In the antebellum United States, there were plenty of white Southerners who sincerely believed in the institution of slavery. They wrote from a paternalistic, Bible-based view of humanity which excluded Africans and African Americans. It was their responsibility to maintain the peculiar institution for their own sustenance and the betterment of black people in this country. Much like the white power movement of today, they were sincere in their hate, logical in their evil, and vocal about their convictions.
Modern conservatism, however, has failed to take the example from it’s intellectual ancestors, though it takes much of its perspective from those proponents of slavery. It is based in self-interest, which currently means a perpetuation of patriarchy, an exclusion of working people, hetero-dominance, and a fierce faith in religious capitalism which rewards its devotees materially in the immediate circumstance.
Wrapped in the language of Jefferson, that individual freedom is paramount to societal equality, the Republican Party in 2012 is contracting in the scope of its focus, retaining or gaining more power for smaller and wealthier groups of men, while claiming to speak for everyone. This attempt to maintain white male privilege is on display regularly, from the GOP debates to Congressman Issa’s panel on reproductive rights without any women to Senator Santorum’s attack on the President’s Christianity.
This is the failure of modern conservatism.
- Mitt Romney Equates Modern Conservatism to a Disease (johnhively.wordpress.com)