Glad I’m not the only minority conservative who rejects the increasingly popular notion on the Right that Barack Obama’s ascension should be embraced as a moral victory for our side. The promise of post-racialism is a bogus one.
Shelby Steele, one of the most articulate voices on race matters, weighs in in the WSJ:
Barack Obama’s victory was an ideological defeat for modern conservatism and a devastating blow to the Republican Party. It wasn’t just a case of one centrist candidate slipping past another centrist candidate at the finish line. This defeat — helped along by a sinking economy — was on the level of ideas. It points to nothing less than a new and still unfolding Obama “progressivism” in which Keynes replaces Friedman and “trickle-down” gives way to “bottom-up.”
This progressivism sees economic inequality as America’s gravest problem, and blames it on the conservatism of free markets, lower taxes, fewer regulations and smaller government. It wants to engineer equality through redistributive tax policies, the restructuring of markets through increased regulation, an expansion of entitlements, and more governmental activism.
Of course the bad economy has checked some of Mr. Obama’s progressive ambitions. He will live with the Bush tax cuts for the time being, and he may include some business tax cuts in his stimulus package. But he clearly wants a more redistributive and socially activist government. And he will be helped in this by two unique sources of authority: the urgency of our economic troubles and his moral authority as the first black president. Again, I am not hopeful for him here, and I despair at seeing the moral capital of my race put to these ends.