Reihan Salam, I think, lives in a fantasy world.
Consider the self-image of he Republican right. They regard themselves as a chosen people, an elect: aggressive, entrepreneurial, risk-taking, wanting to climb the ladder, upwardly mobile, intolerant of niggling laws and regulations that take away their freedom and keep them doing what it is their right to do to better themselves.
So what group in America today best fits that self-image? What group in America today ought to be the darlings of the Republican right?
Yep. You guessed it. Illegal immigrants from Mexico. They really are aggressive, entrepreneurial, risk-taking, wanting to climb the ladder, upwardly mobile, intolerant of niggling laws and regulations that take away their freedom and keep them doing what it is their right to do to better themselves.
But the Republican right does not love them. It does not embrace them. It does not even dislike them. It hates them. It loathes them. Why? Because they are brown. Because they do not speak English well.
Reihan Salam lives in a fantasy world--not there is anything wrong with that. If he works hard enough and is persuasive enough, maybe he will someday create a Sam's Club Republican Party, a Republican Party in which illegal immigrants from Mexico are the darlings of the right-wing evangelical Republican churches that will offer them sanctuary, in which Republican opposition to the Civil Rights Act is genuinely based in a fear of government overreach rather than in a cold, cruel calculation that sacrificing the rights of African-Americans is worth doing if it leads to Republican electoral dominance.
I am not holding my breath. But the task is worth attempting. And it can only be attempted by somebody living in a fantasy world.
Op-Ed: Don’t call it racism: [T]he notion that Perry is a racist won’t go away anytime soon…. Conservatives, myself included, resist and resent this conclusion. One reason is that conservative criticisms of many programs aimed at bettering the lives of members of minority groups are rooted in the belief that these programs are actually counterproductive… that efforts to find a shortcut around the organic process through which individuals and communities abandon old habits and practices and adopt new ones usually backfire.
This bias against efforts to speed up social change has led to a number of horrible misjudgments, including the opposition of conservatives like Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and, more recently, the almost universal opposition among national conservative politicians to letting the states decide whether or not to grant same-sex couples the right to marry….
One thing that is undeniably true is that American conservatives are overwhelmingly white in a country that is increasingly less so. As the number of Latinos and Asian-Americans has increased in coastal states like California, New York and New Jersey, many white Americans from these regions have moved inland or to the South. For at least some whites, particularly those over the age of 50, there is a sense that the country they grew up in is fading away, and that Americans with ancestors from Mexico or, as in my case, Bangladesh don’t share their religious, cultural and economic values. These white voters are looking for champions, for people who are unafraid to fight for the America they remember and love. It’s unfair to call this sentiment racist…