Is over the past several decades, our discourse progressed something like this:
Guys, they’re racists.
Sensible Center: No, they just believe the very important science that suggests that black people are stupid. Also, crime and poverty. Black people are poor and get arrested a lot and stop&frisk is not racist so stop saying that. QED
Guys, they’re white supremacists.
Sensible center: No, they’re just celebrating the very important heritage of the Confederacy, which is their history, even in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio, which were very important Confederate states. I don’t see any actual Klan hoods. Maybe they are white nationalists, which just means they want to preserve their culture. QED
Guys, they’re Nazis.
Sensible center: Actually, I don’t see much evidence (some, but not too much) of anti-Semitism, which seems to be an important feature of Nazism, right? I mean, the obsession with George Soros and the word globalist is simply political. Obviously they have some views about race which liberals don’t support, but it isn’t racism, and it certainly isn’t Nazism.
Nazis: hey, uh we’re Nazis.
Sensible center: No, I really don’t think you are.
Nazis: No, really, we’re fucking Nazis. Heil Hitler! Check out my Nazi tattoos! We’re Nazis!
Sensible center: This is disturbing, but Stalin was bad, too, so, really, both sides.
Having just suffered with being dragged into a twitter conversation where one of those people was seriously trying to argue that as long as rules and behaviors don’t actually, literally use the “N word”, they aren’t racist, I am familiar with this logic.
When will we learn? More importantly, when will the media learn? When someone says they’re a centrist and starts making excuses for the right, we just have to say, “Fuck that guy.”