Sunday, June 21, 2015

Romney Stands Tall

You go Mitt:
Take down the Confederate Flag at the SC Capitol. To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred. Remove it now to honor Charleston victims.
Almost makes me miss the guy. Except that when I look back to his campaign I don't remember him ever speaking that forthrightly. Which shows again what a disaster his presidential ambitions were for Romney, ruining him morally and intellectually; only now that he has given up that fight can he speak in his own voice again.

Among current candidates, Jeb Bush has come out for removal, while Ted Cruz understands both sides and thinks outsiders should leave South Carolina alone about it. Care to lay odds on whether Rubio will ever take a clear stand?

Personally I despise the waving of that flag, but I think the refusal of this issue to die points to something important about democratic politics. In the battle flag the issue of white identity comes together with resentment of outside interference -- half of the flag's appeal these days comes from knowing how much elite liberals like me hate it, and waving it is a way to spit in our faces. So I generally leave this mess alone. It mainly serves as a way to get poor whites to abandon their economic interests and vote for capitalists, and I don't feel like playing that game.

But kudos to Mitt for taking this stand, and forcing the other Republicans to confront the issue.

2 comments:

G. Verloren said...

You can't force people to be tolerant, reasonable people. Removing the flag by force would only serve to create further anger and resentment.

Sometimes, enforcement is the better option. Like at Little Rock, Arkansas - even though passions were inflamed, even though it didn't stop people from being intolerant, the payoff of enforcement was the impact it had on actual living breathing people, and their educations and quality of life.

But a flag is a scrap of cloth - it is a symbol made manifest. No one is tangibly harmed by it being flown, and no one tangibly benefits by it being taken down. Forcing it to be removed can only serve to reinforce intolerance via a sense of martyrdom, with absolutely no practical upshot in return.

No, I say let South Carolina sort it out themselves. They will come to a point where they choose to remove it of their own volition - where they no longer believe in that particular symbol, and no longer need nor want to be connected with it. Instead of driving them to cling to it out of fear and desperation in a misguided attempt to rip it from their grasp, we must let them grow detached from it to the point that they willingly abandon it.

They're already on the brink of the matter - far more citizens of South Carolina came out in opposition to the flag being flown than lobbied to have it put in place. In due time, the will of the people will be exerted. To act now would only serve to radicalize the issue, and result in the exact opposite of what such action would seek to accomplish.

David said...

Who said anything about forcing them to take down the flag?