“Red meat” rhetoric scares me.
When a speaker goes beyond attacking a policy that his listeners dislike and sinks into demonizing their fellow citizens who support the policy, the listeners may gobble up the verbal attack eagerly. But it encourages them to think of their political opponents as nothing but stupid, evil, corrupt, or crazy: monstrous rather than human.
And that’s a lie. Conservatives are people, not monsters. The same goes for liberals.
What’s more, demonizing opponents can backfire. It tends to make them eager to demonize you.
Yesterday, I joined the Los Angeles Women’s March, and the speakers attacked Donald Trump and his policies. That’s fair.
But I didn’t want them to attack ordinary Trump voters.
Trump voters are dangerously wrong, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been angry at them and even afraid of them.
But I don’t want anyone encouraging people to see other people as inhuman.