If you don't think the political left is conspiring to smear President Trump, his supporters and the GOP as racists, then you probably haven't been paying close enough attention.
I'm aware of the preferred school of thought that says targets of false political accusations shouldn't take the bait and respond, the rationale being that defensiveness just makes them sound guilty and calls undue attention to the charge.
I might buy that argument if I hadn't witnessed the success of the left's relentless decadeslong assault. I've encountered too many people who've bought into this wicked lie.
This has been a calculated strategy of the national Democratic Party and liberal media to alienate minorities from the Republican Party. Consider their suggestion, for example, that President George W. Bush was dilatory in responding to Hurricane Katrina because the population of New Orleans was disproportionately black. This was preposterous, and they knew it, and it cannot be casually dismissed as politics as usual and no big deal. It's a very big deal and destructive on countless levels to tell an entire race of people that a major political party harbors animosity toward them.
Throughout Obama's two terms, Democrats invoked racism every time Republicans opposed his policies, which was every day. But their opposition was always based on policy. Obama was the most leftist president in U.S. history, and conservatives vigorously fought him every step of the way.
Obama himself often played the race card — sometimes as a political strategy and other times because he just couldn't help himself, as when he accused the Cambridge police of "acting stupidly" when they arrested African-American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates outside his home.
Liberals seek to disparage, intimidate and silence conservatives with these slurs, but they've raised it to a new level in the Trump era because they are running out of rational arguments to explain away Trump's policy successes and they live in abject fear of losing their vise grip on the minority vote.
They doubtlessly believe they've salvaged at least one silver lining from Trump's ascension to the presidency. His signature campaign issue was immigration enforcement, and immigration hawks are ideal targets for the left's bogus charges of racism and nativism. Liberals have maliciously exploited this fortuitous gift ever since to validate their ongoing slander of the GOP.
A review of the web's political stories leading up to the midterm elections shows just how heavily Democrats are relying on their bigotry strategy. Consider:
Trump would have been savaged if he hadn't paid his respects to the Pittsburgh synagogue victims, yet he was severely criticized for visiting the city. The left's narrative is that Trump's nationalist platform is thinly disguised nativism and that his rejection of globalism, including his criticism of the anti-Semitic United Nations, is code for his own anti-Semitism; therefore, Trump must have inspired the synagogue killer, even though he was a Trump hater.
Don't take my word for it. Samantha Bee said the Republican Party not only tolerates anti-Semitism but also benefits from it. "Mainstream conservatives would never say anything negative about Jewish people outright, but there are other words they use, like 'coastal elites,' 'globalists,' 'Hollywood liberals' or 'Jon Leibowitz' (aka Jon Stewart)," said Bee. "And currently, the biggest, loudest dog whistle is George Soros."
MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, referring to Trump, said, "The rhetoric of this racist, heartless, soulless man will lead to more violence." CNN's Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo separately denounced Trump's recent campaign video featuring an illegal immigrant bragging about killing Americans and focusing on the caravan of immigrants from Central America heading for our border. They likened it to the notorious Willie Horton ad of the 1988 George H.W. Bush campaign, which the left has always painted as racist.
CNN's in-house attorney Jeffrey Toobin accused Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach of making a career of "stopping black people and poor people from voting," referring to Kobach's staunch advocacy of voter ID laws. CNN's Jim Acosta said Trump is using "hostile rhetoric" against immigrants to try "to drive up the rage" among his base and inspire GOP voter turnout. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, decrying Trump's "nationalism," wrote, "Patriots put love of their own people first, while nationalists put hate for other people first."
Unhappily for Democrats, Republicans don't speak in code; they don't blow dog whistles. This is just more leftist projection and incendiary rhetoric of the type that has generated an unprecedented backlash and turned liberals' fabled blue wave into an evaporating puddle.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com.