Conservatives and bigots

Do conservatives want to get rid of the bigots in their ranks?

Steve Teles makes a good point: Samuel Alito might have joined CAP because it was the only conservative organization concerned with affairs at Princeton, rather than because he specifically endorsed the bigoted views expressed in its publications.

But that analysis assumes that bigotry is simply one shade of conservatism, among many, rather than a distinct viewpoint which true conservatives should run away from (as Bill Frist did in fact run away from CAP at the time). And that, to my mind, is precisely the problem: conservatism has never gone through the process of separating itself from the bigots, as liberalism separated itself from the communists during the Cold War period. Conservative politicians are delighted to receive the support of bigoted voters, the dollars of bigoted contributors, and the endorsements of bigoted TV preachers, and reluctant to do anything to alienate that large chunk of the “base.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: