President Obama has already urged Democrats to gird for battle, issuing a strident public outreach to those “ready to fight back” against President-elect Donald Trump’s victory. Dutiful Democrats are now rattling their swords and amping up the language.
But many observers are convinced that the nimble, media-savvy Mr. Trump — who embarks Thursday on a heartland “thank you” tour — will simply outmaneuver them. Take Mr. Trump’s suggestion that those who burn American flags should face serious consequences. Some say his comment held deliberate, hidden purpose that bordered on political psyops. Indeed, left-leaning folk were instantly provoked.
“He was tweaking them the way I tweak the media,” said radio host Rush Limbaugh in the immediate aftermath.
Sure enough, a group doused two U.S. flags with lighter fluid and set them aflame outside of Trump Tower in New York City, prompting more commentary.
“Just a friendly heads up: Burning flags won’t make Trump look bad. It makes YOU look bad. He’s plaaaayyyiiinngggyou,” advised CNN contributor and conservative columnist Amanda Carpenter in a tweet to the group, which posted a video of their act and created the Twitter hashtag #flagburningchallenge.
But defeated Democrats may not care about the greater implications at this juncture. They appear ready to rumble.
“Watching Trump pick his transition team and administration over the last couple of weeks has made one thing extremely clear: we’re going to have one hell of a fight on our hands for the next four years,” says Eric Walker, deputy communications director for the Democratic National Committee, in his own message to the party, now blue in more ways than one.