At the end of a conversation I was having at Ace of Spades, regarding Trump's statement about illegal immigration, and why I defend it:
I would like to win elections, yes. I'd like to see more conservative policies passed - better border control. Less corporate welfare. Less subservience to the state. Lots of things.
Ace says that he thinks the cost of defending statements like Trump's - even saying 'they are not racist, there's nothing to apologize for' - is lost elections, and never winning another.
In addition to what I said before - I think ace's strategy, as he's laid it out, is a losing one - there's another consideration. Imagine if you told black people that the only way for them to get any political power is if they were silent in the face of insults, if they avoided saying anything that would upset anyone (including a hypothetically black-hostile media), and if they just were good little boys and girls who did what they were told, and basically accepted that culturally, they would be expected to be ashamed of themselves, their culture, and their history.
Do you think black people would be wise to accept those terms for a -chance- at victory? What's the point of winning when those are the terms? 'You can win, but only if you shut your mouth, never say anything that upsets people, and give up on a lot of what you want besides. Then you'll be able to sometimes eke out a victory, maybe, and if you're lucky your 'victory' - which means a successful election - will result in policies you like, unless the powers that be decide they have other priorities now that they've won'?
No, they wouldn't. Because you're basically telling them that the only route to victory is humiliation, shame, and acting as social lepers who should be grateful they have any input in society whatsoever.
Which is part of the reason why Trump is surging. He may be lying (rather impressive lie, as he's actually losing a lot of money so far for taking his stand) but he's sending the message that no, perpetual serfdom to a hostile culture isn't the right course to take. He has a right to speak his mind, and in this case - a case where his sin is minor at worst when reasonably looked at - he has no need to apologize.
Put another way? Let's say I was able to choose between the following two choices.
1) 30 years of electoral victories, but the perpetuation or even growth of the culture that we have right now - a culture where conservatives are mortally afraid of even stating their opinions openly on various issues, despite half the country (or more!) supporting them.
2) 30 years of electoral losses, but a change to the culture that meant conservatives could speak freely, without fear of backlash or punishment, about issues that mattered to them.
I would choose 2 in a fucking heartbeat, and 1 would be tantamount to defeat anyway.