Sunday, March 27, 2011

Demographic Shifts & Democrat Power

Says the Atlantic:

Major 2010 Census data was released yesterday and there's a familiar refrain: the Hispanic population in the United States is largely on the rise... is the rising Latino population going to dye red states blue? It's possible, though there are certainly counterexamples to the theories behind these predictions.

When right-wingers want to disparage Democrats and racial minorities both at once, they use the simple-minded "truism" that minorities vote Dem and that's the only reason Dems ever get elected. The implication is that minorities putting 'x's next to Dems is a genetic imperative - it's like a salmon swimming upstream to spawn or a redneck taking scissors to the sleeves of a shirt. But is it true? Of course it ain't.

Take Florida: that place is teeming with Castro-hatin' Cubans and wrinkly Jews so conservative they make Newt Gingrich look like Ellen DeGeneres. Same goes for black evangelicals all over the country who so often conspire with racist 'baggers on election day to deny civil rights for gays and non-Christians. And don't even get me started on the all-too common Asian American reflex to choose candidates who least evoke folk memories of Chairman Mao or the Vietcong. So, no. The "minorities = Democrat" truism is bullsh*t. But distance from the truth has never stopped a Republican argument from being heard... they just shout them louder.

"Minorities = Democrat" is a go-to tool for wingnut pols seeking election in conserva-world. As the demographic shift starts to sprinkle more hot sauce in America's melting pot and people of color start to challenge the monochrome monopoly on power, conservatives panic. And as in any panic situation, logic is the first thing out the window... GOP'ers ignore the obvious fact that regular, boring folks with roots in other places are statistically just as likely to get behind a conservative candidate as a liberal. Instead they opt to paint regular folks who happen not to be white as radicalized La Raza or Black Panthers and turn them into exotic threats.

So why? Why the fear? Why don't conservatives just embrace multiculturalism like George Bush did with Muslims (admirably so) and his bro' Jeb did with the Floridian Hispanics? Why don't they take the logical path and accept that black or Mexican GOP candidates elected by black or Mexican voters could be every bit as hateful, divisive and useless as their white equivalents? What have the GOP got to lose? Nothing. So why don't they just be nice to minorities? The inescapable answer beckons once again: because they are racist a**holes. Period.

Conservatives would rather lose elections while railing, Canute-like, against the unstoppable tide of demographic shift. They want white power. But if they can't get it through fear-mongering, immigration "reform" and voter disenfranchisement in an increasingly non-white America, they'll evidently settle for no power at all. So let's adjust the truism: if minorities tend to vote Democrat it's not because the Dems pander to them - it's because the GOP makes such an effort to turn them off. All I can say is good. Keep at it, GOP... keep working on the self-extinction project!


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