Sometimes it’s pretty obvious what’s wrong with conservatives. Glenn Beck’s Washington gathering turns out to have been a plea for a religious revival (NYTimes: “At Lincoln Memorial: A Call for Religious Rebirth“):
“Something that is beyond man is happening,” Mr. Beck told the crowd, in what was part religious revival and part history lecture. “America today begins to turn back to God. … There’s nothing we can do that will solve the problems that we have and keep the peace unless we solve it through God.”
It was a plea made to an overwhemlingly White audience by a rainbow coalition of speakers:
The speaker list was diverse, including African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans; Jews and Christians; clergymen, military veterans and sports stars, including Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals. The crowd, however, was overwhelmingly white. (LATimes: “Beck, others exhort conservatives to action at Washington rally“)
All that implicit Whiteness and no place to go. When Whites put on a rally for an overwhelmingly White constituency, they feel a need to pledge allegiance to America as not really having an ethnic identity. Hence the need for non-White speakers. The same thing happened at a Tea Party rally I attended in Southern California: the obligatory Black speaker needed to deflect charges of racism that automatically surface when the crowd is overwhelmingly White. That’s why NASCAR is assiduously courting Black drivers to perform in front of their overwhelmingly White audiences.
The LA Times article notes that “Speaker after speaker praised the nation’s military, its Founding Fathers and Lincoln.” Red meat to the Tea Partiers—guaranteed to bring tears to the eye. Unfortunately, the military has been co-opted by the Israel Lobby. And the pleas to religion, the Founding Fathers and Lincoln are just another version of the proposition nation creed: All will be well if we accept a certain set of universal ideas with no ethnic content.
But it won’t. The people attending are overwhelmingly White because Whites are angry and deeply anxious about their future in America as other groups expand their power and as Whites are increasingly victimized as Whites, in everything from affirmative action to violent crime. But they can’t explicitly state that this is a war against them. So they end up pledging allegiance to the very things that are dispossessing them–and calling it conservative. The worst part is that it gives his gullible audience hope that there are easy, painless solutions. We can do it if we just BELIEVE.
They can’t break with the ruling ideology. Until they do, they will just keep on losing and getting more and more desperate. And that, in a nutshell, is the argument for the A3P.