From The New Republic, a recantation by the co-author of the influential 2002 book The Emerging Democratic Majority (which I reviewed) of his thesis that the Democratic Party’s Coalition of the Fringes can eventually achieve one party rule over America.
Redoing the Electoral Math
I argued that demographics favored the Democrats. I was wrong.
BY JOHN B. JUDIS
September 14, 2017
If any force on Earth could be powerful enough to unite the Democratic Party, you’d have thought the words “President Donald Trump” would do the trick. Instead, Hillary Clinton’s defeat last November only served to intensify the split within the party. Nine months in, two warring camps continue to offer seemingly irreconcilable versions of what went awry and how to fix it. On one side, populists like Bernie Sanders and Rust Belt Democrats like Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio argue that the party lost by neglecting working-class voters while catering primarily to “identity politics.” On the other side, an equally vocal contingent makes the opposite case: that the Democrats will blow it in 2018 and 2020 if they take voters of color for granted and focus their energy on wooing the white voters who backed Trump. …
The book I co-wrote in 2002 with demographer Ruy Teixeira, The Emerging Democratic Majority, laid out an overly optimistic forecast of the party’s prospects in an increasingly diverse America. By and large, Teixeira still holds to the view that the growth of minority populations will provide a long-term “boost to the left.” In his new book, fittingly titled The Optimistic Leftist, Teixeira notes that by the 2050s, eleven of the 15 largest states will be “majority-minority.”
On one level, there’s no arguing with the math. If you take the percentage of Americans that the U.S. census defines as “minorities” and project their past voting habits into the next decade and beyond, you’ll come up with a very sunny version of the Democrats’ prospects. There are only two problems with this line of thinking, but they’re pretty big ones. For starters, the census prediction of a “majority-minority” America—slated to arrive in 2044—is deeply flawed. And so is the notion that ethnic minorities will always and forever continue to back Democrats in Obama-like numbers.
The U.S. census makes a critical assumption that undermines its predictions of a majority-nonwhite country. It projects that the same percentage of people who currently identify themselves as “Latino” or “Asian” will continue to claim those identities in future generations. In reality, that’s highly unlikely. History shows that as ethnic groups assimilate into American culture, they increasingly identify themselves as “white.”
Whiteness is not a genetic category, after all; it’s a social and political construct that relies on perception and prejudice. A century ago, Irish, Italians, and Jews were not seen as whites. “This town has 8,000,000 people,” a young Harry Truman wrote his cousin upon visiting New York City in 1918. “7,500,000 of ’em are of Israelish extraction. (400,000 wops and the rest are white people.)” But by the time Truman became president, all those immigrant groups were considered “white.”
After all, who can forget the dramatic scene during the Civil War in which Jefferson Davis discovered that Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin was not white and immediately had his right hand man sold into slavery?
There’s no reason to imagine that Latinos and Asians won’t follow much the same pattern.
After all, who wouldn’t want all that White Privilege everybody keeps hearing about?
Well, except that Democrats and the media are doing all they can to encourage Flight from White by nonstop demonization of whites, what I call the KKKrazy Glue that tries to hold together the Coalition of the Fringes.
In fact, it’s already happening. In the 2010 Census, 53 percent of Latinos identified as “white,” as did more than half of Asian Americans of mixed parentage.
As opposed to the 1950 and 1960s Censuses, in which 100 percent of Latinos were identified as white because, during that era of Flight to White, Latino organizations like LULAC successfully lobbied the Census Bureau into assuming that the Spanish surnamed were simply Caucasian. But then the Hispanic/Latino ethnicity was invented for the 1970 Census to facilitate handing out affirmative action privileges.
Or as opposed to how South Asians used to be counted as Caucasian … but then successfully lobbied to be grouped with Orientals in a new Asian category in order to be eligible for minority business development low interest loans and affirmative action on government contracting.
Or how Arab groups lobbied the Obama Administration to get themselves de-Whiteified through a 2020 new racial category called Middle Eastern and North African (nobody seems to know what the Trump Administration will do about the Obama Administration’s plan).
In future generations, those percentages are almost certain to grow. According to a recent Pew study, more than one-quarter of Latinos and Asians marry non-Latinos and non-Asians, and that number will surely continue to climb over the generations.
Just as Barack Obama was 50% white genetically and 99% white culturally, but chose to identify himself on the 2010 Census as 100% black.
Unless ethnic identification is defined in purely racial—and racist—terms, the census projections are straight-out wrong and profoundly misleading. So is the assumption that Asians and Latinos will continue to vote at an overwhelming clip for Democrats. This view, which underpins the whole idea of a “new American majority,” ignores the diversity that already prevails among voters lumped together as “Latino” or “Asian.” Cuban-Americans in Miami vote very differently from Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles; immigrants from Japan or Vietnam come from starkly different cultures than those from South Korea or China. While more than two-thirds of Asian voters went for Obama in 2012 and Clinton in 2016, they leaned the other way in the 2014 midterms: National exit polls showed them favoring Republicans by 50 to 49 percent.
Seriously, the reason why the Democrats’ KKKrazy Glue plan to demonize whites as Ku Klux Klanners and Nazis might not work in attracting Asian and Latino enthusiasm is because there is this other group who sees themselves as the rightful owners of the Democratic Party: blacks.
Blacks tend to feel that they deserve for the Democratic Party to be, first and foremost, the Black Party and everybody else needs to ride in the back of the bus.
If blacks were content to merely let the media demonize whites, this long-term Democratic strategy would have a fair chance of working. But instead blacks repeatedly assert their rightful ownership over the Democratic Party with gestures guaranteed to offend Asians and Hispanics.
For example, the celebrated Black Lives Matter movement began in Ferguson with giant Michael Brown roughing up a tiny Asian shopkeeper, and quickly emerged into a dogma in which the Most Racist Thing Ever was to say “all lives matter.”
Similarly, in December 2014, African-American Muslim terrorist BLM enthusiast Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley traveled from the Baltimore area to assassinate NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.