Someone has to say it.

Racism exists. It displays lack of character, lack of intelligence, and lack of self-control. It is entirely perverse and an incorrect way of thinking.

But it is not the root or cause of all crime.

In this year’s election cycle, President-elect Trump displayed, quite possibly, the most depleted tact ever experienced by a presidential candidate. He displayed obscenity and simply could not shut his mouth when it would have been smart, according to conventional wisdom. Some of his most quotables, while maybe not blatantly racist, have racial undertones that to me destroyed much of his credibility as a politician, or his attempt to be a politician.

All of this, in years past, might have disqualified Trump from the highest office in the land (my history teacher would argue this position is filled by a moderate on the Supreme Court, yet I digress). But it did not.

This is not necessarily because the majority of Americans actually agree with what some saw as borderline discriminatory statements on minorities or his (I won’t sugar-coat this one) disgusting comments on women, but because the states who decided the election also decided that what some saw as ‘racism’ and what saw some as honesty was not a deal breaker.

If I am being honest, it should not be.

This concept is difficult for Millennials to grasp, but we cannot allow our hatred of one injustice to always outweigh our hatred for another.

The largest and most prevalent issue with this line of logic is how it encourages a lack of critical thinking. When racism is used as a cop out for causes to real issues, it allows us to imply that racism is the end-all be-all of injustice, when racism is only one small facet of the world’s evil. We can talk all day about whether or not the War on Terror was a smart move, but if the only argument against it is that it provided an opportunity for America to enact her racial vengeance on the world, we are lacking an understanding of foreign policy. And domestic policy. And every policy. As the Left says, it is 2016. It is time to move beyond the racial tensions of the previous centuries and stop making every policy issue into one of skin color.

Take, for example, immigration, and the thought of closed borders suddenly becomes a race issue. It is degrading to one with a stance for tighter border security, as if they are so blinded by their own racial prejudices that they cannot possibly be against a swirling influx of immigrants for any other reason than their skin color. Never mind the crime that, regardless of what we want to think, is brought by illegal immigrants (hence the term, illegal- the Left struggles to grasp that one, too). It simply becomes about race, and not about the threat to America’s homeland security and budget when we host an approximate 11.5 million people who are not registered and paying into the system we established.

As it turns out, America had more beef with Hillary’s alleged crimes of obstructing justice with her emails (and obstructing just about everything else) than we had with Trump’s ‘racism’ and obscene comments about women. Neither one of these, however, needs to be worse than the other.

When we have two choices whose character is less than spectacular, who have both made poor judgement calls, we can stop looking at their character. They are tied somewhere near -14 on the Rate My Character Scale. What we can look at is policy, and stop using racial division as a chance to duck out of the critical thinking the political arena requires.