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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Codes, Whistles, And The Stubborn Impatience Of Bigotry

I used to get mad when political liberals accused conservatives of bigotry and racism. I felt something  very close to rage when I read books in college littered with that accusation. We Republicans have a narrative as equally compelling to us as that of any Democrat's. We deplore bigotry in all its forms. Still, the beginning of the fight against "political correctness" was actually about masking political arguments as factual ones, and using whatever power that was available to silence dissenting views offered in good faith and goodwill.

Now, some vociferous non-progressives--for they do not appear to be conserving anything--deplore "political correctness" as anything that does not confirm them in whatever they happen to already believe. Ignorance masquerades as courageous free thought, for those who lack the character and humility to tell the difference.

Let me "tell it like it is," in the form of a question: Have we as conservatives been reflexively reacting against liberal intolerance so long that we can't see real stupidity and hate when it's staring us in the face? If you actually were an intellectually incurious, ignorant, provincial bigot, how could you tell? Or is the New York Times always wrong, by definition?

I'm just asking.

Donald Trump is going to become the Republican nominee for president, precisely because he approximates, or actually is, a moderately educated, bigoted, aggrieved white person. You can sense it, if you think back to the fear you felt when you figured out what liberal Massachusetts has in common with conservative Mississippi. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio made plenty of mistakes, and fair enough. The truth is, though, young Hispanic immigrants aren't going to catch the breaks, no matter how well and consistently they advocate for things people say they want. That isn't what they really wanted. They wanted the "good old days" back, with a minimum of fuss. At least for the people like them.

If you've been left behind, you'll believe anything that tells you it's not your fault. Especially if you have an almost unfathomable ability to avoid introspection. Trump could promise to build the starship Enterprise in a week, and some people would believe it. As long as he also promised not to hire any immigrants to do it.

Well, I'm not going to pretend that it isn't that simple, even if some progressives get to take some sanctimonious victory laps as a result. Heaven help us, and President-elect Hillary Clinton.

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