Love President Trump or hate him, we’re forced to pick a side. Neither his ardent supporters nor his most vehement detractors will countenance any middle ground.
Recently, conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg got into a Twitter scrap with Seb Gorka, a former Trump aide. The argument revolved around whether the left has moral standing to criticize Trump over Stormy Daniels.
Daniels says she had an affair with President Trumpand was coerced into silence about it. To Goldberg, it’s irrelevant whether liberals also have morally corrupt people, like Bill Clinton, on their side. He said “Trump’s scummy behavior is not mitigated or in any way diminished because liberals who defended Clinton or Weinstein or X are hypocrites. I’m no liberal and I condemn both.”
But to Gorka, no real argument can take place with Goldberg because during the 2016 election Goldberg was in the conservative NeverTrump camp. “The NeverTrump thing is getting a tad dreary,” Gorka tweeted to Goldberg. “November 2016 happened. Get over yourself. Try to get back to the level of analysis you demonstrated before @realDonaldTrump ran. And won.”
What’s actually getting dreary is how all in or all out everyone has to be about Trump. From the pro-Trump side, all criticism of the president is shut down in the way Gorka did to Goldberg. You’re suspect if you didn’t support Trump during the election, your opinions mean less if you’re not on board with every single thing Trump does and says.
The intra-conservative battle that has been going on since the 2016 Republican primary shows no sign of waning. Breitbart regularly refers to people like House Speaker Paul Ryan by the “NeverTrump” moniker, despite the fact that Trump’s accomplishments such as the tax plan could not have happened without Ryan.
If Paul Ryan isn’t supportive enough of Trump at this point, who is?
It happens in reverse from the left. If you’re not completely on board with “the Resistance” and all it stands for, you’re a traitor.
Lindsey Graham was an outspoken Trump critic during the election, but has since warmed a bit to the president. There could be many reasons for this, including that the president is a member of Graham’s party and it’s easier to get things done when working together. It’s also entirely possible that in a universe where your only options are with Trump or against him, Graham decided that with made more sense.
But the chatter about Graham’s shift is that he’s being blackmailed. Comedian and political activist Chelsea Handler threw an expletive-filled accusation about it at Graham on Twitter. Writer Sarah Kendzior posited the theory on MSNBC. “We know that Lindsey Graham’s personal e-mails were also hacked,” Kendzior said. “And we know that Trump has a long track record of blackmailing and threatening those who he sees as his political opponents.”