Thursday, July 03, 2008

Love It or Love It

Conservative style patriotism, as put by Jonah Goldberg: it's a failure of patriotism if you didn't show respect to the American South in the 1920s. As Jonathan Chait remarks, if there was any time and place in America that deserved nothing but condecension and scorn, it was the quasi-oligarchical racist fiefdom that was the Jim Crow south.

It's true, as Matt Yglesias points out, that much Northern scorn towards the South at this time was not matched by a similar commitment to combat epidemic racism in their own communities. But that objectively just serves to further undermine the notion that this is a failure of patriotism: if all of America was at fault, then all of America needed to have its ass kicked into gear.


PG said...

I don't think Goldberg and his party are going to win in November on the premise that we are just fine the way we are. Particularly with regard to the economy, too many Americans are feeling squeezed to want to go along with the smug, self-satisfied idea that there's nothing that needs fixing. Perhaps Goldberg is just too young to remember that Republicans actually tend to win their big electoral victories when they, too, trumpet change: Gingrich's 1994 Contract with America; the Reagan "revolution." At the moment, Goldberg has to claim that everything's OK, because otherwise voters might wonder why 8 years of a Republican in the White House doesn't seem to have added up to much good.

PG said...

Eugene Robinson has a nice counterpoint to Goldberg's piece.