I don’t understand the logic of this post by Kevin Drum. At best it’s Panglossian and at worst it demonstrates a lack of historical appreciation of revolutions and coups d’état. Trump and his supporters view him as either an “Avignon President” or as a sort of “president in exile” in which Trump is the legitimate president but is unable to exercise legal power because it was illegitimately usurped.
Clearly, Trump and his supporters are seeking to foment revolutionary change much as did Lenin, Castro, Trotsky, Bolivar, and Zapata (to name but a few). As was the case with seemingly pathetic or delusional statements and actions of successful revolutionaries, that which Kevin views as “delusional” is actually highly rational in the current politically unstable environment. And by feeding the pressure for revolutionary change that is energizing the Republican Party, it fits perfectly with the very active measures being taken by the most powerful political party in the country and its armed paramilitaries to disrupt the ability of Democrats to pass their political agenda or even to compete in future elections.
It’s regrettable that Kevin (and so many others) vacillates between justified alarm at the Republican Party’s antidemocratic efforts (including a failed insurrection aimed at preventing a Democratic president from being seated) and a regrettably Panglossian assumption that normalcy must eventually prevail. The rest of us shouldn’t be so complacent.
Hitler wasn’t taken seriously and so many in the world suffered for that mistake. We shouldn’t make the same mistake twice. It’s happening here and it’s happening now.