These Are Not Good People

In the wake of the purge of anti-Trump voices from conservative website Red State, this bit from former RedStater Erick Erickson is worth noting, describing his experiences after coming out against Trump in 2016:

Over the course of the campaign in 2016, we had people show up at our home to threaten us. We had armed guards at the house for a while. My kids were harassed in the store. More than once they came home in tears because other kids were telling them I was going to get killed or that their parents hated me. I got yelled at in the Atlanta airport while peeing by some angry Trump supporter.

We got harassed in church and stopped going for a while. A woman in a Bible study told my wife she wanted to slap me across the face My seminary got calls from people demanding I be expelled. And on and on it went. When I nearly died in 2016, I got notes from people upset I was still alive. When I announced my wife had an incurable form of lung cancer, some cheered. All were directed from supposedly evangelical Trump supporters convinced God was punishing me for not siding with his chosen one. For a while, given the nature of what we were getting in the mail, my kids had to stop checking it.

When my Fox contract came up, not only did I not want to stay, but Fox made clear they had no use for me. I had jumped from CNN to Fox with a number of promises made, none of which were kept and then wound up hardly ever getting on. After saying I could not support Trump, the purpose of my Fox contract became more about keeping me off anyone’s television screen than putting me on.

What is there to say? Erickson is no hero by any stretch. He’s a conservative extremist in many crucial respects. For him to be on the receiving end of this level of harassment and viciousness from Trump’s cult of personality is all you need to know about them.

It’s not considered polite in politics to make absolute moral value judgments about individual character because the world exists not in black and white but in shades of gray. But I’m sorry: these are not good people. Unfortunately, they and their president run the country for now. But they must be resisted at all costs, and disempowered as soon as possible, their ideas and value systems relegated to the dustbin of history.

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.