There is no middle ground on hate. There are no ends justifying the means. No tax cuts. No deregulation. No scores of conservative judges can be worth tearing asunder the foundation of American freedom and democracy. And yet we now stand on that precipice
I do not think President Trump is redeemable on this score. His actions long before becoming president suggest a profound level of personal animosity to the diversity of our nation. And now, drunk on power and exalting in the amen choruses assembling at his hate-filled rallies, his debasement of the norms of the office he holds and his misplaced sense of victimhood has metastasized across a political movement that has become increasingly indistinguishable from the political party he leads.
We must find other pressure points to return the United States to a path of sanity. One big moment is the upcoming election. Americans must vote with the message of “This will not be us!” And they must not tremble in the face of voter intimidation and threats of violence.
I believe that most Americans recoil from the hate and injustice. That’s why GOP officials are lying about their records on health care. They are playing a cynical game of stoking their restive minority through propaganda and lies while intimidating and demoralizing the majority. That’s why they seek to distract with all this gunned-up racism and anti-Semitism. Republican officials who play in cynical games of wink, nod, abet, and excuse must hear loud and clear that their complicity is akin to an endorsement.
This can be a delicate balance. One can understand that words and actions are different and that one cannot be held accountable for the actions of a deranged loner. But one can be held accountable for stoking a climate where these actions burst forth with the frequency and seriousness we are witnessing.
Where we used to speak of dog whistles we now hear bullhorns. There is nothing subtle or hidden about what’s going on. And no one can be allowed to pretend that this is just a slightly adulterated version of politicos as usual. All who support the president must be called to account for the hate they have allowed him to wreak upon this nation. This hate is bigger than Trump and it long preceded him. To personalize it around him is to excuse far too many for their tacit complicity. We are long beyond the stage of words of disapproval. We must dismantle the scaffolding that has allowed this terror to flourish.