According to Politico, the Congressional Black Caucus is preparing for the worst under President-elect Donald Trump:
Among the figures chosen to join Trump’s inner circle whom lawmakers called unsettling are Jeff Sessions, the Alabama senator and prospective attorney general who was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 over allegations of racism; and Steve Bannon, Trump’s senior adviser who until joining the campaign led Breitbart, the far-right website that appeals to white nationalists. (Bannon does not require Senate confirmation.)
Other than Bannon and Sessions, the Caucus is concerned about Trump’s Secretary of Education pick, Betsy DeVos, as she’s a fierce proponent of school choice–something Democrats strongly oppose.
Let’s set aside a lengthy analysis of the merits of school choice, the racism of low expectations regarding voter ID, and the necessary reformation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and call this exactly what it is: manipulation.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus don’t like Donald Trump, and they will take every opportunity to cripple him as president. The Democratic Party at large functions by creating a sense of fear and victimhood among its constituents, and this situation is no different.
The allegations against Senator Sessions are just that–allegations. Sessions himself denies the claims, which amount to hearsay. Moreover, it would be difficult to paint the Senator as a racist after examining his political and legal record. There’s also no proof that Steve Bannon, though a sinister figure in many ways, is a racist. He may be an opportunist, but that’s not the same as a racist. Breitbart’s association with the alt-right movement was less about the anti-Semitic and racist philosophy of the alt-right, and more about political power calculus.
Progressive culture is rooted in fear. In order to keep their constituents’ eyes on the ground, Democrats must continually lob accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia at their opponents, even if those accusations are completely baseless, or grossly manipulated. If the Democrats let up for even a moment, their constituents may see another perspective, which could fundamentally alter their thinking, and, in turn, alter their voting preference and affiliation.
Using broad categorizations like racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, and bigot not only allow the Democrats to delegitimize conservative policy without having to use counter-evidence, it puts up a mental road block, preventing Democratic voters from examining opposing ideas. If the other side is racist, bigoted, etc, why even take the time to dissect their policy?
There are legitimate concerns about Donald Trump’s presidency, as well as his appointees, however, such concerns must be scrutinized only after taking in all available information. To build arguments using incomplete information is reckless, and manipulative. Then again, the Democrats know this.