New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg said Republicans are blaming the victims of their cruel and unpopular policies in their calls for civility.
The columnist said President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress were upending democracy by tilting the rules in their favor, violating constitutional norms and demonizing their opponents to enforce "minority rule."
"Donald Trump eked out his minority victory with help from a hostile foreign power," Goldberg wrote. "He has ruled exclusively for his vengeful supporters, who love the way he terrifies, outrages and humiliates their fellow citizens. Trump installed the right-wing Neil Gorsuch in the Supreme Court seat that Republicans stole from Barack Obama."
Gorsuch has furthered conservative efforts to rig the system in their favor, and many Americans feel angry and frustrated as they're shut out of the debate.
"Millions and millions of Americans watch helplessly as the president cages children, dehumanizes immigrants, spurns other democracies, guts health care protections, uses his office to enrich himself and turns public life into a deranged phantasmagoria with his incontinent flood of lies," Goldberg wrote.
Trump and his allies were exploiting a media environment that favors equivalency -- even when it's false -- over factual analysis.
"The civility police might point out that many conservatives hated Obama just as much, but that only demonstrates the limits of content-neutral analysis," Goldberg said. "The right’s revulsion against a black president targeted by birther conspiracy theories is not the same as the left’s revulsion against a racist president who spread birther conspiracy theories."
Goldberg said liberals have not responded to a rigged system with calls for violence -- as Trump and his supporters have encouraged against their opponents -- but instead with tireless efforts to win back Congress and with rude treatment of administration officials in public.
"Treating members of Donald Trump’s administration as ordinary public officials rather than pariahs does more to normalize bigotry than exercising alongside a white separatist," she said.
That sort of treatment was the least Trump administration officials should expect from the public they serve.
"As long as our rulers wage war on cosmopolitan culture, they shouldn’t feel entitled to its fruits," Goldberg wrote. "If they don’t want to hear from the angry citizens they’re supposed to serve, let them eat at Trump Grill."