Parents and teachers are familiar with childish name calling, as are pundits who note the technique when used by politicians to label the opposition as “bad” and, therefore, label themselves as “good.”

The practice is used as a substitute for rational discussion, in fact to shut down debate.

Since 2007, when then-candidate Barack Obama and his surrogates adopted the strategy of labeling critics of his proposed policies as “racist,” attributing any legitimate disagreement to hidden prejudice against the first black (in fact, mixed race) to run for the presidency.

Racism is a powerful charge, so when the word is unleashed in a political campaign, it can be a virtual death sentence as supporters flee lest they be branded with the same evil “R.”

Presumptive Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton has gone beyond merely inferring that opponent Donald Trump is just that – a racist, and the charge has taken hold among her devoted supporters who like to see themselves as inclusive, tolerant, and accepting while viewing Trump voters as bigoted, prejudiced, and in favor of a return to days of discrimination against minorities.

Images of burning Donald Trump piñatas and signs bearing the word “RACIST” at rallies are seen on television screens on a regular basis with the result that many merely automatically parrot the accusation when asked what they think about Trump.

Now a new Reuters/Ipsos poll of 16,000 Americans raises questions about how accurate the Democrat voters’ self-identity really is, as the findings reveal the deep thread of racism in Clinton supporters in surprising numbers.

When asked if whites are smarter than blacks, 20 percent of Clinton voters agreed, while one-quarter of them, 25 percent, agreed that blacks were “lazier” than whites.

Another poll number revealed that fully one-third of Clinton supporters describe blacks as “more violent” than whites, more than the 32 percent of all respondents who agreed with the statement.

The numbers challenge the self-righteous attitude of Clinton’s Democrat base who like to think it is Trump voters who hold negative perceptions of blacks.

It may be that Clinton supporters cannot claim the monopoly on acceptance, but in fact, hold some disturbing discriminatory opinions they would rather not openly admit.

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