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In our bifurcated political culture, most Americans not only have forgotten how to listen to those who disagree with them but have also stopped being willing to credit opponents with good motives. That’s part of the reason why just about anything that someone thinks is awful is quickly labeled by somebody as being morally equivalent to the Nazis.
But we’ve now gone beyond the reflexive use of inappropriate Holocaust analogies by both the right and the left. We’re also at the point where protest movements are similarly demonized by anyone that happens to disagree with them. Violent protesters, especially those who seek to trespass on government property and commit acts of violence against law-enforcement officers are always in the wrong, whether we’re discussing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot or Black Lives Matter riots. Yet those who sympathize on some level with some of those committing those crimes now regard the rioters on their side of the spectrum as principled “mostly peaceful” demonstrators and those on the other side as “domestic terrorists.”
When government institutions, especially those responsible for law enforcement, play the same game, this trend stops being just a lamentable example of polarization and crosses the line into an abuse of power…
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