Racism has been a consistent thread weaving through the American Right from the early days when Anti-Federalists battled against the U.S. Constitution to the present when hysterical Tea Partiers denounce the first African-American president. Other factors have come and gone for the Right, but racism has always been there.
Though definitions of Right and Left are never precise, the Left has generally been
defined, in the American context, by government actions – mostly the
federal government responding to popular movements and representing the
collective will of the American people – seeking to improve the lot of
common citizens and to reduce social injustice.
The Right has been defined by opposition to such government activism.
Since the Founding, the Right has decried government interference with
the “free market” and intrusion upon “traditions,” like slavery and
segregation, as “tyranny” or “socialism.”
This argument goes back to 1787 and opposition to the Constitution’s
centralizing of government power in the hands of federal authorities. In
Virginia, for instance, the Anti-Federalists feared that a strong
federal government eventually would outlaw slavery in the Southern