The Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, a Trump supporter, has said that Republicans and Democrats are playing two different movies in their minds. This op-ed by Republican and Trump supporter Christopher Buskirk in the New York Times is one of the clearest examples of that I’ve ever seen. Many Democrats will disagree vehemently with the positive interpretations he puts on Mr. Trump’s remarks and, indeed, see them as big negatives. Where he sees inclusion, they will hear racist dogwhistles. Where he sees a path forward, they will hear reaction.
So, when, for example Mr. Buskirk writes:
Republicans have long criticized Democrats for dividing the country into competing grievance groups. Some now realize that the Republican analogue has been to divide the country into radically autonomous individuals based on a cartoonish misreading of libertarianism that replaces the free markets and free minds of Friedrich Hayek with the greed and hubris of Gordon Gekko. But that is changing quickly. There is a renewed emphasis on addressing America and Americans as a community characterized by fraternal bonds and mutual responsibility — what Lincoln called the “mystic chords of memory.”
If anything he’s tempering the position of the Ayn Rand objectivist wing of the Republican Party typified by Ron and Rand Paul. I think that what many Democrats will be playing in their minds is:
But Trump is a crook and a con man.
The three-legged stool of the new Republican majority is a pro-citizen immigration policy, a pro-worker economic policy and a foreign policy that rejects moral imperialism and its concomitant foreign wars. John Adams described just such a foreign policy when he wrote that America is “the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all” but “the champion and vindicator only of her own.”
but I think that many Democrats will hear:
How is an immigration policy that separates parents and children at the border “pro-citizen”. Isn’t that just racism gussied up in patriotic diction? How is an economic policy that gives tax cuts to the rich “pro-worker”? Not only is Trump continuing all of the foreign wars of his predecessors, he’s adding and/or threatening new ones of his own.
BTW, that was John Quincy Adams not John Adams.
When Trump says “we”, “us”, or “ours”, they don’t think he means “all Americans”. They think he means white, Christian Americans, Trump supporters.