This constituency wasn’t created out of the air. It did not spring fully grown from the brow of the president*. It was carefully created and nurtured over the past four decades by a conservative movement bankrolled by oligarchs who were and are perfectly fine with having murderous, angry grunts out there doing the dirty work for them, the way the fine upstanding Alabama burghers of the White Citizens Council were content to have the Klan round up misfits to blow up churches and kill little girls.
And then, in 2016, lo and behold, the perfect vessel for all of this carefully fashioned rage comes along and he wins a freak election, ends up in the White House, and now everybody’s shocked down to their expensive loafers that there’s a large body of their fellow citizens who believe in, and are willing to act upon, the doomstruck fantasies that they have been so conscientiously fed over the past 40 years?
I remembered the Palmer Raids, the hysteria after the armistice ending the Great War, triggered — no other word — by a series of bombs left by anarchists at the doorsteps of men who included Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt. The government arrested ten thousand people.
The midterm elections are in thirteen days.