The Corner

Cursing the Darkness

In response to Jabs

The funny thing about all of the Democratic criticisms of the “darkness” of Trump’s speech is that the politically most effective parts of the Democratic convention so far have been the darkest–the parts, that is, where speakers have offered a bleak picture of what will happen if Trump wins. It’s one of the conceits of liberalism that it offers voters “hope” while conservatives offer them “fear.” But these are of course twinned emotions: I hope what I fear doesn’t come to pass and fear what I hope won’t. And we have the capacity for fear for a reason: We’d make a lot of big mistakes if we didn’t have it. Playing to people’s fears, where those fears are warranted, is an entirely honorable part of politics and one neither party can avoid.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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