How many times have I been called a racist? Dozens at least, perhaps hundreds. How about homophobic? Yup, about as many. Islamophobic? Check. Misogynist? Check. Xenophobic? Got it. Let’s see, what’s left? How about bigot? Yeah, that too — all of which puts me right in Hillary’s “basket of deplorables.” I also qualify as one of President Obama’s “bitter clingers” and as a member of that other group Hillary doesn’t like: the so-called “alt-right.” I didn’t know what alt-right was when she said it a few weeks ago but I looked it up and yes, I qualify.
The first time I remember being called racist in print was twenty years ago after I wrote a column supporting the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), otherwise known as Proposition 209. It was a referendum question, which read:
The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
The “racist” accusations — and there were three as I recall — were in letters to both papers carrying the column, and they bothered me. I knew there was no basis, but they made me feel bad because racism is an ugly thing and I didn’t want any association with it. I’d been putting my opinions out there for three or four years by that time and I had gotten plenty of flak, but not that kind. Heck, I was writing against racial discrimination. How could that be racist?
Leftist poster from the anti-209 campaign in 1996
Proposition 209 would have made so-called Affirmative Action programs illegal because they give preference to blacks and hispanics over Asians and whites in college admissions, when hiring for teachers, police, firemen, and so forth. That’s racial discrimination, of course, but it’s the kind approved by the left — and leftists attack anyone who points that out. Since they cannot argue using facts, all they have is name-calling. They’ve flung the racist charge so often for so long, it has become a reflex. Columnist Mark Steyn calls it “Democrat Tourette’s Syndrome.” When I realized that, the “racist” charge didn’t phase me anymore. It’s continued use became an indication that I was scoring points against the left.
Though I’ve been a Christian all my life, I’ve always had difficulty with the turn-the-other-cheek thing. My natural tendency when somebody strikes me on either cheek is to strike back at both their cheeks harder and more often — and I don’t really see anything wrong with that. Such was my inclination when letter-writers insulted me with false charges of “racism.” I didn’t strike back though, neither physically nor in writing. I remembered the advice an editor at the Lewiston Sun-Journal gave me years ago: “Don’t respond,” he said. “Most readers will have read both your piece and the letter. Trust them to make up their own minds about who is right or wrong.”
It was good advice and someone should have given it to Maine Governor Paul LePage. He was enraged after a leftist legislator suggested he was racist. Lepage called him and left an obscenity-laced voicemail which the legislator sent to the media. That was dumb — very dumb. It’s one thing to feel like striking back but quite another do actually do it. LePage gave his enemies a club with which they will beat him as long as he’s in office.
Accuser and accused
I voted for LePage twice and I don’t regret it given the choices I had. I intend to vote for Trump too, even though I would have preferred any of the other Republicans who opposed him in the primaries. Against Hillary though? I have to vote for him and I will, but I wouldn’t call myself a “Trump supporter.”
So, even though I don’t support Trump, I still belong in Hillary’s “basket of deplorables.” Here are my bona fides:
I see abortion — the dismembering of babies in their mothers’ wombs — as barbaric, so I’m against “women’s health” and therefore women too according to Democrats who consider pregnancy a disease. So, I’m hopelessly “misogynist.”
I oppose importing tens of thousands of unvetted immigrants from Muslim-terrorist-dominated countries, therefore I’m both “Islamophobic” (unreasonable fear of Islam) and “xenophobic” (unreasonable fear of foreigners).
I consider it unnatural for two women or two men to “marry,” Therefore I’m “homophobic.”
I cling to both my guns and my religion, so I’m a “bitter clinger.”
I believe western civilization superior to other civilizations before or since, and prefer the melting pot model to multiculturalism. Evidently that makes me “alt-right."