The conservative case for reparations?

6 February 2022

3:02 PM

6 February 2022

3:02 PM

Clubhouse may be dead, but Cockburn hears from his niece that Twitter Spaces is the hot news tool for social media seppuku. According to murmurings on Twitter, congressional candidate George Santos may be its latest victim.

Santos, a Republican, is running to represent New York’s 3rd congressional district. He previously lost in 2020 to Democrat Tom Suozzi, who earned 55.9 percent of the vote to Santos’s 43.5 percent. Santos describes himself as “America First” and has received the endorsement of New York Congresswoman and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik.

However, earlier this week, he drew the ire of right-wing Twitter for suggesting that he could see himself supporting reparations for American descendants of slaves.

“Is it true that you support reparations for descendants of slavery and transgender as a protected class? Multiple people heard you say that on spaces. If true, not sure how you can call yourself a conservative,” one anonymous Twitter user asked Santos.

Santos replied, “I am open to work with the ADOS community to reach an agreement of some form of repetitions [sic].”

Oof! 62 percent of Americans and 90 percent of Republicans oppose the idea of reparations, according to a UMass Amherst poll from April 2021.

Sure enough, the Twitter user replied, “I’m all for having honest discussions on hot button issues, but a Republican politician saying that some form of reparations is on the table in the name of ‘discussion’ is a deal-breaker.”

Cockburn is no stranger to online mobs, particularly after a long night of drinking and tweeting, so he reached out to Santos to give him the opportunity to explain his position.

Santos said during a phone call that it’s not a given that he would support reparations, but that he is open to exploring the idea.

“I’m in support of having these uncomfortable conversations that conservatives might historically not want to have,” Santos told Cockburn. “I think that it’s important that people who are looking to seek elected office and represent constituencies, are willing to sit down and have uncomfortable conversations.”

“Nobody’s willing to have these conversations, and therefore I feel compelled to having them…to just ignore an entire movement that’s growing pretty bold and large, it is just absolutely preposterous,” he said.

Santos added that he would not support a proposition that added to the national debt and would like to avoid putting taxpayers on the hook for reparations. He mentioned “incentives” in the “private sector,” but did not expand upon exactly how that would work.

“I would look towards creative ways in doing this. Again, open to having that conversation, not advocating nor parading down any marches, clamoring for reparations. That’s not to be confused,” Santos asserted.

“I’m not saying George Soros is going to go in there, introduce a bill to give people X amount of dollars — that never came out of my mouth,” he continued. “I’m willing to have these conversations, sit down with leaders and see what they see, what parameters they want and how to do this without affecting a single iota of a cent to the taxpayer.”

Cockburn also understands that Santos recently asked former President Donald Trump for his endorsement. Trump has previously opposed the idea of reparations.

“I think it’s a very unusual thing,” Trump said about it in a 2019 interview with The Hill. “I don’t see it happening, no.”

Santos, however, said Trump is an “open-minded” Republican and likely wouldn’t be bothered by the idea of sitting down with advocates for reparations.

“I’m not speaking for him, but I can see him having uncomfortable conversations all the time around controversial issues,” Santos said.

Cockburn thinks it quite nice that Santos is willing to listen to all political interest groups, but he doesn’t share his optimism that such conversations would be at all productive. Nor does he think even hinting at supporting reparations is a winning political position. He wishes Santos all the best in explaining this to Republican voters.

The post The conservative case for reparations? appeared first on The Spectator World.

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