For My Conservative Friends

I consider myself ideologically to be a blend of classical liberal and modern independent conservative. Having said that, I'd like to offer my conservative friends a suggestion. They might want to spend time reflecting what could have been a conservative alternative to American civil rights legislation of the 1950s and 1960s. Cutting straight to the point–modern conservatism did poorly in this arena.

Civil rights action required a broader governmental component. I think there's no question about that when you look at the historical river that flowed from Reconstruction to the end of World War II. Of all the heinous stories that could be cited in this period of 1865 to 1946, one suffices for me: in many American communities where Germans were held as prisoners-of-war during World War II, they received better treatment than did local black residents. That's despicable and, frankly, that wasn't so long ago in the bigger picture.

Modern conservatism did nothing and offered nothing. As American conservatives–and I probably would subscribe to many of their ideas–reflect on 2014 and beyond, they need to challenge themselves with the reality of what didn't happen in the civil rights movement.

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