Further Evidence for the Racial Polarization of American Politics

Recent election trends clearly indicate an increasing White disenchantment with the Democrats, especially among the working class. The enraged Whites who are expressing themselves in the tax revolts, tea parties, and town hall meetings of 2009 are middle- and lower-middle class.  Ronald Brownstein points out that their incomes have been stagnating or declining for years, even during periods of economic expansion of the Bush years. Bush did nothing for the White working class, but still only 40% voted for Obama.

The Democratic vote among Whites in 2010 will probably be quite a bit lower than in the next election. In Massachusetts there was a huge shift from 2008 to 2010: In the 2008 presidential election, working class Whites voted overwhelmingly for Obama: 75% for incomes between $30-50K; 65% for incomes between $50-75K. But Brownstein notes that 60% voted for Scott Brown.  Moreover,

Much of the Democrats’ distress among blue-collar whites results from long-term changes that have re-sorted the electorate more along the lines of cultural values than of economic interests. These working-class voters, mostly conservative on cultural and foreign-policy issues, have moved toward the GOP …. But the disaffection from Democrats among blue-collar whites is especially severe now. That is probably because their financial pain has intensified. (The unemployment rate among this group, at 10.4 percent, is well over twice the level for college-educated whites.) Polls suggest that these voters have focused their discontent more at government than at business.

One can’t help thinking that “cultural values” is a code word for implicit Whiteness. No matter what they say to the pollsters, it’s hard to believe that concerns about foreign policy or gay marriage really trump economic issues in a group that has been the most negatively affected by all the economic shifts of recent decades, including mass immigration. Indeed, the shift is apparent in all White groups: “In opinion polls, college-educated white men, always a tough group for the party, are hardening in opposition; college-educated white women, Democrats’ best constituency among whites, are softening in support.”

It’s often said of Jews that they earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans. Now, as ethnic interests become central even for Whites, economic interests are an increasingly poor predictor for everyone. Working class Whites vote Republican just like the Episcopalians— their cultural values are to vote along with people like themselves. Similarly, non-Whites vote Democrat whether they are successful Asians and Jews or Blacks and Latinos at the bottom of the economic ladder. Their cultural values are to vote against the Republicans at least because they see the Republicans as the party of Whites.  These trends have been apparent for some time, but there seems to be increasing polarization now.

Quite a few people anticipated that an Obama presidency would produce an upsurge of White identity — that an Obama Administration would be a clear harbinger of the non-White future of America. They were right. Many Whites got caught up in the emotion of the election — the feeling of moral righteousness of putting America’s racial past behind us. But the party is over and the Obama administration is in shambles. I can’t imagine that anything like amnesty for illegal immigrants would be possible now.

If, as seems likely, the Republicans get 70% or more of the White vote in the 2010 elections, the media is going to have to confront the racial polarization of American politics. It’s definitely not the multicultural future envisioned by the activists on the multicultural left and the mainstream media for the last 40 years. If there is a racially lopsided vote, we’ll hear a lot of talk about racist Whites. But at some point, thoughtful people will realize that it is entirely legitimate for Whites to want to retain control of their country, and explicit expressions of White identity and interests will begin to be heard whether the media wants to hear them or not. And that’s all to the good.

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