Home > GOP & The Election, Race > Post-Racist Conservatism?

Post-Racist Conservatism?

December 4th, 2011

Some have commented recently that, no matter how it turned out in the end, the Cain campaign proves once and for all that conservatives are not racist and would accept a black candidate for president.


I have to respectfully disagree with that assertion. In doing so, I should make clear that I have never thought that all conservatives are racist to some degree, nor that most of them are. Exactly what proportion I cannot guess, but it is clear that a good many are. Probably only a small percent are hardcore racist (i.e., would admit to it openly), and most of the remainder who are racist find rationalizations and belong to the “some of my best friends” category.

How can I say that racism is still a problem in the GOP, however, after a black man was, for some time, the GOP front runner?

First of all, one has to remember that this is pre-primary, not an election. This is the tryout period, where you can “approve” of someone without it meaning anything.

One should also keep in mind that the current race is more of a political purity test among the GOP core, and reflects the other qualities of any given candidate to a much lesser degree.

Also, Cain never rose above 25% in the polls; he was the “front runner” only in that he was, for three weeks, no more than 3% ahead of Romney at any given time.

Next, one must remember that many white conservatives likely supported Cain for the same reason they assumed liberals supported Obama: because it made them feel good to be able to say that they support a black person for president. This was something which, when conservatives were accusing liberals of it, made little sense to most white Obama supporters. We didn’t vote for him because he was black; had that been the case, Jesse Jackson would have been the candidate long ago. Obama could have been white and we’d have supported him all the same. His race was no more than a fringe benefit, an inspiring side note. But for many conservatives, this was the only thing that made sense, because it is how they would have felt. Conservatives project a lot.

Then there’s the fact that they’re looking toward an election against a black incumbent; remember Michael Steele being appointed GOP chairman right after Obama became president? Remember how they imported Alan Keyes to run against Obama in the Illinois Senate race? There’s more than a little conservative history of playing race against race, especially against Obama.

Finally, one has to remember the context of Cain’s campaign. The GOP has been frantically scrambling to find someone, anyone, who could possibly challenge Obama next year. For crying out loud, Michele Bachmann, a complete loon, was the front-runner for a while. Perry, an idiot, had far better numbers. And after Cain, the same people are now looking to Gingrich, a mercurial, flip-flopping serial adulterer with serious likability issues. Against this backdrop, becoming the front-runner by a few percentage points is pretty far from a ringing endorsement.

So we have Herman Cain, who, for about three weeks, barely edged out the next candidate by a few percentage points in a political purity test a few months before the primaries in a desperate race where all the other candidates have serious problems themselves.

This is hardly what I would call iron-clad evidence that racism is no longer a problem for conservatives in America.

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  1. Troy
    December 4th, 2011 at 10:50 | #1

    I think the issue goes a bit deeper than skin color.

    Racism is at some level defense of privilege and position.

    ACORN’s threat was to empower urban minorities to take on the Man.

    Cain was a made man, a tool of the right they put in power in various places, he did and said all the right things to make conservatives’ hearts happy.

    Same thing with Clarence Thomas.

    The conservative mind is a complex thing.

  2. December 4th, 2011 at 22:11 | #2

    I’d have to say that no evidence will ever be enough to prove a negative, and any evidence will be enough to prove a positive.
    Not even getting into the varying definitions for the word itself.

    We then move on to where assumptions are made by the author, ironically while at the same time denying the same assumptions others made about those with views similar to his own.

  3. Tim Kane
    December 5th, 2011 at 01:01 | #3

    Well occasionally I turn on the local fascist news station which also carries Limbaugh. Recently I heard a guy call in who referred to Obama as Barrack Hussein – with no mention of Obama’s middle name. I immediately felt that that guy was signaling to me that he’s a racist. It struck me as a patently racist move. Yes Hussein sounds like the name one might associate with a terrorist, or an Arab, a non Christian, someone who is not one of us. I believe that almost all cons are affinity cons. This is reverse affinity con – saying he’s not one of us, he’s a foreigner,he’s a threat, he’s intollerable. That’s smacks me as racism. You know what you do to foreign intollerable threats? Answer: it’s what Uncle Adolph like to do Jews – whom he labeled as foreign, threat, intollerable and loved to point out wasn’t German.

    Maybe in a technical sense it’s no racism. But it is the very reason why we hate racism.

    Somehow we’ve got to save our republic.

  4. Luis
    December 5th, 2011 at 01:23 | #4




    Image 7049147


    There are loads of evidence proving rather significant racism regarding Obama. The above images are just a bare beginning. These things keep coming up on a regular basis. People like Limbaugh, with tons of listeners, make racist comments and innuendo all the time. No “negative” needs to be proven, the positive evidence makes such a thing moot.

    What I love about that comment, by the way, is that it is so typical: making vague assertions, not getting specific, relying on an assumed rightness without any direct argument or evidence to support it.

  5. Asa
    December 5th, 2011 at 22:02 | #5

    I’m so sorry for posting a comment in an inappropriate thread, but I wanted to make sure you read it and the relevant thread already had 125 comments in it, and the email address listed for the webmaster was invalid. Basically, I tried to get the Plain Text files of the fanfiction books your brother wrote, but the links didn’t work – they lead to internal error pages. Is there a way to get those files, or are they lost? Again, I’m sorry for posting inappropriately.

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