I think as a society we risk doing more harm than good when valid critique of policy is not met with honest debate but instead with personal attacks and name-calling.
Imagine being a white person who judges on character not on skin tone or culture, and simply because that white person doesn’t agree with a political position of a person with different skin tone or culture, that white person is called a “racist.” Imagine how hurtful that is because there is no way to defend it. They are guilty and cannot possibly prove their innocence. It doesn’t matter how loving the person is, or how much virtue signaling they do, if one is called a “racist” or “homophobe” or what-have-you, they cannot defend it because it must be true based on the accepted belief that all white people are racists, or all Republicans and all straight people or Christians are homophobic, etc.
Due to the media’s, public personas’ and politicians’ complicity in creating this deceitful narrative, we have a situation where a vast number of otherwise decent people are maligned regardless of their actions and hearts.
The fallout is grave for both sides: anger, resentment, hostility, and division. In the act of bending facts and truth to create desired narratives, we’ve created a powder keg that only can be diffused with love and truth. And, that has to start small. In our neighborhoods and towns with average people helping one another, talking to one another, interacting, loving, seeking to understand and leaving the hate behind.
I’m a Christian and I follow my Lord’s command that I must love my neighbor as myself. I don’t have to agree with your choices, your lifestyle, your politics or whatever, but I DO have to love you.
Allow me the decency of my right to have an opinion that is different than yours, and I’ll allow you the same. Let’s just not call each other names.