For years now, Republicans and conservatives who believe in limited government and lower taxes have been tied to racists by media types and others. There are several reasons for such a perception. (Forgive the length of this post, but this subject has to be discussed fully.)
First, there is the conventional wisdom of those who work in the major media outlets. Their so called conventional wisdom is often referred to in order to fill in gaps in stories and put people neatly in ideological boxes that can be neatly presented in a newscast or an article. There is simply no time or resources available to dig and get the real story on such matters and how complicated life really is. Some editor concludes that conservative approaches to policy questions hurt people of color, thus it is concluded that conservatives are racists. It is that simple.
Another factor is the racists themselves. They see what the conventional wisdom of the media is about some conservative principle, such as states’ rights decades ago, or opposition to President Obama’s policies now, and they embrace the Republicans and the conservatives as their own. That compounds the conventional wisdom mentioned above.
The problem with that conventional wisdom is that is does not go in depth. Jim Crow was not conservative, as defined by those who want limited government. Indeed, Jim Crow was the most liberal and most intrusive big government policy ever inflicted upon the United States. Jim Crow told people whom to eat with, whom to live with, whom to travel with, whom to go school with and whom to do business with. As result, government intrusion into the basics of daily life held back Southern economic development especially for decades and created a one party system (the Democratic Party) that rivaled the Soviet Union’s. The big government nature of Jim Crow seems to never be told by those on the Left, though it stands as the best example of big government, albeit at the state level, gone wrong.
That brings us to President Obama and his policies. There are people who dislike and oppose the President simply because he is Black. They are ignorant. They are wrong. However, one must distinguish the redneck who does not like a Black President from a conservative who simply disagrees with the President’s policies. Wedding the two together does a disservice to the President, who as the most powerful man on the planet, certainly is powerful enough to not be discriminated against by some redneck living in a single wide in Georgia. Thinking that President Obama is not that powerful seems racist itself. Further, the wedding chills the speech of those who think beyond race and dare to argue on the higher plane of ideas.
Thus, for our country to move forward to honest debates about ideas there must be a clear divorce between conservatives and racists. VUI will be proud to start the divorce. First, VUI emphatically dismisses the so called “birthers” and claims Barack Obama as our President. We disagree with the man, but President Obama is the legitimate President of the United States. Second, as Southerners with moderate means and deep Southern roots, we admit some “mixed” heritage. Indeed, if most Southerners were honest about it, they will find Black people in their families. Third, we have dear friends that are Black and we think of them as our friends first. That leads us to one of the things former President Clinton was right about. Clinton stated, “It is hard to hate people you know.” He was right on that. And, if you look around, you might find yourself working or socializing with people that have the characteristics you respond to with discrimination.
That leads VUI to discuss government and its role. Big and intrusive government has never truly created freedom. However, the world’s history is filled with the opposite. Big and intrusive government has always been the tool of the oppressor over the oppressed. King Richard II used it in England. Stalin used it in the Soviet Union. Hitler used it Germany. Governor Barnett used it in Mississippi. It is only through limited government and limited taxation that people find themselves free to live to their potential. Without government trying to regulate their behavior, the people find the good in themselves and those around them as they move forward.
Frankly, politics comes down to whether those in power believe in people or not. During Jim Crow, Democrat whites in power did not believe in the abilities and goodness of Black people, so they used big state government to keep Black people down. Now, the Democrats face the same question. Do they believe in the American people as a whole, or will they use big government to keep the American people in their place? That question makes the divorce clear. True conservatives believe in people, of all races.