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If you don’t think that faith-based institutions should be forced to violate their consciences by requiring them to provide abortions and contraceptives, you are “waging a war on women.” The same goes for people who oppose abortion as the taking of a human life.

If you favor border security and enforcing immigration laws, you are “anti-immigrant,” which is a synonym for “racist.”

If you don’t think the government should force banks to offer mortgages to people who can’t afford the payments, you want poor people to go homeless.

If you don’t regard government dependency such as having nearly 50 million Americans on food stamps as a sign of progress, you want people to go hungry.

Once you’ve been accused, it’s hard to escape the politics of personal destruction. The answer is not to go silent or be defensive, but to turn the charge back on the accuser.

For instance, why not ask people who oppose photo-ID voter laws why they want to maintain a system in which the most vulnerable among us lack IDs? Do they want these people to become victims of identity theft or vote fraud?

Given the spirit-crushing effects of dependency, why support policies ensuring that more people are trapped into taking handouts?

Given the well-documented social and health risks of homosexuality, why promote that behavior, especially to children? Why, without evidence, claim there’s no hope for change?

Crime is rampant in jurisdictions with strict gun laws. Why make law-abiding citizens even more vulnerable to criminals?

Countries without America’s rich deposits of fossil fuels are mired in poverty. Why destroy hope for alleviating misery in the Third World?

Millions of Americans are out of work. Why import millions of illegal aliens to flood the job market? Do you hate your unemployed neighbor?

When confronted with the politics of personal destruction, the unfairly accused need to resist going into a defensive crouch.

Mr. DeLay never did. Now he’s been exonerated. This should embolden all who are falsely accused.

Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.