Putnam, 1967. Race and reality.
Gazing at the embers of my fire seemed to offer no solution to this mystery, but the riddle plagued me. What prompted the vast majority of liberals and a large number—probably a majority —of conservatives to close their eyes to the underlying truth? The underlying truth was the strongest weapon the South had on the race issue, yet the South refused to use it. The underlying truth was the strongest weapon conservatives had on the general political front, yet they also shunned it. To expose liberal dishonesty as regards the Negro was both a graphic and expedient way to explode all the fallacies based on the equalitarian ideology, yet conservatives concentrated instead on economic and constitutional questions which, at a time of unprecedented prosperity, had comparatively little appeal to the man in the street.
In fact, few of the arguments of the conservatives had much validity except in terms of the correct answer to the innate-equality dogma. If all races were innately equal, then of course our social organization, both nationally and on the world scene, was full of flaws. If they were not, then the whole problem changed and conservative policies took on new meaning. Thus in refusing to challenge the dogma, conservatives were fencing on a scaffold while liberals laughed as they watched the trap door open. It became quite appropriate to refer to the conservative movement and the Republican Party as the liberals’ kept opposition. Their members were condemned in advance, set up to be ridiculed and extinguished, amid the scorn and self satisfaction of the left. Nevertheless it seemed a fundamental tenet of most conservative groups, and certainly of the Republican Party, that the issue was not to be raised. The very root of communism and socialism which they so vociferously professed to oppose was thus to be left untouched. It struck me as an incredible surrender, and the reasons for it demanded analysis.