It’s getting to the point where merely being a conservative makes you evil. You may not be evil on purpose. It may be that you don’t understand your own underlying motives. Then again it could be that you simply refuse to acknowledge your underlying motives because you know that they’re repulsive to most people in today’s society.
This was the impression I got from a discussion I had in the comment thread of another blog. A blogger had asked, “How can the Democratic party reconnect with people in middle America, people who are ‘cultural traditionalists’ [not defined]?” (I’m paraphrasing.)
My answer was, by not constantly accusing them of racism and homophobia, among other things. Of course, being accused of racism would only be off-putting to white cultural traditionalists. So someone opined that I was assuming that ‘cultural traditionalist’ was synonymous with ‘white’, and wondered why. And then proceeded to tell me what was wrong with “traditional white culture” (hint: it’s racist).
I pointed out that that was precisely the type of anti-conservative rhetoric that alienates rural cultural traditionalists: You can’t be one of those without being presumed racist. He then explained that some cultural traditionalists are not white. Those, obviously, are not racist. But the white ones are. Well, maybe some aren’t, but if they’re not racist then they “choose not to think about the history and real-world consequences of some of [their] beliefs”.
And by the way, the Republican party is about to become solely the party of Southern Christian racists.
And herein lies the rub: A conservative may not be personally racist, he may not actually feel hatred for non-white people. But even if he lacks the emotional component of racism, his conservatism per se is racist, because of its “history and real-world consequences”.
Meanwhile, one of the liberals on the blog had commented that “we need to be careful in ascribing a monolithic identity to the democrats” (he was making the point that not all Democrats are among the “bohemian rich” as someone had suggested). It didn’t seem to occur to anyone that conservatives aren’t monolithic either.
See, liberals get rather piqued when you associate them with the views of a Saul Alinsky or a Bill Ayres. “We’re not all like that!” But associating any and all conservatives with conservative racists is completely fair. This is because, again, conservatism per se is racist: If you’re conservative, you’re racist, not because of what you assume the definition of racism to be: that you hate people of other races; but because conservatism has a “history” and also “real-world consequences” which link it and its adherents indelibly to racism.
The course of the discussion was ironic, in light of the topic of the post (written by a Democrat) being how distressing it is that people “are forgetting how to talk to one another”; and that “Some of the responsibility for [the] depth of the urban/rural divisions in the country rest with the Democratic Party, which has become a far more exclusively urban-constituent party than it used to be”. In light of this, you would think that someone besides me would notice the utter failure to engage with conservative viewpoints on their own terms, and accept what conservatives say about their own beliefs at face value, at least for the sake of the discussion.