Shortly before the 2016 election, Democrats had an epiphany. They had cried wolf so often that now, with the wolf at the door, no one believed them anymore. Bill Maher, in a heavily circulated HBO clip could not have been more plain.
I know liberals made a big mistake because we attacked your boy Bush like he was the end of the world. And he wasn’t. And Mitt Romney we attacked that way. I gave Obama a million dollars because I was so afraid of Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney wouldn’t have changed my life that much or yours. Or John McCain.
They were honorable men who we disagreed with and we should have kept it that way. So we cried wolf and that was wrong. But this is real. This is going to be way different.
Maher was not alone. A New York Times columnist made the same point. Other Democrats did as well. They confessed that they really had amped up the histrionics against Republicans for so long that now, with Donald Trump as the GOP nominee, nobody believed them about his racism, misogyny, etc.
How quickly the Democrats forget.
Since Election Day, every Trump supporter is a racist. Every person who works for Trump is a racist. Every idea put forward by Trump and his team is racist. People who have never met Jeff Sessions are experts on his racism. Jared Kushner is a racist. Ivanka is a racist. Donald, Jr. and Eric are racists. Mike Pence is a racist. The GOP is racist.
The party of slavery and the KKK who gave their own Robert Byrd a pass on his KKK membership is adamant that all proposals by the GOP, all Trump nominees for the Cabinet, and all legislative proposals start from a racist factory of bigoted racists.
There is real racism in the world. There is real bigotry. I have real concerns about an emboldened alt-right that thrives in white nationalism and thinks Trump is one of them. But the Democrats’ constant cry against Trump and all his supporters, however, dilutes real racism, makes people tune out real injustice, and normalizes the alt-right as a political player by lumping all comers under the same “racism” label whether or not it is merited.
Disagree with Donald Trump all you want on policy. But labeling Trump and all his supporters as racist because you have policy and political disagreements is the best way to have a large chunk of the nation stop taking you seriously.