Bayou Calvinist

A Somewhat Eclectic Discussion by a Law Student Concerning All of Today's Major Topics, as well as, a Few Not So Major Topics

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Race and the American Polity


In a thought provoking Opinion Journal article, Shelby Steele writes about the use of grievance for political power. Specifically, he concerns himself with the tactics the modern Democratic Party uses to ensure its strangle hold on the Black vote, as seen in Hillary Clinton's recent "Plantation" comment.

Steele goes onto argue that the best way to reveal the condescension found in modern liberalism's approach to race politics would be a Condoleezza Rice candidacy for President.

Here is a taste of the article:


Republicans and conservatives have simply never had an easy or glib mechanism for addressing profound social grievances.

But this Republican "weakness" has now begun to emerge as a great--if still largely potential--Republican advantage. Precisely because Republicans cannot easily pander to black grievance, they have no need to value blacks only for their sense of grievance. Unlike Democrats, they can celebrate what is positive and constructive in minority life without losing power. The dilemma for Democrats, liberals and the civil rights establishment is that they become redundant and lose power the instant blacks move beyond grievance and begin to succeed by dint of their own hard work. So they persecute such blacks, attack their credibility as blacks, just as they pander to blacks who define their political relationship to America through grievance. Republicans are generally freer of the political bigotry by which the left either panders to or persecutes black Americans.


* * * * *

This is why so many Republicans (including Laura Bush) now salivate at the thought of a Rice presidential bid. No other potential Republican candidate could--to borrow an old Marxist phrase--better "heighten the contradictions" of modern liberalism and Democratic power than Ms. Rice. The more ugly her persecution by the civil rights establishment and the left, the more she would give liberalism the look of communism in its last days--an ideology long since hollowed of its idealism and left with nothing save its meanness and repressiveness. Who can say what Ms. Rice will do. But history is calling her, or someone like her. She is the object of a deep longing in America for race to be finally handled, not by political idealism's, but by the classic principles of freedom and fairness.

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