A circle, not a line

From Mona Charen: Disqualified 

Donald Trump has incited violence at his rallies, denied but implicitly condoned the roughing up of a female journalist (did you notice that he put Corey Lewandowski on stage with him last week?), promised to restrict the First Amendment after he’s elected, and on and on and on. The truly mind-bending part of all this is that large segments of American society and of what used to be called the conservative movement are not repelled and outraged by this. Some seem downright attracted by the bully boy talk from this strutting ignoramus. Trump’s rise has revealed that the bedrock values of our party and our country are not nearly as solid as we had hoped. Some Republicans (Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Rick Scott, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham) seem to have no floor beneath which they will not stoop to defend this would-be authoritarian. As Heather notes, their only response to Trump’s viciousness is to point out that the left commits its share of outrages. Well, yes, but first of all, not presidential candidates, and second, are you just against the left or are you opposed to criminality and authoritarianism? Because, as we learned in the the 20th century, the political spectrum is not an axis — it’s a circle. The authoritarians and totalitarians are on one side of the circle (call them fascists or communists, there isn’t too much difference from the point of view of those who care about liberty and human decency) and the democrats and libertarians are on the other side.

The willingness of people who call themselves conservatives to throw their lot to a “strongman” may be the most depressing thing about this election season, thus far.