Editor’s Note: I got the idea for this one from reading an editorial by longtime Republican spokesperson Peggy Noonan, who has written a biography of Ronald Reagan and was his speechwriter for many years. Pretty much anything clever that you remember Reagan having said was written by Ms. Noonan, and she is one more Republican with integrity who has now jumped off the Trump Train. This article was also inspired by the accurate name coined by comedian and talk show host Bill Maher for our president ... “whiny little bitch.”

The World Loves a Victim


After 9/11, I wrote an article about heroes and victims. The heroes on that awful day were the first responders who rushed into danger to save lives; everyone else who died was a victim. This in no way diminished their tragedy; however, victimhood alone doesn’t make a hero, although I received some angry emails for saying so.

Few things enhance one’s status more than death. We’ve all known deadbeat dads who became saints after they died, even though they never cared about their families while alive. Presidents too grow in stature after they die: Sen. Bob Dole practically swooned as he eulogized Richard Nixon — a lying crook and our first president to resign in disgrace.

Of course, this isn’t just an American phenomenon. In the Islamic world, no one is more revered than the martyr. In those places that most venerate terrorism (e.g., Palestine and Saudi Arabia), the more heinous the suicide bomber, the more admired he is, and the more richly his family will be rewarded.

Likewise, Christianity has always celebrated those who die for their faith — from its crucified founder and His early followers fed to the lions, to the Catholic church’s extensive hagiography of martyred saints. The Crusades’ centuries-long slaughter was abetted by both popes and caliphs, who offered eternity in paradise to those killed in the act of slaying the unsaved and the infidels, respectively.

Love of martyrdom is one facet of our admiration for the persecuted. Americans love it when the rich and powerful pretend to be “one of us,” victimized by the same vague forces as the rest of us. How else do you explain Donald Trump, a billionaire born a millionaire, being elected to “drain the swamp” of his fellow elites and oligarchs? Although he’s merely one more Republican born on third base pretending he hit a triple, his besotted followers see him as a “blue-collar billionaire.”

Although conservatives control the White House, the Supreme Court, both houses of Congress, much of the media and nearly every state house, they fret about the perils of rampaging liberalism. When Trump isn’t whining about the obsequious sycophants in his own party — who never seem to be loyal enough (e.g., they “do very little to protect their president”) — he’s whining about persecution from Washington Democrats, who have virtually no influence at all, and from a hostile press.

Exemplifying white privilege, and a belief that racism is less an issue than reverse racism, he’s filled with fear and loathing of moderation and tolerance. While portraying himself as a victim of the culture wars, he uses what is, in his case, the aptly named “bully” pulpit to mock minorities, women, gold star parents, the disabled, war heroes and a dying senator. Reagan biographer and GOP icon Peggy Noonan’s recent op-ed, “Woody Allen Without the Humor,” depicts a commander in chief who’s “a drama queen,” “weepy and self-pitying,” “weak and sniveling,” and prone to “mad, blubbery petulance.”

Of course, the Left isn’t immune from the desire to be seen as persecuted victims either. On college campuses, which harbor more leftists than Peking University, pampered students demand “safe spaces” to further insulate them from “micro-aggressions,” which are leftist “PC speak” for the exercise of free expression. Meanwhile, 150 years after Emancipation, activists who’ve never known slavery continue to demand reparations for it from fellow citizens who’ve never owned slaves.

However, no one is more fearful or more in love with martyrdom than the Religious Right. Although virtually every president has been or has claimed to be a Christian, Senate candidate Roy Moore (R-Ala.) considers Americans to be victims of Article 16 of the Constitution, which bans the types of religious tests for office holders he advocates. Conservative Christians also think themselves persecuted if the Ten Commandments aren’t carved into public buildings, or they come in contact with a gay wedding cake.

Even though Christmas lasts longer than the hockey season, right-wingers feel the need to protect it from rabid secularists. Victim-in-chief Trump is concerned his deplorables will be persecuted by retail clerks shouting “Happy Holidays” or by Xmas cards that contain the words, “Seasons Greetings.” Jesus endured nails in his hands, but conservative Christians face such tortures as Starbucks coffee cups that are insufficiently pious.

Here in the Trump era, apprehensive potential right-wing victims are amassing ever-larger arsenals, even though crime rates are down, and armed civilians are more likely to shoot their own family members than burglars. But on the Right, the real boogeymen aren’t so much criminals as the threat posed by government to one’s home and family.

It’s ironic that right-wing patriots — who love the military so much they disingenuously conflate NFL players’ protests of police brutality with disrespect for our armed services — harbor such paranoid fear of that same military. It’s also odd that conservatives think the Second Amendment will protect them from a government that they, ironically, voted into office. And, finally, it’s amusing to picture beer-bellied hunters in camouflage gear holding off the Army’s M1A1 Abrams tanks with their AR-15 Bushmasters.

I’m frightened by my commander in chief’s hostility toward a free press, in which I’m a very minor cog, so I too plan to exercise my Second Amendment rights, which recently wounded congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) has deemed “unlimited.” I’d like to protect my home with a TOW missile launcher. If Trump wants to take it from me, then he can pry it from my cold, dead hand. Would that make me a hero or a victim?

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