Think Progress: The Party of Race

Think Progress (Matthew Yglesias, 10/30/08)

The Party of Race

Well, obviously you could read just about anything as a coded racist appeal. And I think a case could be made that you’d be right to. The simple fact of the matter is that the politics of economic conservatism in the United States have a lot to do with the politics of race. I always think it’s worth recalling the practical constituency for libertarian economic policies as seen in the 1964 elections:

350px_electoralcollege1964svg.pngNow that’s not to say that the politics of American conservatism are exclusively about race. Lots and lots of people in places like Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Maine, etc. where there were no racial tensions in 1964 (no black people in those states) voted for Barry Goldwater. It just wasn’t a majority. And next week lots of people are going to vote for John McCain because they believe his opponent favors the murder of innocent unborn children, whereas a President McCain could plausibly appoint Supreme Court justices who would dramatically curtail said slaughter. There are lots of things in play. But voting behavior is very tied up with race and with attitudes about race even when it’s two white candidates facing off against each other.

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