I am seeing such disgusting and vitriolic rhetoric from dozens of people whom I consider to be my political allies that I am compelled to say something.
In the fight against the Trump administration and everything it stands for, there are factors which, if lost, will render us liberals just as guilty and unworthy as the other side. Those factors are Truth and Decency.
If you write some ridiculous claim or post some ludicrous “article” without thinking it through and properly fact-checking, congratulations: now you know what it’s like to be a Breitbarter. (Seriously: I’ve spent a LOT of time on that website, and what some of you are saying and doing is no different in terms of ignorance and falsehood.)
And if you banish an entire group of people to a decree of sub-humanity without recognizing that there is nuance and individuality in every single person, then maybe you should think more carefully about your daily use of Nazi comparisons (which are merited sometimes, but not always), and reflect on how you yourself are turning into everything you hate.
Even if acting this way were to help us win elections (it won’t), we will have done so at the cost of our moral integrity and the actual values we claim to be fighting for. And then what are we?
And on a more practical note: these kind of despicable tactics WON’T help us win. This may surprise you, but people’s minds are not generally changed by shutting them up or kicking them out of restaurants. It will only convince them – perhaps rightfully so – that your ideas exist only to victimize and shame. Change is made by engaging with people as human beings, recognizing our commonality, and then making a logical argument to support what you stand for rather than releasing a tirade of vitriol to banish what you’re against, and becoming it in the process.
So everyone, please: calm down. You’re making us look bad, and you’re hurting the cause. Be kind, be responsible, and then get to work.