Race again loomed large in the 2014 elections. The CNN exit polls showed that Whites of all age groups, both sexes, and all social classes voted Republican. White males: 64%-33%: White women: 56%-42% (likely much higher for married White women if past trends held); Whites 18–29: 54-43%. Whites without a college education voted 61–31 for Republican House candidates. (These are underestimates because voters counted as White include groups, such as Jews and Middle Easterners, who neither identify or vote like Whites.)
As Thomas Edsall notes,
It has not escaped the notice of political analysts that 72 percent of whites without college degrees — a rough proxy for what we used to call the white working class — believe that “the U.S. economic system generally favors the wealthy.” Or that on Nov. 4, these same men and women voted for Republican House candidates by a 61-31 margin.
Similarly, the overwhelmingly white electorates of Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota voted decisively in referendums to raise the minimum wage while simultaneously voting for Republicans, whose party has adamantly rejected legislation to raise the minimum wage. (“The Demise of the White Democratic Voter”)
Whites are deserting the Democratic Party, but that doesn’t mean they advocate plutocratic policies traditionally associated with Republicans. They are voting Republican even though Democrats are generally seen as the party of the non-wealthy and are far more likely to advocate policies like minimum wage hikes.
And Obamacare. The problem with Obamacare from the standpoint of Whites is that they are well aware that a disproportionate share of the costs will be borne by people like them, while a disproportionate share of the benefits will go to poor non-Whites. Edsall again:
Obamacare shifts health care benefits and tax burdens from upper-income Americans to lower-income Americans, and from largely white constituencies to beneficiaries disproportionately made up of racial and ethnic minorities.
So once again we come up against biological realities — that people are less likely to contribute to public goods that will disproportionately benefit people unlike themselves. This is a well-known cost of multiculturalism. Why should White voters want a law they know will benefit non-Whites far more than themselves? In fact, immigrants are major beneficiaries of Obamacare, accounting for 42% of the growth of Medicaid since 2011.
Race is never part of the explicit rhetoric of White opposition to policies that disproportionately benefit non-Whites — it tends to be expressed as opposition to the federal government, the welfare state, taxation, and the desire for better schools, or even perceived moral issues like abortion and homosexuality. But at the implicit level, the aversion to contributing to public goods for non-Whites is the overriding motivation for opposition to Obamacare. When Republicans shut down the US government over Obamacare, it was widely perceived as motivated by Whites concerned that poor non-Whites would disproportionately benefit from the law, while it would increase taxes on Whites.
The other issue that motivated Whites and figured strongly in the campaign was immigration. Far more than previously, immigration was an important issue in many Congressional elections — likely because of the well-publicized Camp-of-the-Saints invasion from Central America last summer. (A NumbersUSA poll found that 74% of voters opposed an executive amnesty as promised by Obama.) Although it’s easy enough to find Republicans who are soft on immigration (especially among the donor base), the Democrats are correctly seen as the party of amnesty, the proposed legal immigration surge, and non-enforcement of current immigration law. As Mark Krikorian noted,
Republican Senate candidates were airing about 5,000 more TV ads a week on immigration than Democrats were, one of the three policy areas with the biggest gap between ads by the parties. As Jeffrey Anderson put it, “Given this emphasis, if Republicans take the Senate, it would be hard for objective observers not to view the result as a repudiation of the Democrats on immigration, spending, and — most of all — Obamacare. …
Some of the newcomers in the Senate, like [Tom] Cotton and [David] Perdue, campaigned aggressively against such measures and will join Sessions, Cruz, and Lee in fighting them. What’s more, for the first time a populist labor-market critique of immigration has gotten traction on the right, thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Senator Jeff Sessions, as well as those of Dave Brat, Laura Ingraham, and others. This takes the issue beyond the limited scope of legality and addresses the level of legal immigration itself.
Even though the Republicans campaigned mainly on immigration and Obamacare, it’s likely that Ferguson may have been lurking in the background for many White voters. The Obama administration went all in with the protesters, even as the narrative completely collapsed. Ferguson yields yet more images of Blacks behaving badly that are being stored somewhere deep in the paleo-mammalian brains of Whites. These images are promoted by conservative mainstream talking heads — but not Republican politicians. Such images are a very bad omen for Whites contemplating their future in a White-minority America and likely feed into the anxiety Whites feel when contemplating a future with a non-White majority. Do you really want to give up political power with the palpable hatred and irrationality on display in Black America?
But the point I want to stress is Krikorian’s comment that “for the first time a populist labor-market critique of immigration has gotten traction on the right.” Immigration has been a disaster for White America generally because we are gradually losing the ability to control our own future in an environment where minorities with grudges against Whites are steadily gaining power in the Democratic Party. Recent research shows that Whites who are reminded about their impending minority status adopt more conservative positions on a wide range of policies — from health care to guns.
But immigration is also an economic disaster for working class Whites in a way that it is not for more affluent Whites. Working class Whites are now forced to compete in a very slack labor market because of unregulated immigration— hence their support for increasing the minimum wage — and unable to move away from the onslaught or afford to put their children in private schools.
My reaction to the leaked Obama plan for exec amnesty? Dems have officially declared war on America’s middle class & working poor.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) November 12, 2014
The implication is that a populist Republican candidate who campaigned on White concerns related to immigration and redistribution policies that favor non-Whites would be able to win the presidency.
However, as Edsall notes, Hillary Clinton is likely to also try to appeal to working class Whites, as she did in 2008:
In May 2008, with Obama taking the lead, Hillary Clinton committed to continue the race “for the nurse on her second shift, for the worker on the line, for the waitress on her feet, for the small-business owner, the farmer, the teacher, the coal miner, the trucker, the soldier, the veteran.”
As James Oliphant, the National Journal’s White House correspondent wrote:
Clinton didn’t say “white people,” but she didn’t need to. The message was clear. And she was even more explicit in an interview with USA Today that month, saying, “Obama’s support among working, hardworking Americans, white Americans, is weakening.”
Hillary Clinton appealing to implicit Whiteness! Her problem for 2016 will be in trying to convince working class Whites that they should sign on to the Democratic (anti-White) coalition favoring L.G.B.T. rights, government unions, citizenship for illegal immigrants, a huge surge in legal immigration, affirmative action, racial entitlements, etc.
Given a choice between 1.) Hillary Clinton trying to square the circle by appealing to the interests of working class Whites and the completely contrary interests of the rest of her coalition and 2.) a populist Republican who also appeals to the White working class, I rather doubt that she could win.
What the Republicans need is a candidate who would cultivate the nurse on her second shift et al. rather than the Chamber of Commerce/Wall Street Journal/ Adelson–Zuckerberg, pro-immigration, pro-wars for Israel crowd where the big Republican money comes from. (The Wall Street Journal refers to the anti-open borders folks in the GOP as “the yahoo wing.”) Romney likely could be president now if more Whites who were turned off by Romney’s plutocratic image had voted (see “A Party of Plutocrats Has No Future”).
So both Republicans — with their plutocratic, pro-immigration donor base — and Democrats — with their non-White, pro-L.G.B.T. coalition — have problems in appealing to Whites, and especially the White working class.
This shift away from the parties of the left by working class Whites and the racialization of politics generally can also be seen in Europe where nationalist parties are generally pro-labor, anti-immigration, and anti-free trade. Beginning with the Frankfurt School’s indictment that the German working class had voted for National Socialism (here, p. 159), the left has jettisoned the White working class, which had been its central constituency, in favor of immigration, multiculturalism, and sexual non-conformity. The advantages that Europe has are its ancient national traditions and that the two-party system is not so entrenched as in America, so that it is relatively easy to start new parties that will appeal to those left behind by the elites.
In the UK, the White working class is abandoning Labour, and UKIP is terrifying the LibLabCon establishment. “The recent European election result shows two thirds of white British voters backed either the Tories or Ukip. It goes on to reveal that two thirds of non-white voters supported Labour, which received the backing of just one in five white British voters.” (see Tobias Langdon, “Leaving Labour: More on the Racialization of British Politics”). Sounds very parallel to what is happening in the U.S.
And in France, a poll late last year noted White working class defections to the National Front from the Socialist party. Most encouraging, a recent poll has Marine Le Pen not only winning the first round if a presidential election were held now, but also winning the all-important second round, 54–46 against Hollande.
Marine Le Pen as the President of France! It could definitely happen.
And whatever concessions Le Pen makes in order to get elected, her election could unleash much more radical forces in the future that could indeed begin the process of taking back the West. And it might even make the Republican Party wake up to the potential of a winning coalition of Whites that could begin the process in the U.S. The numbers are definitely trending in the right direction.