What has taken its place in our political culture is a spirit of maximalism—let’s rub their faces in it.
In New York six months ago it wasn’t enough to pass one of the most radical pro-abortion laws in the land; you had to light up the World Trade Center and the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in pink lights to celebrate. So that even the skyline approves of what you did. You say you do this because you’re happy. You do it to rub the opposition’s faces in it.
Before all that and most famously there was “bake my cake.” You’re not allowed simply to absorb the nation’s changing ways; you have to become part of my wedding even if your faith prohibits this, and if you don’t, I’ll gather my friends and kill your business. Progressives cannot understand what a wound this was to conservative Christians, who were obeying the law but hoped not to be pushed around…
Now the idea has taken hold that the charge of racism doesn’t derive from thoughts and actions, from what people say and do, but from who they are. If you are white that accident of birth left you racist, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve got white privilege. You are unconsciously favored, and unconsciously assign disfavor. Either way you’re guilty. No action or word can turn this around.
So change is not possible; improvement will not happen. There’s no way out.
This is demoralizing. America can never become a better place if it isn’t even allowed to think it can.