Democrats Shouldn’t Call Trump “Illegitimate” Unless They Mean It

Recently I’ve been disturbed by how flippantly the term “illegitimate” is getting tossed around by some Democrats and Trump opponents. Since Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) denounced Trump as illegitimate, many have criticized Trump’s petulant reply to Lewis while defending or echoing his remark. Some feel this is perfectly acceptable because the birthers on the right denied Obama’s legitimacy, claiming falsely that he was born in Kenya. But while the birther movement was absurd, we did not see mainstream Republican politicians explicitly deny the legitimacy of Obama–even Trump himself never used that term in any of his birther tweets. Legitimacy is a very serious political concept, and we should be extraordinarily selective about when we invoke it. Read the rest of this entry »