Typically, whenever I remind contemporary gated-community Christians about the legacy of the Crusades and the Inquisition, the hushing is audible — and a bit angry.
I’m told not to distort history, and that while this may have been true at one time, much has changed.
Many of these same advocates of Republican White Jesus now inform me that the period of my life span, which after all I’ve observed with my own two eyes, didn’t actually happen at all. They remind me that the GOP directly reflects the ideals of its founding prior to the American Civil War, and furthermore, insist that Democrats remain as firmly unreconstructed as those representing the Deep South in the 1920s.
As the guy denouncing the two-party system, and now has little use for either “side,” allow me to remind you this argument is a farrago of bullshit, perpetuated by folks who might read books other than the Bible every now and then. Most man-on-the-street Republican voters wouldn’t buy it, because they know full well why the GOP appeals to them.
The subterfuge isn’t necessary. My sense is that it’s an ideological security blanket constructed by suburban white conservatives to keep their cognitive dissonance manageable.
But you needn’t trust me.
Rather, take it from a Republican.
A Republican intellectual explains why the Republican Party is going to die, by Zack Beauchamp (Vox)
… “Conservative intellectuals, and conservative politicians, have been in kind of a bubble,” Roy says. “We’ve had this view that the voters were with us on conservatism — philosophical, economic conservatism. In reality, the gravitational center of the Republican Party is white nationalism.”
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. None of us want to accept that opposition to civil rights is the legacy that we’ve inherited,” Roy says.
This soul-searching led Roy to an uncomfortable conclusion: The Republican Party, and the conservative movement that propped it up, is doomed.
Both are too wedded to the politics of white nationalism to change how they act, but that just isn’t a winning formula in a nation that’s increasingly black and brown. Either the Republican Party will eat itself or a new party will rise and overtake its voting share …
… For the entire history of modern conservatism, its ideals have been wedded to and marred by white supremacism. That’s Roy’s own diagnosis, and I think it’s correct. As a result, we have literally no experience in America of a politically viable conservative movement unmoored from white supremacy.