In the 20th century, it was conservative intellectual William Buckley who defended white supremacy in the South. I hear people talking about how National Review–a magazine that speculated that the Birmingham bombing was the work of a “crazed Negro”– has, of late, betrayed its holy intellectual roots and I wonder what planet they’ve been living on. People mournfully claim that conservatism has “died,” and I wonder if they’ve forgotten what “conservatism” had to say to black people in apartheid South Africa. Meanwhile, conservative intellectuals are attacking gay marriages because it might reinforce “black social failure.” These are the intellectuals.
There is a fundamental problem here, one that can’t be elided by pointing out the differences between “true” conservatism and Republicans. A bias toward time-tested, societal institutions almost necessarily means a bias toward institutional evil. Likewise, a skepticism of change almost necessarily means a skepticism of those who seek to expand democracy beyond property-owning white men. Taken in sum you have an ideology, whatever its laudable merits, that will almost always, necessarily, look charitably upon those with power, or those who control the institutions, and skeptically upon those without power, or those who seek to change those institutions.
As a black person, I find that really hard to take.
Exactly. Even though conservative has it’s purposes in democracy, I prefer loving justice than institutions, than what is.