In times of war, leaders find it necessary to demonize and dehumanize the enemy. This is what the GOP has been doing to Democrats for years. And with Donald Trump as its leader, the battle has gone nuclear.
On social media, progressives are routinely called “libtards” for expressing compassionate views. Another popular phrase is “liberal tears,” as if the very real pain of individuals who are heartbroken over the treatment of immigrants, refugees, Muslims, Jews, women, the LGBT community and disabled people is worthy of derision. In fact, some Republican voters take such pride in their hated of progressives that Trump’s Twitter feed has been inundated with advertisements for a mug depicting that phrase.
Lately, the mocking has turned even worse. The president’s Muslim ban was so heartbreaking to Senator Chuck Schumer, who lost family in the Holocaust, that he was moved to tears when denouncing the executive order as “mean-spirited and un-American.” It’s hard to imagine that anyone with a heart could watch that breakdown without feeling the sharp tug of compassion. Yet Donald Trump tweeted that these were “fake tears.” And taking his lead, former governor Mike Huckabee tweeted, “Breaking news from Hollywood! Sen. Chuck Schumer cast in lead role for remake of Boys Don’t Cry.”
Huckabee’s insensitivity is even more unconscionable when you remember that the movie he’s flippantly referencing is a gut-wrenching story about the rape and murder of a young transgender person.
Donald Trump has taken his vilification of Democrats to the trenches. And instead of draining the swamp, he has drained the last vestiges of compassion from his party.