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Conservatism Without Bigotry

In December, Peter Beinart argued that conservatives would be more likely to reckon with their policies’ discriminatory effects if liberals stopped carelessly crying racist.


Peter Beinart, in leaning over backwards to be evenhanded to conservatives and liberals, poses the wrong question. Before the election of Donald Trump, few liberals believed that all Republicans were racists. The right question is: Are Trump supporters racist themselves, or do they merely condone racism?

Given the endless demonstrations of Trump’s own bigotry, I would argue that it is impossible to deny that he is a racist or claim to be unaware that he is one. So if the position of his supporters and of Republicans in Congress is, in effect, to wink at that aspect of his personality in order to advance a so-called conservative agenda, what does one call that posture other than condoning racism?

For Beinart to call this attitude merely “willfully naive,” as if Republicans are unaware of the racial impact of their policies, is an insult to the reader’s intelligence.

Steve Shabad


Peter Beinart’s recent piece points out that conservatives are likely to get defensive about the suggestion that their ideas are racist, but misses the fact that there is a correlation between conservatism and racist attitudes. More important, by focusing on bigotry, which connotes

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