“Trump is a racist and that’s what 2020 is all about,” reads a headline over my colleague Mike McFeely’s most recent column.
Problem is, that guy thinks just about everyone who disagrees with his orthodox liberal views is a racist. Which is not an uncommon sentiment among our friends on the left these days.
If you trend conservative in your views, they think you’re probably or maybe even certainly a dirty, dirty bigot.
Which is why they have lost credibility when it comes to denouncing President Donald Trump’s indefensible comments about a group of young, far-left Democratic congresswomen everyone is referring to as “the squad” these days.
….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
…really are indefensible. I agree with Congressman Kelly Armstrong’s assessment of them: “Engage them on policy all day long, but it just wrong to tell any U.S. citizen to ‘go back to where they came from,'” he said in a statement. “Attacking any citizen based on where they are from is never OK.” He also said Trump’s comments were “mean-spirited.”
— John Hageman (@jhageman_) July 17, 2019
…tempers Armstrong’s criticism of Trump a bit, though.
Still, the problem is Democrats don’t have much moral high ground from which to criticize Trump. Earlier this year the U.S. House almost ground to a standstill because the Democratic majority in that chamber couldn’t bring themselves to specifically condemn anti-semitism in response to ugly comments from Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (herself a member of “the squad”).
Also, as I already mentioned, Democrats have been throwing around accusations of racism so often Americans have become inured to them. Heck, President Donald Trump’s tweets referenced above were in response to controversy among House Democrats which had certain “squad” members accusing Speaker Nancy Pelosi of “singling out” congresswomen of color.
If Nancy Pelosi is a racist, who isn’t?
I wish President Donald Trump hadn’t inserted himself into that controversy, because it could have served as a moment when Democrats came to realize the stupid, cynical, self-immolating reality of identity politics. In her Sunday column Maureen Dowd wrote that “progressives act as though anyone who dares disagree with them is bad. Not wrong, but bad, guilty of some human failing, some impurity that is a moral evil that justifies their venom…”
Instead of debating what even Maureen Dowd sees as a cancer on the left, we are instead talking incessantly about yet another of the President’s insipid tweets.
For the record, I don’t believe President Trump is a racist, but I do not think he’s above inflaming nativist and xenophobic sentiments in the American electorate to further his political goals.
Maybe that’s a distinction without a difference, but I digress.
Part of what makes this tactic from Trump possible is years upon years of Democrats insisting that Republicans and conservatives are racist simply because they’re Republicans and conservatives. So much of the left’s criticism of the right has been steeped in absurdity that many on the right simply aren’t taking it seriously any more.
And vice versa.
We have come to hate one another so much that we’re willing to countenance ugliness in our own political ranks simply to avoid acknowledging that the other side might have a point.
Trump and “the squad” are two sides of the same ugly, hateful coin. In a more honest, self-aware political environment we could admit that.