Let go of la­bels and fo­cus de­bates on poli­cies and facts, not in­di­vid­u­als

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

In his Feb. 22 PostPar­ti­san blog ex­cerpt, “The ‘deep state’ is real. The ‘alt right’ is fake.” [op-ed], Ed Rogers de­fined the “deep state” as “em­bed­ded anony­mous bu­reau­cratic bias against [Pres­i­dent] Trump and Repub­li­can rule,” us­ing leaks and “rogue so­cial me­dia ac­counts . . . to dis­credit the pres­i­dent, his Cab­i­net and Repub­li­can pol­icy ob­jec­tives.” He claimed that the alt-right is “just a new way for the left to call Repub­li­cans racists and Nazis without ac­tu­ally hav­ing to say those terms out loud.”

Let’s let go of la­bels. Let’s de­per­son­al­ize the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal de­bates in the United States. Peo­ple both in and out of gov­ern­ment need to fo­cus on spe­cific is­sues. For ex­am­ple, the sci­en­tists and oth­ers work­ing on the Earth Day demon­stra­tions should present a pos­i­tive mes­sage of re­spect for re­search-based data as a tool for pol­i­cy­mak­ing.

Billing their planned demon­stra­tion as against Mr. Trump gives sup­port to claims that op­po­si­tion to Mr. Trump’s poli­cies is aimed at dam­ag­ing the pres­i­dent’s cred­i­bil­ity. Those of us who see re­vers­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions as en­dan­ger­ing the hab­it­abil­ity of the planet should say so and sup­port their con­tentions with facts. Also, mak­ing Mr. Trump the fo­cus shuts out those who sup­port him on some is­sues but might work to­ward ef­forts to op­pose spe­cific poli­cies.

Ac­tions that dis­credit in­di­vid­u­als or groups based on race or re­li­gion should be re­jected for con­tra­dict­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Sara F. An­der­son, Arlington

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