In politics, I’ve long believed – and continue to believe – reasonable people can be in possession of the same facts and still arrive at different conclusions, and in those instances they should endeavor to do so with at least a modicum of civility and respect.

But that requires being factual.

Then there are local progressive activists like Vern Nelson, who instead relapses into fantasy and conjecture in an attempt to demonize others.  Yesterday, on his Orange Juice Blog, he claimed there is a conspiracy in City Hall to “muzzle” Councilman Jose F. Moreno. He claims this is part of an imagined effort to silence Moreno and Councilwoman Denise Barnes because they are Latino.

Councilman Jose F. Moreno: impossible to silence no matter which side of his mouth he’s talking out of.

This is absurd, and it is difficult to believe that Nelson really believes what he’s saying. For starters, there’s no attempt to silence Moreno or Barnes – and any attempt to do so would be doomed. Moreno loves to talk. He cannot stop talking. He talks more than every other member of the seven-member Anaheim City Council combined.  The idea he is being silenced is refuted by reality.

For her part, Barnes is a chatterbox on the dais in co.  During her first two years on the council, Barnes was a mute appendage of Mayor Tom Tait, rarely speaking and when she having something to say, she read from prepared statements.  Since Harry Sidhu became mayor, Barnes has become quite verbose on the council dais.

So how exactly is Mayor Sidhu silencing them?

Don’t ask AUSHD Trustee Annemarie Randle-Trejo, who will be Moreno’s candidate in District 4 this November, follow the herd with this Facebook comment:

Even more bizarrely, Nelson claims an anti-Moreno cabal cut-off Moreno’s philippic during council comments was cut-out of the archived council video. This is false. Click on the archived video link here and go to the 2:06:43 mark and listen to several minutes of classic Moreno left-wing virtue signalling and demagoguery.  He is followed by Barnes, Councilman Trevor O’Niel and Mayor Sidhu.

How hard is it to fact-check something like that?

That’s just sloppiness. Nelson’s race-baiting is worse. He claims Sidhu and the council majority are racists – that their differences with Moreno and Barnes flow from bigotry against Latinos. This is shameful and grotesque.  Their differences are political and ideological. Members of the council majority share a generally pro-business attitude, supporting of economic development as the best path for creating opportunity and ensuring healthy revenues to fund city services. Councilman Moreno is a revolutionary. He harbors an ideological hostility to free enterprise and the profit-motive, viewing them as an greedy, exploitative race-to-the-bottom.  Barnes was part of the governing majority and now she’s part of the political minority bloc on the council. And her politics have been trending in a left-ward direction.  And it was Barnes herself who played the race card herself from the council dais in a disquieting display of self-pity.

Perhaps Nelson’s false accusation of bigotry is symptomatic of how thoroughly racial identity politics have suffused the Left. When you buy into humbug like Critical Race Theory and its political spinoffs, everything can be explained as racism. Like the saying goes, when you’re a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And it’s certainly a handy tool for trying to silence dissent.

Do Nelson and his amen chorus really believe their racism charge? Sadly, the answer is probably “yes”. Many otherwise intelligent people believe lots of things that aren’t true; take a look at contemporary academia or read the social media posts by Bernie Sanders supporters. It’s feeble, lazy and malicious. And it’s unnecessary – the political and policy differences between the council majority and the Moreno/Barnes bloc are substantive and abounding. Apparently, it’s more satisfying for some to reduce those  differences to imagined racial animosity, thereby obviating the necessity of reasoned, factual, hard-hitting debate.