Friday, June 27, 2003

Strom Thurmond, Dead As Fried Chicken (and it took long enough)

Well, he's finally gone, the man whom history will judge as one of the most infamous of mid century Americans.

In so many ways, Thurmond is the racist analogue to Joe McCarthy : a master demagogue who pandered to his region's outgroup bias just as McCarthy pandered to the nation's outgroup bias. How rotten it must be to be a mere provincial form of a McCarthyite.

Now the fun will be in analysing the tributes, surely to be carefully hedged since the Trent Lott debacle. Of course I will especially await the reaction and tribute the Kristolmethodist Godfathers, who embraced Thurmondism just as they embraced McCarthyism and they both (Thurmond and the original neocons) embraced Barry Goldwater. Yes, the Frums and Kristols and Pipeses and Goldbergs, who are descendants of "Scoop" Jackson Democrats, are also descendants of Thurmond Democrats. Witness, this quote from an editorial of the National Review, dated August 24, 1957 (Thurmond's heyday) :

"The central question that emerges – and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalogue of the rights of American citizens, born Equal – is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race."

Ah yes, that's the voice of Thurmondism, Conservatism, Neoconservatism, and the ancestral voice to which the Kristolmethodists, the babies of Neoconservatism, cup their ears.