Political campaigns are supposed to kick off debates about how we should feel about the candidates. Donald Trump’s campaign has started a debate about how we should feel about the candidate’s supporters, too.
Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens was early in taking the fight against Trump to his fans. “If by now you don’t find Donald Trump appalling, you’re appalling,” he wrote in August. More recently, Gabriel Schoenfeld has written in the New York Daily News that “all Trump voters can and should be held to account” for flocking to a candidate who combines low character with hostility to constitutional freedoms. Conservatives, he added, should not address these voters “with sympathy.” James Kirchick, in the Tablet, says we should “not respect anyone” who supports Trump, nor “explain away” this “bad behavior.”