by McQ | June 9, 2008 3:38 pm
Paul Krugman resorts to some rather specious history in an attempt to lay racism at the feet of the right.
Krugman today notes that some feel the election of Barack Obama to the presidency would transform America.
Not so, says Krugman. Instead there’s something else at work:
Mr. Obama’s nomination wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago. It’s possible today only because racial division, which has driven U.S. politics rightward for more than four decades, has lost much of its sting.
And the de-racialization of U.S. politics has implications that go far beyond the possibility that we’re about to elect an African-American president. Without racial division, the conservative message — which has long dominated the political scene — loses most of its effectiveness.
Wow. I’m still trying to remember the Republican governors who stood at the doorways of schools refusing to let blacks enter. I’m also trying to remember the Republican southern Senators who voted as a bloc a number of times to deny blacks civil rights and continually filibustered all such attempts. And for whatever reason, the name of the Republican Senator who was an officer in the KKK escapes my memory.
Who was that Democratic president who sent the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to ensure black students were admitted? Isn’t he the same president that introduced a civil rights bill only to see Republican Senators block its passage?
Of course if, unlike Krugman, you’re actually aware of the fact that I’ve sarcastically placed the wrong party in all of those examples, then it should be clear that the “conservative message” hasn’t hinged on “racialism” at all.
I mean, who was it that LBJ specificially thanked for the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill (which Sen. Robert Byrd filibustered for 14 straight hours), because without their overwhelming support Democrats would have defeated it?
The conservative message, as I understand it, has hinged upon the concept of limited government, less spending and less intrusion. What this present crop of Republicans has done is abandon all pretense of being for those conservative principles. That is why the Republicans are in decline – not because “racialism” has lost its sting.
However, like the rather crude attempt by Oliver Willis, Krugman too is bound and determined to make this upcoming general election about race – even if he has to make up a little history to do so.
In reality, racial politics – as demonstrated for all to see in the just ended Democratic primary – is the almost the exclusive realm of left. One only had to sit back and watch an exclusively Democratic event descend into competing camps each claiming the other was employing racism or sexism in their campaign. You should expect no better from Democrats in the general election. It is an integral part of the “cult of the victim” ideology.
Willis and Krugman represent the first shots in the “framing the debate” wars. And as is evident, there is no sordid depth of “argument” to which they won’t resort.
So when you see arguments like this…
If Ronald Reagan and other politicians succeeded, for a time, in convincing voters that government spending was bad, it was by suggesting that bureaucrats were taking away workers’ hard-earned money and giving it to you-know-who: the “strapping young buck” using food stamps to buy T-bone steaks, the welfare queen driving her Cadillac. Take away the racial element, and Americans like government spending just fine.
… you need to remind them that there is a certain element of America that doesn’t care what or who wasteful spending is lavished upon. They still see it as wasteful spending and want less of it. That has nothing to do with race, sex or creed, but instead a principled opposition to the expansion of government.
The job for conservatives (and libertarians) is threefold – slap idiocy like this down whenever you see it, defend conservative principles and insist those who seek your votes do more than just promise to follow those principles. Make sure they implement them.
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