Here is the thing: It is not only the hate crimes that are fake. For the most part, the hate they are intended to highlight is fake, too. No matter how many times Jamelle Bouie of Slate insists that American conservatism is an ideology founded in white supremacy, no matter how many times the halfwits at Salon claim that the neo-Confederate impulse is the motive behind Republican policy ideas, no matter how passionately every third-rate intellectual from Bennington College believes that “all heterosexual sex is rape,” it is not so. These claims are as fictitious as the made-up rape at the University of Virginia — they are simply more general.
There are many strands of conservatism and many kinds of conservatives. There are those such as myself whose views are shaped by the epistemic critique of central planning associated with Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, who believe that all attempts to replace the spontaneous order of free exchange with purportedly rational central planning will fail for reasons having to do with the way knowledge is distributed and used in a complex society. There are moral traditionalists and Christian traditionalists and nationalists, and there are those whose main concern is that the wider world is a dangerous and unpredictable place that would be more dangerous and unpredictable without American diplomatic leadership and military power. There are green-eyeshades conservatives and anti-abortion conservatives. Most conservatives are a compound of two or more of those tendencies. It is significant that the broadly defined Right’s racists and Jew-haters — of course they exist — felt the need to identify themselves as a separate movement and a distinct political school.
The Republican party within living memory was led by a Jewish man. The Democratic party just came within a hair of elevating to its highest institutional position a man who has long associated with the worst kind of anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists, racists, and lunatics, who has worked with them and apologized for them: As it turns out, Keith Ellison will only be elevated to the rank of No. 2 rather than given the top leadership position in the party. There have been pogroms in modern American history: A notable one happened after the Reverend Al Sharpton gave a number of speeches denouncing Jewish “bloodsuckers” and delivered a stirring denunciation of Jewish merchants in which he insisted “You got to pay!” at a venue in which was hanging a banner reading “Hitler Did Not Do the Job.”