The Politics of Non-White Ethnic Coalitions: Tipping Point of a Changing Electorate

Anyone who remembers the early 1960s—a period that Charles Murray describes as the zenith of American society—knows that our country is not the same. The America that Baby Boomers fondly immortalize is reaching the point of no return. It is the same America that Obama rebuffed when he criticized Mitt Romney for attempting to return to the “social policies of the 1950s.” It is a country that was culturally and socially unified, less diverse, less violent, less crowded, and had a smaller and less intrusive federal government. Obama’s repeated snubs at the 1950s during the 2012 presidential campaign would lead one to conclude that it was a dreadful era Americans should abhor.

Political analyst Michael Barone recently noted, “The culturally cohesive America of the 1950s that some of us remember, usually glossing over racial segregation and the civil rights movement, is no longer with us and hasn’t been for some time.” According to 1960 Census figures, the White population of the U.S. was 88 percent—158 million out of a total 180 million. The entire non-White population was only 12 percent of the U.S. population. In fact, the published census data in the table “Population, by Race, by States: 1940–1960,” listed the U.S. population by race in three categories: “White, Negro, Other races.” Hispanics, consisting of less than 1 percent of the total U.S. population, were categorized as “other races.”

The engine of this change is obvious: the 1965 Immigration Act. Americans whose ancestors settled in this country generations ago (pre-Ellis Island) are witnessing the political outcome of a diminishing White population and rising non-White minorities. In fact Latinos are forming a nation within a nation. The nation’s fastest growing ethnic minority has overtaken entire communities, such as Langley Park, Maryland, which were once White working class strongholds. According to Census figures, Langley Park is about 77 percent Latino, a Mecca for Central Americans who view the Maryland community as home away from home. They have no attachment at all to traditional America and its culture:

Immigrants from all over Central America come here … because it feels like home. ‘Our culture is very complicated; people don’t put a lot of effort in trying to assimilate to the culture of the U.S. So they have their own place here,’ says Arias…. Dorita Escobar is the owner of La Chiquita Express, a local chain of restaurants and money changing locations. People call her la chiquita — another word for small in Spanish — and she named her business after this affectionate nickname. She’s only about four-foot-eight, but La Chiquita is a big name in Langley Park. ‘Langley Park is a very special place to me, there are many Latinos here and we feel like we’re in our countries, says Escobar. She too, came to this neighborhood more than 20 years ago from El Salvador. (see here)

Developments since the 2012 election have followed a predictable pattern. Various elites (the media and political establishment) blame the GOP’s defeat on its being a party of conservative Whites out of touch with an increasingly diverse population. Academics such as Tino Sanandaji, a research fellow at the Institute of Industrial Economics, argue that the GOP should adopt leftwing policies to accommodate Latinos. Others such as’s Sean Trende, author of The Lost Majority, view presidential elections as cyclical and consider Hispanics as future Republicans (greater affluence will shift their political allegiance to the GOP—a view that supposes that issues like low IQ, high rates of school dropout, welfare dependence and dysfunctional family patterns will magically disappear). Karl Rove and some “conservatives” such as Sean Hannity now endorse amnesty as a way to lure Hispanics to the GOP.

The unmistakable upshot of the 2012 election is that the electorate split between an ethnic coalition of non-Whites (80% of whom voted Democrat) and a landslide majority of White voters of all age categories and both sexes  (Republican). Democratic campaign strategists skillfully united a coalition of their core constituency (non-Whites, gays, and single women) to push Obama over the finish line. The problem for the GOP is that fewer Whites actually turned out to vote in key voting districts in crucial swing states.

Since Obama’s reelection, media pundits relish the prospect of the GOP’s demise as a refuge for White voters. Consider Politico’s chief political columnist Roger Simon’s sarcastic diatribe during his appearance on the November 18 episode of “Inside Washington”:

Host Gordon Peterson: “Where does the Republican Party go from here? How does it rebuild? Does it need to rebuild?”

Roger Simon: “Yes! it needs to rebuild. Romney and the rest of the Republicans have become the Rip Van Winkle party. They’ve awakened from their slumbers to find that there are black and brown people in America, young people, gay people, women, Jews, and Asians, and somehow they’ve all been given the vote. How did this happen? [Eyes bulging in mock disbelief]

[NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent and “Inside Washington” panelist Nina Totenberg giggles in the background]

Simon: “Well, they’ve been bribed. They’ve been given gifts, instead of corporations and banks getting gifts, these strange people [added emphasis, arms flailing] have been given gifts.”

Margaret Carlson: “And they’re all special interest groups, they’re not really part of the whole . . . they’re these strange, you know, special interest groups . . . .”

Gordon Peterson: “But you have people, responsible Republicans that say we’ve got to reach out more to Hispanics . . . .”

Totenberg: “The first thing they [Republicans] have to do is an immigration reform bill.”

This post-election banter reveals the degree of explicit hostility toward Whites as a voting bloc. The mantra that the GOP lost the election by neglecting the interests and concerns of Latino voters is the conventional MSM narrative of Romney’s defeat. The chorus of outrage and advice over the GOP’s lack of diversity is a calculated tactic to move the nation further leftward politically and irretrievably ensconce America’s political elites as an ethnically “diverse” nation. In other words, one party that retains a large percentage of White voters, offers a more conservative platform, and lacks minority voters is a retrogressive development — one that our elites must rectify.

Such brazen antipathy for the GOP’s White “conservative” base underscores the political difficulties that face tougher immigration enforcement measures, or for that matter any policies that burden Hispanics, whether legal immigrants or illegal aliens. Any reform efforts short of “comprehensive” (translated “open borders”), which focus exclusively on curtailing illegal immigration, will be depicted as “racist” and denounced as unfair by the MSM. Predictably, the Obama administration is gearing up for a major push on “comprehensive immigration reform” early next year that will legalize the many millions of illegals. Republicans will doubtless jump on the bandwagon.

But what’s wrong with the natural political alignment of the present two-party system? What’s wrong with a natural diversity of divergent constituencies? Why have two “progressive” parties rather than one that is liberal, non-White, statist and multicultural; the other one conservative, White, civic-oriented, individualistic, and advocating cultural homogeneity? Real, clear-cut alternatives are viewed as “divisive,” “exclusionary,” and “intolerable.”

Given the economic situation, the 2012 election was the GOP’s to lose. The outcome reflects the lackluster turnout of White voters. Here’s an idea: how about giving your core constituents something worth voting for. The GOP needs to reconnect with Middle America. Contrary to the advice of Simon, Totenberg, Carlson, and other talking heads, it needs to avoid becoming a clone of the Democrat Party.

Richard Viguerie accurately summed up the election result on November 7 at the National Press Club: “Mitt Romney’s loss was the death rattle of the establishment Republican Party.” Viguerie correctly chastised GOP strategists, such as Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, for the recent election defeat. He also rightly argued that it is a failing strategy to shadow the Democrats on a moderately leftward political agenda, adopting “stand-for-nothing” positions. This is exactly the losing strategy of the last two GOP presidential bids.

However, one wonders whether the establishment Right or “conservative” movement, including Viguerie, really grasps the hard reality that “conservative” in this day and age is synonymous with “White” interests, chief among which is doing whatever it takes to remain a clear demographic majority. On the other hand, ‘progressive’ equates with the interests of non-Whites:  “ethnic diversity,” “tolerance,” “multiculturalism,” “coercion,” more government, less independence, and less liberty.

A winning strategy for future GOP nominees is a return to Main Street conservative principles — an overall appeal to White interests. Such a strategy should draw in frustrated White voters, many of whom have given up on the political system and opt not to vote in presidential elections. It should empathize with the shared experience that irritates large numbers of Middle Americans: affirmative action, dysfunctional schools filled with low-achieving immigrant children, high-achieving Asians who are crowding out Whites in states like California,  the outsourcing of jobs . Not to mention the barrage of multilingual options at an ATM machine, the inability to understand the shoddy English of a customer service rep, and the teen who can’t get a job at McDonald’s because he can’t speak Spanish. It should relate to the frustrations that White voters face on a regular basis, such as the difficulties of overcoming the full range of disadvantages that are compounded by the growing presence of foreigners.

An opposition party should advance themes and policies that connect with Middle Americans: First, one that stresses Israeli-style border security and which effectively seals the border from illegal entry; second, one that also gets rid of legal immigration; third, standing firmly for law and order (a campaign slogan that “gives children a safe childhood”); fourth, one that abandons neoconservative “nation building” and embraces an America First/Robert Taft foreign policy; fifth, one that looks inward and protects the interests of American workers; sixth, reaffirming a commitment to small government and low-tax policies; finally, one that emphasizes national unity themes, such as the importance of a common culture and shared linguistic bond. An opposition party should stress national unity (rejecting multiethnic “diversity” as divisive), prosperity and posterity (leaving a desirable homeland for our descendants), liberty and constitutional government, and finally it should seek to reverse policies antithetical to White interests: affirmative action, forced integration, preferential hiring (EOE standards), multilingual accommodations, and so forth.

As a candidate, Romney failed on multiple levels. In essence, one major handicap is his penchant for taking every side of an issue. The Etch-a-Sketch image typecast Romney as another untrustworthy politician willing to say anything to get elected. As a result, he moved right on immigration in the primary, then softened his message as soon as he won the GOP nomination. It is the same failed strategy embraced by establishment Republican operatives of moving to the Left to peel off Hispanics from the Democratic base. Romney was the quintessential establishment candidate: inauthentic, rehearsed, uncertain, and unreliable.

For many White voters, Romney failed the pub test or likeability factor. (Part of Reagan’s appeal is that he seemed like someone you could realistically enjoy having a conversation with in a bar. Imagine for a moment conversing with Jimmy Carter over a beer.) Of the two candidates, on a personal level, Obama passed the pub test. Romney seemed so stiff and awkward that by comparison he made Boris Karloff seem like a Yoga instructor! Romney continually reinforced an image of artificiality and aloofness.

The effectiveness of any grassroots opposition to another amnesty, which looms large, will rest on the mobilization of the GOP’s White conservative constituency. Blocking another push for amnesty will be more difficult given the political empowerment of this “ethnic coalition,” which is supported by well-organized ethnic, media, and corporate lobbies. The GOP establishment’s conformist nature — buckling under to political pressure from ethnic activists — will be another challenge to overcome.

In his landmark 1967 study, Pluralist Democracy in the United States: Conflict and Consent, “the Dean” of political scientists Robert Dahl writes,

For a democratic republic to survive, political equality is not enough. Political equals may quarrel: quarreling may bring civil strife. The policies of a majority may seem oppressive to a minority: the minority may revolt. Consent, you may remember, has a practical side: if the laws passed by the representatives of a majority fail to gain the tacit ‘consent’ of a large majority, a democracy is likely to be ripped apart.

In this case, too, destiny seemed to favor American democracy, for during the first half-century under the Constitution, there were powerful forces uniting Americans, forces strong enough to overcome centrifugal tendencies toward disintegration. To begin with, the social, ethnic, and economic homogeneity of the people, the very equality of condition we spoke of a moment ago, helped to minimize conflict. Most people pursued essentially the same way of life, the life of the small farmer, they substantially agreed on the values of that way of life. ( p. 71)

This homogeneity is now on the verge of disappearing. The pressing question for the future of the Republic is whether White voters — explicitly conscious of their diminishing status — will organize at the grassroots level and retain what remains of our nation’s dominant European heritage or allow a minority ethnic coalition to seize control and determine our nation’s political agenda. Unless they do, the future is about as far from the 1950s as one can get.

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