The right’s strength is its ability to immerse itself in tribal warmth of sexist, racist, homophobic waters, while simply sprinkling the rest of us with their refreshing mists. And they are refreshing. Admit it. Who hasn’t been pricked by the odd racist thought--when you glimpse the black face behind the wheel of the car that cuts you off, or your male ego takes a hit from a woman. ‘Nigger.’ ‘Bitch.’ They explode like little bombs. Like splinters from the stairwell banister, their sting is sudden, unexpected, and a bit disconcerting.
And then you go on your way. You shake it off, forget it happened. The right’s gift is their ability to reference the embers of all those little bombs, all the perceived slights, the learned and latent bigotry absorbed during our American upbringings. They reference them and, like tiny bellows, reignite the embers to a subtle glow. Just enough to remind us of the root cause of the epithets we mutter in our heads. Just enough to remind you that "they" deserved, if only for reminding you that such ugliness lived inside.
That’s how they seduce the beloved “moderate” voter, convince him or her to pay no heed to that declaration in favor of “Confederate History Month,” or those racist newsletters published under their names. A trip to a black school,a photo-op with some black faces while listening with bwana-like condescension to their plight is enough to convince the soccer mom to ignore the fact that you never condemned your supporters’ bleating insistence that the first black President has no right to hold the office, or that you belong to a church that has yet to repudiate the belief that blacks are cursed by God. Once the embers of contempt are smoldering, it takes very little to convince the majority. The smell of offal isn't so strong when you wear the taint yourself.