August 20, 2008
Dan McCarty has unearthed a truly remarkable essay by William F. Buckley Jr. on his great hope for a post-racial black president in 1980 (or thereabouts.) Indeed, Buckley seems to have imaged the new president emerging from “community organizing” (or thereabouts):
You can find them in Cleveland (some of them will make it a point to be just a little bit rude, just for the record), struggling to do something for Hough; in Detroit, learning the politics of adjustment, throwing their weight around in economic and political maneuvers; in San Francisco, deeply involved in trying to spread an understanding of the role of education as the instrument of liberation; in Los Angeles, calmly (if not openly) countering the witch doctors and practicing a tough-minded idealism (the top people at Watts are brilliant, ingenious, tough, graceful irresistible.
A black in the White House would, of course, liberate white people:
There are reasons for urging that final achievement (the black President) which are more important than merely buying the reassurance of American Negroes. They are a form not exactly of white expiation, though I would not dismiss this as a factor in any corporate effort to elect a black President. They are a form of self-assurance. The outstanding charge against America is hypocrisy. ? the election of Negro public officials (yes, because they are Negro) is a considerable tonic for the white soul.
I’ve flirted with “Obamaconservatism,” and I think there are a number of compelling reasons for the real Right to consider voting for Obama: foreign policy (although Obama’s proving much less antiwar then we thought he’d be), punishment of McCain and GOP for amnesty, removal of the neocons, “worse the better” etc. etc. The purging of “white guilt” and some vague hope for socially transcendent kumbyyah singing are, however, not among them.
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