Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Washington Post's Richard Cohen Compares and Contrasts the Anxieties of Cultural Conservatives to Those of the 1948 Dixiecrats, and Uses Provocative Language to Describe the New America as Seen by U.S. Traditionalists

Segregationist Strom Thurmond of South Carolina
1948 Dixiecrat Presidential Candidate

Source: Wikipedia

Richard Cohen of the Washington Post has penned a recent column in which he examines Chris Christie's compatibility with cultural conservatives in the GOP.  In short, Cohen is skeptical that Christie can resonate with the Tea Party right.

For one, regarding the process of securing the GOP nomination, Cohen does not like Christie's 2016 chances in early caucus and primary states like Iowa and South Carolina.

Given that the Iowa Republican Caucuses are noted for hard-right participants, Cohen claims that "Iowa not only is a serious obstacle for Christie and other Republican moderates, it also suggests something more ominous: the Dixiecrats of old."

Cohen sees a similarity between the Dixiecrats (Southern segregationists who split from the Democratic Party in 1948) and the hard-right of today's GOP.  He claims that, like Strom Thurmond's States' Rights Democrats of 65 years ago, todays GOP hardliners in places like Iowa see their world facing existential threats.

Cohen's views about Christie's chances, however, might prove to be among the least memorable aspects of his November 11th column.

In particular, Cohen uses some rather vivid and provocative language to describe the objections of cultural conservatives to the  lifestyles and mores of the new America.

Cohen specifically uses New York Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio's wife (who is Black) and their children (who are biracial) as embodiments on this new America. He moreover claims that, for American traditionalists, thoughts of  New York City's next first family surely must induce nausea.

Richard Cohen's column is linked below. A quotation from the column appears below the link.

Richard Cohen: The Tea Party Wing of the GOP and its Lost Country

"[The contemporary Republican Party] is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.
As with the Dixiecrats, the fight is not over a particular program — although Obamacare comes close — but about a tectonic shift of attitudes."

No comments:

Post a Comment