Mob Rule

By

Leonard Zwelling

Agent Orange has done it again. He is now calling the Democrats a collective name. Where once each political opponent had his or her own nickname, now the entire Blue Team is “the mob.” Mr. Trump has made the mid-term elections all about him. A vote for (fill in your favorite GOP candidate) is a vote for him and against the Democratic mob.

But who really represents the mob?

To be fair, the Antifa hooligans on the extreme left do tend to resemble an unruly group of protestors and there can be no doubt that their actions are a bit scary. Then again, so are marches of the Nazis the leftists are demonstrating against. The extremes on both sides have had way too much visibility and I assume, to some extent that is because their ranks are growing. But most of the Democrats who objected to the seating of Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, who object to the current immigration policies of this administration, and who are adamant in their civil actions against the current president do not constitute a mob. Our politics have become so coarse that what used to be a peaceful protest now is called a mob—on both sides. But it’s not.

On the other hand, the latest round of Russian invasion of social media to disrupt our midterm elections, the Saudi hit squad in Istanbul and the rowdy folks at Trump rallies who want to “lock up” his political opponents do make up a mob and it’s a mob backing the current occupant of the Oval Office. So who really is “the mob?”

Besides, mobs today are not always in the street. Some are on the internet.

It is my hypothesis that human beings are not ready for the internet. For all the convenience of rapid communication, multiple apps, cell phones and Skype, the Russians are demonstrating the vulnerabilities that accompany the world wide web. When you also factor in the IOT, internet of things, and the ability of hackers to spy on you via your internet enabled toaster, the mob I am worried about is more likely to descend on your home through the cables into your house or the cordless wi-fi device upon which you depend than by breaking down your front door brandishing pitchforks.

What Mr. Trump does at his rallies is rev up a mob. The mindset of his supporters rests on a reactionary view of the United States which is now younger, browner and more diverse than his followers are comfortable with. Too bad. This is America now. Mr. Trump may try to close the borders, but those potential workers who want in are needed if he is going to take credit for the 3.7% unemployment. Jobs are available. Someone needs to fill them. The people coming in from outside the country fill the bill.

The Democrats are no more a mob than are most Republicans. That both Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump say they are a mob, doesn’t make it so. But make no mistake. Mr. Trump may have success in the midterms with this strategy of vilifying those with whom he disagrees. It is up to the Democrats to make a counter argument. So far, it’s not quite there despite the Dems trying to ride health care and entitlements to the finish line.

Besides, the most unruly mob around may be the one in Congress. That mob we can change. Please vote.

Leonard Zwelling