Negrophobia - "Somebody Ease My Troublin Mind" - George Will's Slippery Conservatism

Discussion in 'USMB Breaking News' started by Martin Eden Mercury, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. Martin Eden Mercury
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    Martin Eden Mercury VIP Member Op-ed Contributor

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    George Will's "Slippery Conservatism"
    and the
    "Negrophobia of many white Americans"

    I will state straight out of the gate -- I do not believe George Will believes he is a racist; nor do I believe George Will believes he is a purveyor of, or even a proponent of the Grand Old Party's use of what has been called, the good ol' racist, dog whistle.

    In a recent op-ed article in the Washington Post online, George Will mentioned race, sans context. Maybe this was an oversight on his part. It may even be that his column was edited by somebody, who is tone deaf to the sounds of the racist dog whistle. Leading social science claims it is an appeal to what Evans & Novak referred to back in 1963 as "the Negrophobia of many white Americans." Anything is possible. But as a white American with a keen ear for loaded and coded language, I know for sure that I personally heard the faint echo of a whistle. Even giving Mr. Will the benefit of the doubt here, I have to say - disappointment is too weak a word for how this leaves me feeling. After the election of Senator Barack Obama as President in 2008, many of us thought we were moving beyond Reagan's Welfare Queen, or GHW Bush's Willie Horton. But was that only wishful thinking? Does it all get replaced with a new and improved whistle? Will America ever grow up and move beyond the curse of racially divisive, politics in America?
    [​IMG]
    In my youth I stumbled upon a book of Mr. Will's. It was his 1978 collection of essays titled,The Pursuit Of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts. In it I discovered what I thought to be a voice in the liberal tradition of theWhigs and Tories of eighteenth century, Great Britain. I still recall with great amusement, the horrified looks and comments, and the attitudes of a couple of knee-jerk, liberal, friends of mine; over my liberal, praise of what I construed as Will's libertarianist, conservatism. What they did not understand was my praise of Mr. Will put me in no danger of embracing either of the dogmas, of libertarianism, or of conservatism. I was simply giving credit to specific views that struck a chord within me. I even went as far as to insist; the minds of most of my liberal friends, whether they would admit to it or not, secretly agreed with me. An individual with an open mind does not fear acknowledging or embracing ideas alone, because of their source. But this was the George Will of the 1970s.

    Recently I had cause to search out George Will's reputation online, and in that search I came upon comments on his old book, on the bookseller, Amazon. It is amusing to see one comment in particular, where the reviewer referred to Will's "slippery" conservatism. The reviewer appears to have been very similar in his thoughts to my liberal friends of old. Two sentences of his struck a chord within me: "To many people, like me, Will's brand of "slippery" conservatism used to "grate on my nerves:" like the scratching of chalk on a blackboard. I would much prefer a clearer target on which to vent when the need arises." The reviewer goes on to say that as time passes and he ages, and as the culture around him changes, he is beginning to agree with and think like, Mr. Will. I state emphatically, that I have not and never will. Becoming an ideologue seems too stifling for me.

    I followed the writings of George Will after the 1970s Happiness and Sobering Thoughts, and I see him evolve into an ideological snake in the grass. We see him shed his earlier condemnation of what was then called the right-wing of conservatism in American politics, into convert to it. Converts are always suspect to me, as they should be to everyone. During the last weeks of the 1980 GOP Presidential primaries, we see George Will embrace the right wing's standard bearer, Ronald Reagan. George later attacks Reagan as “wildly wrong,” when Reagan goes against the wishes of hard-line conservatives, to sign the 1987 Arms Reduction Treaty, with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Merely a few years later, we see Will embracing the end results of Reagan's soft approach with the Soviets, as somehow caused by Reagan's earlier hard-line stances. Revisionist history is both a friend, and a foe to partisan ideologues.

    Now a snake has every right to shed it's skin as often as it is required. It's in his nature. I have no real issue with Mr. Will attacking right-wing conservatism, later embracing it; attacking it again, and now apparently running away from right-wing conservatism, going back to his roots as a libertarianist conservative. What I do take issue with, is what I believe George Will would have railed against in his earlier years: the blind ignorance to, and willful denial of the whistling sounds of racist politics. The op-ed article mentioned above is a libertarian rant against government, taxes and regulations. How race played into it for him, I do not know.

    Again, disappointment is too weak a word for how this leaves me feeling. All these years later I wonder about my liberal, praise of the words and ideas of George Will, and I am left with the words of Sam Cooke whistling through my head "Will Somebody Ease My Troublin Mind?"


    to be continued

    Martin Eden "Mem" Mercury

    an invite to e-mail me at usmbmem@lookout.com
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
  2. The Great Goose
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    The Great Goose Gold Member

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    I don't get it. Are white people afraid of dying?
     
  3. Toddsterpatriot
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    Toddsterpatriot Platinum Member

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    Will America ever grow up and move beyond the curse of racially divisive, politics in America?

    Based on Obama's racially divisive politics , not for a while.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1

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