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Notes From A Polite New Yorker: The Other Side of the "Demographic Dilemma"
The demographic argument is the one that is the most one-sided and simplistic, and fails to look at the entire picture of racial politics.
The going conventional wisdom regarding voter turnout in the latest presidential election is that the changing racial demographics of the U.S. mean that certain policies are now completely off limits, and that the Republican Party faces certain doom unless it mends its evil ways.
But the demographic argument is the one that is the most one-sided and simplistic, and fails to look at the entire picture of racial politics.
Blacks, Hispanics and Asians are growing in number, and since they all are voting predominantly Democratic now, the Republicans need to adopt policies that will appeal to these groups on nakedly racial lines if they want to cobble together electoral victory, so the theory goes.
It quickly became a tired mantra: The Republican Party needs to expel all those mean old racist white men who don't believe in open borders or affirmative action or else the GOP is going to lose every national election.
What this account leaves out is the opposite side of this equation: If non-white ethnic groups are on the increase and are voting in large blocks, then whites are expected to vote as a block as well. The same forces of racial demography that apply to nonwhites apply to whites.
Mitt Romney got a higher percentage of the white vote than John McCain, so whites are already voting more along racial lines. Why should they not? It's somehow the cool thing to do in our "post-racial" America. A ham-handed candidate, Mitt Romney got a sizable majority of the nation's largest ethnic voting block without taking any really substantial stand on controversial issues like immigration. That should scare the bejesus out of liberal Democrats thinking in the long-term.
The left has successfully demonized any criticism of illegal immigration or affirmative action as inherently "racist." Never mind that illegal immigration disproportionately harms blacks and Hispanics, as even respected liberal economists have pointed out. And affirmative action and other racial preference policies have the effect of excluding Asians and Jews at higher rates than whites. Asian and Jewish voters still vote predominantly Democratic, for now.
The dream among Democrats today is that this new multiethnic America will see blacks and Hispanics unite with the enlightened whites to defeat the evil cabal of Caucasian Scrooges and usher in the progressive American utopia that was meant to be.
But as machinery meant to realize this dream of a harmonious multiracial society keeps humming along, more and more whites and Asians will come to the realization that it's them on the losing side of the multicultural math. Again, it's not going to be due to anything but a shift in numbers. The greater number of nonwhites in the population, the greater number of whites pushed aside by government policies meant to do just that. More whites will start voting Republican (or whatever party replaces the GOP as the new "white" party). And now that the genie of racial demarcation is out of bottle, white voters are going to begin to vote more in a block than before.
Another giant misperception of the "demographic dilemma" perspective is that the nonwhite coalition forged by the Obama campaign is going to hold in the long-term. Blacks, Hispanics and Asians don't all give each other giant hugs and sing "Kumbaya" in the celebration of not being white. They are as different and distrustful of one another as any other ethnic coalition that's stapled together. Asians gain the least out of this bargain, being disproportionately injured by affirmative action. And blacks and Hispanics will need better reasons to remain in the same voting block other than not voting for a white candidate.
The Republican argument that blacks and Hispanics are forever lashed to the Democratic Party by entitlement programs, even if 100% true, is an argument with a short shelf life. The U.S. government is broker than broke, and it's only a matter of time before the ax comes down, even on the sacred cows of Social Security and Medicare.
Just as our systems of cash-and-carry corporate government and rampant speculative financial cronyism fell apart under their own weight, so too will the multiple constructs meant to create a more racially balanced society. There's no way to create a multiethnic mosaic in every institution without going to more ridiculous and obvious lengths. Even the most reckless gambler will eventually walk away from a stacked deck.
What this has meant so far has put whites on the losing side of several issues. Unchecked illegal immigration puts pressure on the public services of various municipalities all over the country. The U.S. government brings lawsuits against states that try to regulate this on their own. And President Obama's second term promises more of the same disparate impact-based civil rights pursuits that has produced a de-facto racial spoils system.
The racial stratification of the American electorate cuts deep, but it cuts both ways.