There is a habit amongst conservatives and even “rightists” to couch their arguments in terms that appeal to anti-racist or “egalitarian” tendencies. This habit of ours is a losing one. I am going to give 3 quick examples:
George Fitzhugh justified slavery on the grounds that it was good for the slave, and a more Christian–indeed a more communist–approach to political life. You can tell by his writing style (yes, his style) as well as other polemical barbs that he has confused himself: his defense, on its face, is not persuasive to him. He does not like the Southern institution of slavery because it is more Christian than free labor. Even if he believes this to be the case, you can tell he loves slavery for all the good it brings to the Southerner, as well as all the various ways of living that sprout from mastery. He likes the Southern social organization because of the master it creates, not the slave it “serves” on the “communist” model. As a result of his defense, Fitzhugh was constrained to admit that his project, slavery, was good only if it brought happiness to the enslaved. This meant that the master was beholden to persuading the slave, i.e., making him a willing participant, i.e., abolishing slavery and denying the principle Fitzhugh so eloquently defended, namely, the right of wisdom and ability to rule.
When I was coming up, it was common for Evangelical Christians to at least try to adhere to the traditional moral teachings of the Bible while at the same time eschewing all notions that we were “judgmental” because, after all, we wanted to be “just like Jesus.” This was gay, to be sure, but here is how we accomplished this feat: “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Maybe this is still said I don’t know. It was a far worse motto than “God helps those who help themselves” and, subsequently, lasted a shorter period of time. The thinking was: we do not judge any person as “lesser”, and we show this love of equality by sincerely seeking their salvation. You can see how this is bound to appear hypocritical and it gave way to the debate of “morals/standards” versus “relativism” because instead of just saying, as the Left eventually did, that you cannot separate the sin from the person–that it is obviously worse to be a sinner than to not be a sinner–the Left felt constrained to say that yes, maybe we were acting in good faith and not being judgmental, but the standard to which we held ourselves and other people was merely a vestige of traditional prejudices and superstitions. Because we did not really know what God wanted, it was foolish of us to hew to that standard and especially to expect others to do so.
We Evangies were indeed eventually knee-capped. The Left dropped the charade of moral skepticism and laid it on thick: since you do not respect how the person views himself (the millennial gay kid doesn’t think he is sinning), you do indeed judge him. You judge him as having inferior judgment to your own and that is morally unacceptable. Well okay, that is where we are today. And we see where accepting every person’s view of “herself” has gotten us socially and politically. I cannot speak for all my former Evangie peers, but I for one was never opposed to gay marriage and other perversions of those decades because I was worried about the salvation of souls, or even out of “love for the sinner.” That was all window dressing for me, although I did really try to believe it was true. I won’t go into depth about what my original motivations were, suffice it to say, I had a sneaking suspicion that accepting the Avant-Garde meant accepting that my father and grandfather and so on were bad or at least inferior men, which I in no way thought was possible and would never accept.
Finally, I come to my favorite side-bitch, West Coast Straussianism. I am probably a West Coast Straussian–moreso than a pro-slavery man or an Evangelical Christian.
If you accept the West Coast Strauss revision of history, there are so many grave evils that follow. You can no longer properly interpret American history; you cannot see American decline for what it is. You cannot, by any means you cannot, proffer a good argument against the claim that historical injustices have mutilated certain communities, especially the blacks, and that some form of reparations are in order. You are constrained to place Martin Luther King Jr. — or at least the Civil Rights Movement if your scruples cannot promote a plagiarizer who did other bad things as well — you are constrained, as I was saying, to accept the notion that the Civil Rights Movement completes the founding. Not Lincoln, who died too soon and could not stop segregation in the South, but Martin Luther King and his handler Stanley David Levison are the culminating point in American politics, the men who finally brought about what Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and others could not. How absurd is that? You are constrained to accept this interpretation of American history because you equate anti-slavery with anti-racism. You must powerwash Lincoln: when he said certain racist things, or when he said he preferred Whites get the benefit if it were a question of white vs. black, you say “well he was merely acting prudentially, lying for the greater good” or something like that.
In the coming days I am going to expand on this thought, specifically in reference to West Coast faux-Lincolnianism. I never liked Lincoln, but at least he wasn’t as bad as the West Coasters make him out to be, in their bid to bring him up to date post The Most Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.