Gotta go to Rick Perlstein, author of the essential “Nixonland” and “Invisible Bridge” the continuation of the dementing of the conservative movement and the politics of resentment created by Nixon and made into an art form by Reagan. Perlstein’s ability to unpack and explain the history and tactics of the right wing revolution that has changed us so profoundly is unmatched.
I plead with you, read Down with the Confederate Flag, Up with Donald Trump!
In public a flag came down, but at the same time, privately Republicans across the country were anonymously answering polls saying they like Trump. Perlstein sees the connection.
I’ve never seen anything that lays bare the core lineaments of conservatism so neatly: there is our tribe, which is good, true, and pure; and there are those other tribes, who are existential threats to you and me (Reagan’s favorite phrase), and must be suppressed in order for good to be preserved. “We” all know this, even if “they” don’t allow us to say this. If anything, the lowering of the Confederate flag in South Carolina opens space for this particular new longing to air this other silent truth more freely.