Monday, August 1, 2016

The one good thing about Donald Trump's success

Zach Beauchamp of Vox writes the following:

"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...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.' - Avik Roy"
I haven't considered myself conservative for seven years now, but this hit home all the same. Avik Roy is who I used to be. As recently as last year, I'd have quibbled with some of this author's claims. They seem so obvious now...

If anything positive has come from Trump's success, it's that it has made it nearly impossible for his conservative foes to keep lying to themselves. In destroying the Republican Party, he has demolished the dual hiding place of nativists pretending to be intellectuals, and intellectuals pretending half the country agreed with them. His divisiveness has delineated, in plain sight, what's worth keeping in the conservative movement from what is rotten and needs shedding. That process won't happen quickly, but it's the first step to a Pheonix-like, anti-Trump conservative movement rising from the ashes of the past 14 months.

The credibility of our public discourse - and especially the discourse among progressives - hinges on that resurrection.

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