How North Carolina got its reputation for moderation in the civil rights era.


William Brafford

William Brafford grew up in North Carolina, home of the world's best barbecue, indie rock, and regional soft drinks. He just barely sustains a personal blog and "tweets" every now and then under the name @williamrandolph.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar spiffie says:

    The book sounds fascinating. Definitely added to my wishlist.

    I have a feeling that a lot of progressives these days (at least implicitly) believe that Democrats are lying about issues such as gay marriage. At least, it feels to me like that’s the most direct analog today to the kind of lying that Sanford did.Report

  2. What does this mean- Conservative anti-elitism has a source in an accurate perception that progressives are lying politically.

    Are you speaking within the context of your example or is this a more general assertion? If it’s the latter, are you really going to argue that there is no conservative elite? Or that all of our society’s elites are progressive? Really? Also, care to provide some credible examples of progressive political lies?Report

    • Avatar William Brafford in reply to Justin_Anderson says:

      It’s a general assertion, but I probably should have generalized further. Any politician who is significantly to the left or to the right of some large portion of his or her constituency will probably have to do some political lying, and that portion, if they realize that the politician is claiming moderation yet pushing harder, will be resentful. In North Carolina state politics, it’s liberals who have to do this. But, to be clear, I’m speaking about politicians who don’t have the political luxury of speaking their minds.

      I probably shouldn’t have made a claim about current events, because it’s pretty hard to judge whether someone’s being honest about his aims without the benefit of hindsight. I was trying to look at the way Helms channeled NC conservatives’ accurate perception that folks like Sanford were more liberal than they was letting on and vaguely link it to right-wing reactions to Obama and other Democratic leaders. It’s my opinion that Obama downplays his commitment to gay marriage, infuriating gay activists but avoiding direct conflict with conservatives. But, like I said, this is just how politics works, and it’s not a “progressive” thing.

      I shouldn’t even have to say this, but, yes, there is a conservative elite, and much of the social elite is some kind of conservative, though a single-axis analysis will really mess us up if we go much further.Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    and to second Justin’s questions, do the con elites not lie politically? and are the “progressive elites” real or more a figment of paranoia and simplistic views of the world? ( although you could easily argue, and i would likely agree, that a lot of populism is based on simplistic views of the world.)Report

    • Avatar William Brafford in reply to greginak says:

      Con elites also lie politically. It’s the rare politician who is able to be completely forthright about all her goals and still earn the kind of support she needs to win reelection and get things done.

      I guess that by “progressive elites” I would mean “that portion of elites who are progressive” rather than “the elites, who are all progressive.”Report

      • Avatar Zeke in reply to William Brafford says:

        ah, the perils of blogging. Remember to pre-emptively disavow every conceivable inference that you don’t intend next time! (note: this is sarcasm)

        Anyway, I agree that this sounds interesting. I’m a tarheel* myself, but I’ve never been as knowledgeable about state politics as I’d like; this could help.

        *but NOT a UNC-Chapel Hill fan, just to be clear.Report