The strand of McCarthyism, as referenced by Andrew in this post, is real, frightening, troubling, and disgusting. It has, in my opinion, an opposite in the racism and Confederate revanchism that plagued the Democratic party for so long.
The Democratic repugnancy drew from populist impulses gone bad; the Republican repugnancy draws from a genuine concern for community gone bad.Â There is nothing wrong with urging our national government to consider “America First,” insofar as that call does not include debasement of the rights of other sovereign nations, or hatred of those within our borders.
Of course, it’s a very thin line to walk, and Andrew is right to draw this conclusion:
The relapse to McCarthyism is the sign of a politician; rising above it is the sign of a statesmen. This age is sorely lacking in statesmen.
It’s worth considering how long it took the Democratic Party to overthrow their sordid tendencies; and I suspect that the war for the soul of American conservatism will be just as difficult. I laud Andrew on citing the example of Ron Paul, but even his staffers and allies were unable to avoid the allure of alienating the Other, lapsing into deplorable rhetoric to gin up votes.