efforts to make all of us over in their image. They are the “omnipotent moral busybodies” C.S. Lewis warned of.

Worse, they have become so enamored with themselves and so convinced of their inherent moral superiority that it no longer matters whether their positions are demonstrably factually false, internally inconsistent, or completely antithetical to the values, which they have traditionally espoused. Consider what the left now defends with no sense of irony:

— Curtailing freedom of speech and the press on college campuses in the name of “safe spaces”

— Denying due process in the name of “justice” to persons accused of sexual assault, also on college campuses

— Shutting down scientific and scholarly inquiry that challenges their views on anthropogenic “climate change”

— Professing to care about “women’s health” but doing nothing to prevent butchers like abortionist Kermit Gosnell from operating for years, and remaining utterly silent in the face of the horrors in his clinic

— Professing to be “pro-choice,” but doing everything in their power to ensure that pregnant women have no choice but abortion

— Claiming to be “the party of science” while maintaining that a human fetus shouldn’t be “humanized,” that sex and gender are matters of personal feeling and that there are no serious consequences to sexual promiscuity

— Decrying what they view as America’s “rape culture” while supporting politicians accused of sexual assault

All of this is bad enough. But it is not enough for the left, which is on a permanent rampage against aspects of American culture that were once considered admirable and praiseworthy. Police officers are violent racists, stay-at-home moms are anti-feminist sellouts, two-parent families are a vestige of patriarchal oppression, hard-working entrepreneurs and successful business owners are swept up in indiscriminate accusations of being in “the 1 percent,” or beneficiaries of shapeshifting versions of “privilege,” created to discount their achievements and justify confiscating larger and larger amounts of what they have earned.

Americans are fed up. We cannot defend the safety and privacy of our bathrooms, our businesses or our borders. We have no right to insist that our government enforce our laws, ensure that those who vote in our elections are American citizens or even simply protect us from those who wish us harm without being called “racists,” “nativists” and other undeserved epithets.

The United States was set up as a Republic to avoid the tyranny of the majority. What we have now is a tyranny of the minority — a relatively small cabal of academics, media personalities and elected Democrats who have a stranglehold on the national conversation. On any issue the left cares about — abortion, gay marriage, transgender rights, immigration, climate change — one opinion and only one opinion is permitted. Those who disagree must be exposed, mocked, demonized and destroyed.

This isn’t tolerance. It isn’t “choice.” It isn’t “live and let live” and it certainly isn’t liberty. It’s bullying. And when the force of government is behind it, it’s oppression.

Democrats may have made Trump possible. But Republicans made him inevitable.

Those of us who oppose the left’s onslaught have wanted only for their elected officials to utilize the lawful, political power at their disposal to protect our rights. This, they have been completely unwilling to do. Republicans whined that they needed more power. The voters gave them power in 2010 and again in 2014. The voters have been patient.

Their patience — like their trust — is gone.

Into the ring steps Donald Trump. Yes, he is boorish and brash, vociferous and vulgar. But he says that he is willing to do what elected Republicans have not done. And whether or not that will prove to be true, at the very least he refuses to be cowed by the talking heads of the self-appointed elites, and this is an endless source of satisfaction.

Americans have taken enough punches. They want someone who will punch back.

Laura Hollis

Laura Hollis

Laura Hollis is a syndicated columnist and teaches courses in business law and entrepreneurship at Notre Dame Law School. Read here previous columns here.