Romney and the KKK Slogan

John Aravosis noted a few days ago that a phrase used many times by Mitt Romney on the campaign trail — “keep America American” — was a slogan used by the KKK in the 1920s. He shows many examples of Romney using it and many examples of KKK literature using it.

In an era in which it’s apparently okay for Republicans to accuse President Obama of being a socialist, I guess we now need to ask if Mitt Romney is a Ku Klux Klansman.  Not whether Romney inadvertently is using the KKK’s number one slogan from the 1920s on the stump, no, the Republicans would say, if this were a Democrat, that clearly the candidate was a closet member of the KKK.  So, is Mitt Romney a closet member of the KKK?  Keep in mind, that even Romney is now claiming, between the lines, that President Obama is a socialist.  So why shouldnt’ America be asking if Mitt Romney is a Klansman?

I think he’s both wrong and right here. He’s wrong in arguing that “we” should be acting like the right does in making outlandish charges like this. That’s just shallow thinking and he focuses on the sensationalist accusation instead of on the more serious, substantive issues raised by this fact. Is Romney a closet member of the KKK? Of course not. And I’ve never seen anything to suggest that he’s a racist. But the coincidence should prompt discussion of two relevant issues.

First, because Romney’s church has a long and sordid history of racism. Most churches do, of course, but the Mormon church is worse than most and kept it up longer than most. For nearly a century and a half, the church forbid black people from becoming ministers and from being involved in most of the church’s most important sacraments. Brigham Young was a virulent racist who preached the ridiculous “mark of Cain” notion that the descendants of Cain were cursed by being made black:

“You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind …. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the ‘servant of servants’; and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.”

He also preached that anyone who participated in an interracial marriage should be killed:

“If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain (those with dark skin), the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”

The LDS church did not reverse its officially racist policies until 1978, well into adulthood for Romney (and it did so by declaring a new revelation from their supposedly eternal, unchanging God). Is this a fair issue to raise in a campaign? Absolutely.

But there’s a second reason why pointing out this coincidence is reasonable and that is its inherently xenophobic nature. Romney may not be in the KKK and he may not personally be a racist, but phrases like “keep America American” appeal explicitly to American xenophobia and prejudice. It’s the kind of anti-immigration sentiment that has justified a wide range of oppressive policies over the past two centuries, aimed at pretty much every group that settled here — including white Europeans like the Irish. So racism is only part of the problem of tribalistic bigotry, and that is the kind of fearmongering being exploited by Romney’s use of that phrase.

There is nothing more American than immigration and the blending of different races, ethnicities and religions. That is the quintessential element of American life. Sadly, there have always been pockets of resistance to that idea. In every age, the immigrant is demonized and targeted by rhetoric like “keep America American.” And Romney should be held to account for trying to tap that vein of bigotry for political gain.

50 comments on this post.
  1. beezlebubby:

    So far, “Resentment” is the ONLY campaign plank in the GOP presidential primary.

  2. fifthdentist:

    For what it’s worth, I was doing the Google the other night. In 1925 the Klan had more than four million members, which with the U.S. population at the time meant that more than one in five white men belonged to the organization. I’m sure some of my kin were among them.

  3. danielrudolph:

    I would like to see Romney challenged on this.

  4. theschwa:

    It is better than his rejected slogan “Gott Mit Uns”!

  5. fifthdentist:

    beezlebubby, their chief weapon is resentment. Resentment and fear. Their two weapons are resentment and fear. And ruthless stupidity. … Their three weapons are resentment, fear and ruthless stupidity.

  6. interrobang:

    Is Romney a closet member of the KKK? Of course not.

    Are you really sure? (Actually, there’s a couple of things in there to be not sure about. He could be an open member, at least in certain circles — I’m given to understand that membership is usually sort of an “open secret”; or he could be a closet member.)

    Either way, I’d definitely consider this to be a very loud dogwhistle, of various types. One of which is probably trying to butter up wingnuts who have an approximately correct interpretation of Mormonism (ie, that Mormons aren’t Christians, and that they’re a wacky cult).

  7. uzza:

    We should also keep water watery and vapidity vapid.

  8. lofgren:

    phrases like “keep America American” appeal explicitly to American xenophobia and prejudice.

    That’s more than enough reason to condemn it, in my opinion. The fact that the Klan has used it previously is merely an illustration of that odious fact.

  9. Nemo:

    fifthdentist:

    In 1925 the Klan had more than four million members, which with the U.S. population at the time meant that more than one in five white men belonged to the organization.

    I reckon it more like 1 in 12. But still.

  10. danielrudolph:

    I agree with lofgren. Regardless of whether Romney has any Klan ties, the reason the Klan used it is it’s a catchy summation of what they stood for.

  11. juice:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/romney-ku-klux-klan-report-backfires-on-media/

    Romney never said “Keep America American.” He said something similar, “Keep America America.”

    Which means nothing. It’s pure pandering politician (Romney) not KKK.

  12. lofgren:

    It is better than his rejected slogan “Gott Mit Uns”!

    I believe you mean “Got Mittens?”

  13. lofgren:

    Romney never said “Keep America American.” He said something similar, “Keep America America.”

    I’ll take irrelevant hairsplitting for $1000, Alex.

  14. peterh:

    Lofgren wins the thread.

  15. D. C. Sessions:

    fifthdentist@5: I’m now cleaning up after reading that while drinking water in my officially-designated Comfy Chair.

  16. equisetum:

    fifthdentist:

    I’m sure some of my kin were among them.

    Got you beat. I’m pretty sure some of my kin still are. And they wonder why I don’t come home for Christmas.
    Ed:

    phrases like “keep America American” appeal explicitly to American xenophobia and prejudice.It’s the kind of anti-immigration sentiment that has justified a wide range of oppressive policies over the past two centuries, aimed at pretty much every group that settled here — including white Europeans like the Irish.

    Exactly. My first thought was “Which America does he want to keep? The one before or after the Chinese immigration? Or the one before or after any of the several European waves? Or does he mean the original America, namely the one that was first described on a map in 1507?”
    The phrase has no real meaning, and its only purpose is the one Ed describes.

  17. Bronze Dog:

    More agreement with lofgren, here.

    For me, America was defined by openness. We’re supposed to accept outsiders and add their strengths to our own. Diversity brings flexibility. We’re supposed to be fighting for universal rights because discrimination diminishes the individual’s potential, and with it, humanity’s potential.

    That’s why seeing more and more blatant xenophobia and violations of people’s rights makes it feel like the America I believed in got yanked out from underneath me. It wasn’t a foreign boogeyman that took it away, it was the panic of our own masses and politicians who preyed on that panic.

  18. whheydt:

    On the whole “separation of the races bit”… A great-grandfather of mine, born in upstate New York in 1843, moved in with relatives just outside New Orleans after his father died when he was 10. Some data on the ante-bellum south survive (my father, whose father died when he was 7, knew his grandfather a accumulated stories, some of which he passed on).

    One of the common practices in slave-owning households was to give a “personal slave” to young men to “practice” on.

    Yeah…let’s hear it for “purity of race” and where all those “mixed race” folks came from when the races were strictly separate…

    –W. H. Heydt

    Old Used Programmer

  19. walton:

    There is nothing more American than immigration and the blending of different races, ethnicities and religions. That is the quintessential element of American life. Sadly, there have always been pockets of resistance to that idea. In every age, the immigrant is demonized and targeted by rhetoric like “keep America American.” And Romney should be held to account for trying to tap that vein of bigotry for political gain.

    QF fucking T. Ed, sometimes I love you.

    Anti-immigration politics has always been grounded in racism and irrational xenophobia, from the Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1882 to the present day. It’s especially stupid in America, which has been a nation of immigrants from its inception. The idea that the accident of a person’s birth, ancestry or culture should define where on the Earth’s surface he or she gets to live, or whether he or she gets to be accepted in society, is entirely irrational. All immigration controls must end, and hopefully one day we can throw nationalism into the trash-bin of history along with the slave trade, apartheid and racial segregation.

  20. abb3w:

    It’s a bit of a cheap shot. It’s also not likely to be an effective cheap shot for the GOP base, though it might make a hair of difference if Romney gets the nomination. Contrariwise, enough of the swing states are in the South that it might even help him.

    Nohow, checking Archive.org turns up from 2010 a Romney-affiliated official transcript of the CPAC speech as “keep America, America” — unchanged from present, and as the campaign says.

    Whichwhat, “keep America, America” appeals pretty much just as explicitly to American xenophobia and prejudice as the KKK version.

  21. deandu pont:

    (*shrug*) I dunno, the “Keep America American” line sounds like the kind of empty-headed sloganeering I’d expect from anyone further to the right than Ron Dellums.

    So far as the LDS’s late entry into the twentieth century goes, here’s the story as I understand it*: In the 1970s the Mormons were expanding into Brazil. Unfortunately (for the Brazilians) their racial policies meant that none of the locals were actually allowed to, y’know, be full-fledged members of the church: the temples they had literally helped build were off limits because of their skin color. Understandably, this left the Brazilians just a bit cheesed off… So the racist policies were finally struck off. Um, better late than never, I guess?

    ———————-

    *This is off the top of my head — feel free to fact-check for me.

  22. bsidler:

    Hello screen-fly’s.

    Freethoughtblogs.com A Lefty Blog For Hypocrites, Snobs And Illiterates – Response To A Defunct Non-Comic Ed Brayton – Part 1 – (TCP)CHICAGO

    Freethoughtblogs.com A Lefty Blog For Hypocrites, Snobs And Illiterates – Response To A Defunct Non-Comic Ed Brayton – Part 2 – (TCP)CHICAGO

    More than you dweebs deserve.

    - Sidler

  23. Trebuchet:

    The LDS church did not reverse its officially racist policies until 1978, well into adulthood for Romney (and it did so by declaring a new revelation from their supposedly eternal, unchanging God).

    A revelation brought on by increasing refusal by other colleges to play the BYU football team, as I recall! How convenient that revelation came just then.

    I’m willing to give Mitt a pass on the KKK thing, but not on the jingoistic sentiment behind his slogan. And of course, to any good Republican, “keeping America American” doesn’t extend to doing anything about American companies shipping jobs overseas.

  24. Michael Heath:

    I recall Mitt Romney trying to argue he wasn’t a racist in the last campaign season. He described some events around Martin Lurther King, Jr. marches as illustrative “proofs” which were found to not be true.

    I’m surprised the question of his position on race hasn’t been raised yet but I have no doubt it will once the primaries start and assuming he becomes either the front-runner or one of a few front-runners.

    While we should certainly scrutinize whether he’s a racist precisely because of his religious membership, I would also hope the evangelicals and Catholics are challenged for their institutional sexism towards females along along with all Republicans’ bigotry towards GBLTs.

    Because there are so many different groups of Americans they advocate not enjoy constitutional protections, all the Republican candidates should be repeatedly asked how we can trust them to defend the Constitution while belonging to religious institutions who oppose those principles coupled to their campaigns seeking to deny some groups the very rights they enjoy, e.g., Newt Gingrich looking pledging to submit a constitutional amendment the states which would deny gays and their families their current constitutional rights.

  25. vmanis1:

    I have difficulty visualizing Romney as an actual racist of the David Duke variety. What he comes across to me as is something worse: he’ll adjust his views to suit whomever he’s speaking. No doubt if there were a significant racist constituency in the U.S. (as opposed to dogwhistle racists, of whom there are all too many in every country), he would be as opposed to interracial marriage as he is to same-sex marriage equality. That is, in my opinion, a very sad statement about him.

    I first encountered `Got Mittens’ in Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time, which I read decades ago. I remember almost nothing of it now, apart from this wonderful phrase, but I do recall enjoying it greatly.

  26. Aquaria:

    What’s new about Republicans using racist dog whistles? Reagan the Scumbag kicked off his 1980 Prez campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were murdered. Only morons think that was a coincidence. What do you think the Welfare Queen crap from that same piece of shit was about?

    beezlebubby, their chief weapon is resentment. Resentment and fear. Their two weapons are resentment and fear. And ruthless stupidity. … Their three weapons are resentment, fear and ruthless stupidity.

    I think ressentiment is a better term for what’s going on with them. The rest of the joke scans better with it.

  27. danielrudolph:

    Have I been struck with aphasia or are bsidler’s links word salad?

  28. dan4:

    @11: Given that “Keep America America” doesn’t actually make any sense, it’s a pretty good bet that Romney misspoke and MEANT to say “Keep America American.”

  29. Chris from Europe:

    If “Keep America America” is supposed to mean something, I would simply look to the Tea Partiers: I think that in rally footage (for example Beck’s rally) there were this kind of statements (also “I want my America back”). And I find it hard to believe that this statement isn’t supposed to work on the basis of racism and nativism.

    Given that even under Democratic administrations the worst ideas come from the right wing, shouldn’t actually liberals complain about their America being destroyed? As Romney stands for the kind of policies that supposedly destroy America, how could the Republican base take him seriously?

  30. Michael Heath:

    Aquaria writes:

    What’s new about Republicans using racist dog whistles? Reagan the Scumbag kicked off his 1980 Prez campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were murdered. Only morons think that was a coincidence. What do you think the Welfare Queen crap from that same piece of shit was about?

    If you were to write a sentence describing President Jimmy Carter would you also use describe him exclusively as a “scumbag” and a “piece of shit”?

  31. dan4:

    @26: Why/how was Reagan’s “welfare queen” story a “racist dog whistle?” There was no skin color mentioned in the aforementioned anecdote. In that context, YOU’RE the one who comes off as racist, because you automatically associate “welfare queen” with “African-American woman.”

  32. Michael Heath:

    dan4,

    When the Welfare Queen meme was popular it was purposefully intended to feed on people’s racist attitudes. Of course some of those who told and passed on the stories were obvlivious they were feeding their own racism, that’s why we assert delusion as an attribute of conservatism.

    The “Queen” part came wrapped around stories of black women living in the ghettos yet driving gaudy Cadillacs to the grocery store with far more food stamp money than they needed to feed their families. It absolutely fit the Lee Atwater paradigm on how one expresses their racism in public and how the rhetoric has evolved over time; by this time it was covertly expressed where the Welfare Queen stories were helpful. The Welfare Queen meme was particularly popular in the late-1970s through the early-1980s given how bad the economy was then and the incredible rise in food stamp distribution. While I’m sure it’s still popular in some venues, it began to die down when the economy began growing in Reagan’s second term.

  33. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    vmanis1 @ 25:

    The Big Time is available on Project Gutenberg.

    Michael Heath @ 30:

    No doubt if President Carter was a scumbag and a piece of shit, like Reagan, she would.

    dan4 @ 31:

    The rest of us, fortunately, are not as tone-deaf as you are.

  34. Pinky:

    I am not so concerned about Mitt Romney’s empty electioneering phrases as I am the fact Mr. Romney is well into his adult years and either:

    Has not had the curiosity to investigate the illogic of religion and in particular the LDS religion. That the Mormons are a relatively recent sect and enough evidence exists to conclude J. Smith was a charlatan whose actions and words have been proven false.
    or

    Mitt knows religion is bogus, but (like Gingrich) see the political advantageousness of it and lacks the integrity to disassociate from the crowd possessing the votes he wants.
    or

    Has examined his religion and finds the self sustaining tentacles that have inched their way throughout his vital organs and achieved a suffocating choke hold on his mental processes to be just fine.

    or

    Believes the happy horseshit in spite of the knowledge his religion was started by a convicted con man who found golden plates and from them translated the holy books that fit his goals of power, money, as many women as he wanted and the prejudices of an uneducated man living in the early part of the nineteenth century. It is positively amazing how much his god’s thoughts were like Smiths.

    Mitt must have the power to ignore, not the little inconsistencies, but the gaping chasms each advancement in science caused in the LDS tenets; the advance in deciphering dead languages finding the Egyptian papyri Smith purchased from an itinerant mummy show and translated into The Book of Abraham to be a commonplace funerary text; the advancement in DNA profiling proving a lost tribe of Jews did not migrate to the Americas in prehistory, etc., and so on – it is a long list.

    The reasons I give above for my doubts of Mitt Romney’s qualification to be president is not inclusive.

    For clarification; I do not dislike individual Mormons, I find the majority to be cheerful, honest, good people. I would not however place my skin as a bet between their integrity to speak the truth and their willingness to lie for their religion.

    I’m not quite as welcoming to the LDS hierarchy, for their insistent drive to keep their underlings deluded and unquestioning. Everyday Mormons are kept very busy serving on committees, instructional visits, boy scout functions, etc., etc., etc., leaving them little time to question or meditate. If an individual Mormon does find time to read, they are told what books are good for them and which are dangerous to their souls and should be avoided.

    Before I finish my long winded missive (OK, show of hands; who did not think tl;dr after the first paragraph?) I would like to comment on what I think is a tendency for Mormons, once in power, to gather other Mormons around them and exclude outsiders.

    During my time in the military, a Mormon officer became the OIC (Officer in Charge) of a group whose staff enjoyed their work in cozy comfort while the rest of use toiled in the bitter cold mid western winter. To be transferred to the group was our holy grail.

    Their was nothing unusual about the makeup of the staff until the Mormon officer took over, than it became a Mormon only enclave, non Mormons no longer had the hope of being transferred into the group.

    Would a Mitt Romney presidency become a magnet for Mormons with Mr. Romney filling all the important with his religious peers? I don’t want to find out.

  35. dan4:

    @32: The “Queen” part came wrapped around stories of black women…

    Evne if true, Reagan himself didn’t partake in this “wrapping.” His “welfare queen” anecdotes didn’t mention any skin color of the “queen” in question (Aquaria’s “racism” accusation was specifically directed at the former President).

  36. Michael Heath:

    Dan4 writes:

    Evne if true, Reagan himself didn’t partake in this “wrapping.”

    Which is precisely why I previously wrote:

    Of course some of those who told and passed on the stories were oblivious [sp. corrected] they were feeding their own racism, that’s why we assert delusion as an attribute of conservatism.

  37. Michael Heath:

    Pinky:

    Has not had the curiosity to investigate the illogic of religion and in particular the LDS religion. That the Mormons are a relatively recent sect and enough evidence exists to conclude J. Smith was a charlatan whose actions and words have been proven false.

    What makes you think he hasn’t? People often stick with a religion for cultural and communal reasons along with advantages to one’s financial position and influencing others. Consider both Washington and Jefferson, both of whom remained active in their denominations where Jefferson clearly demonstrated a far more rational theology and in the case of Washington, he apparently rejected his denomination’s theology while not expounding on his own.

    Washington was particularly adept at exploiting his leadership in this local Anglican church coupled with his military service to advance his own political career.

    Pinky:

    Mitt knows religion is bogus, but (like Gingrich) see the political advantageousness of it and lacks the integrity to disassociate from the crowd possessing the votes he wants.

    There are many degrees of differentiation between not accepting the theology of one’s religion and finding it all bogus. In addition one could consider remaining part of the group and reforming it. Mitt’s dad, Michigan Governor and American Motors CEO George Romney is an example of a Mormon who is lauded for making a significant contribution to Mormon’s not being as institutionally racist as they previously were. George is generally considered a great man, especially in the state of Michigan. Assuming Mitt concurs it wouldn’t be at all be odd for Mitt to prefer influencing his fellow Mormons for their collective betterment rather than abandoning them, especially given all the advantages staying within Mormonism has personally afforded him. I don’t see him demonstrating such laudable behavior, but then again no one ever accused him of being a great man like his father.

    Barack Obama was not so fortunate in regards to the societal status within which he was born and raised in where he instead joined a church led by Jeremiah Wright. That helped him build a very solid local base of supporters; in spite of the fact Mr. Obama’s political positions bear almost no similarity to the Trinity Church of Christ’s far more liberal and to some degree, former bias towards black liberation theology. I find Mr. Obama’s abandonment of this church a mark of character, one I don’t expect from Mr. Romney which is one reason I greatly favor Obama over Romney on matters of character. In spite of the fact Mormonism has contributed far more suffering and evil to the world than Wright and his church though the media is not as comfortable pointing that out when you’re talking about white denominations vs. “colored” ones.

  38. lofgren:

    Have I been struck with aphasia or are bsidler’s links word salad?

    I was able to parse them. Basically,

    Part 1: “NO U”
    Part 2: Apparently it’s taken freethoughtblogs “a few years” to get as successful as it is, which indicates that anything its posters have to say must not be worth very much. Ed Brayton is fat and Miryam Namazie is a coward. Nobody here has the intellect necessary to read the Federalist Papers because we are all immature frat boys.

  39. Klansman Romney, Megaupload suing Universal, SOPA, Me Being a Dork | Slightly Unstable:

    [...] Klansman Romney [...]

  40. Marcus Ranum:

    Their three weapons are resentment, fear and ruthless stupidity.

    And an almost fanatical devotion to Ronald Reagan!!!

    Argh – come in again.

  41. dingojack:

    Cardinal Heath you’ll have to do it…
    Dingo

  42. slc1:

    Re Michael Heath @ #30

    If you were to write a sentence describing President Jimmy Carter would you also use describe him exclusively as a “scumbag” and a “piece of shit”?

    I can’t speak for Ms. Aquaria but I would certainly describe Israel basher Jimmy Peanut, the worst president in American history (although to be fair about it, Dubya gives him a run for his money) as a scumbag and a piece of filth.

  43. dingojack:

    SLC – Well of course you would. Anything short of genuflecting to Israel just isn’t good enough!
    :) Dingo

  44. Michael Heath:

    slc1,

    My question to Aquaria regarding her using “scumbag” and “piece of shit” was narrowly framed within the context of her reference to the Reagan speech she referenced and the term Welfare Queen. It was not a request to compare the legacy of Reagan and Carter in their entirety.

    slc1 writes:

    I would certainly describe Israel basher Jimmy Peanut, the worst president in American history (although to be fair about it, Dubya gives him a run for his money) .

    While I think the Carter presidency was not a successful one, it was far from the worst ever as you assert. In fact the longer we distance ourselves from that period and the damage that will be wrought by climate change, the better President Carter’s record appears. Particularly in light of Reagan and the presidents who followed doubling down on oil and coal contra his efforts to get us on the prudent path.

    I’m also not sure how anyone could make a case that Carter’s presidency was a bigger diaster than President George W. Bush’s. That just boggles the mind.

    Instead I’m reminded on how victors write history where we’re far too compliant to conservative revisionism of the Carter era than we should be simply because he lost to Reagan in 1980.

  45. dingojack:

    Woo Hoo! Michael Heath vs SLC in “The Battle of the Shibboleths”!
    You get the beer, I’ll pop some popcorn.
    :D Dingo

  46. Michael Heath:

    dingojack:

    Woo Hoo! Michael Heath vs SLC in “The Battle of the Shibboleths”!

    Which has you continuing to miss the point in spite of my repeatedly pointing-out exactly how. I’m not defending President Reagan to defend President Reagan. I instead rebut arguments which employ two entirely different standards where one is grossly unfair.

    In Ed’s blogs he’s extremely careful to consistently apply the same set of standards and judge others by how they match-up. You’d think that exemplary standard would get across to his regular commenters and yet we find the same type of tribalistic tripe in this forum by a few in spite of his example. In this venue they just predominately fall on the liberal side rather than the side most apt to produce absurd arguments (conservatives).

    Make a great argument and I’m there cheering even if I don’t agree. Make an argument no better than Victoria Jackson, Steve King, George W. Bush, or Michele Bachmann against others outside the liberal tribe and no, I won’t join that but will instead criticize it if I’ve got the time. The fact Reagan’s frequently in the mix isn’t due to any sort of hero-worship defense on my part. Instead it’s regarding the the obsession some liberals have to dishonestly tear down his legacy, some of whom hang-out here.

    I think they obsess on Reagan because just like conservatives they deny reality, in this case his Administration’s overall success in spite of his being a standard-bearer conservative with all the faults that come with that. How could a conservative be successful? It’s too much to grasp because it requires a modification in thinking, where they instead attempt to distort his record. My motivation is to attempt to reveal that such arguments are every bit a failure in character and thinking as they are when they come from conservative tribalists who can’t conceive a liberal president whose was successful or acting in good faith.

    I do observe that most of us in this forum who comment appear to perceive ourselves as far superior to conservatives precisely because we take reality as it is, seek out understanding that reality, and attempt to honestly and cogently argue our positions. Those laudable qualities are not a conservative attribute. Given this exemplary standard, why is it we let liberals off the hook when they instead deploy the same crappy form of arguments of conservatives we criticize doing the same? I’d argue we shouldn’t. The fact I’m the one associated with responding to bad arguments against Reagan not used against liberal presidents is more of an indictment on other commenters here than it is on me. It suggests we’re ideological tribalists to a fault as well who also seek to deny reality if it doesn’t fit in our perspective of how liberals are always right and conservatives can never succeed or act in good faith.

    I’m astonished when I read something good about a liberal or bad about a conservative and accept it which is ten followed by an excellent rebuttal that blows the original proposition out of the water. I’m ashamed my own political predisposition clouded my ability to consistently deploy the same standards I’d like to think I’m always deploying, where such examples show I’m not nearly as superior to conservatives as I would like to think and to the point I’m using the same avoidance tactics to maintain prior premises. If we’re true to these standards we’d all join in when some our resident commenters instead deploy these dual standards.

  47. dingojack:

    Aaannd Michael Heath ducks right into the first punch…
    :) Dingo

  48. juice:

    lofgren says:

    I’ll take irrelevant hairsplitting for $1000, Alex.

    That one letter makes all the difference. That “n” makes it a specific phrase used by the KKK. Without the “n” it is not the phrase used by the KKK, despite how much you wish it to be.

    Bronze Dog says:

    More agreement with lofgren, here.

    For me, America was defined by openness.

    Wait. Does that mean you want to keep America that way? Maybe you’d like to keep America American? Did the KKK pay you to say that?

    People, don’t let this place become the lefty WND.

  49. abb3w:

    @38, lofgren:

    I was able to parse them.

    Thank you. Given that summary, plus the source derogation of “dweebs”, I suspect that my time is less well wasted pointing a web browser at that blog than re-reading a trashy MarySue supernatural romance novel for the ninth time or so.

  50. llewelly:

    Mormon “Prophet” Ezra Taft Benson, a whole hell of a lot more recently than Brigham Young, was also a virulent racist, as well being tightly connected to the John Birch society, as many upper echelon Mormon leaders are.

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