When toxicity grows gradually, we get used to it. But we don't have to.
After Sen. Rand Paul made an offensive (and unfunny) joke involving the word "gay," Tony Perkins (of the Family Research Council) criticized him: I don’t think it's something we should joke about. We are talking about individuals who feel very strongly one way or the other, and I think we should be civil, respectful, allowing all sides to have the debate. Whaaa? That doesn't sound very hate groupy!
It may seem hyperbolic for the Southern Poverty Law Center to add large and highly visible advocacy organizations to the list of hate groups it monitors. But not all hate comes from the fringe.