According to a 2016 study by the by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, self-identified liberals are three times more likely than conservatives to "unfriend" someone on social media for political reasons.
I hew to this norm. I have never unfriended a relative or a real friend on Facebook for political reasons.
This past week, I must admit, I have been tempted. I have never seen so much bleating, preening virtue-signaling than during the teapot tempest following President Trump's provocative tweets of a few days ago.
I would have welcomed a deconstruction of Trump's remarks, but I saw none of that.
Instead, I saw an obsessive fixation on the word "racist," a word repeated like a mantra in the headlines of the major media and ad absurdum in the posts of my Facebook pals.
Finally, though, I saw a meme – "liked" by a few relatively sane Democrats I know – that reminded me why I don't unfriend such people.
The meme showed the four members of the "Squad" and said simply, "I'm with them." That, I thought, is exactly what President Trump wanted my friends to "like."
Curiously, I had a hard time finding Trump's actual tweet. Once I did, I had a harder time discerning what precisely provoked someone to call it "racist" other than the fact Trump said it and the women of the Squad are all famously "of color."
Here is the tweet, in regal Trumpian spirit, as subtle as a truck bomb:
"So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run."
In fact, only Ilhan "someone did something" Omar was born abroad, in her case Somalia, a country whose recent history Trump describes, if anything, a bit too generously.
Rashida "impeach the mother***er" Tlaib was born in the United States to parents recently emigrated from Palestine, a part of the world almost as dysfunctional as Somalia.
Trump continued, "Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done." I add the italics to show that Trump held the door open for the return of those who might choose to go.
And finally, "These places need your help badly, you can't leave fast enough. I'm sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"
Trump's reference to Pelosi came in the wake of her own race-based feud with the women in question. Sunday, in fact, Trump had come to Pelosi's defense.
"And I'll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi that you know better than I do," said Trump. "She is not a racist, okay? She is not a racist. For them to call her a racist is a disgrace."
A few days prior, Alexandria "concentration camps" Ocasio-Cortez scolded Pelosi for her "explicit singling out of newly elected women of color." Pelosi's dilemma, of course, was that the madwomen in question are all of color. How not to single them out?
Ocasio-Cortez was born to parents of Puerto Rican descent in the Bronx, a borough, in parts at least, "totally broken and crime infested." Ayanna Pressly is an African American, born in Cincinnati.
Racially, the four women are all over the map, literally. Trump made no reference to their race or ethnicity. "Muslim," of course, is no more a race than "Catholic." Muslims come in all colors as do Puerto Ricans and Mexicans for that matter.
Where the squad fails the "inclusivity" test is on sexual orientation. To their collective dismay, all are cisgendered, each having a boyfriend or husband, even if one husband is/was a brother.
For this reason, freshman Sharice Davids, a lesbian American Indian, would have made a great addition to the Squad. But Davids, just having flipped a red district blue, sensibly balked.
Ocasio-Cortez's Indian American chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, went after the American Indian. (I said you'd need a scorecard.) He accused Davids of voting "to enable a racist system."
The official House Democratic Twitter account fired back at Chakrabarti, not so much for his inference of racism as for his targeting of "a Native American women of color."
Chakrabarti had earlier put all not completely crazy Democrats on notice, calling them the "New Southern Democrats … hellbent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s."
Ayanna Pressley surely sympathized with Chakrabarti. At a progressive gathering on Sunday, Pressley had Davids and the other non-crazies in mind when she launched a diatribe so perversely Stalinist the media scrambled not to notice.
"We don't need any more brown faces that don't want to be a brown voice," said Pressley. "We don't need black faces that don't want to be a black voice. We don't need Muslims that don't want to be a Muslim voice. We don't need queers that don't want to be a queer voice."
For those Facebook pundits who may not have noticed, the Democratic Party is obsessed with race. In the first debate, Sen. Kamala Harris strongly implied Joe Biden was a racist for once opposing school busing and befriending Southern Democrats.
"I think that they were looking at the past. I mean, the one thing you cannot say about Joe is that he's a racist," his wife Jill Biden pleaded after the debate in a vain attempt at damage control, but the damage had been done.
Joe Biden is a racist. Nancy Pelosi is a racist. Sharice Davids is a racist. Even Saikat Chakrabarti is a racist. And now, after a comically botched House floor debate, Donald Trump is officially a racist.
In one instinctive stroke, Trump rescued the Squad from the madhouse and released them back to the streets. Now, when they commence their rants anew, my Facebook buddies have little choice but to "like" the madness.