"Personal Views"

This seems like a weird parenthesis to put in an op-ed about Reagan's record on race:

(Mr. Reagan was understandably anathema in the black community not because of his personal views but because of his consistent opposition to federal civil rights legislation, most notably the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.)

Hitler is anathema in the Jewish community not because of his personal views, but because of his consistent advocacy of the eradication of Europe's Jewish population, most notably during the landmark Holocaust of the early 1940s. There's something wrong there, eh? Reagan was a politician. His political views are what matters. And during the crucial civil rights fights of the mid-1960s, Reagan stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the forces of white supremacy. How important Reagan's background as an anti-civil rights activist was to his 1980 election win seems debatable — I've previously noted that it wasn't a close election and the objective facts about the late 1970s would have made it extremely difficult for Carter to win re-election under any circumstances — but Reagan's record is his record, and his views about political issues are personal views, whether or not some of his best friends were black.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Politics

Just In