The bar for me calling someone a racist is pretty high. I do not use that term lightly. I have, on occasion, suggested that someone consider that their success in life contains more than a small element of luck, and that they should think about their good fortune before they judge the circumstances of someone that did not have the favorable life path that they did.
I do not say this because I think those people are racist. I say this because I think humility and self-reflection are desirable qualities that everyone should be encouraged to exercise. I say this because I believe empathy is a desirable trait. I say this because even though I am not a religious person, I believe the basic moral code underlying the religion I was raised in is sound.
But all too often, the response I get is boo hoo hoo you are saying this because you think I’m a racist I’m not going to listen to you because you’re a hater, you’re such a hater I’m going to go lynch someone right now just to spite you look what you made me do if I’m a racist you made me that way.
It doesn’t bother me much anymore. I think these folks are just misguided as individuals. But I do think these people are being manipulated by a political party that is trying to normalize cruelty.
Yes, I do see plenty hate and idiocy on both sides, but they aren’t equivalent. Because the hate and idiocy on the Democratic side is coming from a handful of private individuals that don’t hold public office or positions of influence, and the hate and idiocy on the Republican side is coming from the Oval Office and other high placed politicians and pundits.
I do think my fellow Democrats should stop engaging on this stuff, though and refrain from any discussion that uses the phrase “identity politics”, which is a right wing well poisoner used to denote policies that benefit a disenfranchised out group. It plays on the conservative conviction that no one would ever honestly support anything that doesn’t benefit them personally and directly, so therefore there is something inherently dishonest and underhanded happening whenever advantaged people supporting the disadvantaged.
“Compassion politics” is a better descriptor and if Democrats weren’t such inherently lousy politicians they would counter all the right wing language that permeates the debate instead of playing into it constantly. “Entitlements” is another such term.