Insults are always in style in politics, but lately they’ve been at the highest level in recent memory. There’s a difference, though, between the insult styles of Trumpists and progressives. Trumpists insult people for traditional reasons: to discredit someone, to bluff their way through an argument, or just to feel good. Progressives think of insults as a tool of persuasion. Someone they insult enough, they think, will come to realize their error and adopt the progressive way of thinking. Hence rather than try to win over people who reluctantly chose Trump over Clinton, progressives heap insults on them, even if it means claiming that the country has tens of millions of white supremacists.
The reason they believe this approach works is that they use insults as argumentation among themselves, and it sometimes works. Progressives who are accused of harboring “racist” or “sexist” thoughts will tearfully apologize and alter their behavior or words to conform to the herd.
This is oddly reminiscent of religion. By insulting people, they’re trying to induce conviction of sin and repentance. It’s like the evangelical who gets born again or the Catholic who goes to confession. Within their own culture, it works because people expect to be treated that way.
As with Christianity, progressives see people as tainted with original sin, called “privilege.” By being born male or with a light skin, you are “privileged,” never mind how poor you might be, and are born “racist.” You can never stop being a sinner, but you can repent and accept undeserved grace.
It’s strange that it’s the left rather than the right that makes such heavy use of the sin-and-repentance approach, but there it is.