At the same time, and not coincidentally, the big business of partisanship — cable networks and hosts, radio personalities, talking heads, and conspiratorial websites — manage to profit from the escalation of contempt. They are the culture-war profiteers.
We see this dynamic at work when Hispanics are routinely reduced to caricatures of gang bangers and rapists, intent on invading the country (with Democratic support); when refugees are identified as a dangerous fifth column, motivated by an inherently violent faith; when young African American men are regularly accused of disloyalty for acts of protest; and, yes, when politicians and commentators talk about “globalists” and the “[George] Soros-occupied State Department” and are clearly going after the Jews.
Much of this can be traced to white supremacy, or its close cousin, white grievance. But why anti-Semitism? Why did the Charlottesville alt-right protesters defend Confederate monuments by chanting, “Jews will not replace us”? I am not sure. Anti-Semitism seems to have deep theological roots, in the distortion of Christianity as a blessing for hatred. It bubbles up on the right and left, among European right-wingers and academic “anti-Zionists,” from Republican legislators, from followers of Louis Farrakhan and from the leader of the British Labour Party. The Anti-Defamation League reported a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in America in 2017 over 2016. Can there be any other reason for this spike than the general legitimation of dehumanization in American politics?