[lbo-talk] Are Conservatives Racist?

Joanne Landy joanne.landy at igc.org
Wed Aug 17 20:48:21 PDT 2011

Bhaskar, what do you make of the piece by David Campbell and Robert Putnam in today's New York Times, "Crashing the Tea Party," http://nyti.ms/pFHk5r which argues that Tea Partiers "are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do." --Joanne

At 04:41 PM 8/17/2011 -0400, you wrote:
>I just finished reading a book for review, Michelle Ann Abate’s *Raising
>Your Kids Right: Children’s Literature and American Political
> *(which I wrote about, in relation to the study of children’s literature,
>In Abate’s conclusion, she ponders the future of the conservative movement
>in relation to the grassroots enthusiasm generated by John McCain’s choice
>of Sarah Palin as his running mate during the 2008 presidential campaign.
>She focuses attention on the racists drawn to Palin’s campaign stops—and
>also on the racism of those who have shown a high degree of antipathy
>towards Obama since his election. This is too typical. Whereas it should
>come as no surprise that liberal pundits emphasize racism as the central
>animating factor in the modern American conservative movement—they are,
>after all, drawn to the sensational—that serious scholars spend so much time
>analyzing the racism of the conservative movement is unfortunate. Race is
>only one of many factors that bind the modern American conservative movement
>together, and not the most important such factor.
>In a short
>the venerable historian of conservatism George Nash from a few months back,
>I casually wrote in the comments section that just because Nash barely
>addresses race in his important 1976 book, *The Conservative Intellectual
>Movement Since
>* does not mean we should discount the importance of Nash’s insights. I went
>on to say that historiography on conservatism is too focused on race while
>ignoring or diminishing other elements. The response I got from my
>readers—historians, mostly liberal—was abrupt. Was I serious?

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