It had to happen. Because the Democrats know that the only way they can elect a president is by labeling the opposition racist, they have escalated their rhetoric. Now they are grasping at any straw to delegitimize anyone who might threaten their chances.

Donald Trump has long been a target. For three years—based on little or no evidence — he has been repeatedly accused of racism. Joe Biden joined this chorus by launching his presidential bid by resurrecting the old chestnut about how Trump praised the Nazis and KKK at Charlottesville.

Trump did no such thing. He merely stated that there were good people on both sides of the Confederate statue controversy. In fact, he explicitly disowned right-wing zealots of every sort. That did not matter to his detractors because the president had to be a racist in order to gin up the black vote.

But the Democrats weren’t through. They also revived the idea of paying reparations to contemporary African Americans. On the invented grounds of compensating slaves for their unpaid labor, their remote successors would be given the equivalent of 40 acres and a mule.

We have, however, known for decades that this scheme is unworkable. After all, not all blacks were slaves, while the ancestors of many whites never owned chattel. More than that, we have the anomaly of many blacks who claim white antecedents. Would they be required to pay themselves?

Ironically, one of the biggest fans of reparation would not be qualified. Although Kamala Harris is perceived as black, her mother was Indian, while her father came from Jamaica. How would we figure these things out? Would we require an exhaustive ancestral study for all Americans?

But the biggest absurdity of all was implying that Joe Biden is a racist. Oddly, uncle Joe himself was not above making such accusations. Seven years ago he charged Mitt Romney with wanting to put blacks back in chains. Now his white skin has betrayed him.

Biden was thus accused of insensitivity when he used the example of his relationships with two segregationist senators to argue in favor of political civility. He talked about how he was able to get along with Sens. Eastland and Tallmadge despite sharply disagreeing with them.

Immediately Sens. Harris and Cory Booker pounced. How could Biden have been so thoughtless? How could he have cut Southern racists any slack whatsoever? Didn’t this prove that Biden’s race credentials were flawed? Black primary voters were essentially being warned not to vote for this turncoat.

Nonetheless, Biden was right. A democracy cannot be sustained if opposing parties are not civil; if they refuse ever to compromise. Under these circumstances, the only recourse is civil war. This was how historic democracies committed suicide — and ours would be no exception.

Harris and Booker were basically implying that only blacks can be trusted not to be racists. Only they truly understand the handicaps under which Africans Americans labor. That this is a kind of reverse racism never occurred to the accusers.

By making everything about race, Democrats have revealed the chinks in their revolutionary armor. They have disclosed that their socialist extremism is open to the same defects as previous revolutionary movements.

Political revolutions, because they invariably fail, turn on their own when the going gets rough. The activists begin blaming one another so as to demonstrate that their own skirts are clean. During the French Revolution, they did this by cutting off one another’s heads.

Our radicals have not yet resorted to the guillotine, but they are getting ready for a series of circular firing squads. The debating season has begun, yet it will not be over for some time. There are plenty of months left for the partisans to get even nastier.

Revolutions cannot succeed without destroying those who stand in their way. Bernie Sanders’ democratic socialism is consequently a mirage. Revolutionaries pretend to be nice people, but when the chips are down, the eggs that Lenin said they must break include their rivals.

To be blunt, extremists kill their own. That’s who they are. If we do not understand this about them, we will ultimately be on their lists. Hence, when we don’t want to go along with their medical plans, they will allow us to die. Likewise, when we demonstrate that we are unwilling to subscribe to their ideologies, they will deny us college admission.

Nice is as nice does and we are about to be in for a season of exponentially multiplied malice.

Melvyn L. Fein, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of sociology at Kennesaw State University.