Coates on the future of the GOP:
This doesn’t mean that conservatism, in and of itself, is a losing proposition. In other words, I don’t think the whole pro-gun, pro-life, anti-taxes, pro-small government, hawkish foreign policy, pro-business etc. platform is the problem. Perhaps turning that platform into a kind of essentialism is the problem.
I was watching some clips of Reagan inveighing against San Fransisco hippies in the late 60s last night. He was doing that whole “look like Tarzan, walk like Jane” bit, and I was thinking how much things have changed. These cats have to find a new way to sell the package. If you can’t otherize the black guy whose middle name is Hussien, who can you otherize? Too many of us look like Tarzan, now. Too many of us have people who were born walking like Jane.
Makes me think of something I was contemplating the other night, when I watched a clip of Obama giving a speech in Virginia this week. The crowd behind him was so diverse, it was beautiful. You saw a plethora of people, from every walk of life and of every color. And I thought how it doesn’t really matter if the Republicans want to run on a racist ticket this year or in 2012, because soon enough the masses will out number the racist white folks. That’s not a guarantee for Democrats, or for inclusiveness, because voter suppression, etc. still has the possibility to keep people down…
We live in a country that is remarkably diverse. It’s like a big salad, more than it is a melting pot (for a thoroughly boring look at the Melting Pot theory, I would be happy to send you my undergrad thesis). And if you have enough people who are willing to hold up that diversity and make it sing, eventually it will drown out the noise from the ever-shrinking group of those who are not.