Is Hispanic immigration a threat to the GOP?
Although almost totally marginalized within Republican establishment ranks, the anti-immigrationist wing of the conservative movement has maintained a vigorous intellectual presence on the Internet. Over the years, its flagship organ, the VDare.com website run by Peter Brimelow, a former National Review senior editor, has been scathing in its attacks on the so-called Rove Strategy, instead proposing a contrasting approach christened the Sailer Strategy, after Steve Sailer, its primary architect and leading promoter (who has himself frequently written for The American Conservative). In essence, what Sailer proposes is the polar opposite of Rove’s approach, which he often ridicules as being based on a mixture of (probably dishonest) wishful thinking and sheer innumeracy.
Consider, for example, Rove’s oft-repeated mantra that a Republican presidential candidate needs to win something approaching 40 percent of the national Hispanic vote or have no chance of reaching the White House. During the last several election cycles, Hispanic voters represented between 5 and 8 percent of the national total, so the difference between a candidate winning an outstanding 50 percent of that vote and one winning a miserable 30 percent would amount to little more than just a single percentage point of the popular total, completely insignificant based on recent history.
Furthermore, presidential races are determined by the electoral college map rather than popular-vote totals, and the overwhelming majority of Hispanics are concentrated either in solidly blue states such as California, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey, or solidly red ones such as Texas and Georgia, reducing their impact to almost nothing. Any Republican fearful of a loss in Texas or Democrat worried about carrying California would be facing a national defeat of epic proportions, in which Hispanic preferences would constitute a trivial component. Pursuing the Hispanic vote for its own sake seems a clear absurdity.
Even more importantly, Sailer argues that once we throw overboard the restrictive blinkers of modern “political correctness” on racial matters, certain aspects of the real world become obvious. For nearly the last half-century, the political core of the Republican Party has been the white vote, and especially the votes of whites who live in the most heavily non-white states, notably the arc of the old Confederacy. The political realignment of Southern whites foreshadowed by the support that Barry Goldwater attracted in 1964 based on his opposition to the Civil Rights Act and that constituted George Wallace’s white-backlash campaign of 1968 eventually became a central pillar of the dominant Reagan majority in the 1980s.
In many cases, this was even true outside the Deep South, as the blue-collar whites of Macomb County and other areas surrounding overwhelmingly black cities such as Detroit became the blue-collar Reagan Democrats who gave the GOP a near lock on the presidency. While the politics of racial polarization might be demonized in liberal intellectual circles, it served to elect vast numbers of Republicans to high and low office alike. George H.W. Bush’s “Willie Horton” ad and Jesse Helms’s “White Hands” ad have been endlessly vilified by the media, but they contributed to unexpected come-from-behind victories for the candidates willing to run them. And in politics, winning is the only metric of success.
Sailer suggests that a very similar approach would work equally well with regard to the hot-button issue of immigration and the rapidly growing Hispanic population, arguing that the votes of this group could be swamped by those of an angry white electorate energized along racial lines. He cites Pete Wilson’s unexpected California gubernatorial reelection victory in 1994 as a perfect example. Deeply unpopular due to a severe statewide recession and desperately behind in the polls, Wilson hitched his candidacy to a harsh media campaign vilifying illegal immigrants, and although his Hispanic support plummeted, his white support soared to an equal extent, giving him a landslide victory in a race the pundits had written off and sweeping in a full slate of victorious down-ticket Republicans.
Sailer’s simple point is that individual white votes count just as much as Hispanic ones, and since there are vastly more of the former, attracting these with racially-charged campaign themes might prove very politically productive.
An additional fact noted by Sailer is that the racial demographics of a given region can be completely misleading from a political perspective. As mentioned earlier, Hispanics and other immigrants tend to be much younger than whites and much less likely to hold citizenship. Therefore, a state or region in which whites have become a numerical minority may still possess a large white supermajority among the electorate. Once again, today’s California provides a telling example, with Hispanics and whites now being about equal in numbers according to the Census, but with whites still regularly casting three times as many votes on Election Day.
The Sailer analysis is ruthlessly logical. Whites are still the overwhelming majority of voters, and will remain so for many decades to come, so raising your share of the white vote by just a couple of points has much more political impact than huge shifts in the non-white vote. As whites become a smaller and smaller portion of the local population in more and more regions, they will naturally become ripe for political polarization based on appeals to their interests as whites. And if Republicans focus their campaigning on racially charged issues such as immigration and affirmative action, they will promote this polarization, gradually transforming the two national political parties into crude proxies for direct racial interests, effectively becoming the “white party” and the “non-white party.” Since white voters are still close to 80 percent of the national electorate, the “white party”—the Republicans—will end up controlling almost all political power and could enact whatever policies they desired, on both racial and non-racial issues.
Many might find this political scenario quite distasteful or unnerving, but that does not necessarily render it implausible. In fact, over the last couple of decades, this exact process has unfolded in many states across the Deep South, with elected white Democrats becoming an increasingly endangered species. Each election year, blacks overwhelmingly vote for the “black party,” whites overwhelmingly vote for the “white party,” and since whites are usually two-thirds or so of the electorate, they almost invariably win at the polls. Although Republican consultants and pundits make enormous efforts to camouflage or ignore this underlying racial reality, it exists nonetheless.
By contrast, appeals for white support based on racial cohesion would be almost total nonstarters in 95 percent white Vermont or New Hampshire, or in many other states of the North in which the local demographics still approximate those of the country that overwhelmingly supported the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s. But today’s national white percentages are much closer to those of 1960s Alabama and Mississippi, where whites fought that legislation tooth and nail on racial grounds. And as the nation’s overall demography continues its inexorable slide from that of Vermont to that of Mississippi, will white politics move in that same direction, especially if given a push?
Now I think a strong case can be made that such a process of deliberate racial polarization in American politics might have numerous adverse consequences for the future well-being of our country, sharply divided as it would become between hostile white and non-white political blocs of roughly equal size. But given the extremely utilitarian mentality of those who practice electoral politics for a living, the more important question we should explore is whether it would actually work, purely on the political level.
Much more HERE
Fear and loathing for conservatives in Chicago
Friday morning on CNBC, Joe Kernan was teasing Jack Welch about living in NYC. Joe said, “Most of your friends are liberal.”. I empathize with that.
I live in Chicago. It’s home of machine politics. Politicians of course will tell you there is no machine but they are full of Obama stimulus. Normal Chicagoans that try to do business in the city will quote you chapter and verse stories of graft and payola. Chicagoans know how the machine works.
I actually find that there are very few true blue Democrats in Chicago. It’s just that the machine is established in the Democratic Party and inertia pushes them that way. So many people make so much money off the machine, you just can’t change it. But, there are enough hard core true believing Democrats around to keep the ship sailing straight.
When people find out that I am a conservative, there are three reactions. One, they can’t believe it and think I am kidding them, but then talk to me and we become friends. The second is abject horror, they sort of tolerate me but behind my back they insult me. The third is they start pigeon holing me into the most radical of conservative classes.
There are many people in Chicago that I know that will not invite me to parties because I am a conservative. It makes them uncomfortable. Welch said on CNBC that sometimes he has to keep his mouth shut if he wants to have a social life on the upper east side of NYC.
Many times at cocktail parties, my wife and I are introduced as “their conservatives but they are okay”, or “our favorite Republicans”, or “the only Republicans I know”.
I do have some very good friends that are pretty liberal and they are accepting of me. We actually have a lot of common ground on some things. We get together and have a good time, but I wonder how they would feel if they were in the minority?
At some parties that I have been to, I have found some conservatives. They tell me in hushed tones under their breath. They are afraid people might find out. It would compromise them professionally, and personally. It’s far easier to be gay and come out of the closet than it is to be a conservative in the city of Chicago.
I have been invited to parties as the “token Republican” in a room full of fire breathing liberals. Once, as I was riding in the elevator down from one, a professor said, “Wouldn’t it be better if only people like us could vote.”. When I mentioned to him his statement sounded like the poll taxes and Jim Crow laws he was not amused.
One time I was at a dinner. At the end of the dinner a far left lawyer asked my daughter, “Do you get both sides at home?”. I retorted, “No, she goes to school. She gets the other side in the classroom.”. Probably a bit caustic. I don’t think the lawyer understood, but that is the nature of the left these days.
It’s always fascinating to me that liberal Democrats are supposed to be all accepting, and the live and let live party. However, in practice I find they are less tolerant, and want to tell and direct everyone more than the right wing Christian conservatives they love to pillory.
Where are the jobs for the college-graduates going to come from?
An email below and then a response
What I don’t see, and I would suspect that Rand Corp Think Tank guys are still pondering the multiple possibilities of the issue, is the plight of college graduates…something of immense concern to me because of the potential “revolutionary” pressures that could be (are?) building.
A recent statistic indicated that 80%-85% of the 2011 college graduating class moved back in with their families because of the lack of “career-centered” work. That would be close to 2 million graduates from my understanding of the numbers. I don’t have the figures from 2010, but I know they are large and 2012, 2013….20xx(?)…still bad news since employment recovery is estimated to take at least 3 years to secure jobs for the 12-14 million unemployed (and that doesn’t count the 25 million of part-timers, many looking for full-time). I also don’t believe the unemployed and part-time statistics fully account for the unemployed group of students who have never been employed.
So…..the basic question being what do you do with an ever increasing pool of excessively educated people who, for arguments sake, now will compete for the blue collar jobs or find that their only income is to replace some Indian in Bombay doing customer service tips for Verizon customers?
I sensed a similar situation several years ago happening in China, only there the college educated issue is 10X the U.S. problem. One difference of course is that the rise in the college educated ranks in China is quite a bit the result of government mandates to be educated with little regard to where they will place those college taught skills. In fact, one of the places for them is in the blue-collar ranks and I have seen it happening.
Our society could be facing a redistribution of attitude, politics, and social life style that makes the 60′s/70′s Viet Nam counter-culture revolution appear microscopic. What do you hear from your learned friends on the issue?
There are no solutions. That’s the problem. There is no theory of a steady-state modern, industrial, or post-industrial, if you will, economy. The entire planet has ventured into new territory and we are not sufficiently evolved socially, let alone morally, to handle it. And 19th century economic theories on the part of the Chinese, the Obamites and Eurozone twits will not suffice. Personally, I don’t think anybody in power really knows what they’re doing other than, to some extent, how to maintain their own power – for the time being, that is.
We find ourselves on an insane planet run by the inmates. And there are no political answers. As far as I can tell, the American experiment is winding down to an unsuccessful completion.
Gallup: Majority in U.S. Continues to Distrust the Media, Perceive Bias
More perceive liberal bias than conservative bias
The majority of Americans still do not have confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 44% of Americans who have a great deal or fair amount of trust and the 55% who have little or no trust remain among the most negative views Gallup has measured.
The majority of Americans (60%) also continue to perceive bias, with 47% saying the media are too liberal and 13% saying they are too conservative, on par with what Gallup found last year. The percentage of Americans who say the media are "just about right" edged up to 36% this year but remains in the range Gallup has found historically.
Partisans continue to perceive the media very differently. Seventy-five percent of Republicans and conservatives say the media are too liberal. Democrats and liberals lean more toward saying the media are "just about right," at 57% and 42%, respectively.
Moderates and independents diverge, however, with 50% of independents saying the media are too liberal and 50% of moderates saying they are just about right.
Americans remain largely distrusting of the news media, with 55% saying they have little or no trust in the media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly, and 60% perceiving bias one way or the other. These views are largely steady compared with last year, even as the media landscape continues to change rapidly.
SOURCE (See the original for graphics)
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