Garrett Baer argues we need to acknowledge the realities of America's more sordid past:

American values certainly include freedom of religion, respect for the Constitution, and some modicum of comfortable tolerance, but there are a lot of other American values besides those. Racism is and has always been as American as lukewarm hamburgers. The Tea Party, of course, is defending American values, as are the Minute Men, as was the John Birch Society, as was Joe McCarthy’s Cold War witchhunt, as were the opponents of FDR who insisted that he was a Jew and called him “Jewsevelt.”

Oddly, this makes me less despairing about upsurge in bile, anger and bigotry that now stalks the land. And more disgusted by the Palinite know-nothing neurotic nationalism.

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