My mother told me the story of "The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf!'" when I was very small. It teaches an important lesson about life: that overuse of alarming words quickly rob them of their capacity to alarm us.
Neither side in the current contentious- in fact, downright nasty- political climate bears complete blame for it, or for that matter is completely innocent. But it should be observed that when a term we should take very seriously- like "racism-" is devalued by overuse, we lose the capacity to call people's attention to things which ought to outrage them. This is a bad thing.
It also tends to create ill-will among those who are targeted by the misuse of such a word. Here is a list of 15 things which the American Left and their allies in the media have decided constitute "racism" since Barack Obama took office.
There is no doubt about it: the term has been so debased by overuse that it's lost much of what ought to be a very potent impact. And it's also made a major contribution to the malignant nature of today's political culture.
HT: Real Clear Politics