Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Party of senile nostalgia

Rebecca Sinderbrand, my new favorite journalist at McCNN, counter-programs her network today, nailing the Republican retro-fantasy machine. I would of course go a bit further than the nostalgia she sees in waves - these conservatives, like most conservatives I've ever known, may talk about the future, but they pine for a golden age of righteousness long past that never actually existed.

Nowadays, it's the 1980s and Ronald Reagan, but in the 1980s they pined for Eisenhower and in the 1950s for anyone before FDR, even Herbert Hoover and his problems in the housing market. Too bad the mean Democrats wouldn't let the market have enough time to sort out the Hoovervilles.

It may be this propensity for imagining a golden age is what made the Republican Party such a natural fit for white Southerners, many of whom (not me, of course) look back on race-based sovereignty with wistfulness and angry defensiveness.

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