Who is really leading the witch hunt?

Xavier Golden, Columnist

The President has been using the phrase “it’s a witch hunt” for a while now. He is, of course, referring to the genuinely legitimate investigations into his unethical and potentially criminal activities. He is also unknowingly making a mildly profound observation. 

You know how he does that sometimes, right? Like, when he said if he shot a man in the street, his supporters would still vote for him. I’m sure he didn’t actually mean that he was planning to abuse his power as the President of the United States, get caught and then retain the support of his cultish following; but he did abuse his power, he did get caught and he still has people screaming his name at his rallies. 

Do you remember the time when he was accusing Obama of trying to start a war with Iran to swing an election, and then he did that same exact thing eight years later? As the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. 

This is all to say that I feel like his incessant use of the phrase “witch hunt” to describe the behavior of liberals is one of his accidental, mildly profound observations. 

I am a leftist. One of those leftists that says “eat the rich” and has an intense distrust of law enforcement institutions. But I do also believe that a lot of liberals — on Twitter, in the election booths, and at school — are acting very similarly to one of those European mobs with the pitchforks and the torches and the yelling. They are, not infrequently, engaging in witch hunts. 

I, habitually, called people out for the problematic stuff they had said or done. I would hear a rumor about someone saying something that they probably shouldn’t have done, and I would denounce them and everything they had created or helped create. And, sometimes, enough of us would denounce that person loudly enough that it would have some kind of impact on the real world. 

Sometimes we could, together, ruin a person’s life, or at least severely inconvenience them. And then we would cheer. Because we thought, on some level, that justice had been done. 

Thankfully, I’ve (mostly) stopped engaging in those witch hunts. After years of my family explaining the hypocrisy and the irrationality of it all, they finally got through to me, and I’ve chilled out. So now, looking back into the world, I can see the mistakes that are being made, but I can also sympathize with the people making those mistakes. 

And that’s what it’s going to take to get through this next election. The stakes are very, very high. And our candidates, like everyone else, are deeply flawed individuals. They’re going to say something unintentionally racist, or use the wrong acronym, or make some other stupid mistake. And it’s our job to educate them — if they need to be educated — and move past it. 

Because if we keep weeding out the imperfect, fallible candidates, we won’t have anyone left to stand against Trump. And then we’ll have four more years of actual, sinister, injustice.