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When politics become too personal: What we didn’t talk about at Sunday dinner

John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” said former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Like purging political opponents?

That kind of thing does encourage clicks on news sites, but there might come a time when things go beyond clicks.

Trump voters have already been kicked to the margins of society, beginning in 2016. They’ve been labeled as “deplorables,” and collectively as Nazis and racists, branded as subhumans by the ministers of political culture in media.

This might shock some pundits and political actors seeding the ground for Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. But would the creation of an enemies list make for a more stable nation, or make things worse?

Not all those who voted against Hillary Clinton in 2016 deserve to be painted by the same, broad, left-handed brush. In Washington the other day, many of the thousands who gathered to hear Trump were peaceful.

 

So too were many of those Democrats who protested in the cities in the summer when looters took over and arson fires burned businesses and killed the downtowns.

But the summer rioters weren’t condemned as evil by much of mainstream media. And Democrats hardly mentioned them at their convention.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was all about nonviolent protests. But he understood his nation too.

“But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?” he asked in 1967.

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