A lot of people in entertainment, politics and the media are attacking anyone who wears a red MAGA hat as a racist. Hillary Clinton’s attack on Trump voters as “deplorables” is similar. These attacks are clearly absurd and ill-informed generalizations, born of hatred and prejudice toward a lot of Americans who are neither racists nor deplorables.
What do we call the people who engage in such smears and slander? They are clearly malicious mud-slinging people who intend to harm the reputations of groups of Americans whose politics they hate. But what are they exhibiting? Classism? Racism? Genderism? Prejudice? What?
Terms that accurately apply to these slander-mongers include bigots, chauvinists, and zealots.
But there is another term not yet applied in this context, and that is sectarian. These bigots divide Americans into two sects:
“Sectarianism is a form of bigotry, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching relations of inferiority and superiority to differences between subdivisions within a group.”
Who are some of these bigots? Hillary Clinton led the parade during the 2016 campaign. Recently, others have joined in, such as columnist Robin Abcarian, actress Alyssa Milano, and author John Pavlovitz.
Here’s an alternative view. This gentleman says that if you believe Trump red hat wearers are racist without talking to them and getting to know them, then you are an “ignorant dumbass”.
Although the slanderers are acting like bigots and malicious sectarians, there may be all sorts of motivations and ways of understanding their extraordinary behavior, including the simple strategy of attacking anything Trump; and many people with Trump Derangement Syndrome feel better about themselves and his current position in power by constantly criticizing him in every way possible.
There is another more general explanation, which is that people today are more inclined to go to extremes of language than in many a year. Extremism reflects polarization, and that reflects an even split in the electorate between the left-wing agenda and that of Trump and Republicans. More than that, the extremism flows from the Democratic frustration with being out of power. They are acting like little kids who throw temper tantrums when they can’t get their way. It’s too kind to them to say that they are bigots.
The sectarians who are attacking Trump are indeed zealots who can see no other course of political action than their own. Consequently, they are possessed of extraordinary fear that if they are not in power, then the country under Trump will fall. They will lose what they mistakenly conceive of as “gains” made under 8 years of Obama. Yes, Trump wants to take apart the worst of Obama’s agenda. That fear is real. There is enormous left-wing frustration with losing the power to lord it over us all, and it is venting in extreme rhetoric such as bigots and sectarians use.4:12 pm on February 5, 2019 Email Michael S. Rozeff