- Apr 30, 2005
ksinger|1470052525|4061258 said:Yes, good piece. Although I have my doubts about the author's assertion that Goldwater was not particularly racist. Racism has always been hiding behind arguments for "states rights" and distrust of a strong federal government since before the founding of the country. It's why "states rights" was a dogwhistle later on when being overt in your racism became impolite at the least. Until Trump made in-yer-face racism acceptable again, and gave the white supremacists somebody to be all googly for.
What is truly pathetic, is that the Republican so-called intellectuals' echo chamber couldn't be pierced for so long because they were too wimpy to take an unflinching look at the reality that those of us outside the fold have seen clearly for decades, that (as the article points out) their party has been wedded to whiteness since Goldwater:
"Conservative intellectuals, for the most part, are horrified by racism. When they talk about believing in individual rights and equality, they really mean it. Because the Republican Party is the vehicle through which their ideas can be implemented, they need to believe that the party isn’t racist.
So they deny the party’s racist history, that its post-1964 success was a direct result of attracting whites disillusioned by the Democrats’ embrace of civil rights. And they deny that to this day, Republican voters are driven more by white resentment than by a principled commitment to the free market and individual liberty.
“It’s the power of wishful thinking. None of us want to accept that opposition to civil rights is the legacy that we’ve inherited,” Roy says.
He expands on this idea: “It’s a common observation on the left, but it’s an observation that a lot of us on the right genuinely believed wasn’t true — which is that conservatism has become, and has been for some time, much more about white identity politics than it has been about conservative political philosophy. I think today, even now, a lot of conservatives have not come to terms with that problem.”"
IMO, they were too busy trying to convince themselves that their group was not founded on racism, because the reality is pretty painful. The only thing that has been able to finally pierce that iron denial is the shock and horror of the glaringly obvious racism-fueled Frankenstein monster that lack of introspection has created. And for the rank and file who cut their teeth on the racism that the leaders have denied denied denied, and thus allowed to grow, it's too late. The soul-searching mentioned in the article that leads to uncomfortable realizations - "This soul-searching led Roy to an uncomfortable conclusion: The Republican Party, and the conservative movement that propped it up, is doomed.", - is not something most people do willingly. White people of a certain age are still not doing it, they're actually killing themselves instead.