A Dennis Prager column opens with a very broad-brush premise:
Every non-liberal leftist — that is, nearly every Democrat running for president, New York Times and Washington Post columnist, CNN and MSNBC host, and your left-wing brother-in-law — labels every Trump supporter and, of course, President Donald Trump, a “racist.”
And they don’t stop there. Leftists don’t only label the half of the country that supports the president “racist,” they label all whites and America itself “racist.”
Prager offers a three-question limus test to prove conservative non-racism:
- Do you have more in common with, and are you personally more comfortable in the company of, a white leftist or a black conservative?
- Would you rather have nine white leftists or nine black conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court?
- Would you rather your child marry a black Christian conservative or a white non-Christian liberal?
Granting for sake of argument that those questions effectively screen for the most virulent form of racism, explicit hatred of darker-skinned people, I doubt their effectiveness as screens for all varieties of the racism that lingers from America’s original sin.
But that’s not the prey I’m after: they expose something else worrisome. (Note that I did not say “far more worrisome.”)
A quick “the black conservative” in response to question 1 would betray an unhealthy ideological obsession, would it not? Why should there be any preference? Would a white, college-educated suburban conservative really have “more in common” with a random black conservative than with a white, college-educated suburban liberal? Has it come to that: ideology über alles?
So I cannot answer Prager’s question 1. I really cannot. It would depend too much on other variables. The test, as worded, is more a rohrschalk test for unhealthy ideology than a litmus test against racism.
I have no trouble with question 2 (a guy can dream, can’t he? But two white leftists might be good to keep the conservatives honest.).
Question 3 is rohrschalk in a different way.
I would prefer the “black Christian conservative” because I’m Christian and believe Christians should marry within the faith. But not all conservatives are Christian.
Why would a Jewish conservative categorically and reflexively prefer a “black Christian conservative” child-in-law to a “white non-Christian liberal,” since “non-Christian” includes “Jewish”? (You don’t need a Venn diagram, do you?) Does Prager, himself a Jew, think marrying within conservative ideology is more important than marrying within the faith?
Prager probably knows that his supposed test against racism is sophistry, but he created a pretty good test for visceral, tribal, toxic and all-consuming “conservative” ideology.
(Note: This blog has been edited several times within the first few hours after posting to clarity or intensify my meaning.)
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