Goldberg: Conservatives Sold Out to Racism In Order to Win

Jonah Goldberg is fed up:

Last year around this time (and the year before that), I was arguing with some of my fellow conservatives about the insanity of finding any common cause whatsoever with the so-called alt-right. The issue wasn’t that every avowed nationalist who claimed membership in the alt-right was a Nazi or Klansman. It was that the alt-right was open to Nazis and Klansmen. And why wouldn’t these newly-minted white supremacists welcome such pioneering organizations to their cause? Right-wing cynics, hucksters and opportunists deliberately blurred these distinctions in the name of a right-wing popular front.

….The real threat to traditional conservatism is the mind-set that made it possible to form even a theoretical alliance with the alt-right in the first place: the idea that winning and fighting are self-justifying….During the campaign, when Trump attacked the ethnicity of an American judge or the parents of a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier, the response from his defenders on the right was usually “at least he fights!” Such amorality was warranted, many explained, because if Clinton had won, America would be “over.”

….I’d point out that such thinking could invite the worst and most opportunistic creatures to infiltrate the movement. Except they already have.

I don’t expect conservatives to become liberals just because Trump is such an odious creature. Why should they? But I wish there were more like Goldberg who were willing to acknowledge head-on the cynical racial alliances conservatives have made to gain power. It doesn’t start with Trump by any means, but calling out Trump and the alt-right for what they are is at least a start.

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If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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