The Neocon Post

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by Paul Gottfried by Paul Gottfried

Since the New York Post has begun to imitate its neocon parent publication the Wall Street Journal, by not printing responses from genuinely conservative readers, I have appealed to Lew Rockwell to include this unpublished letter on his website.

To the editor:

Robert A. George wrote a perceptive commentary (July 16) on what Bush and the Republicans might have said when the media began ranting against Bush’s unwillingness to cultivate the NAACP. George is correct to point out that Kerry is not running to curry favor with the NRA. Nor should he be chasing after a group that is not likely to give him their votes. Of course the media does not chide Kerry for ignoring a normally Republican organization they detest. Once again, George reminds us, we are confronted by the double standard in terms of who is supposed to reach out to whom. George also brings up the media-neglected fact that the NAACP and its leaders have savaged Bush repeatedly. By now he has no moral or practical obligation to appease them. Unfortunately the timid Republicans and their advice-laden leader are not making these self-evident points. Would that they did and surprised conservatives by their boldness.

What I failed to mention in this text, inasmuch as I did not see it until the next day, was a column by the most outreaching of all neocon paid guns, Cal Thomas, chiding the NAACP for falling short of their past. Thomas, who gives sycophancy a bad name, is outraged that the present leadership of the NAACP is staining the reputation of a "once-great nonpartisan group." Despite my near-retirement age I have trouble recalling a time when the NAACP was not ideologically allied to the Left and to the left wing of the Democratic Party. Contrary to Thomas’s undocumented assertion, this group is not "a once-great organization seduced by the conspiracy muse," but a gathering of race hustlers who have been playing the same game for generations. While the black Robert A. George cuts to the chase by criticizing the group without qualification, the President who is challenged in more than a verbal way and his defender Cal Thomas avoid such directness. The President pretends that nothing has happened instead of explaining how loathsome the NAACP really is. Meanwhile Thomas taps the chairman over the knuckles while celebrating the glories of the organization’s past.

Allow me to offer a politically incorrect parallel. Would either Thomas or Bush combine criticism of the KKK with a lament over the loss of the Klan’s original purpose, which was to protect the lives and properties of Southerners against attacks and dispossession by invading Northern armies and marauders? For certainly one can find a noble or historically necessary purpose attached to all kinds of obnoxious organizations that have survived down to the present time. My question is rhetorical, since clearly Bush and Thomas are trying to influence the Left rather than the far Right. Yet one might have hoped that they would show the honesty of the black journalist who tells it like it is. Perhaps honesty is a virtue that Republicans permit only designated minorities to exemplify.

July 20, 2004

Paul Gottfried [send him mail] is Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and author of, most recently, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt.

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