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This century’s most talked-about—but least written-about —book of underground social science has been IQ and the Wealth of Nations, by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen. (Click here for my review and here for J. Philippe Rushton’s.)

The two veteran scholars dredged through decades of psychometric literature to find 184 studies providing estimates of average IQ for 81 countries. They then showed that average IQ and per capita Gross Domestic Product [GDP] correlated—at the kind of high level that social scientists mostly only dream of finding.

Obviously, this is interesting and important information. Yet more than two years after publication, the only mention of the book in any widely-distributed print publication in the U.S. was when The Economistcited it as the source for the claim that Democrats are smarter than Republicans—data that I showed were a hoax.

The intellectual cowardice of the press in America is, of course, contemptible. But at least the police here aren’t looking into levying criminal charges against the authors.

They have in Finland. Recently, Vanhanen, who is an emeritus professor of political science at two different Finnish universities and, for that matter, the father of Finland’s prime minister, gave an interview to a Finnish newspaper explaining the content of the book. Result: as the Washington Times reported:

“Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation is considering whether to start a criminal investigation into comments made by former political science professor emeritus Tatu Vanhanen, father of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.”Finnish Premier apologizes for father Helsinki, Finland, Aug. 12 (UPI)

Fortunately, no charges were filed.

The heart of IQ And The Wealth Of Nations is its Appendix 1, which describes each of the 184 studies.

Lynn and Vanhanen’s summary listing of mean IQ scores for the 81 countries has been available on the web for some time. (Here, on Lynn’s website is his list. And here are other copies of the summary list: wordIQ, sq.4mg, Griffe, Nuenke.)

Unfortunately, everything on the web heretofore has made Lynn and Vanhanen’s results look like a black box. This has had two bad effects.

  • First, the impenetrability of the numbers on the web make them easy to dismiss by those who want to reject the findings without due consideration.


  • Second (and opposite), some people take every estimate in the summary table too credulously.

If you’ve actually studied Appendix 1, and seen the methodological hurdles Lynn and Vanhanen have had to deal with, you’re not likely to say things like, “L&V showed that Sweden’s IQ is higher than Norway’s.” Sure, they came up with a 100 estimate for Sweden and a 98 estimate for Norway. But the reality that’s apparent in Appendix 1 is that there’s way too much noise in the data for fine distinctions like that to be trustworthy.

To open up the black box, I’ve created a table displaying virtually all the information Lynn and Vanhanen provide on each IQ study they used—not just the overall the national results you’ve seen so far.

This should prove highly useful to future researchers.

Skeptics are likely to be surprised by how robust and consistent the findings tend to be.

A large number of the studies were done by professional psychometricians “standardizing” well-known IQ tests, typically culture-fair nonverbal ones like the Raven Progressive Matrices on nationally representative samples. By attaining an accurate national average, they allow local school psychologists to determine how bright their students were compared to their peers within the country.

Just by eyeballing the data in the table, you can see that there is a relatively high degree of internal consistency within countries.

For example, there are three studies for Switzerland, for example. They came out to 101, 99, and 102.

Sometimes, the competing studies disagree significantly. For example, the two Polish studies are 14 points apart and the two Portuguese studies are 13 points apart. But those kinds of divergences are rare.

By disaggregating the data, I’ve found that the overall estimates are reasonably reliable.

For example, for countries where L&V found more than one analysis, the average difference between studies and the national average was plus or minus 2.5 points. In other words, if L&V reported the average for the country, based on two studies, was 100, this would typically be based on studies reporting IQs of 97.5 and 102.5.

That’s quite consistent for most useful purposes. But of course it’s not sensitive enough to determine bragging rights between nearby countries.

Some national estimates are necessarily less trustworthy than others. For example, Lynn and Vanhanen’s estimate of Colombia’s mean IQ as 89 is barely more than guesswork. They found a single study of exactly 50 teenage white boys, who averaged an (adjusted) 95. Then they developed an estimate for the whole country based on an almanac’s description of the racial makeup of the country, combined with IQ scores for mestizos in other countries. It’s logical, but not much more.

On the other hand, L&V’s estimate of 107 for the highest scoring country, Hong Kong, appears to be quite solid. They have five studies, three with sample sizes of 4,500 or more, with average adjusted scores of 103, 110, 109, 107, 107—on a scale where Britain is 100 and the U.S. is 98.

Overall, the data when grouped into regions or races seems quite consistent. For example, among Northeast Asians (Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese), 24 of the 26 studies they uncovered reported scores between 100 and 110.

Across 65 studies countries populated by Europeans or of the European community within multiracial countries like South Africa, scores ranged from 87 to 107, with 49 of the 65 falling between 94 and 103.

The very low scores seen in black countries are often criticized as impossibly low by those with little familiarity with the subject. But the 33 studies cited are depressingly similar: five in the 75 to 80 range, and 28 below that. (African-Americans average higher, in the mid-80s.)

In an important and lively article in called Solving The African IQ Conundrum: ‘Winning Personality’ Masks Low Scores,” Phil Rushton recently addressed the riddle of how Africans can score so poorly, yet have such bright, lively personalities—but, then again, perform as badly as their IQ scores predict on real-world challenges like engineering and management.

Rushton cited a wonderful Muhammad Ali-Howard Cosell exchange to show the black gift for coming up with subjectively delightfully unstandardized answers—a talent that objective standardized tests, by their very nature, can’t measure:

“’I’m gonna whoop him, Howard. You just watch!’ Cosell responded, ‘You’re feeling very truculent today, Muhammad.’ Without batting an eye (or opening a dictionary), Ali uttered one of his trademark retorts, ‘Truculent? If that’s good, I’m it!’”

Ali was one of the most fun personalities of the 20th Century.

Yet, while he was still young and un-punchdrunk, he recorded an IQ of 78 on the military’s entrance exam. He denied intentionally trying to score low. Gerald Early, the prominent black studies professo r and boxing historian who edited the Muhammad Ali Reader, commented,“He hadn’t a single idea in his head, really … I think the score was an honest reflection of Ali’s mental abilities.”

Yet, Early notes correctly, “He was intuitive, glib, richly gregarious, and intensely creative, like an artist.”

Unfortunately, Ali’s winning personality couldn’t fully compensate for his low IQ. Despite coming from an artsy, middle class home, he was also, more or less, illiterate. In a poignant scene in the documentary We Were Kings about his epic 1974 fight with George Foreman, Ali says his biggest regret was not learning how to read.

While IQ tests can’t measure black interpersonal social competence adequately, they are not racially biased in predicting most levels of accomplishment related to abstract, impersonal thinking.

Lynn and Vanhanen made a variety of adjustments to the reported scores to make them more consistent. Notably, they adjusted for the phenomenon that raw test scores rose throughout much of the 20th century at a rate of a few points per decade. When tests like the Progressive Matrices were restandardized in Britain every few decades, the creators would raise the number of right answers required to score a 100.

This phenomenon was first noticed in the 1940s, but Lynn was one of the first researchers to call lasting attention to it. Later, New Zealand political scientist James Flynn did important work on the subject. It is now usually called the Lynn-Flynn Effect or simply (and somewhat unfairly to Lynn) the Flynn Effect.

Lynn and Vanhanen assumed the Effect is real and that it happens in all countries at the same rate (2 points per decade for Matrices-type test and 3 points per decade for a Wechsler-type test). So they fine-tuned scores based on when the test was taken relative to its restandardization in Britain or America.

This technical adjustment appears to make the results slightly more internally consistent, so it seems sensible.

Race-deniers, however, have far more ambitious hopes for the Lynn-Flynn Effect. They assume that it will cause racial gaps in IQ to converge out of existence.

The logic behind this argument is not implausible: if IQs are being depressed by poor nutrition, poor health, inadequate primary education, and so forth, then poor countries should catch up faster in IQ—because rich countries with plenty of food, medicine, and schooling should run into diminishing marginal returns to improvements in standards of living first.

To cite a seemingly relevant analogy, as East Asian countries emerge from poverty into affluence, the average height of their young people has been growing faster than in the already prosperous United States.

On the other hand, we don’t know for sure what causes this rise in raw scores. So this rationale might not apply.

Fortunately, we can look at Lynn and Vanhanen’s findings to see if there has been any convergence of IQs among the races. Or, have the smart gotten smarter?

I’ve plotted on this graph the average scores found in 124 studies ranging from 1914 to 1998.

In European’s countries (blue dots), scores have stayed quite stable over several generations. Likewise, in black’s countries (black triangles), average IQs have not gone up, and may have slightly declined. Thus, the white-black gap hasn’t changed much over the decades.

My conclusion: there is no evidence that the Lynn-Flynn Effect is narrowing the white-black disparity. (Similarly, it hasn’t narrowed it in the U.S.)

Which doesn’t mean that a certain amount of convergence might not happen some day. I recently pointed out in that enriching commodities like salt and bread with crucial micronutrients could raise IQs in the Third World. If African countries became better governed, they should be able to help their people get smarter.

But there is a tragic chicken or egg conundrum at work in Africa: if the people from whom the governments are drawn aren’t currently very smart, so it’s hard to assemble a competent government.

In contrast, the scores of the highest scoring group, Northeast Asians (yellow triangles), may have gone up slightly relative to whites and blacks over the last half century. There’s a lot of noise in the data, so it’s not proof that Northeast Asians are getting smarter. But considering how much conditions have improved in that region over that time, it would be hardly surprising.

Interestingly, the one outlying data point among the NE Asian studies—a 92.5 average IQ in China in 1986—was found for a sample of adults, most of whom had lived through the terrible famine of the early 1960s and the anti-intellectual chaos of the Cultural Revolution. But when researchers also gave the same test at the same time to a few thousand Chinese children, who had enjoyed eight years of more sane government beginning with Deng’s pro-market reforms in 1978, they averaged 100.

In other words, it appears that over the last half century, the global racial gaps in IQ did not converge. Indeed, they have grown.

But we won’t know what’s going on in this or any other area of IQ research unless we can discuss the matter frankly and honestly.

Police investigations—and promiscuous accusations of “hate”—don’t help.

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: IQ 
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I’ve been analyzing elections since 2000, [GOP Future Depends on Winning Larger Share of the White Vote. November 28, 2000] and, ever so slowly, some of my insights are starting to become conventional wisdom.

For example, following the 2014 elections and the sputtering of the Democrats’ “Republican War on Women” strategy, it’s not quite as much of a secret anymore that the little known Marriage Gap is usually larger than the celebrated Gender Gap. George Hawley, a professor of political science at the U. of Alabama, writes in his informative new book White Voters in 21st Century America:

41BGaIZLfnL[1]Steve Sailer is one of the few journalists who began writing extensively on the marriage gap long before the 2012 presidential election.[P. 125]

Moreover, it may finally be sinking in that the Hispanic Tidal Wave doesn’t really look like the one in Interstellar.

What other ideas might pop up next? Perhaps the inherent fragility and divisiveness of the Democrats’ Coalition of the Diverse? Someday, it may even be understood that the Obama Administration’s choice to try to increase black turnout by angrying up the mob in Ferguson, MO was a textbook example of why assembling a party out of fringe groups is a tricky business.

Back in 2009, I suggested that, just as the Democrats and the mainstream media treat the GOP as the White Party, the GOP should slyly work to rebrand the Democrats as the Black Party. That would pose an interesting question for Hispanics and Asians: who do you think will treat you more fairly and competently? The leadership of the White Party or the leadership of the Black Party?

Ironically, in 2014 the Democrats made themselves the Black Party by anointing the late Michael Brown, the not-so-gentle giant of Ferguson, the face of the Democrats. Not surprisingly, Asian voters appear to have reacted with dismay.

The last century was one of ideology, while this one is driven by identity. In the relatively homogeneous America of the 20th Century, it was not uncommon for large numbers of voters to change their minds, as elections as wildly different as 1964, 1972, 1974, and 1984 demonstrated.

In the 21st Century, however, we live in an age, as we’ve so often been reminded, of diversity. And this Era of Identity means, as Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore pointed out, that voters couldn’t afford to change their minds or vote the issues. Elections are won less by coming up with better platforms than by ginning up turnout among your demographic slices.

A diverse country turns out not to be a very interesting one for rapid political change in response to new ideas or circumstances. Instead, we see a constant grinding out of small margin elections. The four Presidential elections of this century have been bizarrely consistent state by state, with partisan patterns correlating closely with the rate at which younger white women are married.

But we’re also not supposed to think honestly and hard about Diversity. So, the big parties routinely make stupid mistakes, and the press echoes their misunderstanding. This time, the Democrats believed their own hype and suffered a defeat by trying to knit their fractious coalition together over Ferguson, feminism, and foreigners to drive blacks, single women, and Hispanics (respectively) to the polls.

The Democrats’ divisive diversity politics can only hang together if they can keep their coalition of the fringes from turning their knives on each other. The obvious way to do this is to use the mainstream media to stoke fear and loathing among the fringes against the core of the country. The KKKrazy Glue that holds the Obama coalition together is the delusional paranoia about all the white male rapist racists running amok.

Of course, liberals want to define the core as narrowly as possible: white, male, straight, and, in a comic refinement that I started seeing in 2013, “cisgendered.”

In 2012, the Obama campaign, with the collaboration of the mainstream media, managed to keep the logic of its coalition building relatively obscured from its intended victims. Yet, the day-after touchdown dances by the press were of the crass “Suck it, white boy, hurry up and die” variety.

Ever since, the Democratic-Mainstream media Complex stoked hatred of Cisgendered Straight White Males. But after nasty cultural politics backfired in the 2014 election.

wendydavis The most notorious Democratic flop of 2014 was in majority minority Texas, where the national mainstream media had somehow got themselves excited over the gubernatorial hopes of “single mother” Wendy Davis. Feminist fury would turn the cornerstone of Red State America permanently blue, denying the Republicans any hope of ever winning the Electoral College!

The phoniness of the Democrats’ rhetoric about female victimization by evil men is wonderfully symbolized by the hopes they invested in this hot blonde adventuress who had dumped her first husband, the father of her daughter, for a rich Democratic politician who paid for her Harvard Law School tuition. (As Gerald Ford used to say, there will never be a final victory in the Battle of the Sexes because there’s too much fraternizing with the enemy.) Then she dumped him too.

Democrat Davis wound up getting trounced by Greg Abbott 59-39.

It turned out that women in Texas voted against their designated avenger 54-45. There was a sizable gender gap of 12.5 points (men voted against her 66-32), but that was smaller than the marriage gap, which was 20 points between married and single women. Although Davis won 43-57 among single women, she lost married women 62-36.

Among white women she lost 66-31, and among whites of both sexes 72-25.

How did Davis do among married white women? The crosstab isn’t broken out, but she probably didn’t get more than 25 percent of their vote.

This wasn’t supposed to happen, as amusingly illustrated by the now notorious headline in Salon:

White women didn’t just fail Wendy Davis — they failed the rest of Texas, too

It’s already been said that Greg Abbott won among women voters. So are women of color not women?

By Jenny Kutner, November 6, 2014

Part of the mainstream media’s blindness over the Texas election was that in 2012 they didn’t bother doing an exit poll in Texas, so there was a lot of empty theorizing in 2014 about a feminist-Hispanic coalition without anybody being well informed about the impressive degree of white political solidarity in Texas. From the Reuters-Ipsos panel in 2012, I determined that Romney had thumped Obama 76-24 in Texas.

In 2014 the Democrats did even worse than the pre-election polls had predicted. Unlike in 2012 when the Democrats performed slightly better than the polls forecast, this time the survey-driven models were badly biased against Republicans. Nate Silver of reported the day after the election:

… the average Senate poll conducted in the final three weeks of this year’s campaign overestimated the Democrat’s performance by 4 percentage points. The average gubernatorial poll was nearly as bad, overestimating the Democrat’s performance by 3.4 points. … the polls were biased toward the Democratic candidate in almost all key races.

Silver doesn’t have a theory about the cause, but I might speculate: because the Democrats ran their campaign based on riling up blacks, single women, and Hispanics, political correctness could have easily become a problem for pollsters. When, say, a billionaire like Donald Sterling can have his NBA team taken away from him for what he said in private while being surreptitiously taped, how frank do the heterodox want to be with strangers who call them up out of the blue and demand their opinions on topics that might get them fired like Brendan Eich.

What should we have learned from the Democrats’ dismal 2014?

For example, the Republicans were told over and over by Democrats and the press that they were electorally doomed by the inevitable Hispanic outrage if they didn’t pass an Amnesty and guest worker bill.

Some innumerate Republican Senators, such as Marco Rubio, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham, signed on to this transparently disingenuous advice. Yet, enough perceptive Republicans in the House understood the numbers and political psychology well enough to not let Speaker John Boehner bring the Senate’s Amnesty bill to a vote.

The symbolism would be even more important. Passing an Amnesty bill would have been treated in the mainstream media as more or less the Articles of Surrender of White America. Enough House Republicans understood that humiliating your own side is no way to win a turnout driven election.

To this surprising show of strength by white Republican leaders, Hispanic voters responded as meekly as I, but few others, expected.Nobody will know what percentage of the vote cast was by Latinos until the Census Bureau issues its turnout report next year (the exit polls have overestimated Hispanic turnout every election since 2000). But all indications are that not many Hispanics bothered to vote. And among those who did, the Democratic House candidates took only 62 percent, which for the GOP is quite survivable.

In contrast, the GOP wound up with 60 percent of the white vote, which was roughly an order of magnitude larger than the Hispanic vote. Which would you rather have: 62 percent of Hispanics or 60 percent of whites?

Of course, 60 percent of whites are probably not enough to win the next Presidential election. That’s because the hoopla of a campaign for the White House brings to the polls the kind of fringe voters who don’t really grasp concepts like the Separation of Powers, but who do enjoy voting for the Celebrity-in-Chief. Since the Democratic Party is basically a high-low coalition against the middle, these kinds of marginal voters go strongly Democratic, if they remember it’s Election Day.

As I pointed out last year after analyzing the Census Bureau’s report on voting demographics, Obama in 2012 enjoyed a huge turnout among blacks, especially old ladies.

But with that nice Mr. Obama not on the ballot this year, how were the Democrats supposed to excite the black vote in 2014?

In 2012, the Trayvon Martin—George Zimmerman shooting had served to whoop up black anger at white men like Zimmerman. Granted, Zimmerman was obviously Hispanic and even a little black. (He looked disturbingly like the son Obama never had.) And Zimmerman’s trial in 2013 turned out to be an immense fiasco for the Narrative.

So what could get the Democrats through 2014?


In a country of over 300 million people, tragic events happen every day. It shouldn’t be hard for the Democrats to find one genuine outrage in an election year to exploit. And yet, the Democratic-Mainstream media Complex routinely fouls up selecting the case to illustrate that black babies’ bodies are being gunned down by white racists on every street corner.

But that still doesn’t stop them.

On August 30, 2014, the New York Times reported:

At Risk in Senate, Democrats Seek to Rally Blacks


August 31, 2014

WASHINGTON — With their Senate majority imperiled, Democrats are trying to mobilize African-Americans outraged by the shooting in Ferguson, Mo., to help them retain control of at least one chamber of Congress for President Obama’s final two years in office.

Please note that this article about Democrat strategy was published 15 days after the revelation of the convenience store video of 6’4” and 292 pound Michael Brown beginning his Thug Life crime spree by assaulting the little Asian clerk. At that point, it was obvious that the whole Ferguson narrative was going to unravel, but the Obama Administration and the national mainstream media simply doubled down and kept up the propaganda until late into the fall.

The White House should have immediately stopped hyping Ferguson on August 15, but they just couldn’t help themselves. The decision to send Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson was made in a private meeting by Obama, Holder, and Valerie Jarrett while they were all vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, of all places. [ The Obama Whisperer, By Noam Scheiber, The New Republic, November 9, 2014]

Obama, Holder, and Jarrett are all from the African-American upper crust and know little about the black masses. Holder is a Barbadian who was raised in a West Indian bourgeois bubble in New York, while Jarrett was born in Iran.

Obama, Holder, and Jarrett decided, in effect, to hand strategic direction of the Democrats’ campaign over to the looters who painted “Snitches Get Stitches” on the side of the (wrong) Ferguson store they torched in vengeance.

One effect was that Asians suddenly swung sharply Republican. The 2012 exit poll claimed that Romney won only 27 percent of their vote. But in the wake of Ferguson, and the Obama Administration’s absolute lack of interest in the video of the giant black man attacking the Asian shopkeeper, Asians voted 50-49 for the GOP. This was the first election in which Asians went Republican since the 1990s, after the black pogroms against Korean shopkeepers during the April 1992 Rodney King riots.

It’s fun for Asians to make fun of the white man when the American mainstream media tells them to, but the idea that Obama, Holder, and Jarrett—the Black Party leadership, as it were—sided with black looters instead of Asian shopkeepers is, rightly, horrifying to them.

The lack of black enthusiasm for voting after the Democrats’ Ferguson Campaign speaks well for African-Americans’ sense of self-respect. They turned up in vast numbers two years ago to vote for Obama, who, for all his flaws, is at least a respectable credit to his race. This year, in contrast, they found the prospect of voting for Michael Brown depressing.

What will happen next to the Democrats as they continue to pursue the logic of a coalition of the fringes?

One little discussed problem that came home to roost for liberals in 2014 is that the transparent bogusness of their narrative about the evils of cisgendered straight white men tends to attract sleazeballs. For example, here we are in 2014 and veteran sleazeball Rev. Al Sharpton is at the apogee of his influence over the White House. The talking points of the mainstream media’s war on whites repel individuals of conscience but attract those hungry for money and attention. In turn, the poor human quality of the loudest liberal voices drives away normal voters.

For example, 2014 saw the Rise of the Politically Correct Adventuress. We’re used to being lectured on our sins by indignant lesbians, but the emergence of hot babes as politicized scolds wherever men with money were to be found was a recurrent pattern over the last 12 months. The most notorious example was Donald Sterling’s treacherous mistress V. Stiviano, while Silicon Valley was overrun by faux feminists, egged on by a press corps penning implausible stories about alpha male computer programmers.

In 2014, one set of cisgendered straight white males—guys who really like playing video games—noticed that the liberal journalists that cover their hobby (but mostly seem to denounce their own readers for being straight white guys) were in bed—sometimes literally—with various untalented female game developers they kept promoting as the exciting diverse alternative to boring old stale pale maleness.

This mainstream media scandal was dubbed Gamergate. In a unique incident in recent American history, the famous computer chip company Intel announced that it would stop advertising at one corrupt publication.

Aghast, the mainstream media swung into action to defend its journalistic colleagues by denouncing those uncovering press corruption as rapists implicitly violating the central if unspoken taboo of modern America: members of the Core cannot self-organize explicitly to defend their own interests; and everybody knows that videogamers are CSWMs, and thus deserve to lose.

The gamers replied that they were organizing not as straight white males defending themselves from denigration, but as consumers trying to clean up a conflict of interest. The mainstream media, however, was relentless in its umbrage at Gamergaters for valuing honesty over diversity. Moreover, gamers are seen as an implicit core defense group and thus should have no right to organize.

Did Gamergate open many voters’ eyes? Perhaps not, although here’s one example. But this novel controversy is highly representative of the cultural dynamics of the last 24 months that culminated in the Democrats’ repudiation last week.

Have you ever noticed that basically everything you are supposed to believe in these days—feminism, diversity, etc.—turns out in practice to just be another way for hot babes, rich guys, super salesmen, cunning financiers, telegenic self-promoters, and powerful politicians to get themselves even more money and power?

Steve Sailer (email him) writes regularly for Takimag and blogs at the Unz Review.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Sailer Strategy 
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I’m frequently accused of being overly interested in race and ethnicity, to which I reply: “Didn’t you fill in your Census questionnaire?”

Now, Kenneth Prewitt, whom Bill Clinton appointed head of the Census Bureau in 1998, has published an informative book, What Is Your Race?: The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans, documenting the federal government’s dysfunctional combination of near-monomania over counting by race and lack of coherent thought about the long-run effects of how racial boundaries are drawn.

Despite his half-decade in charge of the Census, Prewitt shares with the average American a certain perplexity over his old department’s fixation upon race and ethnicity:

What perhaps puzzles the reader is why [Census] race statistics are so terribly important that they are announced simultaneously with the population figures mandated for reapportionment. You may also be puzzled that the census form dedicates so much of its space to the race and Hispanic question but has no space for education, health, employment, or marital status questions.

(Not to mention the absence of a citizenship question, which would ask about a simple yes-or-no legal distinction far less murky than race or ethnicity.)

Census And Race

An old-fashioned nice white Protestant liberal, Prewitt, who is now Carnegie professor of public affairs at Columbia University, expresses befuddlement at how a job he apparently assumed would be suitable for a technocratic good government Progressive like himself wound up plunging him into the maelstrom of modern racial politics. Thus his proposals for technical improvements in the Census quite unexpectedly (to him) degenerated into a donnybrook over race, complete with angry charges of, guess what, “racism.”

Prewitt points out that, from the disinterested perspective of promoting the commonweal, the federal government’s racial preoccupation synchronizes poorly with the lack of informed public discussion over the purposes of all this categorizing of people. Instead, the crucial process of drawing official racial and ethnic boundaries tends to be either hijacked by interest groups or is the remnant of bureaucratic inertia and lack of foresight.

Prewitt is particularly concerned about the on-going racial mobilizationof immigrants that the federal statistical machinery fosters.

As a good Democrat, Prewitt understands that counting by race is necessary to provide racial preferences to the descendants of American slaves and to American Indians, whom he calls (reasonably enough) the “uniquely disadvantaged” victims of America’s past.

But, somewhat heretically, he asks: Do we really want immigrant groups to be viewed through the lens of race?

…if immigrants are racialized–the future sadly repeats America’s past.

Judging from the footnotes, Prewitt was influenced by the late Hugh Graham Davis’s 2002 book Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America(which I wrote about here).

Paralleling Milton Friedman’s observation that a country can have a welfare state or open borders, but not both, Davis pointed out that racial preferences for blacks and American Indians are one thing–but for America both to allow massive immigration and offer racial preferences to most of the world’s peoples is such a paradoxical policy that few people can contemplate it.

Prewitt argues that if race and ethnicity are social constructs, as all good liberals like he himself assume, then our democracy ought to be prudent about how we socially construct them.

Prewitt takes the scientifically discredited “race does not exist” conventional wisdom seriously, but you don’t have to accept that to see the good sense in his advice. He documents a long history of bureaucrats and politicians maladroitly seizing upon existing categories for ill-suited new purposes, such as Affirmative Action; or making up categories for short-term advantages, only to unleash unexpected consequences.

We always wind up with what Prewitt calls “statistical races”–Census agglomerations that take on lives of their own because the government, the Main Stream Media, and Big Business bribe and browbeat individuals into pledging conformity to their categories.

To cite an example that Prewitt only dances around: the government’s decision, which he traces back to the Office of Management and Budget’s 1977 Directive 15, to move South Asians from the Caucasian to the Asian / Pacific Islander race, was not a good example of “carving nature at its joints,” as Plato would say. Genetics and physical anthropology suggest that Indians and Pakistanis have more in common with Middle Easterners than with the Chinese.

But this regulatory ploy freed Subcontinental immigrants up to get in on the minority business development action. So they didn’t complain.

Prewitt wisely recommends that instead we should:

“…start with agreement on public purposes and then design suitable statistics to meet policy challenges. Without clarity on why the nation should measure race, clarity on what to measure is impossible.”

Despite Prewitt’s Democrat loyalties, this is especially good advice for Republicans.

In recent years, the GOP hasn’t shown much interest in thinking through the implications of Census redefinitions (or in anything else that makes its operatives’ heads ache). Thus the Census Bureau is scheduled to deliver a report to the Office of Management and Budget by 2015 on how to change the race and ethnicity questions on the 2020 Census. Yet I’ve never heard of any Republican strategists paying attention to this dull but potentially devastating argument.

Perhaps the last time prominent Republicans got heavily involved was back in the 1990s, when Newt Gingrich briefly pushed for official recognition of a “multiracial” category.

Some individuals with a mother and father of different races had protested that the government shouldn’t order them to, in effect, choose which parent they love most when filling out their Census form. (Tiger Woods, for instance, refused to pick among his ancestors when Nike pressured him to identify as black. In contrast, Barack Obama chose to identify solely as “black” on the 2010 Census–whether out of loyalty to the one-drop rule or because he always resented his white mother and grandmother.)

Others lobbyists wanted government endorsement of a new pan-“Multiracial” identity lumping together, say, Eurasians with black-Cherokee hybrids.

But this proposal for one all-purpose Multiracial category failed to “carve nature at its joints” (as Plato would say). And eventually the Clinton Administration announced that, on the 2000 Census, respondents could check as many different race boxes as they felt like.

The NAACP objected to that because, under most principled interpretations, divvying individuals up among their ancestors would, ultimately, reduce the size of quotas for blacks, who currently can claim anyone with any black blood. After mulling this quandary over for years, the Clinton Administration brilliantly ju-jitsued Newt and placated the NAACP by declaring that, for the purpose of increasing racial preferences, mixed race people would be counted 100% as belonging to whichever of their nonwhite groups are most legally privileged.

I’m tempted to say that the lesson the Republicans learned from Newt’s gambit getting trumped is that they can’t win at playing these games, so why bother?

But, in truth, I haven’t seen much evidence that they learned anything at all.

For example, what if a push develops to allow not just “multiracial” but “multiethnic” answers on the 2020 Census? After all, it could be argued, why is the government forcing individuals with one Hispanic and one non-Hispanic parent to choose between them?

What would be the partisan impact, in the short run and the long, of accepting a “multiethnic” Census category?

It’s too much anymore to expect Republican operatives to think about whether that change would be good for Republican voters. But is nobody on Team GOP capable of at least modeling whether that would be good for Republican politicians?

Do the Republicans even have any quants anymore who will take on questions of race? The Democrats have been hiring scores of Nate Silver-like political moneyballers, while the Republicans have been firing Jason Richwine.

American politics, as Dr. Prewitt has learned to his distress, is fundamentally entwined with race and ethnicity. Thus, the firing of Richwine for thinking statistically about race was part of the Respectable Right’s ongoing unilateral intellectual disarmament. How does this process end well for the GOP?

Prewitt, who treads delicately and follows the contemporary requirement that you notice nothing remotely critical about anyone other than non-Hispanic whites, doesn’t offer many current examples of how obscure bureaucratic decisions of the past shaped today’s reigning mental models of the world.

But readers no doubt can come up with their own.

For instance, Senator Marco Rubio (Cuban) and Representative Luis Gutierrez (Puerto Rican) are treated by the MSM as natural leaders of the push for Amnesty for illegal Mexicans. In turn, Rubio, at least according to the magazine covers so prevalent earlier in 2013, is the natural GOP presidential nominee in 2016.

Underlying this logic–if that’s the word for it–is the MSM’s presumption of Cuban-Puerto Rican-Mexican solidarity. But why do pundits believe something for which little evidence has been put forward?

Largely, it’s because the government’s Hispanic/Latino category lumps all three groups together for convenience in reporting statistics.

Whether or not that much Latino cohesion exists in the real world, you can see it right there on the page in government statistics–and in all the journalism and marketing research that builds off federal data.

And why are all “Hispanics” grouped together? Originally, according to Prewitt, the Johnson Administration excluded Cubans because they tended to be prosperous Republicans who weren’t going to need special benefits. Richard Nixon, whose best buddy was Cuban banker Bebe Rebozo, tossed them in. Instead of divide and conquer, Nixon launched a new Republican strategy: unite and submit.

In fact, of course, below the Rubio/ Gutierrez level of the nationally ambitious, both Cubans and Puerto Ricans care little about Mexicans’ immigration troubles–because Cubans and Puerto Ricans enjoy special, extremely favorable immigration deals already.

However, both Cubans and Puerto Ricans tend to produce more charismatic personalities than the kind of Mexicans who don’t have any better options in life than to immigrate to the U.S. So we’ve seen the promotion of what would be a peculiar Cuban putsch within the GOP: a member of this tiny and declining fraction of Republicans might garner the 2016 nomination aided by Census-certified Hispanicity.

Both Rubio (pro-“path to citizenship”) and Ted Cruz (anti-Amnesty) are widely seen among Washington sophisticates as potential Republican presidential nominees–because they can, presumably, get the Mexican vote.

Whether Mexicans even like Cubans remains uninvestigated, except on (Here’s a recent Onion piece gingerly joking about this.)

But all these people whose names end in a vowel or a Z seem alike to Washington Insiders. After all, the Census groups them together. So why should Washington Pooh Bahs bother to check for themselves?

Another irony only vaguely touched upon by Prewitt: the federal government bends over backwards to accommodate the anti-black and anti-Indian racial prejudices of Latin Americans. It created a nonracial category called “ethnicity” in which the only choices are “Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin” or “No, not of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.” This allows immigrants from Latin America (or even Spain!) to declare themselves to be both blue-blooded whites anddeserving of the unequal protection of the laws to make up for… the crimes los Anglos committed against their pure Castilian ancestors during the War of Jenkins’ Ear.

Or something. I don’t know. In fact, nobody seems to know why various white hidalgos get to make a nice living for themselves in America as Leaders of the Brown Oppressed Masses. But then nobody asks, either. That’s just the way it’s been since the 1970s.

Prewitt argues, rather as I proposed in 2009, that the Census just ask everybody’s ethnicity. He suggests that the Census should ask about ancestral nationality–which countries you, your father, and your mother were born in—and phase out race.

This would help distinguish between, say, Michelle Obama (who is descended from American slaves through all four grandparents) and Barack Obama (who isn’t descended from slaves–but probably is descended from slave traders).

Be warned, though, that that’s my example. Prewitt’s are duller.

Another of Prewitt’s major themes: the obvious contradiction between the conventional wisdom that “Race does not exist” and the Census’s use of five racial categories that coincide closely with the five proposed by the 18th Century German physical anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. He took the four races proposed by master taxonomer Linnaeus and split Malay/Pacific Islanders from the Asiatics to create five. According to Wikipedia, Blumenbach proposed:

  • the Caucasian or white race
  • the Mongolian or yellow race
  • the Malayan or brown race
  • the Ethiopian, or black race
  • the American or red race.

Contemporary American Race Denier Stephen Jay Gould tut-tutted over Blumenbach’s influence:

An extraordinary thing happened two hundred years after Blumenbach announced that the world’s population should be divided into five race groups distinguished by skin color. The United States government agreed.[The Geometer of Race, By Stephen Jay Gould, Discover, November 1, 1994]

Prewitt is a true believer in the Gouldian conventional wisdom and is wholly unaware of Gould’s later discrediting because of his projection of his own biases onto better scientists who came before him. (This June 14, 2011 New York Times’ editorial acutely delineates Gould’s fundamental flaw.) So Prewitt seems genuinely surprised the Census still uses Blumenbach’s much-denounced five races.

But why does it? Because they are good enough for government work.

Seriously. There are always multiple ways to classify people, with the famous splitter v. lumper dichotomy being the most obvious. Should you have just a few big boxes or many small ones? Good question. It depends on your purpose.

Moreover, there are other racial groups that are missing from Blumenbach’s Big Five. For example, Australian Aborigines were only discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770, shortly before Blumenbach wrote. Also, there are isolated groups, such as the pygmy negritos of the Andaman Islands, who don’t fit in well into Big Picture frameworks.

And, of course, there are lots of individuals and peoples who are mixes.

A simple all-purpose definition is that a racial group is a partly inbred extended family. But in thinking about your own relatives, you’ll notice that it’s not completely self-evident how to group them.

Overall, though, Blumenbach was a great scientist. Considering how hard it was to accumulate evidence about distant groups in the 18thCentury, he did an impressive job of carving nature more or less reasonably close to its joints.

In contrast, Prewitt attributes the Clinton Administration’s 1997 splitting of Pacific Islanders from Asians, which completed the Blumenbachanization of Census racial categories, simply to crude political pressure from Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), who is half Native Hawaiian.

Akaka essentially argued that Pacific Islanders don’t act like Asians. Prewitt summarizes

“…Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders had lower incomes, fewer educational opportunities, and less access to health care compared to the larger Asian population. He urged that these disparities be separately tabulated and that government programs be targeted accordingly.”

In other words, overachieving Asians were cutting down on underachieving Pacific Islanders’ opportunity to get themselves some Affirmative Action.

Akaka’s second argument, according to Prewitt, was “expressive.” In other words, Pacific Islanders don’t want to be officially classified as some sort of portly afterthought to Asians. Native Hawaiians like being Native Hawaiian, like expressing their Native Hawaianess, and want their government to salute them for it.

As a white technocrat who wouldn’t dream of expressing pride in his own race, Prewitt had trouble reconciling how much of his Census job turned out to be facilitating racial/ethnic pride displays, which often degenerate into a competition by ethnic politicians to bring home the racial bacon.

But, such is the way of the world … one that white people like poor Professor Prewitt, much less white Republicans, are unlikely to change.

In summary, Prewitt, despite his attempts to be as Politically Correct as possible, has opened up an important can of worms.

He hints at how racial / ethnic preferences interact with racial / ethnic categories on the Census: in essence, there can’t be disparate impact discrimination lawsuits about a lack of “statistical proportionality” in hiring and firing unless the government counts how many minorities comprise the denominator. So, if the government either stops counting a group or vastly expands the number of groups counted, the practicality of de facto quotas plummets.

Conversely, if the government isn’t offering money and prizes to individuals for identifying as nonwhite, the global tendency for people to want to be seen as white as possible (see, for example, retired Dominican slugger Sammy Sosa’s use of skin-lighteners) will mean that the percentage of Latin Americans and South Asians wanting to be seen as nonwhite will decline.

Thus Prewitt’s proposal to drop the race category in favor of a Nativity category–everybody listing their national ancestry. This would so complicate the ancestry statistics that quotas driven by employer fears of disparate impact lawsuits would become exponentially less feasible.

My guess, however, is that Affirmative Action for the descendants of black slaves in America is here to stay. The pre-MLK suffering of blacks in America has become too sacralized to challenge.

But still, Prewitt’s suggestion of adding a Nativity category is an excellent idea. For example, this proposed Nativity category would provide the statistical groundwork for denying Affirmative Action to the descendants of African black immigrants who didn’t suffer from slavery or even Jim Crow–such as, oh, Barack Obama.

Another way to achieve some of the advantages of adding a Nationality category is to open the Ethnicity category up to everybody. Instead of Ethnicity being only for Hispanics, let everybody list whatever ethnicities they feel like (e.g., 1/4th Amish, 1/4th Scots-Irish, 1/4th Peruvian, and 1/4th Armenian).

Just like Senator Akaka, what American doesn’t deserve to express his or her identity? Why should the government cold-shoulder everybody whose ethnicity isn’t Hispanic?

Granted, this would make a hash of attempts to enforce ethnic preferences. But I see that as a feature, not a bug.

Alternatively, we could abolish the Ethnicity category altogether.

If it’s politically necessary to continue preferences for some established Americans of Latin American background, let’s at least use the new Nativity category to deny them to people who chose, or their parents chose, to come to America, warts and all.

At the same time, the racial category could be expanded by making it more multiculturally sensitive. In 2010, over 18 million Hispanics (about 3/8ths of the total) checked the “Some Other Race” box on the Census form, in large part because the Census Bureau fails to recognize Latin American racial identities such as mestizo, mulatto, pardo, and Indio.

But above all, let’s not give preferences to the Spanish-surnamed whites who provide so much of the leadership and brains of the ongoing Katharine of Aragon’s Revenge.

Finally, Republican strategists should consider this: the GOP is inextricably linked with being the White Party. Thus, it should socially constructing the Census questions to elicit either a White Big Tent or a White Little Tent solution.

A Big Tent strategy, which I’ve argued for in the past, would try to incorporate as many nonblacks as possible into a sense of whiteness. Both Latin American, South Asian, and even East Asian cultures tend to be biased in favor of fairness. If we stop rewarding them for claiming to be nonwhite, many will tend to find they have more in common with whites than with blacks, and perhaps vote accordingly.

Alternatively, the GOP could pursue a Small Tent strategy: rewriting Census categories to exclude from whiteness Arabs, Armenians, fair-skinned Latin Americans etc. to speed up the process by which whites achieve that modern promised land of minorityhood.

But this is naïve. It’s not being a minority per se that makes you above criticism–it’s being Not White (or Not Straight, Not Christian, Not Male, Not Cis-Gendered, etcetera etcetera). Deep down, the zeitgeist is driven less by love for minorities than by hate for traditional majorities.

But, at least, racial realities must be understood well enough so that whites (formerly known as Americans) can get to play the Census game too.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Census 
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While the rest of the country was still up in arms over the George Zimmerman verdict, I watched a webinar from the Brookings Institution on The Future of the Republican Party: Is the GOP DOA? It wasn’t the most scintillating debate, but it did give some insight into how influential Republicans think—and what they don’t think about.

Zimmerman’s ordeal demonstrated once again the centrality of race and ethnicity in American political passions. But three of the four discussants—Elaine Kamarck, William A. Galston, and Alex Castellanos—played down the topic.

You might think that the violent, mindless rage directed by Democrats at Zimmerman as the face of white racism (despite his being Hispanic) might get Republicans thinking about how to exploit the inherent cracks in the Obama Coalition. But the idea seems never to have occurred to the participants.

The Brookings confab was mostly of interest because it offered a look the one speaker who did discuss race: at Sean Trende, the RealClearPolitics election data cruncher. Trende has a chance to evolve into the Nate Silver of the Right. He is a lucid speaker and a handsome fellow in a James Spader-sort of way, so he should get numerous opportunities to inject some reality checks into Republican thinking.

Trende’s recent four-part series on The Case of the Missing White Voters, Revisited basically introduced the Main Stream Media—at long last!—to the existence of the white voter. Trende is properly skeptical of the conventional wisdom, offered by such disinterested well-wishers of the GOP as Barack Obama, Charles Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi, that the House GOP must grant amnesty to illegal aliens now or never win another Presidential election.

In contrast, Trende noted that white turnout was weak in 2012. In particular, at the county level, total turnout tended to be limpest in counties where Ross Perot did best in 1992.

Perot, who turned in the strongest Third Party run since Teddy Roosevelt, ran strongest in regions somewhat distinct from the GOP’s current Southern and evangelical strongholds. The renegade billionaire appealed most to patriotic populists, the kind of more downscale white voters who were distinctly ungalvanized by Mitt Romney’s corporate executive style (Trende: “Romney got killed on ‘Who cares about people like me?’”) and by Paul Ryan’s budget wonkery.

As a thought experiment demonstrating “there are multiple ways to skin an electoral cat,” Trende pointed out three things the GOP could have done to get to fifty percent plus one of the popular vote in 2012:

  • Win 21 percentage points more of Hispanics
  • Win 16 points more of blacks
  • Win 3 points more of whites

Which one seems easiest to do in 2016?

Trende is perfectly willing to admit that “30-40 years from now, it’s a different story”—mass immigration will have totally sunk the GOP, at least as we know it today. But the short-term numbers hardly suggest that the Republicans’ only hope to get out of the hole that post-1965 immigration policy has put them in is to dig faster.

Granted, the MSM failure to check the dubious math in their stories on how Senator Schumer is saving the Republican Party is more understandable than their getting the Trayvon tale so embarrassingly wrong. That was the kind of sad incident that happens all the time in every metropolitan region in America. It just needed meat and potatoes reporting to figure what really happened. But, instead, the MSM, after its long disinformation campaign, has found itself humiliated by the trial: yet another fiasco involving blacks.

Still, it’s worth asking: why couldn’t the MSM keep in their heads a simple distinction about the impact of immigration—

Answer: Because thinking is hard, especially about reality.

Thus for the last 8 months we’ve been hearing almost nonstop about how for GOP House not to pass the Schumer-Rubio bill would incur the Righteous Racial Wrath of Hispanics. The pervasive but seldom-articulated assumption among journalists: Hispanic voters are a cohesive group who are obsessed with helping their co-ethnics, due to their intense Pan-Hispanic devotion to Racial Solidarity.

After all, aren’t Hispanics the New Blacks?

Well, it’s true that, as we’ve seen in the Trayvon controversy, African-Americans tend to be highly racialist. That doesn’t mean they always treat each other well, unfortunately— by, say, not shooting each other. But, clearly, they welcome chances to express verbally their racial solidarity—which also provides career benefits for a not-insignificant stratum of the more articulate blacks.

For example, the Rev. Al Sharpton still really is a Black Leader. He successfully played the same agitator role in the Trayvon tragedy as he did in the fictional Henry Lamb death under the name Rev. Bacon in Bonfire of the Vanities 26 years ago.

However, there’s a reason that this “Hispanic Is the New Black” assumption rarely gets aired explicitly: blacks are still the old black. They aren’t in any hurry (except for the most tactical of reasons) to share the moral mantle of America’s Designated Victim Group with Hispanics like, say, George Zimmerman.

But are African-Americans the best model for understanding people from Spanish-speaking countries?

For example, over the last 15 months, how many Hispanic leaders have stood up in the defense of the half-Peruvian Zimmerman? Not many.

The only honorable exception I’ve noticed: veteran tabloid TV host Geraldo Rivera. He has taken a lot of flack over the last 15 months for being a voice of moderation against the railroading of Zimmerman.

But even that lone example raises the question: Is Geraldo really a Latino Leader? Does he even claim to be? (Occasionally, he talks about retiring to his house in Israel and running for the Knesset.)

But if Geraldo, who at least is famous, isn’t a Latino Leader, then who is?

Well, there’s that Univision anchorman from Mexico City who looks like Anderson Cooper would after getting burnished on a rotary lathe to a gleaming sheen. And there’s that guy who gets paid $3,000 per year to hold the ceremonial office of mayor of San Antonio and who the Democrats had give the keynote speech at their last convention. And there is the ex-mayor of Los Angeles, who is kind of an overgrown juvenile delinquent. Also, the press seems to want to anoint that Desperate Housewives actress as the new Marta Luther King.

But it all seems very tenuous. In fact, a 2010 Pew Hispanic Center poll found that 74% of Latinos responded that their most important ethnic leader was either “Don’t know” or “No one.”

The Zimmerman case is more evidence that most of today’s professional Hispanic activists are transparently just in it for their own careers. The Establishment didn’t want anybody standing up for Zimmerman. So no Latino Leader younger than the 70-year-old Geraldo would.

The main examples of Latino Leadership noticeable over the last decade: the huge rallies of illegal aliens on May Day 2006. Who sounded the clarion call for those? Probably funny drive-time Spanish-language DJs, but nobody seems to remember.

Indeed, there’s not much evidence that the Hispanic masses cared one way or another about Zimmerman. The argument only seemed to concern blacks and, as always, two sets of white people getting very angry at each other.

In my experience, Hispanics are rather adept at not caring about a lot of things that seem important to white people at any one time.

The reality: it’s whites have dreamt up the notion of Latino Solidarity.

Sure, the diversity gravy train does provides an easy career for a few well-educated folks with Spanish surnames.

For instance, at the Brookings webinar one panelist was Alex Castellanos, the Cuban-born ad man who created the endlessly denounced Anti-Affirmative action “White Hands” commercial that helped Jesse Helms win re-election in 1990. But now Alex is beyond all that, reinventing himself as a Tom Friedman-like seer who recommends books on complexity theory by the Santa Fe Institute and on governing via the Internet by San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom.

And Castellanos isn’t totally loath to get in on the ongoing Cuban putsch within the GOP by playing the victim card himself. At Brookings, he claimed: “We’re in a party where I have to carry my passport in my pocket to prove my citizenship.”

Huh? Castellanos looks like Dick Van Dyke during his Diagnosis Murderphase (his daughter looks like a young Tea Leoni). He talks like a slightly less folksy version of historian David McCullough narrating a Civil War documentary.

But immigrants from Latin America and their descendants don’t really care about this vast synthetic concoction of “Hispanicity.” In the World Cup, for instance, they root for the national soccer teams from their homelands.

Poor Zimmerman’s mom was from Peru, but who cares about Peruvian-Americans? Apparently, Mexican-Americans don’t.

Similarly, since November, the MSM has been proclaiming Cuban-American Marco Rubio the savior of the Republican Party in 2016 because of his immense appeal to Latino voters. Except that the most recent poll by Latino Decisions of 1200 Latino voters found Rubio losing to Hillary Clinton 66-28 and to Joe Biden 60-28.

On the other hand, Rubio does have a cute British Invasion boy band look, so at least he’s got that going for him.

Latin Americans like looking white. They put expensive effort into it,cosmetically and genetically, and they pay a lot of money to their idols for looking white.

In contrast to Rubio or the glistening Jorge Ramos, Zimmerman is, visibly, some kind of pudgy tri-racial pardo.

The bottom line: while numerous elite white Americans have been going on TV to announce, like Kent Brockman on The Simpsons, “I, for one, welcome our new electoral overlords,” the truth is that Hispanic immigrants are just not formidable people, individually or (especially) collectively.

And that hints at the 30-40 year solution for the GOP’s massive demographic problem. (Assuming, of course, that the party elite absolutely refuses to allow an immigration moratorium).

If Americans whites started treating themselves with self-respect (e.g., don’t roll over for illegal aliens with fifth-grade educations), the Latinos would more or less fall in line as they tried to be white in an American where whiteness is no longer demonized.

Sean Trende told Brookings that the GOP might get up to 20 percent of the black vote someday. To me, that seems both implausible and unwise. The natural sweep of American politics is from blacks on the Left to, say, Mormons on the conservative side. In 2012, for instance, Romney got 3 percent of the black vote and 86 percent of the Mormon vote. (Of course, that gap was exaggerated by the identities of the two candidates last November, but it’s still characteristic).

Instead, my suggestion: rather than devote immense effort to pursuing a tiny number of persuadable black voters, Republicans would be smarter to concede that the Democrats are the natural home of blacks … and that blacks, as historic Americans, deserve to have a major party defer to them!

Indeed, just as Republicans are constantly demonized as the “White Party,” t hey should praise the Democrats for being the natural “Black Party”—the rightful vehicle for African American political aspirations, since blacks are the moral core of the Democrats.

As I wrote in wrote in 2009, before anybody had heard of Trayvon Martin:

Moreover, Republican rhetoric should encourage feelings of proprietariness among blacks toward their Democratic Party. It’s not all that hard to get blacks to feel that they morally deserve something, such as, for example,predominance in the Democratic Party. African-Americans are good at feeling that others owe them deference.

Hispanic and Asian voters should be encouraged to understand the central American political reality: they only get to choose between being the junior partners in the White Party or junior partners in the Black Party.

When that reality is made clear, white Democratic grandees like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer might be very surprised by what happens to their Rainbow Coalition.


Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)


(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Democratic Party 
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Ever since last November’s election, we’ve been hearing that Hispanics comprised a record 10 percent of the vote—which therefore obliges Republican Congressmen to pass “comprehensive immigration reform” a.k.a the Schumer-Rubio Amnesty/ Immigration Surge bill RIGHT NOW.

For example:

National exit polls showed that 10 percent of the electorate was Hispanic, compared with 9 percent in 2008 and 8 percent in 2004. … A growing perception of hostility toward illegal immigrants by Republican candidates is driving many Latinos to the polls.

[Growing share of Hispanic voters helped push Obama to victory, By Donna St. George and Brady Dennis, Washington Post, November 7, 2012]

But what if these nice, round turnout numbers provided by the Edison exit poll company weren’t true? What if the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” clamor is based on exit poll error?

What if in 2012 the Sleeping Giant of the Latino Vote didn’t actually awake—but instead rolled over and started a new siesta?

In short, what if the Main Stream Media exaggerated the Hispanic share of the 2012 vote by a factor of almost 20 percent?

Well, we now have the numbers. We now know that the suppositions behind these awkward questions are true.

After every national election, the Census Bureau conducts a massive survey of voter turnout. Then it bureaucratically mulls over the results for months—while the conventional wisdom congeals around whatever slapdash numbers the exit poll firm emitted in the early going.

In contrast to the Census Bureau survey, though, exit polls aren’t designed to measure turnout. Heck, exit polls aren’t even very good at figuring out who won the election—just ask President John F. Kerry.

Exit polls can’t be based on the random samples that would be needed to measure turnout accurately, because the exit poll company has to bake a forecast of the electorate’s demographics into its plan of which precincts to send workers to cover. Not surprisingly, it tends to get back the results it anticipated.

Moreover, Hispanics are both of interest to sponsors and difficult to survey (they can need Spanish-speaking pollsters). So their needs are typically given more weight in planning the exit poll. The result: national exit polls have overstated the Hispanic share of the vote at least since 2000.

Now, finally, on May 9, the Current Population Survey division of the Census Bureau has issued its turnout report, scintillatingly titled The Diversifying Electorate—Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections)[PDF]

Despite the title, it makes compelling reading.

It turns out that the official best estimate of the Latino share of 2012 voters isn’t 10 percent—but merely 8.4 percent:

It turns out that the official best estimate of the Latino share of 2012 voters isn’t 10 percent—but merely 8.4 percent

So the standard story you’ve been hearing in the MSM for almost seven months is indeed inflated by 19 percent.

But what can you expect … because the conventional wisdom as embodied in that Washington Post story has been exaggerated for, roughly, ever.

Hispanics didn’t account for 9 percent of the 2008 electorate, but 7.4 percent. And in 2004, they weren’t 8 percent, but 6.0 percent. Way back in 2000, the exit poll claimed that Hispanics made up 7 percent, but the real number turned out to be 5.4 percent, as I reported for UPI on July 24, 2001. [Mexican-American Vote Smaller than Many Think]

But who did turn out in 2012 to drive Obama to victory? Who was the fresh new face of the American electorate in 2012?

Old black ladies.

According to the Census survey, fans of Tyler Perry movies voted in remarkable numbers in 2012—even more than in Obama’s first victory in 2008.

Unsurprisingly, given Obama’s candidacy, from 2004 to 2008 the number of black voters had grown 15 percent.

Unexpectedly, however, blacks added another 10 percent to their vote total from 2008 to 2012. Nationally, 66.2 percent of eligible blacks voted compared to 64.1 percent of whites, 48.0 percent of Hispanics, and 47.3 percent of Asians.

Nationally, 66.2 percent of eligible blacks voted compared to 64.1 percent of whites, 48.0 percent of Hispanics, and 47.3 percen

Thus in the crucial battleground state of Ohio, blacks achieved a voting rate of 71.7 percent compared to 61.9 percent for whites.

Overall, the raw black vote total grew more than even the Hispanic vote from 2008 to 2012: an incremental 1.68 million for blacks versus 1.44 million for Hispanics, and a decline of 2.00 million for whites.

Among blacks, older women were the most diligent at increasing their turnout in 2012.

The Census Bureau explains:

In 2012, overall turnout rates decreased in comparison with both 2004 and 2008, a drop in voting characterized by large decreases in youth voting rates for all race groups and Hispanics. The only subgroups showing voting rate increases in 2012 were blacks between the ages of 45 to 64 and 65 years of age and over.

This growth in black turnout was particularly concentrated among those over age 65. Also, black women traditionally vote at significantly higher rates than black men, and the black gender gap in turnout hit a new record in 2012.[For First Time on Record, Black Voting Rate Outpaced Rate for Whites in 2012,By Sarah Wheaton, Ne w York Times, May 8, 2013]

So why did so many old black ladies bother to vote in 2012?

To express racial solidarity. To win. To ensure the White House stays black.

Old black ladies are American citizens. They are more than entitled to show up at the polls and vote for a credit to their race like Barack Obama.

But they are not exactly The Wave of the Future. The vast enthusiasm that Obama excited among aged African-Americans is not a logical reason to put Hispanic illegal aliens on the voting rolls.

But that is in fact the standard logic.

It’s worth noting that the Democrats are perfecting racial dog whistling with their constant claims that Republicans are trying to strip the vote from minorities, assertions that seemingly resounded with elderly blacks.

Black news site The Root reported:

The NAACP also credited its leadership in the pitched battle against Republican-led state voting restrictions such as photo-identification laws. Numerous civil rights groups and the Obama team fomented a backlash among black voters with a “Don’t let them take away your vote!” message.

[Black Voter Turnout Is Up. Will That Persist?, By Corey Dale, May 12, 2013]

This crowing by the NAACP, normally a dusty yesterday’s-news organization, is not unreasonable: The Census Bureau study suggests the NAACP really did help generate a backlash among elderly blacks.

From a game theory standpoint, the Democrats would want to cheat at least enough to cause Republicans to react to their cheating by proposing legislation to protect the validity of the vote. The Democrats can then rile up blacks with the message that Republicans are trying to take their votes away.

It seems to have worked.

In contrast to the fervent black effort to re-elect Obama, whites were strikingly unmotivated by Romney. The total white vote dropped from 100 million in 2008 to 98 million in 2012 (down two percent). Only 64.1 percent of eligible whites voted in 2012, down from 66.1 percent in 2008 and 67.2 percent in the recent high-water mark year of 2004. This was the first time in the history of the Census survey that whites were not the highest-ranking group in terms of their rate of voting.

Among Hispanics eligible to vote, gross numbers continued to rise—but the rate of those taking the trouble to vote dropped from 49.9 to 48.0 percent. The number of Hispanics who claimed to be eligible but didn’t bother to get to the polls soared from 9.8 million to 12.1 million.

In a strikingly independent-minded column in the Washington Post, of all outlets, Esther J. Cepeda noted the slack Hispanic turnout in 2012:

After nearly a year of breathless reports about how Latinos were going to trip over themselves to get to the polls and vote against Mitt Romney’s hardline immigration stance — remember Time magazine’s Spanish-language cover “Yo Decido”? — the reality is less dramatic.

[The GOP’s Hispanic problem, May 15, 2013]

Cepeda noted, for perhaps the first time in the history of the Washington Post, the self-interest behind the spin:

The reason you don’t hear much about these sobering numbers from the Hispanic advocacy organizations—as opposed to how they react with any statistic even remotely suggesting an impending Latino supremacy—is obvious. After all, immigration reform is only in play because Republicans are scared witless that unfavorable Latino voting power will sink their party in upcoming elections.

But how true can this be when fewer Latino voters bothered to vote in a contest featuring an incumbent Democrat and a Hispanically tone-deaf Republican candidate who could never quite get past “self-deportation” than in 2008, when Barack Obama and John McCain—a longtime supporter of immigration reform—were running?

Some other points from the Census survey: Naturalized immigrants made up only 7.0 percent of the 2012 electorate. Conversely, native sons and daughters comprised 93.0 percent of the vote.

Even among Hispanics, immigrants accounted for only 27.3 percent of their voters (in other words, 72.7 percent of the Hispanics who voted in 2012 were born in this country).

Needless to say, this ought to raise the interesting question: just how much do actual Hispanic voters care about immigration?

After all, Hispanics who vote tend not to be terribly young, so they are generally removed from their ancestors’ immigration by quite a few decades.

The GOP has dug itself quite a hole by its complacency about immigration.

But the conventional wisdom that it must immediately consent to “a path to citizenship” for illegal aliens—let alone, for reasons that are never explained, simultaneously increasing legal immigration from its already record level—is a transparent Democratic Electing-A-New-People ploy that persuades only the innumerate (or corrupt) among the Republican Brain Trust.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election 
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Harvard financial historian Niall Ferguson has gotten himself into the usual sort of Larry Summers / James D. Watson-style trouble for answering a question about economist John Maynard Keynes’s famous quip—“In the long run, we are all dead”—by cheekily pointing out that Keynes was a childless homosexual. There’s no transcript of his original remarks, but a writer who heard him speak wrote it up on his magazine’s website. [Harvard Professor Trashes Keynes For Homosexuality, By Tom Kostigen,, May 3, 2013.]

Ferguson commented: “In the long run our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are alive, and will have to deal with the consequences of our economic actions.”

Ferguson has groveled, needless to say, but the Homintern is still pursuing him—see Niall Ferguson: Keynes Was Gay for Germany, by Jonathan Chait,, May 7, 2013.

(In contrast to Keynes, the philoprogenitive Ferguson has three children by his first wife and one by his latest, the courageous anti-Islamist activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.)

Ferguson’s off-the-cuff comments generated a vast global spasm of gasping and tsk-tsking. A Google search of “niall ferguson keynes gay” comes up with over two million hits.

Why the hysteria?

Because intellectual life has declined to the point where all that matters is Are You on the Side of the Good Guys or the Bad Guys? And the Good Guys are powerful groups of self-proclaimed victims.

Ferguson’s suggestion that family life can influence ideology is, of course, true. For example, Mitt Romney carried only 16 percent of the gay vote in 2012 in contrast to 57 percent of the married vote. Over the last four elections, the rate in each state at which whites are married has been the strongest determinant of the Electoral Vote.

But Ferguson felt it necessary to issue “An Unqualified Apology” [May 4, 2013]because he makes a lot of money giving speeches to financial organizations, so he can’t afford to offend Designated Victim Groups that play a major role within them—such as gays, Jews, and women. At this moment in our culture, gays are particularly dominant, and thus are looking for ways to throw their weight around to intimidate skeptics for good.

What’s more striking, though, are the Voluntary Auxiliary Thought Police who rush in to denounce heretics. As Dennis Dale commented during another recent brouhaha of ridiculous moral outrage:

The Left has routed us and is now chasing us into the weeds to cut us down individually–because they haven’t even the capacity to imagine doing anything else.

What are they going to do, declare victory and behave graciously? Where’s the fun—or more importantly the influence and cash—in that? They are like a vast standing army with nothing to do and no wish to return to civilian life.

Still, Ferguson was somewhat unfair. Keynes (1883-1946) betrayed today’s conventional wisdom by doing the supposedly impossible: he converted, permanently, from a homosexual lifestyle to a heterosexual lifestyle when—to the shock and dismay of his former Bloomsbury boyfriends—he married the popular ballerina Lydia Lopokova in 1925.

He wasn’t under any particular social or career pressure at the time. He just switched his affections.

Moreover, we can see that Keynes was concerned about the welfare of future generations of the British from his lifelong advocacy of….(wait for it) eugenics!

After all, in 1911 Keynes, along with the great statistician and geneticist Ronald A. Fisher, R.C. Punnett, and Horace Darwin, helped found the Cambridge Eugenics Society. Keynes was a eugenics activist throughout his life, serving as an official of the national eugenics promotion organization from 1937-1944. In the year of his death,1946, Keynes made a speech citing eugenics as “the most important and significant branch of sociology.”

If Ferguson had excoriated Keynes for pushing eugenics, he would have not heard a peep of criticism. He just forgot who is riding high at the moment and who is not.

While the economist indeed had no children (his wife apparently miscarried in 1927), his brother, Sir Geoffrey Keynes, the leading surgeon, married Charles Darwin’s granddaughter. Their son, the scientist Richard Darwin Keynes, married the daughter of a Nobel laureate. The economist’s great-great-grandnephew Skandar Keynes is the young movie star who played Edmund in the Narnia series.

Still, Ferguson’s sniping offered a not unreasonable summary of the overall agenda of the Bloomsbury Group of North London intellectuals, which included Keynes and novelists E.M. Forster (A Passage to India) and Virginia Woolf (Orlando). Perhaps more books have been written about the upper-class Bloomsbury clique than about any similar group. The most famous members were homosexual or bisexual, and the relationship of their sexual orientation to their aversion to the traditional Victorian virtues has been analyzed at endless length. Ferguson’s crime, of course, is simply that he mentioned this correlation with less than full approbation.

Bloomsbury was run by a former boyfriend of Keynes, Lytton Strachey. A conscientious objector, Strachey had succeeded in 1916 in being exempted from conscription due to his doctors’ excuses. During a hearing, he was famously asked:

“Tell me, Mr Strachey, what would you do if you saw a German soldier attempting to rape your sister?”

“I should try to interpose my own body.”

Strachey’s 1918 bestselling attack on 19th Century worthies, Eminent Victorians, popularized gay snark. Strachey’s undermining of the sense of duty laid the basis for the intellectual climate of pacifism and appeasement that triumphed, so catastrophically in Britain, in the 1930s.

As Paul Johnson noted in Modern Times, the goal of the Bloomsberries was to sap the Victorian public virtues that had put Britain on the top of the world by the later 19th Century in favor of private pleasures (of a muted English variety). Strachey had seized upon the Cambridge philosopher G.E. Moore’s quietist, anti-patriotic endorsement of friendship and made it the central ideology of the Bloomsbury coterie. Thus, Forster notoriously wrote (in 1938!):

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.

Of course, under Strachey’s guidance, Moore’s notion of “friendship” was given a particular twist that had to be kept half-concealed under a vague impression of aestheticism. Bloomsbury was, in essence, a languid, elitist homosexual conspiracy.

Strachey wrote to Keynes in 1906 about the short-term difficulties facing their project and its long-term prospects of success:

It’s madness of us to dream of making dowagers understand that feelings are good, when we say in the same breath that the best ones are sodomitical. If we were crafty and careful, I dare say we’d pull it off. But why should we take the trouble? On the whole I believe that our time will come about a hundred years hence, when preparations will have been made, and compromises come to, so that at the publication of our letters, everyone will be, finally, converted. [Bloomsbury's final secret, By Paul Levy, Telegraph (UK), March 14, 2005]

Emphasis added.

Yet, in contrast to Strachey, Forster (who didn’t write a single novel over the last 46 years of his life), and Woolf (who killed herself in 1941), Keynes himself turned out to be made of sterner stuff. He made an unexpected transition from hedonist to something of a hero as he more or less worked himself to death in the service of his country from 1939 to 1946, dying of a series of heart attacks at age 62—35 years younger than his father and mother, who both survived him.

Whether Keynes’ impressive last two decades had something to do with his marrying a woman is an interesting question—which, naturally, hasn’t been asked in the current tumult. The other Bloomsberries were frightfully snobbish toward the new Mrs. Keynes, whose father had been born a serf, even though other great men, such as T.S. Eliot and H.G. Wells, found her a delight. But Keynes didn’t particularly care about his coterie’s disdain for his wife. He loved her.

I used to have opinions on macroeconomic theories, but I found I didn’t have anything useful to contribute, so I’ve stopped. But I will venture that, whatever else you can say about Keynes’ The General Theory—published in 1936, a decade after his marriage—it’s formidable piece of work.

The next year, Keynes suffered his first heart attack. His wife, who had been a dance partner of Nijinsky, a model of Picasso, and a mistress of Stravinsky, retired from the glamor of public life to nurse him. Eventually, Forster had to admit , “How we all used to underestimate her.”

Nevertheless, Keynes took an active role in wartime economic policy from 1939 onward, increasingly in setting up the postwar institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. The American Treasury official Harry Dexter White (who was a Soviet agent) had the greater say in the negotiations, but Keynes kept Britain from being steamrollered.

Worn out, Keynes died in 1946 at age 62, but with the basic Bretton Woods template in place that would serve adequately through the 1960s. Most everybody else in Keynes’ carefully crafted genetic line lived into their 90s, so the speculation down through the years on whether a nonagenarian Keynes would have stuck with dogmatic Keynesianism after, say, the disasters of 1973 are not wholly absurd.

More reasonably, though, it’s enough to say that the postwar dispensation that Keynes had a hand in designing in the mid-1940s proved more economically successful than the interwar one, serving reasonably well for a quarter of a century.

So Niall Ferguson’s point about Keynes is really interesting—even more interesting topic than he may have realized. Unfortunately, in today’s Politically Correct Reign of Terror, that could mean even more trouble for him.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book,AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics • Tags: Niall Ferguson 
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[With apologies to Wallace Stevens]

[ note: This is a satire, satire, satire, SATIRE! It’s not 2014 yet, Lindsey Graham has not revealed himself as perfectly scrumptious, and no Bomb Brother acquittal has been announced (yet). However, nothing in this parody is beyond possibility—somesurprising people have discovered their inner scrumptiousness, and juries are…unpredictable, if you are not aware that “race is destiny” in the jury room as well as the voting booth.]

Excerpts from press coverage of the acquittal of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on April 15, 2014:

I: Associated Press:

In an expected development, confessed Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was acquitted today on each of four counts of first-degree homicide and 190 counts of aggravated assault. The jury of eleven women and one man declared him “innocent on account of cuteness.”


Juror Kendra Newton explained after the verdict, “To be honest, I kind of zoned out, you know? I was trying to pay attention so I could write a book and make a lot of money, but trials are a lot more boring and confusing than you’d think from TV. They should edit out all the dull parts and have a musical score that tells you how you are supposed to feel.”

III: Hollywood Reporter:

Ben Affleck announced that he had acquired the rights to the life story of his fellow Cambridge Rindge & Latin School graduate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The biopic will be Affleck’s long-awaited follow-up to his Best Picture-winning Argo. “Dzhokharwill portray what you might assume was a national humiliation,” Affleck declared, “But, when you look at history from just the right angle, you’ll see that these events were actually a brilliant triumph by a Democratic Administration.” Affleck is growing a foot-long beard to play pious elder brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, while Rindge grad Matt Damon will portray Vice President Joe Biden.

IV: Boston Globe:

Defense attorney Gloria Allred argued that Dzhokhar was the real victim. If anyone in the Tsarnaev family were to blame, she said, it would have to be Tamerlan. But, she contended in a rousing closing argument that had jury members gasping with anger, “the real killer is Hector Torres. He killed Tamerlan’s American Dream.”

Torres was the white Hispanic trainer of a rival boxer. He became the Mark Fuhrman of the trial after the New York Times revealed on April 27, 2013 in Before Bombs, a Battered American Dream” that Torres had crushed Tamerlan’s patriotic hopes by getting him disqualified from the 2010 Golden Gloves tournament for not having completed his path to citizenship, thus forcing him to do what he did.

Torres has gone into hiding.

Commenting on the verdict, Senator John McCain, a member of the bipartisan Gang of Seven immigration reform leaders, told reporters, “This just proves what I’ve always believed: We must immediately grant American citizenship to anybody in the world who wants it. And bomb everybody who doesn’t.”

V: Today Show:

Jury forewoman Jihada Allahuakbarova described the defendant as “Kind of dreamy, like in a boy band, a practice boyfriend type. But when they talked about him killing those people,” Allahuakbarova noted, “I could tell he was all man.”

VI: Transcript of defense attorney Gloria Allred’s closing summary:

Djhokhar Tsarnaev had a dream, an American Dream. Like all those millions of immigrants who came to a boring, white bread country and built this land with their bare hands, he had a plan, a hard-working plan to do the job Americans just wouldn’t do: deal drugs out of his dorm room in-between marathon X-Box sessions. He had a faith, a vibrant faith that his immigrant entrepreneurship would let him afford all the gold chains that signify virile manhood in his own diverse culture. Was it his fault that America failed his American Dream? What else could this Dreamer do but take a stand against the haters, the xenophobes, the racists that say his family maybe shouldn’t have been allowed to come to this country in the first place? If you convict this boy, then the nativists have won.

VII World Star Hip Hop:

I liked when the lawyer lady said, “If you ain’t a bigot, you must acquit it.”

VIII New York Times:

The verdict came as a rebuke to the once widely-praised jury selection strategy of federal prosecutor Carmen Ortiz, who had decided to pack the jury with women and focus her prosecution on demanding feminist vengeanc e for the murder of the two female victims. Ms. Ortiz had been especially admired for her policy of never challenging any prospective female juror on whether she was undocumented.

Mr. Tsarnaev’s attorney, Gloria Allred, had surprised courtroom commentators by playing along with Ms. Ortiz’s selection tactics. The normally media-friendly Ms. Allred has kept her silence on the thinking behind her juror strategy, citing only “a hunch.”

Ms. Ortiz had called for a 30-year-sentence for Mr. Tsarnaev,the same as she had insisted upon for his look-a-like, the late Aaron Swartz, for downloading JSTOR academic papers at MIT.

IX Nancy Grace Show:

When invited on the air afterwards, three jurors smiled, shook their heads, and said only, “No hablo inglés.”


Meanwhile, in war news: all quiet on the South Ossetian front. The NATO invasion of the Russian-occupied North Caucasus region remains bogged down in trench warfare after last month’s decimation of the U.S. 1st Armored Division by Russian artillery after the American tanks roared across the border from the Republic of Georgia.

Senator Marco Rubio called for broadening the war inspired by the Boston bombing to the neighboring Caucasus region of Ingushetia, arguing, “We’ve only been able to find connections between this act of terror and Chechnya, Dagestan, and Kryzgyzrystan. So, therefore, we invaded South Ohsaycanyouseetia. But that is not enough. We must invade Ignitionia now. And Iraq. I mean Iran. No matter what, we should always invade Iran.”

XI London Daily Mail:

At his post-release news conference, Tsarnaev stood by the side of his new fiancée, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton. The royal princess revealed that she had been exchanging love letters with Tsarnaev via

Donning a hijab, the princess declared to reporters that she was divorcing Prince William, abandoning custody of her infant son (who is in line to someday become King Henry IX), converting to Islam, and would henceforth be known only as “Mrs. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.”

Asked to comment, Dzhokhar smirked, “What can I say?Chicks dig Chechens.”


Washington Post: Former McCain and Rubio ally Lindsey Graham (R-SC)—or, as the Senator has insisted upon being called since his dramatic recantation of his foreign policy and immigration views, “The Divine Miss G”—remains a controversial voice upraised against the Beltway consensus he once embodied. Sen. Graham claimed, “It makes no more sense to invade Christian South Ossetia, much less Ingushetia and Iran, for something that Muslim Chechen terrorists from Dagestan did than it did to invade Iraq because of something some Saudis did.”

As the South Carolinian has repeatedly asked since leaving the former Gang of Eight to found the Cotillion of One, “And why are people still talking about amnesty for the ‘poor undocumented workers condemned to living in the shadows?’ Doesn’t anybody understand that ‘living in the shadows’ was just my metaphor for me?

Senator Graham, who now spells his first name Lindsay!, continued, “Now that I’m out and in the spotlight, who cares about those dreary nobodies? I told my Mossad handler that I was exhausted from always going on TV to demand moreinvasions and more immigrations, always trying to seem ultra-butch. And then he threatened to leak those photos (which I worried would make me look fat, but, I must say, they’ve turned out rather flattering—I’ve gotten numerouscompliments). Well, I told him, ‘We should just do like you people do with your “illegal infiltrators”—deport them and build razor wire fences so they can’t come back.’” And he agreed with me. So, there.”

XIII Boston Herald:

A moment of silence was observed at the opening game of Dorchester’s Savin Hill Little League in memory of Martin Richard, who died a year ago today before he could play his first game. closing note: Because of bitter experience, we’ll repeat the disclaimer: this is a satire, satire, satire, satire. The only actually impossible thing is this: That a man caught red-handed with pounds of incriminating evidence in his possession, after being witnessed by multiple police officers firing on them, and running over his own brother, who may, for all we know already have confessed,should come to trial within one year.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book,AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Terrorism 
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Below is the single most extraordinary chart explaining the results of the recent Presidential election:

Below is the single most extraordinary chart explaining the results of the recent Presidential election

It’s widely assumed in the press that victory in the Electoral College is determined by the Gender Gap or by the Rising Tide of Hispanic Voters or whatever. But in fact the relationship between these demographic factors and whether a state votes Republican or Democratic in the four Presidential elections of this century has been relatively weak.

Despite the increasing importance of nonwhite voters, what still determines Presidential elections is a fundamental divide among whites over the very basics of life. Thus, an extremely obscure statistic measuring marriage among younger white women that I debuted here on in December 2004 correlates sensationally with Electoral Votes.

This metric: average years married among white women ages 18 to 44 on the 2000 Census (what I’ll call “Years Married” for short).

“Years Married” had its best won-loss record yet in 2012. Mitt Romney carried 23 of the 24 highest-ranked states. Barack Obama won 25 of the 26 lowest-ranked states.

In my chart above, the length of each state’s bar indicates the average number of years that a white woman 18-44 can expect to be married. Romney’s states are colored in the now traditional Republican red and Obama’s in Democratic blue, with Romney’s share of the two-party vote next to the name of the state.

At the top of the chart is Utah, where white women average 17.0 Years Married and Romney won 75 percent. At the bottom are Massachusetts and California.

In Massachusetts, white women average only 12.2 Years Married and Romney was beaten roughly 5 to 3.

(I left off the District of Columbia, a nonstate that gets three Electoral Votes. White women only average 7.4 Years Married there, and Romney won merely 7 percent in the capital.)

The sole anomalies were Obama capturing Iowa (which is 21st in Years Married) and Romney taking Arizona (41st).

Republicans need to ask themselves seriously why they didn’t win Iowa. Don’t ask: “What’s the Matter with Iowa?” Instead, ask: “What’s the matter with the GOP that they can’t win a respectable state like Iowa?

As for Arizona, I suspect that it’s culturally an exurb of Hollywood, but politically it’s an exurb of Orange County. This may help explain the virulence of the New York Times’ long-running war on Arizona: the Grand Canyon state is supposed to turn into California Jr., not into something new.

More on this Years Married statistic: please note that it is not a measurement of white people getting married in that state. Otherwise,Nevada, with its 24-hour wedding chapels, would be near the top of the list.

Years Married is a measurement of white people being married. Thus, states with high rates of both marriage and divorce, such as Oklahoma(unofficial state song: George Strait’s “All My Exes Live in Texas”), don’t perform quite as well as stable Utah.

The best predictor of Republican performance isn’t the rate of gettingmarried—because if you have a state where a lot of people get married and then they turn around and get divorced, that doesn’t do the Republicans as much good. Divorced white people vote Republican less than 45 percent of the time, while over 63 percent of married white people go GOP. In short, Republicans do well among people who get married and stay married.

To demonstrate how stunningly sorted into red and blue this Years Married graph is, let’s compare it to a more celebrated demographic statistic: Percent Nonwhite.

Lately, everybody has been talking about how the growing nonwhite share of the population hurts the GOP (Peter Brimelow has been talking about this for 16 years).

And, that’s true. It does.

Yet, when you graph it out state by state, the red-blue divide isn’t as clear. At the top of the chart are the whitest states, Maine and Vermont, which Romney lost in landslides. Then West Virginia, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Iowa. Not much of a pattern.

Percent Nonwhite By State 2012 Election

If you look at this chart very carefully, you can see a little more Republican red toward the top and a little more Democratic blue at the bottom…but nothing like the Years Married graph.

This is not at all to say that Percent Nonwhite is unimportant to election results—just that the real world is complicated. Percent Nonwhite correlates with Romney’s share of the vote in the fifty states at -0.32: a low to moderate negative correlation. (It’s stronger if Washington D.C. is included.) This is the kind of hodge-podge you normally see when you graph a single factor that impacts voting.

As I pointed out back in 2000, having a lot of blacks in a state tends to drive whites to the Republicans, while having a lot of Asians seems to make whites more liberal, with Hispanics in-between.

You might think, reasonably enough, that this 2012 Years Married result must be a one-time fluke. Maybe it was the result of the personal characteristics of Mitt Romney, a philoprogenitive Mormon who had 43 years married and 23 descendants?

But in 2008, John McCain carried 19 of the top 20 states on this same metric, while Obama captured the 25 of the bottom 26.

Here’s the 2008 chart:

 2008 chart

As I said, I discovered Years Married right after the 2004 election. Unsurprisingly, it worked really well then, too, with George W. Bush winning the top 25 states and John F. Kerry 15 of the bottom 18:

I discovered Years Married right after the 2004 election. Unsurprisingly, it worked really well then, too.

And, finally, there’s 2000, when Bush took the top 25 states and Gore 14 of the bottom 17.

2000, when Bush took the top 25 states and Gore 14 of the bottom 17.

You may be wondering: Why white people? Why not measure Years Married for everybody? The short answer is: that’s what works best.

There is a higher correlation with the Republican candidates’ performance and Years Married among whites than with Years Married among the entire population. Conversely, Years Married among whites correlates better with the GOP’s share of the overall vote than with its share of the white vote.

You could accuse me of “data dredging”—trawling through many possible correlations looking for whatever turns out highest by random luck. But when I dreamed up my Years Married statistic in late 2004, it worked amazing well for two elections. It didn’t project all that well farther back into the past due to Ross Perot’s third party runs in 1992 and 1996. But it has since worked well for two subsequent elections. What more can we ask of a statistic?

It took me a long time to find the single measurement that best correlated with voting by state. Way back in July 2000, I noted here at that the most liberal state, Vermont, had the lowest total fertility while the most conservative state, Utah, had the highest. After the 2000 election, I explained for UPI that Bush had carried the 19 states with the highest white birthrates.

Immediately following the 2004 election, I pointed out in my Baby Gap article The American Conservative that the “total fertility rate” among whites was an uncanny predictor of overall voting by state.

Over the next couple of weeks in late 2004, I worked out how to create an age-adjusted measurement of being married. I reported in in “The Marriage Gap” on December 12, 2004 that the rate of being married among white women 18-44 in the 2000 Census had the highest single correlation with voting GOP.

I then fortified my theory by including the impact of geography on home prices—“The Dirt Gap”—which, in turn, determines the “Mortgage Gap.” In places where family formation is more affordable, the “family values” party does better.

Recently, political scientist George Hawley of the University of Houston has confirmed my state-based theory at the county level in a study published in the academic journal Party Politics: Home affordability, female marriage rates and vote choice in the 2000 US presidential election: Evidence from US counties. [February 24, 2011]

After a lengthy review of academic articles on voting, Hawley writes:

The possible relationship between home affordability and aggregate voting trends has largely been ignored up until now by the political science literature, though the topic has been considered by the political journalist Steven Sailer (2008). Sailer hypothesized that “affordable family formation”—which he argued was closely related to housing costs – was a key difference between majority-Republican states and majority-Democrat states. Sailer went on to conclude that the relative affordability of housing accounted for the differing typical political behavior within various large cities. Sailer suggested that the relative costliness of owning a home in America’s large coastal cities, such as Los Angeles, led to later family formation, which partially explained the greater support for Democratic politicians in those cities and regions. In contrast, inland American cities like Dallas are able to expand outward all-but indefinitely, which keeps housing costs low and subsequently [makes] such cities more attractive to young families.

Hawley went on to find a statistically significant effect at the county level in the 2000 election. In all likelihood, other scholars could find similar county results in the three subsequent elections. (In other words, if you are an academic social scientist searching for an important result to publish, check out 2004, 2008, and 2012.)

It’s worth looking at my scatter plots of the correlations. First, here’s Romney’s share of the two-party vote on the vertical axis vs. the 2002 total fertility rate for white women on the horizontal axis. The isolate in the lower left corner is Washington D.C., while Utah is in the upper right corner.

The isolate in the lower left corner is Washington D.C., while Utah is in the upper right corner.

The federal government doesn’t go around calculating for every state, total fertility for white women very often, so I’m using 2002 numbers. They’re ten years out of date, but this is still a pretty good correlation: including D.C., the correlation coefficient is 0.83.

Psychometrician Linda Gottfredson likes to say that in the social sciences, a correlation of 0.2 can be thought of as “low,” 0.4 as “moderate,” and 0.6 as “high.” So, anything above 0.8 must be very high.

The scatter plot for Years Married is even tighter.

The scatter plot for Years Married is even tighter.

The correlation is 0.88.

If we exclude Washington D.C. as an outlier, the correlation is still 0.84.

The correlations between the 2000 Years Married and the GOP’s share of the vote has been very high since 2000. Including Washington D.C. pumps up the correlations to stupendous levels, but they’re still jaw dropping without D.C.:

The correlations between the 2000 Years Married and the GOP's share of the vote has been very high since 2000.

Let’s explore the interplay of marriage and fertility for each state, calculating a ratio versus the national average of 100. It’s not easy to put each state on a graph, so I’ve come up with a Bar Chart Without the Bars that just displays the numbers in the appropriate locations.

Yes, that sounds odd, but check it out and I think you’ll see that it’s usable. The states are sorted in descending order of Romney’s share. Romney’s best state was Utah, where the white Years Married rate (dark type) is 121 percent of the national mean and the white Total Fertility Rate (red type) is 134 percent.

he states are sorted in descending order of Romney’s share.

It’s easy to spot that the only states with exceptionally high white fertility are Mormon Utah and empty Alaska. Strong Republican states tend to have higher white marriage rates than fertility rates. This is especially apparent in deep southern states such as Alabama. Strong Democratic states tend to have low white fertility.

California, the leading prize in the Electoral College, is down toward the bottom at 89% of the national white average for marriage and 90% for fertility. It is therefore not that surprising that what used to be the keystone to Republican success in the Electoral College, voting Republican 9 out of 10 times between 1952 and 1988, has now gone solidly liberal, with Obama winning the white vote in California in 2012. )In the Narrative, California is always about Proposition 187, but it had already switched to Democrat in the 1992 Democratic election, two years before).

And Republicans can’t exactly expect to carry any state where they lose the white vote.

California used to be the paradise for the common man. Housing was no more expensive than in the rest of the country and the public schools were good. Inevitably, there was a huge influx from the other states, driving up real estate prices. But, quite evitably, there was gigantic illegal immigration into California, which devastated the public schools.

That all makes people wonder, well, if I can’t afford a house should we really bother to get married, and even if we can afford a house can we afford one in a good school district like Los Virgenes? Or are our kids going to be stuck in classrooms overwhelmed by the children of illegal immigrants?

And if we can’t really afford private school, or a house in an expensive school district, then what’s the point of having kids?

And if we’re not going to have kids, what’s the point of getting married at all?

And if we’re not married, then don’t those Republican politicians get on your nerves with all their family values talk?

In summary, what all this suggests is, that rather than try to manipulate voting the way Bush and Rove did through boosting subprime loans to Hispanics, what Republicans need to study is: what makes white people get married—stay married—and want to have children.

I suspect that what the government can influence comes down to affordability: the cost of real estate; and satisfactoriness of public schools.

What the Years Married measure implies is that the people who vote Republican tend to be happy white people.

Therefore, it’s in the self-interest of Republican politicians to try to make white people happy.

Hint: Mass, non-traditional, immigration is not the answer.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book,AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election 
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[ note: Adapted from Steve Sailer’s presentation to’s first-ever Webinar, January 19, 2013. For other presentations, seehere and here. Recordings will be available in a few days—or information when available, email with “Webinar recording” in subject line]

Hi, I’m , and it’s a real pleasure to address the first webinar. I’m going to talk about some overlooked aspects of the 2012 election.

I’m going to focus on voting by state because that is how Electoral College Votes are counted. For the GOP (or a GAP, “Generic American Party”) to ever take back the White House, it will have to figure out how to win more states.

I’m working with a huge poll that almost nobody’s talked about, the American Mosaic Poll. It was conducted online by Reuters-Ipsos throughout the election year. This particular edition features a sample size of 40,000 two-party voters who responded immediately after voting.

Now, the Reuters-Ipsos panel has advantages and disadvantages versus the better-known Edison exit poll, which had a sample size of only about 25,000. I haven’t noticed any systematic differences in results reported by the two polls, but Reuters-Ipsos has a number of strengths for the serious analyst.

For example, the Edison exit poll wasn’t even conducted in 20 states—including Texas. But if you want to know something about the future of American politics, you better know something about Texas. The Reuters-Ipsos poll had a sample size of 2,403 respondents in Texas.

In summary, we’ve got a decent sample size on almost every state, not just 30 favored states.

Most importantly, Reuters lets anybody make any crosstabs they want of their results, while the Edison exit poll only lets subscribers who pay tens of thousands of dollars get their hands dirty with the data. So the quality of discussion of the exit poll numbers has been constrained.

Below is something nobody has seen before, a table of Romney’s share of the two-party vote by race in each of the 50 states.

Note carefully: in the interest of simplicity, all the percentages here and in the rest of this article are going to be for Romney’s share of the two-party vote. I’m leaving out Third Parties—Libertarians, the Constitution Party, write-ins, and so forth. I used this approach in my post-election articles on the Marriage Gap (here and here) and on Romney’s fatal failure among Rust Belt whites.

I apologize for ignoring non-major party voters—I saw recently that Tom Wolfe reportedly wrote in Ron Paul’s name in 2012! But this expedient allows us to focus on just one issue: Romney’s share vs. Obama’s share. (If you want to know what Obama got, just subtract Romney’s percentage from 100).

In 2012, about 1.7 percent of the actual national Presidential vote went Third Party—about one percent for the Libertarian Party alone. This Third Party vote appears to have been heavily white. As a result, Romney’s actual white share is generally about a percentage point lower than I report it here. (I will post in a separate article a table reporting Romney’s actual white share, along with my reflections on the Third Party impact, shortly).

The first column of percentages is Romney’s final share of the actual two-party vote. Nationally, Romney only got 48.0 percent of the two-party vote to Obama’s 52.0 percent.

(After all the votes were counted, Obama’s victory margin turned out wider than almost all polls had predicted. The Reuters’ poll has Romney at 48.5 percent, so it was a half-point too high.)

National, Romney won 58.1 percent of the two-party white vote which, unsurprisingly, was not enough. He lost 97-3 among blacks and 72-28 among Hispanics.

Romney’s Percentage Share of the 2-Party Vote

Unfortunately, Reuters just lumps together American Indians with Asians and whoever else feels like calling themselves “Other.” And Romney garnered only 39 percent of them. Still, that’s better than what the Edison exit poll reported for Romney among Asians (26 percent, purportedly down a 9 points from 2008), and 38 percent among its “Other” category, mostly American Indians (up 7 points from 2008). [Exit polls 2012: How the vote has shifted, Washington Post, November 6, 2012.]

There was a fair amount of theorizing based upon the exit poll about why Romney did so much worse than McCain among Asians (although, typically, none about why he did so much better among American Indians).

The Reuters poll, however, disagrees with Edison. If it’s right, these sharp swings may not actually have happened—although the GOP performance is still poor.

Which poll is right about the Other? Beats me. Generally, the exit poll and Reuters are pretty similar, so when they disagree, I’d just recommend taking the average of the two surveys.

The Reuters-Ipsos Polling Explorer interface won’t display any breakdowns where the sample size is less than 100. But I managed to get around that cautious limitation by lumping together California’s sample size with each small state’s sample, then doing the algebra. That worked out fairly well.

Rather than a minimum sample size of 100, I chose an aggressive minimum of merely 15. That’s quite small, so don’t put too much faith in the details. However, since it’s so hard to get these numbers, I felt it better to err on the side of giving my readers more rather than less information.

We’ll start our analysis with minority electorates, then give the white vote the careful inspection it deserves.

(Yes, I know that white voters are out fashion. But they are still numerous and much more of a swing vote from state to state than are the trendier minorities).

Romney’s share of the black vote is pretty much the same almost all the way through. Traditionally, California blacks vote a little more Republican than the national blacks, and, sure enough, Romney hauled in a full 5 percent of California blacks!—versus 3 percent nationwide.

The one figure that’s unexpected is Ohio: Reuters/Ipsos reports that Romney got 13 percent of the black vote there. That’s from a moderate sample size of 92 black panelists. A vast amount of money was spent on advertising in the battleground state of Ohio, so maybe Romney’s strategists can pat themselves on the back for buying a few extra black votes. Or maybe this 13 percent figure is just a fluke due to limited sample size.

A few anomalies like this are actually reassuring about the authenticity of the Reuters poll. The results fit my model of how the world works, of how various factors interact, so well that occasionally I break into a cold sweat over the thought that maybe Reuters just made up the results! I mean, if you hired me to create a model of how demographic and regional factors work together, it would spit out numbers very much like these. But, the occasional unpredictable result, like Romney supposedly getting 13 percent of the black vote in crucial Ohio, is, in a way, confidence-inducing.

With Hispanics, you can see that Puerto Rican Hispanic states like New York (Romney got 18 percent of New York’s Hispanic vote) and Pennsylvania (13 percent) are a little bit further to the left than Mexican Hispanic states such as California (25 percent). But, most of the Hispanic vote falls within a relatively narrow band. Rather than swing voters, these look like solid Democrats who drift a little right if their white neighbors are conservative.

Ever since the election, we’ve been told constantly that the main thing Hispanic voters care about is amnesty for illegal aliens, and the only way for Republicans to ever win the White House again is to grant amnesty. (And, while you’re at it, throw in “a path to citizenship”).

If you doubt this is the right course for the GOP, just ask any Democrat. They’ll tell you!

Well, if there is any state where this logic shouldn’t apply, it ought to be Florida, which Obama won by a hair. The two main groups of Hispanic voters in Florida are Cubans and Puerto Ricans, neither of whom care about “immigration reform.”

The Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and yet they still vote overwhelmingly Democratic. You might almost think Democrats are pulling Republicans’ legs over amnesty…

The Cubans, as described in Tom Wolfe’s Back To Blood, have their own special immigration law that applies to any Cuban who can set foot on American soil. The Cubans used to vote heavily Republican, but Florida Hispanics now went overall 65-35 for Obama, suggesting younger Cubans are trending Democratic.

In Wolfe’s novel, even the conservative cops among the Miami Cubans resent the Anglos as competitors who get on their nerves by thinking of Florida as part of America. And the Democrats are the natural home for the resentful.

There is a small difference between the Mexican American voters in California (25 percent for Romney) and Texas Hispanics (37 percent).

That 37 percent sounds pretty good—it must be the pro-amnesty role models of the Bush family, while, as we all know, California Latinos were alienated by Proposition 187! Until you notice that Romney got an astonishing 76 percent of the white vote in Texas, versus only 49 percent in California.

So, relative to whites, Romney may have performed better with Hispanics in California where there is only a 24-point gap, than in Texas, where there is 39-point gap. Or if you look at it proportionally, California’s 25/49 is almost identical to Texas’s 37/76.

So maybe the Bushes and Prop. 187 don’t really matter—Mexican Americans mostly vote Democratic because they find it to be in their self-interest for old-fashioned tax-and-spend reasons.

What about the white vote?

This graph below shows Romney’s share of both the total vote (in dark) and white vote (in red).

The states are sorted in order of how well Romney did overall, with Utah at the top and Hawaii at the bottom.

It started out as a bar graph, but I had 100 bars (50 states times two), which seemed excessive, so I made the bars invisible and just left the values of the bars. If you look at Utah, you can see that Romney got 75 percent of the total vote and 75 percent of the white vote in the state. In Wyoming, 71 percent of the total vote and 74 percent of the white vote.


So for Romney to do really well, he needed two things: states that are almost all white and whites that are almost all Republican.

Now, as you get further down, you see outliers, where the GOP’s share of the white vote is far higher than the GOP’s overall performance: for example, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. These are states typically in the Deep South, with large black populations. Obviously, there’s a strong degree of white solidarity to keep blacks from taking over the state.

For example, Mississippi went for Romney 56-44—and the way he won was by getting 88 percent of the white vote. Why did he get 88 percent of the white vote? Well, Mississippi has the largest black population of any state and according to this Reuters-Ipsos poll, blacks in Mississippi voted 100 percent for Obama (sample size = 38)

This is what “diversity” gets you in the long run. Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore says, in a multicultural democracy, everybody ends up voting on race.

But probably the two most interesting states that Romney won are not in the Deep South: Texas (76 percent of white vote) and Arizona (66 percent).

Texas is not really an old Deep South state by any means. It has had a huge influx of Americans from all over the country since oil was first discovered in 1901, and it has its own culture. It shows the possibilities of what a state could do in terms of going heavily toward Republicans as a bloc vote: 76 percent is a pretty amazing number, but that’s what it took to keep rapidly-Hispanicizing Texas handily Republican.

If whites in Texas don’t vote consistently Republican, then the state, with its 38 Electoral Votes, will go Democratic in some future presidential election. And that would end the chances of the Republican Party as we know it ever regaining the White House.

So, GOP, you better hurry up and put all those illegal aliens in Texas on the path to citizenship!

One thing to keep in mind about Texas: its formidable degree of white solidarity is the result of generations of white Texans indoctrinating each other in the superiority of Texas over the rest of the country (as I noticed while a student at Rice University in Houston). This solidarity has some real payoffs. For example, back in the 1980s Texas had a hugely successful anti-littering campaign featuring the slogan “Don’t Mess with Texas.”

Politically, it turns out that Texas pride among whites keeps Mexicans discouraged. (Mexicans are not terribly hard to discourage.) On the other hand, the braggadocio of Texans has not necessarily endeared themselves to the rest of the country.

Arizona, as you may have observed, has been demonized in the national Main Stream Media over the last few years in a way that can only be described as virulent. The front page of the New York Timesroutinely featured articles about the horribleness of white people in Arizona and how something needs to be done about them.

That’s because, by the standards of Western states without many blacks, there was unusual solidarity among Arizona whites, with 66 percent voting Republican. That frustrated Democratic efforts to register and turnout as many Mexican Americans as possible.

Of course, the most interesting states on the graph are the ones where Romney came close to 50 percent. These are the states that future Republican candidates must improve in to have a shot at the White House.

The message you’ve heard ever since the election is that the Republicans lost because of the amnesty issue and therefore they must agree to amnesty and a path to citizenship. You know, the New York Times and the POTUS have all been explaining to the Republican Party how they need to pass amnesty right now for their own good. And, as I said earlier, if Republicans can’t trust the leadership of the Democratic Party to look out for their partisan interests, who can they trust?

Yet the states in which Romney came close to winning are typically ones where he just did not get enough of the white vote.

Consider Ohio, where Romney lost 52-48 overall by only getting a grand total of 54 percent of the white vote. Almost anywhere in modern American, Republicans have to win more than 54 percent of whites to win.

Here are some other north central states where Romney came fairly close:

  • Pennsylvania: 54 percent of the white vote
  • Iowa: 48 percent
  • WI 49 percent
  • Minnesota 47 percent
  • Michigan 53 percent

Romney couldn’t get the job done in these northern states, not because of the tidal wave of Hispanics, but because he just didn’t get enough whites to show up and vote for him.

Let’s see where we could make the amnesty argument. Florida was close. And, as we know ever since the infamous 2000 election, Florida has been ripe for people with an ax to grind to claim that their particular panacea would have determined who won the Presidency.

For example, I got a press release during the 2000 vote counting in Florida from a Sikh lobby. The Sikhs hate laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets because helmets muss up their turbans. Traditionally, helmet laws are the Sikhs’ hot-button issue. The press release announced that if Al Gore had come out against helmet laws, the Sikhs of Florida would have made him President.

I checked their math, and, yeah, they had a point.

But the larger point is that this logic is mostly nuts. It depends on holding all other voting blocs constant.

But the Washington D.C. GOP Establishment doesn’t get it. At the moment, they think that all they have to do to get back to the White House is turn the party over completely to Marco Rubio. Let him negotiate amnesty with the Democrats. (What could possibly go wrong?) Mexicans must love the guy, right? After all, both his name ends in vowels.

Yet, do Mexican Americans even like Cubans, such as Sen. Rubio? (One of the hidden messages of Back to Blood is that Cubans don’t care at all about Mexicans.)

Nobody seems to have checked.

Virginia is another interesting state. It’s an example of how the Republicans are beginning to shoot themselves in the foot with legal immigration. The Washington DC suburbs are home a large number of well-educated legal immigrants—and, it turns out, they like to vote Democratic. Even if they’re making a lot of money and it’s going to cost them in taxes, these legal immigrants just find the Democrats more to their taste.

Then there are what I call the Clean Green states: for example, Colorado (where Romney won only 52 percent of whites), New Hampshire (he lost the white vote, getting only 48 percent), Oregon (48 percent), and Washington (46 percent).

Amnesty isn’t going to win the GOP those states.

There’s New Mexico, with its large Hispanic population. But, once again, the GOP lost there because it only won 52 percent of the white vote.

New Mexico is interesting as a view into the future of Hispanicized America. Hispanics have been in the Upper Rio Grande Valley for 400 years, yet the state that does not attract many illegal immigrants. How come? Because there aren’t many jobs in New Mexico. Why not? Because it has been filled up with Hispanics for its entire history, and they don’t create a lot of jobs.

What about California? Surely, that’s a state where whites have been crushed under the rising tide of Hispanics?

Actually, Romney only won 49 percent of the white vote there. Kind of hard for a Republican to win that way.

As we all know from having heard it over and over, the Republicans were doing fine in California until they shot themselves in the foot with Proposition 187 in 1994.

What you don’t hear is that George H.W. Bush won less than 33 percent of the total vote in California in 1992—two years before Proposition 187. But who has time to fact-check The Narrative?

Nevada might be the closest thing to an example supporting the amnesty-uber-alles narrative. Romney won a mediocre but not terrible 57 percent of white votes there, but he lost due to Hispanics (and Filipinos) voting heavily Democratic.

Unfortunately, the Reuters-Ipsos poll only has a Nevada sample of 14 Hispanics, so we’re flying kind of blind here. My impression of Nevada Hispanic voters is that the big issue for them is not amnesty, it’s that they were just hammered by the mortgage meltdown of 2007-2008.Nevada long led the country in foreclosures. Nevada Latinos were flying high during the Bush Bubble, but haven’t forgiven Republicans since for their defaulting.

How amnesty will cure that for Republicans is a mystery.

Let’s briefly look at the national level. A one-word characterization of Mitt Romney’s campaign would be bloodless. He stressed serious, respectable issues involving entitlements and taxes. He avoided any mention of anything ungentlemanly. Unfortunately for Romney, he’s living in a time that our leading man of letters calls the age of Back to Blood.

In contrast, coming out of the 2010-midterm elections, Obama saw he had a real problem. The Obamamania of 2008 had carried him to a large victory over a wounded and already flawed Republican candidate. But how was he going to re-mobilize his base, which largely consists of the margins of American society, without the Hope and Change piffle of 2008?

The Obama base is, to be blunt, the fringes. The epitome of Romney’s base is the married white father, while the essence of Obama’s base is the single black mother. Obama’s base hadn’t bothered to show up to vote in 2010, so how was he going to motivate them in 2012?

The former are a lot more likely to vote out of a sense of civic duty, while the latter need some emotional motivation.

Here’s a table of data I published on just after the election that clearly shows the Core v. Fringe distinction:

The largest bar (at the bottom) is Mormons at 86 percent for Romney. Now, obviously, Mormons are a minority, but they’re increasingly the only minority group in modern American that still tries to act like they’re part of the core.

Then come married white Protestants (74 percent), then white Protestants, married white men, married whites, married white women, white Catholics, whites, married men, marrieds of both sexes, homeowners, married women, single white men, married other races and men in general.

At the top(smallest bar) are black single women at 2 percent for Romney. Then blacks, gays and lesbians, single Jewish women, Hindus, single Hispanics, single women, single other races, “Other orientations.”

I’m going to stop there for a moment. “Other orientations” comes from the sexual orientation question. They gave you four choices: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual; and for those who didn’t find those adequate, “other” was a choice.

The “Other Orientation” folks went strongly for Obama.

Obviously, this turned into an election based on identity, on whether people felt themselves in the core of America or in the fringe of America.

The core versus fringe can be defined in a couple of ways. For example, do you come from people who settled this country a long time ago? Or are you, say, an immigrant from Somalia who is now going to gift us with all the lessons that Somalis have developed over the eons on how to run a successful country?

Or, on a personal level, are you somebody who is married, has stayed married, has children, owns a home, and is employed? Or are you somebody who’s single, renting, who basically doesn’t find your life satisfactory and is looking for somebody to blame?

The way the Obama campaign turned out their base was to whip up feelings of resentment toward core Americans—toward those people whose ancestors had built the country, who largely keep it running today and who in their personal lives have done a pretty good job of keeping their act together.

Obama did a spectacular job of taking people from the fringe and telling them that they should resent the white married people of America, the ones who own their homes, the ones whose great-great-grandparents helped make this country, and that there’s something shameful, unfair, or at least uncool, about coming from the core of America.

It was a brilliant strategy. Obama ran a really ugly, nasty campaign full of subliminal hatred. The Democrats did a good job keeping the stew of ill-will they were brewing under wraps until after the votes were counted. But in the days following the election, out came pouring the chest-beating Suck-It-White-Boy exultation, the mindless fury at the losing white male bogeyman for being old and white, but, mostly, for losing.

The Republican Brain Trust, having elected President Romney, now assumes that the way to solve this problem is via amnesty—just as their good friends the Democrats keep telling them.

Amnesty, however, will be seen as white America’s surrender declaration, as an official invitation to kick the former top dogs while they’re down.

And who can be expected to resist that?

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book,AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Republican Party 
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Remember last spring when the Main Stream Media kicked off the Obama re-election drive by inflating a local police blotter item—the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida—into the latest Hunt for the Great White Defendant?

For Obama to win in November, the MSM had to agitate blacks to turn out like in 2008not like in 2010. And what better way than to drum up a hullabaloo over how the White Man is out gunning down innocent black babies?

Ironically, it quickly turned out that if Barack Obama “had a son,” he might look like George Zimmerman, who is tri-racial on his Peruvian mother’s side. But who had time for accuracy or irony when the President’s re-election required whipping up sufficient racial animus against whites right now? So Zimmerman was morphed into a “white Hispanic.”

We’ve seen the press and prosecutors on the prowl for the Great White Defendant numerous times before, such as the 2011 Dominique Strauss-Kahn mania, the 2006 Duke Lacrosse hoax, and the 1987 Tawana Brawley scam—which was promoted, just like the Trayvon Martin story a quarter of a century later, by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

The phrase “hunt for the Great White Defendant” comes from Tom Wolfe’s 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities , in which Sharpton is lampooned as Rev. Bacon. Indeed, if you want to understand the mechanics of how the Trayvon story was hyped in 2012, the best guide remains Bonfire.

It’s widely believed today that Bonfire was “ripped from the headlines” of the Brawley swindle, Michael Milken’s arrest, the O.J. Simpson case, and other notorious controversies in the manner of Dick Wolf’s Law & Order TV empire.

But in reality, Wolfe’s novel preceded not only Wolf’s L&O, but also almost all the real-life scandals it is now imagined to be based upon.

Thus in his 1995 book Overcoming Law , Judge Richard A. Posner retracted his initial dismissal of Wolfe’s novel:

The Bonfire of the Vanities has turned out to be a book that I think about a lot, in part because it describes with such vividness what Wolfe with prophetic insight (the sort of thing we attribute to Kafka) identified as emerging problems of the American legal system … at a bizarre intersection of race, money, and violence, an intersection nowhere better depicted than in The Bonfire of the Vanities, even though the book was written before the intersection had come into view.”

The Trayvon Trayvesty should have crowned Bonfire’s reputation as The Great American Novel of the late 20th Century, and driven home that Wolfe has enjoyed the grandest career in American letters since Mark Twain.

Of course, being right doesn’t make you popular. The embarrassing realization that Trayvon Trayvesty had been satirized a quarter of a century before has only turned the MSM even more against Wolfe and his new Miami novel, Back To Blood, a hilarious self-parody of all things Tom Wolfe.

As Wolfe’s fictional Miami Herald editor, comic relief WASP outsider Edward T. Topping IV, muses rhetorically to himself about the briefing corporate headquarters gave him when he was first assigned to South Florida:

“But the purpose of this briefing, they tried to tell Ed in a subtle way, was not to identify all these tensions and abrasions as potential sources of news in Immigration City. Oh, no. The purpose was to encourage Ed and his staff to “make allowances” and stress Diversity, which was good, even rather noble, and not divisiveness, which we could all do without. … [I]f the mutts start growling, snarling, and disemboweling one another with their teeth—celebrate the Diversity of it all and make sure the teeth get whitened. “

In sum, Topping got the Miami job because he’s cowardly enough to obey the rules of modern journalism.

The new Wolfe book is certainly not a quick read. A few dozen times, I had to put it down to laugh for 30 seconds or more. Readers unfamiliar with Wolfe’s immense career may not get the jokes, however.

The octogenarian writer is gleeful over how Tom-Wolfeish America has turned out to be. For example, Wolfe started depicting male characters using weightlifters’ technical terms for musculature (such as “sternocleidomastoids”) in describing male dominance displays way back in his first published short story, The Commercial, a 1975 tale of a big league baseball player. Yet virtually nobody in America back then knew what he was talking about— because who lifted weights? This was more than a decade before Jose Canseco set out to be the Typhoid Mary of steroids.

Wolfe was over-celebrated as a prose stylist when he suddenly became famous in the mid-1960s. In truth, his prose was always mostly just functional, but studded with striking phrases. As a crafter of sentences, however, he peaked late with the first four-fifths of his 1998 novel A Man in Full. Then his open-heart surgery set off a manic-depressive phase, and he had to slap together a conclusion after 11 years.

At 81, Wolfe’s ability to dream up new phrases is now in decline. But Back To Blood serves as a greatest hits album of 47 years of Wolfe’s inspirations.

Back To Blood is more or less about immigration. As Wolfe explained to The Telegraph:

People would say to me, “What are you working on?” And I would say, “Well, I’m doing something on immigration.” I always got the same reply: “Oh, that’s so interesting.” Never a follow-up question. Their heads would fall forward and they would go to sleep like a horse.” [ Tom Wolfe on his new book, Back to Blood, by Richard Grant, October 24, 2012]

Wolfe started off planning to write about the Vietnamese in Orange County, but switched to the Cubans of Miami, who dominate the city:

‘As far as I know, it’s the only city in the world where people from another country, with another language and a totally different culture, have taken over in this way,’ he says. ‘Invasions do the same thing.”

Wolfe’s Topping recalls:

And did the American blacks resent the Cuban cops, who might as well have dropped from the sky … for the sole purpose of pushing black people around? …

On the other hand, neither the Vietnamese nor Cubans are representative of the effects of immigration in general: both are anti-Communist refugees from the upper reaches of their home societies. The most informative subject for a novel about the effects of immigration upon America would have been the Mexicans of Los Angeles. But nobody is interested in them.

For example, Wolfe is counting on the sexy spitfire reputation of Miami’s Cuban women (most of whom are “white Hispanics”) to make attractive his quasi-heroine Magdalena, a social climbing nurse. She dumps Wolfe’s hero, a cop named Nestor Camacho, for her boss, a psychiatrist specializing in pornography addiction. She then leaves the celebrity doctor for the mysterious Russian Sergei Korolyov, who donates $70 million worth of modern art of uncertain provenance to the Miami art museum.

In contrast, while Los Angeles has plenty of adventuresses, few are Mexican.

Wolfe’s hero Nestor isn’t particularly bright, but he’s brave and loyal, the highest virtues to the author. In a crackhouse raid, a Rodney King-sized black criminal gets his hands around the windpipe of Nestor’s commanding officer, Sergeant Hernandez. The 5’7” bodybuilder leaps into the fray and eventually wrestles the huge black thug into submission. But the last minute of the encounter, with the suspect already down and the two adrenaline-crazed cops cursing him with racial epithets, winds up on YouTube.

Sergeant Hernandez complains to Nestor about the editing of the video:

“They don’t show any a that! They don’t even say like maybe there’s some reason this huge black bull wound up flat on his back like that in the custody of two cops, except that the two cops are Cubans. You’re supposed to figure the only reason is Cubans are cruel bastards who live for pushing los negrosaround and abusing them and dissing them and …”

And…that’s the only part of Sergeant Hernandez’s lines I can quote because, like a lot of Miami Cubans, he’s wholly lacking in the Racial Sensitivity Gene.

Horrified by the news, Hector surfs to YouTube, only to be “spellbound by the sight of himself on that little screen … Nestor victorious!! … I’m … pumped!”

But, only then does Nestor realize how bad the sight of muscular white cops triumphant over a black man will look to the rest of the world.

Let’s take a moment to speculate upon where Wolfe came up with some of his characters’ names:

  • The Homeric-sounding name Nestor Camacho is likely drawn from Puerto Rican boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho, who was murdered November 24. (Hector and Nestor were heroes on opposite sides in the Trojan War.)
  • Nestor’s ex-girlfriend Magdalena is presumably a reference to Proust’s madeleine cookies, the smell of which incites The Remembrance of Things Past. The climactic scene of Wolfe’s novel features the aroma of Cuban pastelitos calling Nestor back to blood.
  • Émigré oligarch Sergei Korolyov is probably borrowed from the enigmatic Soviet rocket designer Sergei Korolev, the shadowy archrival of NASA’s Werner von Braun in Wolfe’s classic The Right Stuff.
  • The cameo character Ulrich Strauss, a kindly old gentleman in formal attire who quotes Tom Stoppard on how “Imagination without skill gives us modern art,” is the Wolfe of the present. (By the way, I have this vague hunch that 500 years from now,Tom Wolfe, Tom Stoppard, and Hunter S. Thompson—the Three Toms of 1960s literature—will have blurred into one composite figure in the cultural memory.)
  • John Smith, the enterprising 28-year-old Miami Herald reporter that Nestor teams up with is the secondary hero, but remains a minor character: we’re not allowed inside his head. Curiously, he is always referred to, both by other characters and by the narrator, as “John Smith.” Never “John” or “Smith,” just “John Smith.” He dresses more formally than anybody else in Miami, has old-fashioned manners, is a Yale man, and is an unobtrusive but tenacious bulldog at persuading people to spill their inner thoughts to him so he can get the story.

In other words, John Smith is Wolfe’s portrait of himself at that age.

Why is he named John Smith?

Wolfe is a fanatically proud Virginian. In a 1998 interview he reflected upon his boyhood loyalties (which haven’t changed all that much):

“First, I thanked God for having been born in America, which was obviously the greatest country on earth. I was pretty dead right on that. And in what was obviously the greatest state, because more presidents came from Virginia than anywhere else. And from the greatest city in the greatest state in the greatest country, because it was the capital of Virginia. Just think of all the people not fortunate enough to be born in Richmond, VA.”

The historic John Smith was Pocahontas’s friend, the hero who saved Virginia’s Jamestown colony. In other words, John Smith is the original WASP.

Back To Blood reminds me that the conservative Brain Trust has long assumed that immigrants will become more Republican as they assimilate. Yet, in Miami, where the immigrants started out as fanatical Republicans for foreign policy reasons, the American-born Cubans have been trending Democratic. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Obama carried 60 percent of American-born Cubans (although exit polls of Cubans are notorious for unreliably small sample sizes).[Cuban-Americans Move Left, November 8, 2012]

Wolfe’s novel sheds some light on this pattern. Although the Miami Cubans in Back To Blood are all white conservatives, they see Anglo whites as The Other: “Americanos.” They use this term even when, as in Nestor’s case, they can’t actually speak much Spanish themselves. Although Nestor can understand his parents when they speak Spanish, he thinks in English because, much as I argued in in 2010:

“There were more Spanish-language television and radio stations than English, but the best shows were in English. The best movies, blogs (and online porn), and video games, the hottest music …”

On the other hand, Wolfe emphasizes, the younger Cubans like Nestor and Magdalena are constantly reminded when they speak to Americanos that their vocabularies in English tend to be smaller, which leaves them embarrassed and unhappy.

Wolfe is the master of portraying embarrassment; in particular, he can intuit what people with 95 IQs find humiliating, a subject most writers are oblivious to.

Interestingly, Back To Blood never turns into a Nestor-John Smith buddy tale, as is traditional for stories about cops and reporters teaming up. For example, when they drive west into Broward County with its ho-hum nationally franchised stores, Nestor begins to feel uncomfortable in the generic exurb. An unusually animated John Smith reflects: “We’ve just entered a strange land … called America! We’re not in Miami anymore. Can’t you feel it?”

“Nestor analyzed this concept for traces of anti-Cuban insult, even though he had experienced the same alien feeling just a moment before … Well, John Smith was an alien himself. He was apparently a living embodiment of a creature everybody had heard of, but nobody ever met in Miami, the WASP … Emotionally, he still resented it, harmless or not. “

As John Smith begins to riff like a proto-Tom Wolfe on the names of the commercial outlets:

“Animated like this, John Smith annoyed him. … John Smith could draw … concepts … out of something as ordinary as this second-rate road … That kind of thinking was a facility Nestor didn’t have. Irony came always at somebody else’s expense … his own, probably …”

Thus, it’s hardly surprising that the usual trajectory for immigrant groups, even anti-black ones like the Cubans, is toward the Democrats—the Party of Resentment.

Topping reflects upon the fictional John Smith, and journalists in general:

If you ask me, newspaper reporters are created at age six when they first go to school. In the schoolyard boys immediately divide into two types. Immediately! There are those who have the will to be daring and dominate, and those who don’t have it. … But there are boys from the weaker side of the divide who grow up with the same dreams as the stronger … The boy standing before me, John Smith, is one of them. They, too, dream of power, money, fame, and beautiful lovers.

Wolfe, who is a lavish spender in the tradition of Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald, has seldom made any pretense that he doesn’t want success in its cash forms. (Here’s Wolfe’s tribute to Twain as the rare writer who struck it rich as a “Big Spender from the East.”)

He just wants it on his own terms.

Boys like this kid grow up instinctively realizing that language is like … a sword or a gun. Used skillfully, it has the power to … well, not so much achieve things as to tear things down—including people … including the boys who came out on the strong side of the sheerly dividing line.

Hey, that’s what liberals are! Ideology? Economics? Social justice? Those are nothing but their prom outfits. Their politics were set for life in the schoolyard at age six. They were the weak, and forever after they resented the strong. That’s why so many journalists are liberals! The very same schoolyard events that pushed them toward the written word … pushed them toward “liberalism.”

I suspect, however, that Tom Wolfe, much as he resembles John Smith, was never a liberal. I’d like to see him write a memoir. Wolfe’s first three decades—his upbringing in Virginia, his Ph.D. at Yale, and his reporting in Cuba during the Revolution—remain obscure, probably both for personal and political reasons. Wolfe’s friend Ed Hayes, who was the model for Killian, Sherman McCoy’s street smart defense lawyer in Bonfire, has said:

“He’s the grandson of a Confederate rifleman and grew up with the sense of the Lost Cause, of glorious doomed charges at Gettysburg, of a sense of personal honor and what constitutes masculinity that has largely been rejected by the urban intellectual elite of the Northeast.”

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book,AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Tom Wolfe 
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What can we learn from the 2012 Presidential election?

How about this? In politics (as we might have occasionally mentioned over the dozen years of’s existence) demography is destiny.

Mainstream Republicans appear to be waking up to a reality that they’ve gone out of their way to not think about in the 15 years since Peter Brimelow and Ed Rubenstein pointed out that immigration-driven demographic change was bad for the GOP.

But, not having exercised their intellects about demographics over the intervening years, the first reaction of the Republican brain trust has been to grab the helpful advice of their Democratic colleagues:capitulate on Amnesty!!!

Nothing generates respect more than weakness and surrender, right?

The Democrats, these GOP strategists apparently reckon, have outsmarted us on demographics. So, being smart, they must know what is good for us, right?

After all, the only alternative would be to think for ourselves. And thinking makes our heads overheat.

However, for those of us who do think about demographics, here are two fairly good sources of data. One has gotten close to zero attention.

Here’s a chart you won’t see elsewhere:

Chart By Steve Sailer; Exit Polling By Reuters-Ipsos, Sample Size 40,000.

Chart By Steve Sailer; Exit Polling By Reuters-Ipsos, Sample Size 40,000.

Before the election, I presented demographic data on 7,500 likely voters collected in October by Reuters in conjunction with the French polling firm Ipsos. What I now present above are some of their new November election numbers, using their huge sample of 41,227 actual voters. My bar chart is arranged in rank order of each group’s share of the vote going to Romney—from black single women at 2.4 percent to Mormons at 85.9 percent.

As you can see, although Obama claimed to be a uniter in 2008, in fact his 2012 campaign was scientifically divisive. The Obama coalition of fringe elements in American society is united by one main driving force: resentment of the core groups in American society—such as married white people. Hence the vitriol from the victors since Tuesday, with much chest pounding about the long-hoped for death of white America.

My bar chart was created with the help of Reuters’ superb website at American Mosaic Polling Explorer, which lets let you crosstab their data any way you like. The existence of this resource appears to be the best kept secret in the Main Stream Media. Nobody except Reuters is talking about it.

Instead, the MSM is going with the Edison exit poll, which has a sample size of 26,565. This is understandable, because the MSM paid for Edison. But it means we’re getting the same old prefab crosstabs that don’t answer the truly interesting questions.

The Edison sample size used to be enormous (almost 88,000 in 2004). Recently, however, it’s been scaled back to save money. For example, Edison didn’t release any exit polls on the voting in Texas, the country’s second biggest state, without whose 34 Electoral Votes no Republican seems likely to ever be elected President again, because its sampling was so sparse in that Republican state.

Which ought to raise a red flag about the headline news from Edison: Hispanics cast ten percent of the national vote in 2012. But how can you be so sure about the Latino vote if you barely sampled in Texas?

Overall, exit polls are not well suited for measuring turnout. The pollsters have to decide ahead of time which precincts to hire workers to cover, so they need a model of whom they expect will vote in what numbers. Not surprisingly, they tend to get back roughly the results they anticipated.

Another dirty secret: exit poll data of whatever origin typically gets massaged by the firm immediately after the election to make it match up better with actual vote totals. I can recall, for instance, Edison’s demographics shifting dramatically on my screen in the wee hours of Election Night 2004, as all evidence of their initial report of the triumph of President-Elect Kerry had to be crammed down the memory hole.

It took a couple of months of Michelle Malkin, myself and others pointing out that Edison’s celebrated report of Bush taking 44 percent of the Hispanic vote didn’t jibe with the actual votes before Edison finally retracted that guesstimate in early 2005. By then, it had become an apparently unkillable myth.

Indeed, Edison’s exit polling has had a track record of overestimating the size of the Hispanic vote. It usually reports a dramatic number deceptively higher than the big, carefully controlled Census Bureau survey reports that appear several months after the election—when nobody in the MSM pays attention. Edison’s attitude seems to be: If we’re off by four or eight or twelve years, it’s no biggie.

I’m not going to make a big deal about this either. I don’t have any more idea than Edison does what percentage of the vote was Hispanic. But I do know it ought to go through the formality of becoming true.

The Edison poll is a mixture of in-person interviews at voting locations and phone calls, whereas the Reuters poll is mostly an online panel. Cyberspace makes it cheap to sample all over. Thus in Texas, Reuters is able to report that Romney won only 37 percent of the growing Hispanic vote. That’s quite a bit better than Romney did nationally. But of course it is still ominous for the long-term future of the Republican Party. If Texas follows California from red to blue, it’s Game Over in the Electoral College.

Nevertheless, unless the Republican Big Boys cave in to putting illegal aliens on the “path to citizenship,” it’s not a near-term threat—because Romney won a stunning 76 percent of the white vote in Texas, to canter to an easy victory.

White solidarity in Texas is likely to keep the Republicans viable in the White House hunt for a few more elections.

Of course, the Republicans can’t win more than 100 percent of the white vote in Texas. The distant future does look dire for them…unless they DO something about immigration.

Note that, in 2008, the GOP nominated John McCai n, sponsor of the 2006 amnesty bill with Ted Kennedy. According to the conventional wisdom that Hispanic voters only care about immigration, McCain should have been a great choice. Instead, he only earned 31 percent of the Latino vote—not significantly better than Romney’s 28.3%, according to Reuters.

Note also, for the record, that Reuters/ Ipsos shows Romney’s overall white share as just 58.1% vs. Edison’s 59%. This makes it clearer that Romney’s white share remained stuck at the high end of the mediocre post-Reagan range. (More comparisons here).

Having a second opinion from Reuters is particularly helpful for small sample size groups. For example, both Edison and Reuters report that Jewish support for Romney rose from the Obamamania depths of 2008. Edison has Romney’s 2012 Jewish vote at 30 percent and Reuters at 34 percent. If you assume Jewish opinion tends to be out in front of the rest of the public, that bodes a modest amount of ill for Obama’s second term.

And what about the Asian vote, which Edison reported as an unprecedentedly low 26 percent for the Republican candidate? Is that a trend? Or a small sample size fluke? (In contrast, Edison says the enigmatic “Other” racial category gave 38 percent to Romney.)

Unfortunately, Reuters just lumps Asians in with all “Other Minorities.” Of that group, 38 percent voted for Romney.

So I would say the jury remains out on the interesting question: Is legal immigration from Asia disastrous for the GOP—or just bad?

Thanks again, Wall Street Journal Edit Page!

Finally, there’s another finding from the Reuters data that’s not widely comprehended yet.

Romney could have won the Electoral College in what can be called the Big Ten states (after the college football conference of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest: remember, Illinois and Michigan each have two teams in the Big Ten). He did win Indiana, and he lost Obama’s home state of Illinois badly. The other six states in this region, however, all slipped through his fingers: Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In each of these Slippery Six states, Romney won at least 45 percent of the vote. But he still wound up a cumulative 0 for 80 in Electoral Votes. If Romney, rather than Obama, had won all six, he’d be President.

The Slippery Six are states with old-fashioned white and black voting demographics, still with a smattering of old time unionized factory workers. Hispanics, much less Asians, are, for the moment, still a minor matter politically.

According to Reuters, Romney lost the Slippery Six states because (exactly as warned repeatedly while digging white share data out of reluctant tracking polls, see here and here and here), he did badly there among white voters—winning only 52 percent, six points worse than nationally.

Most notably, Romney did terribly among the white working class in these six states. Thus he did only two points worse among whites with college degrees in the Slippery Six than he did nationally. But among the white “some college” component, he came in six points worse than nationally. And among the white “no college” voters, he performed 11 points worse than across the country—finishing tied with Obama.

In fact (although sample sizes are getting small), Romney even appears to have suffered the ignominy of a reverse gender gap among no-college whites in the Slippery Six—winning 51.4 percent of the women, but only 48 percent of the white working class men.

So the hidden story of the 2012 election just might come down to Romney not appealing to blue collar white guys in this swing region. Or you could attribute it to the immensely rich Obama campaign’s relentless negative advertising all summer depicting Romney as an outsourcing zillionaire.

But, how much did Romney offer working class whites in this swing region? Did they have much cause for hope that he’d take a strong stand against legal and illegal immigration? Affirmative Action? How about some public sympathy about their difficulties with influxes of Section 8 renters, whom rich liberals have been evicting from Chicago lakefront housing projects? Is that fair?

No—but mentioning it is divisive!

It’s much less controversial for Republicans just to stick to “economism”…and lose.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book,AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election 
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The calcifying influence of Democratic talking points on Main Stream Media [MSM] minds can be measured using Google News. Just type in

“War on Women” Romney

and you will find about 11,400 recent articles. In turn,

“Gender Gap” Romney

brings up 17,900 current news stories about this massive problem for Republicans.

On the other hand, enter into Google News

“Marriage Gap” Obama

and you’ll get a half dozen hits.

Yet the Marriage Gap in the 2012 election will be much larger than the Gender Gap—just as it has been in numerous previous elections, such as 2008 and 2004. In the 2008 exit poll, the Gender Gap was five points while the Marriage Gap was 19. Few commentators noticed, however, in part because the Gender Gap was the first result cited by CNN’s exit poll website, while the Marriage Gap was the 37th.

Barack Obama will win in a landslide among singles (i.e., never married,cohabitating, divorced, or separated). In contrast, Mitt Romney will cruise to victory among the married / widowed. (The widowed tend Republican, although not as much as the married do. I’m grouping the widowed in with the married in this analysis because widowhood is a natural outcome of marriage.)

There are several reasons why the Marriage Gap is so little discussed—some technical, some profound.

  • Technical

In the past, it’s been hard to check under the hood of polling data. The right to crosstab data the way you want to see it has typically been restricted to paying customers. Campaign professionals, such as Clinton pollster Stanley Greenberg, have long been dissecting the data to advise their clients on the centrality of the Marriage Gap. But that’s too much work for the MSM.

Fortunately, Reuters now offers a free site that allows crosstabbing. In conjunction with Ipsos, Reuters has been running an Obama v. Romney poll all year, with a healthy sample size of 11,000 respondents per month.

To convert the Reuters graphs into useful answers to important questions requires a fair amount of number-crunching, so I’ve built a spreadsheet to do this. The two charts in this article come from my analysis of Reuters-Ipsos online polling for the first three and a half weeks of October.

For what it’s worth, Reuters-Ipsos showed Obama enjoying a thin lead during the first three weeks of October, Romney then eked out a microscopic 50.2 to 49.8 lead in the current, incomplete fourth week. Overall in October, Obama led Romney 51-49 among likely voters.

(By the way, Obama is preferred 69-31 among the sizable number of people who told Reuters that they are unlikely to actually vote, presumably because they are felons, foreigners, or just not into that whole civic responsibility scene. The Gender Gap is particularly large among nonvoters. But…nonvoters don’t vote.)

My analysis won’t tell you who will win the election. Yet it will tell you with a fair degree of accuracy, well before the exit polls are in, who is going to vote for whom.

To present the demographic splits as simply as possible, I will leave out all respondents who told Reuters they were undecided, unlikely to vote, or will vote for a third party. That leaves a sample size of exactly 7,500 likely voters who have chosen between Obama and Romney.

The expedient of leaving out all the miscellaneous responses declutters the data. It means that the two candidates’ percentages must add up to 100 percent. The fellow with over 50% is, by definition, the favorite of that demographic niche. My graphs, therefore, just tell you Romney’s share of each demographic group and ignore Obama’s. If you want to know what Obama’s percentage is, just subtract Romney’s from 100.

Thus, the Gender Gap is, as I calculate it, six percentage points: Among likely voters, 52 percent of men and 46 percent of women favored Romney.

That’s the simplest way to present the magnitude of that gap. But many journalists like to double the size of the Gender Gap by double-counting: Obama leads among women 54-46, so that’s eight points, and Romney leads among men 52-48 so that’s four points; add eight and four together and you get a Gender Gap of 12 points! That sounds a lot more important than 52 minus 46 equals six. But it’s actually the same thing, just presented more confusingly.

That Gender Gap of six points must be put in perspective, though. Note that Romney was favored by slightly over 57 percent of the married likely voters, versus less than 37 percent of the unmarried.

That’s a Marriage Gap (expressed my way) of 20 points. In other words, the gap in favoring Romney between the married and unmarried is well over three times larger than the much-touted Gender Gap.

Yellow Bars Indicate Size of Gap

Yellow Bars Indicate Size of Gap

In the graph above, the yellow portions of the bars represent the Gender and Marriage Gaps. Note that the Marriage Gap is immense among women, approaching 24 percentage points. Married women are 7 5 percent more likely than single women to vote for Romney.

Among men, the Marriage Gap is 17 points: 59% of married men favor Romney versus only 42% of single.

  • Profound (or at any rate Deep Structural/ Cultural)

In small part, the Marriage Gap is an artifact of other well-known electoral gaps. For instance, singles are disproportionately black. Blacks don’t marry much, with 72 percent of their babies born out of wedlock, and blacks, single or married, overwhelmingly support Obama.

Still, the Marriage Gap is almost as large just among whites as among the general electorate, with 65 percent of married whites favoring Romney versus only 47 percent of single whites.

Nor is the Marriage Gap just a by-product of partisan differences by age. The Marriage Gap among the key 30-something cohort of whites, for example, is about 17 points.

The Marriage Gap shows up among nearly every conceivable subgroup: Catholics, Mormons, Jews etc. For example, Romney has 39 percent of the support of married Jewish men. That’s not good, but it’s not terrible either. He attracts 33 percent of both Jewish women and single Jewish men, but he’s getting blasted among single Jewish women (21.5 percent).

However, in contrast the Marriage Gap doesn’t drive black voting, at least in 2012. Romney is drawing only three percent of married blacks versus five percent of single African-Americans.

My view: Blacks tend to see voting for Obama as a sign of racial self-respect. Hence, Obama appeals to almost all elements of the black community—including, for example, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has just endorsed Obama again. Powell’s colleague from the elder Bush’s White House, John Sununu, got himself in the usual trouble for pointing out that Powell’s endorsement was motivated by feelings of racial pride. But in fact these feelings are perfectly understandable.

Among Hispanics, the Marriage Gap is comparable to that among whites. But Latino voters are shifted well to the left overall. Thus 42 percent of married Hispanics favor Romney versus 30 percent of single Hispanics. That ratio (but not the absolute level) is quite similar to the 65 – 47 Marriage Gap seen among whites.

This is another piece of evidence suggesting that Hispanics are not an inherently oppositional group in the celebrated manner of blacks. Despite the diligent efforts of the MSM to radically racialize Hispanics over the immigration issue, they just don’t have a strong collective electoral identity the way African-Americans do. Latino voting patterns tend to follow white patterns, just offset to the left. The black vote, if anything, moves in opposition to the white vote.

Thus the national MSM predicted doom for the GOP in the 2010 House election because Republicans appeared finally to have turned decisively against amnesty for illegal immigrants. Yet GOP candidates drew 38 percent of Hispanic votes—an above average amount. Why? Because whites trended Republican in 2010, and Latinos, especially the sober citizen types who bother to vote in off-year elections, listen to whites more than to blacks.

What does motivate Latino voters are their individual and family characteristics. However—and unfortunately for Republican candidates—those personal factors incline most Hispanics to vote Democratic, for perfectly rational reasons quite independent of immigration policy.

For instance, one reason why Hispanics are so Democratic is that they have lower rates of being married. The illegitimacy rate among Hispanics is over 53 percent. And it’s higher among American-born than foreign-born Latinos. The conventional wisdom that Latinos are sure to convert to Republicanism if only the GOP will invite millions more immigrants more looks pretty dubious.

The American chattering class dreams up fantasies about Hispanic family values. But the depressing reality is that the Latin Americans who sneak into the U.S. typically are from way down the social scale in their own countries—and they and their descendants stay pretty far down in the U.S. As Charles Murray documented in Coming Apart, downscale people tend to be victims to their passions and lack of future orientation, which causes family chaos—especially, for reasons that bear examination, in the late 20th century. Bringing in millions of lower class foreigners just leads to a larger fraction of “random families” in need of social workers and other government-employed minders.

The good news, at least for Republicans (and America): the Marriage Gap is somewhat more amenable than the Gender Gap to government policy.

The ratio of males to females is determined largely by nature (and by the Gender Gap in smoking a few decades ago). But whether Americans get married or not is largely determined by how affordable they find family formation. And, as Benjamin Franklin pointed out in 1751, immigration restriction is one obvious way to make marriage more affordable.

Obama campaigned as a purported uniter in 2008. But he’s running an extremely divisive campaign in 2012—emphasizing strange, symbolic micro issues of interest to only tiny numbers of voters: gays in the military; gay marriage; his mini Administrative Amnesty etc.

And that leads to a broader conclusion: Obama’s support lies in the fringes of American society, while Romney’s is found in the core. (Peter Brimelow has called this polarization Anti-America vs. America.)

Obama’s most fervent slices of the electorate are the marginalia: black single mothers, blacks, Muslims, gays/lesbians, single Jewish women, Hindus, single Hispanics, people who don’t actually expect to be part of the electorate, single women, single other races.

(And a category called “other orientations” for people who apparently consider the sexual orientation choices “straight,” “gay,” or “bisexual” too confining. I don’t even know what “other orientations” means. Please don’t write in to explain it: I don’t want to know.)

The Obama Fringe Vs. The Romney Core

Obama’s is an absurd coalition. It can be motivated only by exacerbating the bitterness of its members toward people fortunate enough to be closer to the heart of America. The correlation between being an Obama supporter and personal unhappiness, alienation, or dysfunction is not coincidental. The iconic Obama supporter is the black single mother.

Or another example: single Jewish women tend to have a lot of issues, such as: Why am I still single? This often leads to resentment of Jewish married men and their non-Jewish wives. But you’re not supposed to write about that. It’s too embarrassing. So much of single Jewish women’s anger gets channeled into more socially acceptable MSM denunciations of Angry White Men and their War on Women that allegedly causes the Gender Gap.

In contrast, Romney’s most supportive group is Mormons. Then come married white Protestants, white Protestants, married white men, married whites, married white women, white Catholics, whites, married men, and so forth: Americans who have a life.

The plan fact is that the core of Romney’s support is the core of the nation: the kind of people who built America into the world’s leading country and who still keep it running.

And that ought to be obvious to everybody.

That it’s not is a largely a testimony to the debate-shaping power of America’s Main Stream Media, heavily dominated by the Fringe—and another example of the intellectual calcification I cited at the beginning of this article.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservativeand writes regularly for Takimag. His websitewww.iSteve.blogspot.comfeatures his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is availablehere and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election 
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At first glance, Barack Obama: The Story appears to be a vast heap of random details obsessively piled up by veteran Washington Postreporter David Maraniss. Maraniss hit pay dirt with bestselling biographies of Bill Clinton and Vince Lombardi, but his latest is an amazingly tedious read. His “frenzied fact-grubbing and fanatical boredom” (to quote Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim) is so thorough that Obama doesn’t even get born until after Maraniss has devoted 164 pages to his ancestors.

And, despite much pre-release publicity in WaPo, Maraniss’s book has laid an egg in the marketplace, selling only 1/7th as many copies as Edward Klein’s anti-Obama quickie The Amateur. Maraniss is not at all happy about the curious fact that Obama skeptics seem to like to read about Obama more than Obama supporters do. [What drives the Obama doubters and haters?, by David Maraniss, Washington Post,July 27, 2012].

But you have to sympathize with Obama fans who might have picked up this weighty tome in the bookstore, only to drop it and reel away on finding that its 641 pages merely see us through the 27-year-old heading off to Harvard Law School.

(In case you are wondering, Maraniss devotes pp. 536-546 to Obama’s chief triumph as a community organizer: helping to get some of the asbestos removed from a housing project. I must confess to having skimmed this section.)

The tedium of this doorstop biography raises three questions:

  • Is Maraniss simply a dull writer?

His sales record suggests not.

  • Did Maraniss intentionally make his portrayal boring to protect Obama’s re-election and his supporters’ tender feelings?

Possibly. Thus Maraniss interviewed hundreds of people (and got an Oval Office interview, in which Obama volunteered that he was a B+ student at Occidental and an A- student at Columbia). The one man Maraniss didn’t interview, however, is the single most unfailingly entertaining character in Obama’s life story: the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

In contrast, Edward Klein got an interview with Wright. And from it he got two scoops:

a) Wright told Klein that Obama knew more about Islam than about Christianity when they met.

This doesn’t mean that Obama is a secret Muslim. I’ve never seen much evidence for any religious feeling in Obama at all. But Obama having an intellectual understanding of Islam makes sense because most of his friends in college were rich leftist Pakistanis.

b) Wright told Klein that Obama’s friend Eric Whittaker offered him $150,000 to shut up.

That strikes me as reassuring. All else being equal, I would rather have a President who, when confronted with a problem, tries to take action rather than simply drifts.

The third question:

  • Maybe Maraniss’s biography is boring because Obama himself, for all his suaveness, is just plain BORING.

Personally, I couldn’t recall Obama ever saying anything memorably insightful on any subject other than himself. And this immense book didn’t change that.

Obama possesses an impressive understanding of the conventional wisdom. But he seems averse to original thought.

So Barack Obama: The Story is a snooze. Yet, for the handful of readers well enough versed in the trivialities of Obama’s often trivial life, Maraniss reveals, no doubt inadvertantly. enough detail that this pro-Obama biography effectively becomes a subversive commentary on the supreme Obama puzzle: how this graceful nonentity ever achieved Presidential Timberhood.

Maraniss, having cut his teeth on Bill Clinton, a prodigious politician clearly destined from youth for a career in the public arena, intermittently reveals how baffling he finds the rise of Obama, whom he reports took up creative writing at Occidental to struggle against his basic nature as an “apathetic quasi-intellectual sports fan.”

In Maraniss’s telling, our Chief Executive is essentially a passive observer of life, a “disconnected observer,” a man with the skill set of a respected but penurious writer of short stories for small literary magazines. “If he had not gone into politics, he would have been a writer …” concludes Maraniss.

Of course, the handful of articles Obama published in his twenties were poorly written, causing Jack Cashill to hypothesize in 2008 that the elegant prose of Obama’s Dreams from My Father must have been concocted ex nihilo by his ex-terrorist ghostwriter Bill Ayers. Maraniss, significantly, takes care to show that Obama was sending letters to friends a decade before Dreams that were written in the same Creative Writing 302-style prose-poetry:

Manhattan streets are broad and bumpy; the cool crisp grey of fall glows on the teeming faces of the midtown rush; the drunk slides back and forth on his subway seat under the gaze of the neat older woman knitting her mauve yarn; the pigeons comb the cobblestones on Riverside, white and grey and plump …

And so forth and so on.

This ability to conjure up mental imagery with words was once a crucial cultural skill, but it’s increasingly obsolete due to the technological progress that has made visual imagery superabundant. It mostly serves these days as a luxurious status marker: Few readers made it all the way through Dreams from My Father, but before it slipped from their sleepy fingers, they took away the lesson that Obama, despite his crass job as a Chicago politician, had Class.

Maraniss’s many quoted excerpts from Obama’s old letters are uniformly stylish—and deadly dull. Is Obama really this boring? Or did Maraniss censor everything of political interest? The biography skips over or massively summarizes almost all the ideologically intriguing content.

Time and again, Maraniss reassures us that Obama was never quite as leftist as all of his Marxist Muslim millionaire buddies from Pakistan. Well, okay …

Since Maraniss declines to pass on anything of what Obama wrote his friends on the political issues of the day, we are merely left with a self-portrait of Obama the Insufferable, self-absorbed and egotistical:

“Life rolls on, and I feel a growing competence and maturity while simultaneously noting that there isn’t much place for such qualities in this mediocre but occasionally lovable society.”

Another sub-current trickling throughout the book: Maraniss’ astonishment at how little of an impression Obama made upon his peers. Maraniss notes, for example, that among those at Columbia who had known both Obama and George Stephanopoulos, the future Clinton adviser and newscaster remains a vastly more vivid memory.

Outside of the “Pakistani mafia”—as Obama called his main social network from the time he started college at 18 in 1979 to leaving New York for Chicago in 1985—Obama’s closest friend was Phil Boerner, another cosmopolitan (the son of a U.S. diplomat, he’d grown up in a variety of countries). After meeting at Occidental College, they decided to transfer to Columbia, after which they sometimes roomed together in New York City.

After Obama moved to Chicago in 1985, he sent a draft of a short story he’d written to Boerner for criticism. Unfortunately, the manuscript has disappeared and Boerner can’t remember much about Obama’s fiction. And Maraniss explains that there is nothing suspicious about this blank spot in the historical record: after all, “there was no reason for any of his friends or colleagues to think that he would be a best-selling author someday, let alone president.”

Maraniss emphasizes how closely matched Obama and Boerner were in intellect, ideology, personality, and literary inclinations. That got me wondering about Boerner’s subsequent career. Perhaps it would help answer the question: “Besides being President and Nobel Laureate, what other kind of job was Obama cut out for?”

In 2009, Boerner penned a fond reminiscence for the Columbia College alumni magazine, “Barack Obama, ’83, My Columbia College Roommate.” The tagline at the bottom reads:

Phil Boerner ’84 was born in Washington, D.C., and lives with his wife and two children in Sacramento, Calif. He is communications and public relations manager at the California Veterinary Medical Association.

Judging from Maraniss’s book, few who knew them both back then would have been terribly shocked if Obama had ended up with Boerner’s job: PR manager for a respectable special interest group (veterinarians) in an important state capital (Sacramento).

Perhaps Maraniss’s most striking revelation: virtually nobody who knew Obama in the first quarter of a century of his life ever thought of him as their leader in anything. When he got to Harvard Law School at age 27, he was i nstantly proclaimed The First Black President. But before then, those who knew him found his passivity and disengagement frustrating.

Obama’s boss at Business International in New York, Lou Celi, told Maraniss that Obama “did not stand out in any material way.” Maraniss comments: “Celi could not see him as a leader.”

Ernie Cortes, a prominent leftist activist in Texas who got to know Obama well during his community organizing days, tells Maraniss:

“He thought by virtue of his intellect and personality he could bring people together. He never had an edge, what we call a bias toward action …”

Other examples are left merely implied. For example, Maraniss pads out his book with a lengthy account of how Punahou Prep’s basketball team came together over the course of the 1978-79 season to win the state championship.

You might think: this will show off Obama’s leadership skills—but, no, Obama started the season as the third, fourth, or fifth man off the bench, and got even less playing time as the year went on. The more insignificant Obama became, the better the team played.

By the way, Maraniss says that Obama’s story in his memoir of being discriminated against by the basketball coach because he played in a black playground style is bunk:

“The reality was that Barry, as skilled and intelligent a player as he was, could not stand out in this group.”

Or, consider Obama’s role in the “Choom Gang” of a dozen potheads at Punahou. You might think that a future Leader of the Free World would inevitably, through sheer force of charismatic personality, exert a disproportionate influence on his fellow teens in their debates over, say, which drug to take next. That’s a pretty low hurdle for leadership skills, right? However:

“There was not even a designated leader. …. The other members considered Mark Bendix the glue; he was funny, creative, and uninhibited with a penchant for Marvel Comics. … Without exerting himself in overt ways, Barry Obama held as much respect as anyone within the group.”

Got that? Our President was among the most respected dudes in the Bong Brothers.

Granted, Barry was not the glue in the Choom Gang like Mark Bendix. But he was right up there with any of the non-Bendixian Maui Wowie tokers!

By this point, you may be wondering: “Who was Mark Bendix? And what does this Bendix fellow’s penchant for Marvel Comics have to do with anything?”

Questions like this come up constantly when reading Maraniss’s biography. Mark Bendix is just one of the countless dramatis personaewho provide the reporter with welcome diversions from the dull (but no doubt well-paid) slog through Obama-ness that he has signed on for.

The apparent randomness of Obama’s life story reinforces what Maraniss says is his deepest philosophical assumption: “I believe that life is chaotic …”

Yet, like the Sixties acid casualty in the “plate of shrimp” scene in the movie Repo Man, who sees everywhere an overlaid “lattice of coincidence,” Maraniss affirms, “I also believe that there are connections that illuminate our world … they were everywhere I looked in the story of Barack Obama.”

Maraniss dumps a load of pointillist detail on the bewildered reader and leaves him to connect the dots as best he can.

He’s not going to tell you what he thinks they mean (that could get him in trouble). But if you follow very carefully, you might be able to figure out a few things for yourself.

Thus, the mention of Mark Bendix’s Marvel Comics obsession isn’t quite as pointless as it first seems. One of Maraniss’s minor themes is Obama’s fascination with superheroes. For example, one of Obama’s white girlfriends in New York, Genevieve Cook, sensed that comic book characters might provide a key to understanding Obama’s opaque personality:

Genevieve knew that he harbored faintly articulated notions of future greatness, of gaining power to change things. Once, when they were in Prospect Park, they saw a young boy in costume playing out a superhero role. They started to talk about superheroes, the comics he enjoyed as an adolescent in Honolulu, and intimations of “playing out a superhero life.” She considered it “a very strong archetype in his personality,” but as soon as she tried to draw him out, he shut down “and didn’t want to talk about it further.”

This may offer an explanation of the resilience of Obama’s gigantic ego, “his irrepressible belief that he was the smartest person in the room,” his confidence that he would someday lead millions despite the relentless evidence that even his friends wouldn’t follow him around the corner to get a newspaper.

The comic books provide a whole mythos in which nobodies have fabulous secret identities: mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent is actually Superman, while shy student Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

The irony is striking. Obama opponents have frantically tried to piece together the secret identity of this seeming international man of mystery: Is he Muslim? Kenyan? Arab? Gay? Frank Davis’s son?

But, in contrast, Maraniss goes to great lengths to reassure Obama’s supporters: relax—there’s nothing interesting about Obama!

Yet, all the while, Obama himself was convinced that he wasn’t as boring as his friends assumed. Deep inside, he had a secret identity … President Man!

It’s also important to understand that the young Obama, despite his obscurity, was hardly a lowly outsider (as he has recently been portraying himself—in contrast to the conventionally well-heeled Mitt Romney).

The young Obama didn’t have a lot of money, but he traveled in elite international circles. Lots of people who knew him saw him as an elegant and exotic accouterment to their social scene. Thus, he got invited places, such as when he jet-setted to Singapore in 1981 to watch his Pakistani pals compete in an international polo match.

It’s just that none of these friends viewed him as a take-charge guy.

Perhaps Obama’s problem was that he hung out with members of various ruling castes, in which standards are high.

For example, one of Obama’s New York roommates, the drug addict waiter Sohale Siddiqi, sounds like a lowlife in Dreams. But he was actually from Pakistan’s crème de la crème. Maraniss reports Siddiqi and Obama being visited in New York by Siddiqi’s old friend from the top grammar school in Pakistan—Sanam Bhutto, daughter of the late president of Pakistan, Zulifkar Ali Bhutto, and sister of future president Benazir Bhutto.

Likewise, Obama’s girlfriend in New York, Genevieve Cook was the daughter of Michael J. Cook, whom Maraniss reports was then head of “the Australian equivalent of the intelligence assessment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency and, years later, would become ambassador to the United States.” Cook had previously been Australia’s “number two man in Indonesia.”

Genevieve’s mother was by then remarried to Philip C. Jessup Jr., a well-connected Democratic lawyer with homes on Park Avenue and in Georgetown. Jessup’s great-grandfather had founded the America University of Beirut. His diplomat father had flown in from Pakistan to defend himself before the Senate when Joe McCarthy accused him of “an unusual affinity … for Communist causes.” Harry Truman nominated Genevieve’s step-grandfather as American delegate to the United Nations, but McCarthy convinced the Senate to block his appointment.

The younger Jessup himself had

lived in Indonesia, where he was a top official at the International Nickel Company during a period when it was … benefiting from a lucrative, if politically and environmentally controversial, relationship with the Suharto regime.

During these years, Obama’s mother was working mostly in Indonesia (and sometimes in Pakistan) for the Ford Foundation, which has often been accused of serving as a front for American power abroad. She had started out at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta in 1967, where, according to Obama’s autobiography, CIA men had told her hair-raising stories about the Indonesian military’s vast slaughter of Communists in 1965. At this time, she was a good friend of Genevieve’s step-brother, anthropologist Tim Jessup. (It’s a small world, after all!)

Stanley Ann Obama Soetoro had gotten divorced in 1980 from her Indonesian second husband, Lolo Soetoro. One of Maraniss’s revelations is that Obama’s account in his memoir Dreams from My Father of the stories Lolo had wooed his impressionable mother with—thrilling accounts of how his family had been freedom fighters who had suffered horribly at the hands of the Dutch colonialists—had been “a concocted myth in almost all respects.” Instead, Lolo came from a family of wealthy collaborationists:

“Lolo’s father … had been a geologist, a prominent profession in an archipelago rich with minerals, natural gas, and oil. He had worked for a Dutch oil company … His expertise in mining was so extensive that he had written a book about it, in Dutch.”

Lolo was a geologist who worked in government relations for an American oil company. He had gotten the job through his brother-in-law, a heavyweight in mineral extraction for the Suharto government.

Are you noticing a “lattice of coincidence”?

By the way, remember the story in Dreams about how Obama’s African grandfather had been tortured by the British colonialists during the Mau-Mau uprising? Maraniss says that probably is just made up, too, although he’s less certain than he is about the Indonesian tale. Obama’s Kenyan grandfather was a collaborationist also. That’s how his father could afford to attend an expensive private high school that made him eligible for the Tom Mboya Airlift to the U.S.

Mboya, a Luo like Obama Sr., was America’s man in Kenya. But Maraniss points out that Obama Sr. was closer ideologically to Mboya’s fellow-Luo archrival, Oginga Odinga, who sent his son, Raila Odinga, to East Germany for college. (He’s now prime minister of Kenya). But Obama Sr. had many tribal ties to Mboya. Indeed, Obama Sr. was one of the last people to see Mboya alive before his conspiratorial assassination in 1969, and served as the anchor witness in the trial of the Kikuyu hitman who shot Mboya.

While dating Genevieve in New York, Obama was himself perfunctorily working for Business International, which he famously described as feeling “like a spy behind enemy lines.” Obama’s mother wrote, in a letter to a friend, that

He calls it working for the enemy because some of the reports are written for commercial firms that want to invest in [Third World] countries.

Maraniss explains that Business International was just a dreary newsletter company, not the glamorous corporate consultancy fictionalized in Dreams. And yet…

“[T]here were suggestions of derring-do in the early days of the enterprise, intimations of spookdom, always denied, of nondescript men in seemingly bland jobs who had worked around the world for the CIA. Not that the place itself was a front, just that it might have been a convenient cover for a few agency types.”

Obama didn’t work hard at B.I., but one time he showed energy:

“… Dan Armstrong, who considered Obama a friend…remembered seeing Obama get into a ‘huge argument’ with an older colleague named Dan Kobal. The subject was the CIA. ‘It was heated and brief. … I don’t think it was discreet at all. It touched on some deeply held belief of Barack’s. … Barack was attacking it.’ … [Kobal] postulated that he and Obama might have been talking about Africa. Obama, he said, ‘may well have been’ anti-CIA then, which Kobal was not.”

I’ve been writing about the remarkable number of “Cold War” coincidences in Obama’s background since 2009. Maraniss seems to have been reading my stuff (although I don’t see my name anywhere in his citations).

My suggestion is not that Obama is some kind of Manchurian Candidate of the CIA, but that the CIA and other players in American influence abroad tend to work more like the “municipal favor banks” described in Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities and David Simon’s The Wire. Perhaps Obama’s mom made a few phone calls to old acquaintances and helped get the ball rolling for his newsletter gig at this Company-affiliated firm.

Maraniss, however, takes extraordinary pains to point out that Obama could have wound up at Business International through random luck and normal bureaucratic channels:

“His resume likely was sent to Business International from the placement office at Columbia’s School for International Affairs, which had a long-standing relationship with B.I. … Obama had taken the mandatory copyediting test and performed well …”

Now, that information is interesting…but only to me. It looks like Maraniss wrote it in response to my “favor bank” theory. But if you are some poor Obama fan who voted for him to bring “hope” and “change” and has never allowed yourself to read anything heretical about your hero, these kinds of passages must be baffling in their boringness. Who cares about how his resume got there? What’s the point?

This is a pattern. Barack Obama; The Story is an odd book that often appears intended to answer sophisticated questions about Obama, but without ever mentioning what those questions are.

Here’s where I think Obama is coming from: he’s an offshoot of the American Cold War’s political (and thus leftist) wing.

When I first began to notice Obama’s family ties to the CIA and its counterparts and accessories, I asked myself if my family had similar connections. At first, I said, “Of course not!” But the more I thought things over, the more I noticed that, yes, actually, I do.

For example, my mother’s best friend’s husband went on to be Lockheed’s chief designer of the CIA’s SR-71 spy plane. My wife’s late uncle, an Air Force colonel with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, spied behind the Berlin Wall, debriefing dissident Soviet scientists in parked cars on the back streets of East Berlin. My wife has other relatives with vague jobs in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, except when they move to Alice Springs in the center of the Australian Outback, presumably to work at the Pine Gap satellite tracking station. (You’re never supposed to ask them what they do).

Now, my family connections are mostly to the “technical” wing of American intelligence. I’m an offshoot of the Cold War military-industrial complex (engineering division). And, from that, my basic loyalties are pretty predictable. American engineers don’t do complicated when it comes to national loyalties.

Obama, in contrast, appears have had numerous personal connections to the “political” wing of the Cold War “twilight struggle.” The strategy was to outfox the Communists in the struggle for the hearts and minds of Third Worlders by recruiting people who were almost, but not quite, Communists themselves. It was the international intrigue version of the Median Voter theory: sign up everybody to the right of the KGB.

This makes Obama’s inherited loyalties much more, well, interesting. But the appeal of power, acclaim, and money crosses many borders and ideologies. Obama originated in a segment of the global elite resentful of their dependence upon American domination. But, bygones can be bygones in a 21st Century where the global elites’ vast enthusiasm for Obama’s run for President presumably mollified any ideological hard feelings he might still have been inclined to nurse toward them.

All this raises the question of how Obama ever attained Presidential Timberhood in the national MSM in the mid-2000s, despite his long track record of not having much of a track record. Perhaps Maraniss will explain this in Volume II. But it would be understandable if he gave up this monumental project in disgust at Obama supporters’ lack of interest in learning the mundane realities behind their cherished fantasies.

My last word: it’s easy to overthink Obama. Don’t overlook the largest element in his make-up—the “apathetic quasi-intellectual sports fan.”

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Barack Obama 
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Sean Trende, a senior analyst with RealClearPolitics, has written a valuable book entitled The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government Is Up for Grabs – and Who Will Take It that debunks much Main Stream Media [MSM] conventional wisdom—above all, importantly, the apparently unkillable meme that the GOP must get 40% of the Hispanic vote to win a Presidential election, notwithstanding the fact that Hispanics cast only 7% of the vote in 2008. But, needless to say, I have some quibbles.

We’re finally starting to get the kind of talent in voting analysis that we see all the time in baseball statistics. Indeed, the biggest star to emerge recently in psephology, Nate Silver, came directly from baseball stats. Unfortunately, the kind of folks who make good money as election consultants tend less to be number-loving nerds than schmoozers who are adept at getting quoted in the papers and in terrifying their clients into spending huge amounts on campaign advertising (via the consultant’s own ad agency).

The main target of Trende’s book: the bread-and-butter concept of typical big picture psephological tomes: partisan realignment. It’s fun for pundits to predict that Real Soon Now, one party will start winning all the elections until, roughly, the end of time.

But Trende doesn’t see that happening, for what are essentially game theory reasons.

This abstract-sounding argument is relevant today because it raises questions about the most widely accepted (although least cited) realignment theory of recent years: Peter Brimelow and Ed Rubenstein’s demonstration, in a 1997 National Review (!) cover story, that current immigration will increasingly disadvantage Republicans. (See their 2001 update here).

Brimelow and Rubenstein concluded that the GOP should simply cut off immigration, as it did in the 1920s. But, passed through the MSM ideological converter, this became the infinitely repeated cliché that Republicans must cave in on illegal immigration or be swept away by an angry avalanche of immigration-obsessed Latino voters. ( archives some of these stories under the title “Hispanic Hype”.)

Trende is dubious. He’s even skeptical about how much immigration will damage Republicans in the long run.

It’s good to see a little healthy skepticism on this topic. The MSM has drunk its own Kool-Aid so much that it stumbles into embarrassing botches. For example, late last month, the New York Times splashed a story [Crucial to Romney, Florida’s Latino Voters Are Wary of Him, Too by Trip Gabriel, April 27, 2012] based on the assumption that Mitt Romney’s chances of winning in the Electoral College hinged upon appeasing Florida Puerto Ricans’ passionate desire for amnesty for Puerto Rican illegal immigrants. The NYT had to issue the following humiliating notice:

Correction: April 27, 2012

An earlier version of this article described Puerto Rican migrants to Florida as immigrants. Puerto Ricans are United States citizens.

The MSM really, really believes its own “narrative.”

But does that mean Republicans don’t have to worry about an immigration-driven permanent realignment in favor of Democrats? I don’t think so.

Before getting to the details of Trende’s Latino vote analysis, however, let’s consider his general attack on the concept of long-term realignments.

Realignments are popular to speculate about because they provide a storyline. For instance, Karl Rove loved chatting up reporters about how his skin-of-their-teeth victory with George W. Bush in 2000 was the beginning of a historic realignment modeled upon William McKinley’s strong showing among immigrants in 1896. (In the realignment genre, McKinley’s name glows with a glamour otherwise denied him in most historiography.) [The Submerging Republican Majority |Karl Rove's master plan was to make George W. Bush the William McKinley of the 21st century. Why didn't it work? By James Traub, NYT, June 18, 2006]

Similarly, Barack Obama liked to expound upon how his election was going to be transformational. Jodi Kantor’s recent book, The Obamas,(see my review here), revealed that Barack and Michelle remain true believers in the-one-we’ve-been-waiting-for’s transformationality.

In effect, realignment theory is a milder version of The-End-Is-Nighness beloved by unkempt crackpots in old New Yorker cartoons carrying signboards: instead of the world coming to an end, the back-and-forth seesaw of party politics will cease. Either your side’s good guys will have won forever, or the bad guys are going to take over unless everybody on your team DOES WHAT YOU SAY.

Trende’s perspective: even with a Presidential election as allegedly epochal as Obama’s 2008 victory—well, guess what? They still have to hold another mid-term election two years later. (And, as you’ll recall, it turned out quite differently). Life, and politics, goes on.

In Trende’s model, the party that benefited from what seemed like a permanent realignment will find itself hard-pressed to keep all the over-expectant elements of its inflated, unwieldy coalition happy.

In politics, as a friend of Andy Jackson pointed out, to the victor belong the spoils. But as the number of victors within a coalition grows larger, with each clamoring for a share of the spoils, the number of losers left to despoil gets smaller. And what’s the fun of that?

So successful coalition building naturally suffers from diminishing marginal returns.

Conversely, the party out of power will be motivated to bid more to pry away fringe elements of the victor’s coalition, or to excite the undecided/ uninterested.

In Trende’s game theory approach, two-party politics tends, by default, toward a fifty-fifty split. The Lost Majority argues that the two-party system from the Civil War onward works much like Europe’s two-alliance system—which kept the Great War from being over, despite common expectation, by Christmas 1914.

Few European statesman would have agreed to war in 1914 if they’d known that the two sides would be so evenly matched that the fighting would last until late 1918—at catastrophic cost to Western civilization. But, they should have guessed that would happen: the natural tendency of diplomacy is to press competing alliances toward a fifty-fifty balance of power. For example, after Germany persuaded the Ottoman Empire into entering the Great War on the side of the Central Powers in 1914, Britain, France, and Russia were motivated to bid even more to lure Italy in 1915 away from its traditional alliance with Germany and Austria.

Personally, I’ve long found the notion that the things we find most interesting tend toward a 50-50 split to be useful in numerous contexts.

But does American politics really follow this pattern? Don’t long-term realignments sometimes occur?

Yes, Virginia (Dare). Sometimes they do.

Thus, for example, I can vividly recall Grover Norquist telling me in February 1994 that the GOP was going to take the House that November—because it seemed such a daring forecast. The Democrats had controlled the House of Representatives for the entire 35 years of my life. In The Lost Majority, Trende’s recounting of history downplays this fact, because the Presidency and, less often, the Senate were occasionally in Republican hands. But the fact that Democrats always ruled the House was simply unquestioned when I was young.

There really had been a major realignment in 1932, due to the Depression. And the Democrats really did enjoy a majority in the House for 58 of the next 62 years.

Indeed, there are other game theory concepts that can account for how a two-party system, which seemingly ought to tend toward fifty-fifty, can get stuck like this: for example, path dependency.

For example, why did voters return a Democratic majority to the House in 1984, a year Ronald Reagan won 59% of the Presidential vote?

One possible answer: while you might have agreed that a Republican House would be better for the country as a whole, electing the Republican challenger might have been worse for your particular district’s place at the Congressional feeding trough. If the Democrats held the House, which they had done since time immemorial, a freshman Republican would have been much less effective at bringing home the bacon. So prudence might dictate re-electing your wily old incumbent Democrat porkmeister.

But once the Democrats lost the House in 1994, then the concept of another shift in power became more plausible. Thus, as we saw in 2006 and 2010, it’s now more likely that a shift happens.

I also think we can expand on Trende’s fifty-fifty concept to account for situations where a partisan imbalance gets stuck.

When one party achieves dominance, public interest just redirects to primaries. For instance, a Democrat has held the powerful job of mayor of Chicago ever since 1931. But Chicago is not lacking in politics.

When I lived in Chicago, nobody with any sense registered as a Republican. That just disenfranchised you in what was then the only game in town: the Democratic primary. As a voter in the Republican mayoral primary, I merely got decide whether a professor of economics from the University of Chicago or a professor of management from Northwestern University would be the nominee who would get the GOP’s traditional four percent of the vote in the final round.

My Chicago-native wife always gave me a hard time over why I stubbornly maintained my Republican registration. She pointed out that our property values depended upon Richie Daley winning the Democratic primary—rather than somebody like Danny Davis, or former Black Panther Bobby Rush.

Hence even in one-party Chicago, politics still happens—but just shifted well to the left.

Then there are what American Conservative pundit Noah Millman calls “one-and-a-half-party” states, such as Massachusetts and California. The legislatures appear to have permanently realigned Democratic, but rich and/or charismatic outsiders like Mitt Romney and Arnold Schwarzenegger can still sometimes get elected governor as reforming Republicans, to clean up the corruption and dysfunction of the Democratic machines. (Lots of luck, guys!)

My assessment: the long-term Brimelow-Rubenstein trend against the Republicans due to current immigration policy should indeed be cause for serious concern for the GOP.

On the other hand, as Trende points out to his great credit, there’s little need to panic. This is a slow process. All the scare stories published in the MSM every two years about how the Republicans are doomed this November if they don’t agree to amnesty Right Now are ridiculous.

For example, California went Republican in Presidential elections nine times out of ten from 1952-1988—albeit often narrowly, as Trende notes. Then it apparently realigned Democratic in 1992. In the Narrative, this was caused by Proposition 187 in 1994, presumably through some form of time travel.

But Trende can’t find much evidence for the Narrative in his study of California electoral history:

“It has become an article of faith among pundits that the California Republican Party was doomed by a series of racially charged initiatives in the mid-1990s….[But] the exit polls show little change in the voting Nhabits of California Latinos from 1988 through 2008. Latinos consistently gave Democratic presidential candidates between 66 and 76 percent of the vote…They did so whether the GOP candidate was running in the immediate aftermath of Proposition 187 or as the heir to an administration that had just signed an “amnesty” bill, as George H.W. Bush did in 1988.”

Trende explains:

“What ultimately ruined the Republican Party of California were two key trends…First, the Latino vote became larger, even if that vote did not shift…But just as important, if not more so, is that upper middle-class suburbanites in California mirrored the national trend away from the GOP…Interestingly, there’s not much evidence of a Latino backlash against candidates associated with heavily anti-immigrant politics and policies.” [My emphasis]

This still doesn’t mean that, even in the long run, the Democrats will win all the elections. In terms of game theory, there are various ways this can play out. For example, the addition of left-leaning foreigners and their children to American elections could simply move the whole political spectrum to the left, with the Republicans taking up the policies of current Democrats and the Democrats acting like a social democratic party. Thus in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, more or less represents conservatism.

Along these lines, Trende speculates:

“Assuming that the assimilation scenario does not play out, it is more likely that we will see a pastiche of politics as completely unrecognizable to us today as New Deal politics would have been to voters in the 1920s. In some instances, the candidates might not even call themselves ‘Republicans,’ but the issue cleavages will nevertheless be real.”

Or the Republicans could convert more Hispanic votes from Democrat to Republican. Interestingly, Trende is optimistic about this. Newsweek editor Eleanor Clift unhappily quotes him to this effect:

The alternative scenario offered by Trende assumes the immigration wave now benefiting Democrats stops; and that Latinos’ voting behavior shifts as they remain in this country, make more money, and their children and grandchildren go to professional schools. “The long-term trend is slightly toward Republicans,” Trende said. Demographics Favor Obama Over Romney in November Election – The Daily Beast April 29, 2012

I myself have argued that the Democrats may well be surprised by the way immigrant voting patterns play out—basically because being branded as the “black party” has costs as well as benefits. It just isn’t clear that blacks and Hispanics, let alone blacks and Asians, will really Just Get Along.

But the Hispanic-GOP trend that Trende is talking about is, unfortunately, very slight. (And Trende makes the confidence-sapping mistake of accepting that George W. Bush got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, even though the exit polling company later admitted that was wrong.)

I see three problems with Trende’s optimism:

  • Most seriously, Mexican-Americans just don’t climb the economic ladder terribly quickly, even in generational terms. They certainly don’t go to professional schools much.
  • Path dependency (see above). Consider Whittier in eastern Los Angeles County, the hometown of Richard Nixon. It’s now the wealthiest majority Hispanic community in Southern California, so it should be the nirvana of Trendeism. But instead, it’s moved left.

As Wikipedia explains: “Whittier was once very conservative politically, but in recent years has become divided…” The white neighborhoods have stayed Republican but Mexicans’ neighborhoods leaning much more Democratic than similarly affluent Anglos.

Here’s an amusing L.A. Times article about a candidate for State Assemblyman from Whittier, a well-to-do 26-year-old surfer dude named Ian who is reminiscent of Jeff Spicoli of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Significantly, he’s a Democrat. Why? Because Ian Calderon is the Fair-Haired Boy of the Democratic Calderon Clan. His father and uncle both represent parts of Whittier in Sacramento. At least one Calderon has been in the state legislature as a Democrat since 1983.[ Assemblyman Calderon's son Ian aims to uphold political dynasty, By Michael J. Mishak, April 29, 2012.]

  • U.S. governments pay Mexicans to identify as a separate ethnicity. And the ones who go off to college, who tend to be the most European by inheritance and the most assimilable by socio-economic level, are the ones who get indoctrinated the most into the reigning Diversity Cult.

I was discussing all this last week with a friend who is a Democratic political operative in California. Our conversation went something like this:

Democratic Political Operative: “It doesn’t make much sense for a politically ambitious young Latino to join the Republican Party because the districts with lots of Latinos in them are gerrymandered Democratic. So, you Republicans won’t get much talent coming up through the ranks. Therefore, what you Republicans should do is recruit Mexican-American celebrities and famous athletes as candidates.”

Me: “But how many famous Mexican-Americans are there?”

Democratic Political Operative: “Good point … Well, there’s …Anthony Munoz, the Hall of Fame offensive lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals. He’s a born-again Protestant and Republican. He’d be a good candidate … But he lives in Cincinnati. … How about Mark Sanchez, quarterback of the New York Jets? He’s from Mission Viejo.”

Me: “Hasn’t he been involved in a couple of sexual assault scandals? And aren’t the Jets so unhappy with him that they traded for Tim Tebow?”

Democratic Political Operative: “And his dad’s in the firefighter’s union, so he’s a Democrat. Well, you Republicans do have your problems, don’t you?”

Of course, it’s also true that Hispanics might not vote much, perhaps out of political apathy—a force that should never be underestimated with regard to Latinos. The Washington Post reported on May 4th:

“The number of black and Hispanic registered voters has fallen sharply since 2008, posing a serious challenge to the Obama campaign in an election that could turn on the participation of minority voters. Voter rolls typically shrink in non-presidential election years and registrations fell among whites as well, but this is the first time in nearly four decades that the number of registered Hispanics has dropped significantly.”[ Voter registration down among Hispanics, blacks]

Finally, and much more importantly, Republicans could win more white votes as the polity shifts against white interests. calls this the “Sailer Strategy.”

Trende, again to his great credit, recognizes this. He asks:

“If black-brown coalitions may prove difficult to maintain, what of black-brown-white ones?…What happens if an increasingly ethnic Democratic Party pushes moderate and conservative whites out the door…the distinct possibility, at least in the short-to-medium term, is that a “browning” of the Democratic Party would end up a net win for the Republicans.” [My emphasis].

Trende’s analysis of 2008: Obama’s coalition was “deep but narrow”—based on a huge black turnout, a large Hispanic one, and a small white turnout.

Ironically, in Trende’s view the most likely “permanent realignment” signaled by 2008: the Democrats have decisively lost the Scots-Irish of the greater Appalachian zone—the parts of the country where McCain outperformed Bush in 2004 were largely Scots-Irish. Perhaps McCain appealed to the fightin’ side of the Scots-Irish. Trende sees 2010 as strengthening this trend.

This is a very significant shift—even if unsexy in the MSM’s opinion. In contrast, in the three-way 1968 election, George Wallace carried the lowland Southern precincts where whites were worried about political domination by their numerous black neighbors. Richard Nixon carried the suburban Southern neighborhoods where whites wanted to put Jim Crow behind them and get on with making money. But Democrat Humphrey carried the upland South, where there were few blacks and thus race didn’t matter as much as class.

These blue-collar districts, which run well up into the Pennsylvania and Ohio, stayed amenable to bring-home-the-bacon Democrats for a long time. But Obama’s persona (“Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?”) has not worn well in the hills.

Trende, whose sympathies appear to be more with the GOP, emphasizes the inherent trade-offs in coalition building: if Colorado, which voted Republican in the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections, swings strongly to the Democrats in 2008, the reasons for that in turn push West Virginia more toward the Republicans.

But another Sailer quibble: Trende doesn’t grapple with the fact that the white people of Colorado are cooler than the white people of West Virginia. On average, white Coloradoans are slimmer, richer, and more educated than white West Virginians.

Maybe young white people who are just starting to get interested in politics want to do what cool white people do.

This is a particular problem when you don’t control the MSM. During the decades when West Virginia dutifully elected Democrats, the MSM didn’t run a lot of coverage (= any) focusing on some chain-smoker with a tenth grade education as representative of Democratic voters. Now, though, they do.

My conclusion: In the very long run, the central political issue in American politics might turn out to be—can enough American whites, accustomed to easy numerical dominance by centuries of history, learn to stop squabbling with each other for status in order to come together politically to assert their interests like any other voting bloc?

The very best thing I can say about Sean Trende is that I don’t think he would disagree.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election 
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[See also by Steve Sailer: Charles Murray Gets Readmitted to Polite Society—At A Price: Ignoring Immigration]

Charles Murray has made the widening of class divisions in America since the relatively egalitarian Eisenhower-Kennedy era the theme of his current book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960 – 2010. Indeed, the phenomenon has been remarked by observers as ideologically disparate as Pat Buchanan, Paul Krugman, and Benjamin Schwarz.

But why did class divisions widen? Murray says, in a throwaway line in Coming Apart, that the growing problems of the white working class don’t have much to do with race or immigration. Of course, these days, you have to say that to be accepted in polite society. Only poor white trash would think otherwise.

In fact, it’s obvious that class, race, and immigration are indeed intimately intertwined in complicated ways. But we are less and less equipped to understand them—as class taboos harden over what refined folk are supposed to notice about race and immigration.

In my next article, I will review some of the substantive ways that immigration impacts the white working class.

But for now let’s consider the evolution of ideological norms in the upper reaches of American society that has largely taken this question off the table. Among the intelligentsia, why has not thinking intelligently about immigration become a mark of gentility?

The most obvious explanation: class-based economic self-interest. People higher up the social pyramid compete less with immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, and employ them more.

But this straightforward class account has been self-servingly obscured, in recent years, by the imposition of taboos borrowed from the subject of race. In 1994, Murray notoriously transgressed the boundaries of good taste by co-authoring with the late Richard J. Herrnstein an 845-page work of social science, The Bell Curve. The book was mostly about class. But nobody remembers that because the fraction on race so scandalized the bien-pensants.

Since then, the immigration debate has been increasingly paralyzed same racial taboo. Yet as late as the beginning of the 21st century, it was common for the Main Stream Media to regard limiting immigration for the benefit of the working class as thinkable and even logical.

This change can be traced in New York Times editorials on immigration. Today, when reading the Times’ frenzied editorials demonizing immigration patriots as evil nativists, it’s remarkable to recall that when I started writing for VDARE in 2000, the NYT editorial board and were substantially on the same side on illegal immigration. We both argued that massive unskilled illegal immigration was bad for the American working class.

For example, on February 22, 2000, the New York Times editorialized against what would become the central immigration policy push of the Bush-Kennedy-McCain establishment in that new decade. As Peter Brimelow noted at the time, it actually cited the work of George Borjas. It concluded:

“Amnesty would undermine the integrity of the country’s immigration laws and would depress the wages of its lowest-paid native-born workers. … The primary problem with amnesties is that they beget more illegal immigration. … It is also unfair to unskilled workers already in the United States.”

[Hasty Call for Amnesty, February 22, 2000]

Thus, back in 2000, the NYT itself was “nativist.” It was expressing concern about “native-born workers”— exactly as if their welfare should be of more concern to Americans than the welfare of foreign lawbreakers!

And this was a respectable liberal position back then. For example, Bill Clinton appointed a widely admired black lesbian, former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, to chair a Commission on Immigration Reform. She reported back that not only should the laws against illegal immigration be enforced, but that legal immigration should be tightened, too. In 1996, Clinton publicly endorsed Jordan’s findings—although, of course, nothing was done, largely because the Smith-Simpson bill that embodied them was sabotaged by Republican Treason Lobby operatives led by Senator Spencer Abraham.

[Clinton Embraces a Proposal To Cut Immigration by a Third, By Robert Pear, NYT, June 8, 1995]

The NYT’s concern about the impact of immigration on native-born workers was in sharp contrast to the Wall Street Journal’s chief editorialist Robert Bartley, who had been calling for a five-word Constitutional amendment reading “There shall be open borders” since 1984.

From the standpoint of traditional class politics, the split between the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal on immigration was hardly surprising. The WSJ was the mouthpiece of employers who wanted to make higher profits by paying lower wages. In contrast, the NYT saw itself as defending to the interests of the American workingman, along with the Democratic Party. This is hardly to say that NYT editorials back then were written by rough-handed sons of toil—just that being on the opposite side of the class struggle from the WSJ was part of their self-image.

On July 23, 2001, however, the NYT editorial board announced in Rethinking Mexican Immigration that it would no longer fly to the right of George W. Bush on immigration:

“In the past, this page has opposed the idea of a new amnesty for Mexicans who have immigrated illegally to the United States in recent years. We expressed concern that legalizing their status would undermine the integrity of the country’s immigration laws, which were reformed in 1986, and depress the wages of the lowest-paid native-born workers.”

The reasons The Times then gave for its change of mind were less interesting than the tone—which was still civil.

Of course, the NYT was arguing with itself back then. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that it was polite.

But that phase of respectful disagreement quickly ended. By late in the decade, the Times’ editorials on immigration were rabid in their rage at the hateful nativists:

Of course, it’s not as if the demographic change the NYT editorial board cheers on for the rest of America has had much impact on them. The paper may have been bailed out by a Mexican monopolist who profits on every phone call home to Mexico, but it hasn’t hired illegal aliens to write its editorials cheap. Of the 18 NYT editorial board members today, one is black, one is Chinese, and the other 16 are white. None have Spanish surnames. [See list.]

Today, few are surprised that the NYT and the WSJ editorial boards are on the same side on immigration. In the 21st Century, high-class folks have increasingly put aside their differences to band together and denounce anybody who doubts the wonderfulness of mass immigration.

That raises the question: Whatever happened to class analysis on the Left? The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 may have finished off the prestige of class analysis outside of college English Departments. But there was always a modicum of insight that should not be wholly lost.

The Left used to have a ready-made set of class-based explanations for just about everything. For example, they said racial conflict in the Jim Crow South was stirred up by the landowning class to keep black and white sharecroppers from uniting against their oppressors. Similarly, the highly successful leader of the United Automobile Workers union, Walter Reuther (1907-1970), a pillar of the Democratic Party during its mid-Century dominance, preached black-white worker solidarity against management.

Maybe none of this ever made much sense. But it’s not notably less ridiculous than the new conventional wisdom that replaced it.

Occupy The BalletIn recent months, the Left has begun congratulating itself on rediscovering class with its Occupy Wall Street protests. Yet, a glance at the original poster in Adbusters that kicked off the movement should raise doubts. The irony is that this Photoshopped image of a ballerina surmounting sculptor Arthur Di Modica’s iconic symbol of Wall Street, Charging Bull, struck very few protestors as ironic. Ballet is perhaps the most expensive and aristocratic of all performing arts, having attained classical perfection under the patronage of the Czars. Ballet would wither without the rich.

But that’s the point of much Leftism in the 21st Century: to assert one’s expensive cultural refinement as against the hicks and rednecks. And, paradoxically, the most compelling way to establish one’s sophistication is by being ignorant about race.

The Victorians notoriously considered discussion of sex vulgar. Nice people didn’t notice. Likewise, elite Americans now believe that being well informed about race ( and, increasingly, immigration) is a sign of ill-breeding.

You can actually hear this at the movies, in the way that audiences of different classes now react to politically incorrect jokes. Working class Mexican-American audiences in Van Nuys exclaim with disapproving delight, “Ooooooohhhh, that’s racist”—rather like, I imagine, an 1870 Cockney music hall audience would respond with shocked titillation when a comedian referred to a woman’s “legs” rather than her “limbs.”

In contrast, upscale audiences at the $16 per ticket ArcLight Cinema on Sunset Boulevard shift around uncomfortably in their seats during racially inappropriate humor. Some even hiss, perhaps to make sure that everybody around them knows that they know which thoughts are improper.

After all, they may well reason, they’ve got more to lose than a bunch of losers in Van Nuys.

Murray might argue, with some truth, that the reason we so seldom hear about working class travails anymore is that the meritocratic sorting system is efficient enough to siphon off the smarter, more articulate youths into higher classes. But we should not ignore the role played by the American upper class’ sheer hostility toward its working class.

American elites have overseen the importation of a vast Hispanic population, largely working class or below. In pre-21st Century Marxist theory, this swelling of the ranks of proletariat could turn out bad for the upper classes if the workers ever overcame, to use Friedrich Engels’ term, their false consciousness.

And, indeed, we’ve seen the elites hype what looks an awful lot, when viewed from an old (but not necessarily utterly obsolete) Marx-Engels perspective, like a divide-and-rule strategy—forestalling any growth of working class political power by an ever-increasing MSM drumbeat urging Latinos to unite racially against whites to demand an ever larger “reserve army of the unemployed” be imported from south of the border.

Without massive immigration from Latin America over the last four decades, the U.S. Hispanic population would have become more diffuse. The more talented and ambitious would have married into the general population. Hispanics would have inevitably become even less of a potential political bloc.

But what actually happened was continued mass immigration—and government and opinion leaders actively working to retard Latin assimilation by rewarding Hispanic racialists with Affirmative Action money and prizes.

I recently tried to look up how big the Hispanic population was in 1960, the initial point in the half century covered in Murray’s book—only to find that the Census Bureau never asked about Spanish background in the 1950 and 1960 enumerations. During the more idealistic early civil rights era, Hispanics were officially considered just plain white. But that changed as the Quota Era took off from 1969 onward and it began to pay to be officially a minority.

Gestures of transracial class solidarity were not unknown in the past. In 1969, Senator Walter Mondale, Rev. Ralph Abernathy (Martin Luther King’s successor), and other liberal luminaries joined labor leader’s Cesar Chavez’s march along the Mexican border in protest against illegal immigration.

But today Chavez’s years of struggle against illegal immigration have almost completely disappeared down the Memory Hole as the MSM has posthumously converted him into the Patron Saint of Undocumented Workers.

In contrast, the most celebrated labor leader of recent decades has been Andy Stern, who headed the almost all-Hispanic Service Employees International Union from 1996-2010.

In sharp contrast to Chavez—a third-generation American who had actually worked in the fields and whose organizing strategy was based the logic of supply and demand—Stern’s role was largely to function as a Capitalist Front by demanding ever more immigration. He would sign up huge numbers of members for SEIU, but seldom achieved much for them because the supply and demand balance was so unfavorable.

This made Stern hugely popular with the Democratic Party (he was the most frequent visitor to the Obama White House in 2009), tolerable to business interests, and not much good at all at getting his rank and file higher wages. SEIU won one big janitors’ strike per decade: Los Angeles in the 1990s and Houston in the 2000s. But each victory would be celebrated in innumerable columns by Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post.

Among intellectuals, it’s hard to think of a single current left-of-center commentator who is in the tradition of Samuel Gompers, the immigrant Jewish labor leader who was a major leader in the successful fight to limit immigration in the early 20th Century. Off the top of my head, the only name I can come up with is Michael Lind. He’s been arguing since the 1990s that, if the Democratic Party actually represented the nation’s working class, it would cut back on immigration. For instance, here’s his “Huddled Excesses” piece in The New Republic of April 1, 1996:

“The greatest gain income by the American middle and working classes, both white and black, took place during the era of immigration restriction, from the 1920s to the 1960s. Not coincidentally, this was also the heyday of union membership … And, of course, it was the golden age of public support for universal entitlements and anti-poverty efforts. Coincidence? Not likely.”

Younger readers, familiar only with the Left’s intensified ideological rigidity on immigration, might assume that this was an April Fool’s Day hoax. It was not. But Lind’s influence seems to have diminished over the years.

One good thing about class conflicts in American politics: they are honestly mercenary. In American debate, class struggles don’t get drenched in misplaced Ellis Island ancestor worship the way ethnic issues do.

Consider, for instance, two major political issues of the 1890s:bimetallism and immigration.

Occasionally, somebody will show off by pointing out that L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an allegory about the struggle between the debtor class and the creditor class over the silver and gold standards (e.g., “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”). But, although bimetallism sounds comic now, it was a deeply serious issue at the time.

Nevertheless, nobody today displays any personal passion over the subject (other than to make fun of the chief spokesman for the debtors, William Jennings Bryan, for his views three decades later on Darwinism). There are no enduring divisions in today’s America based on whether your great-grandfathers were silver men or gold men.

We’ve moved on.

In contrast, the topic of Ellis Island is now enveloped in ethnocentric kitsch. The Progressive reformers who waged a long struggle to bring rational regulation to immigration are routinely subjected to character assassination in the 21st Century press as proto-Nazi eugenicists.

The issue of immigration is one of the weirder class phenomena of our era. Thus on St. Patrick’s Day, the New York Times ran an op-ed by a Maine-based novelist named Peter Behrens, [Email him] entitled: It’s About Immigrants, Not Irishness. [March 16, 2012]

No!—St. Patrick’s Day really is about Irishness!

The East Coast press tries to whip up racial animus against white Republicans among Latinos over immigration. Real soon now, we read over and over, the Republican Party will be washed away by the fast-growing Hispanic tsunami … unless, unless—unless the Republicans make sure that the number of Hispanic voters grow even faster!

More than a few elite journalists seem to obsess today over the immigration controversy in their great-grandfathers’ day, feeling it as a personal insult—a festering psychic wound that makes them so irate that they just want to…well, never mind about that, but the point is that surely Mexican-American voters must feel deep, righteous, burning racial hatred toward anyone who opposes Open Borders. I mean, who wouldn’t?

But the years go by. And nothing much happens electorally other than that Latinos tend to vote for Democratic tax-and-spend policies as self-interested representatives of their class, not as the ethnic avengers of New York journalists’ fantasies.

A long time ago, Michael Barone came up with the idea that Mexicans are the new Italians. So far, that hasn’t worked out in terms of economic mobility. And a glance at places where Hispanics have been living for many generations, such as New Mexico, suggests that it might not happen in this century.

But Barone was right in the sense that, when it comes to immigration policy, Mexicans vote like Italians—based more on their families’ current class interests rather than on racial memories. Italian-Americans are more middle class, and so they don’t vote solidly Democratic the way Mexican-Americans do. Italian-Americans can be found prominently on both sides of the immigration issue. They don’t seem to feel the need for an ethnic party line based on their ancestors coming through Ellis Island.

Thus, despite all the elite press effort to get Mexicans to feel simmering hatred over immigration, the numbers suggest that immigration is less of a big deal to Mexican-American voters than it is to the journalists sent to cover them.

Undaunted, the prestige press continues to predict that this will be election in which Hispanic Racial Rage (comprising, as it does, a towering 8.7%, percent of the electorate vs. some 72%.for whites) finally smites the descendants of our ancestors’ enemies for us!

Eventually, they may get what they’ve wanted. Will they be happy then?

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics • Tags: Charles Murray, Immigration 
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Is it a sign of progress in our intellectual life that early published reactions to Charles Murray’s bestseller Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960 – 2010 have been less smugly dismissive, more non-berserk, more—dare we say?—thoughtful than could be expected?


Keep in mind that Murray’s greatest solo book Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950, the product of a half dozen years of original research, disappeared almost without a ripple when published nine years ago. Why? Because Murray was still in Coventry for, along with co-author Richard Herrnstein, documenting in The Bell Curve what most people suspected is true.

Similarly, Murray’s 2008 book Real Education received relatively little recognition, even though it was likely his strongest in terms of policy recommendations (not the reason to read Murray anyway).

But, finally, Murray is apparently being readmitted back into the national discussion.

Although Coming Apart lacks the massive original research projects of The Bell Curve or Human Accomplishment, it is a graceful analysis of the American class system. You should buy it and read it.

In the meantime, to get yourself up to speed, the most thorough review is by F. Roger Devlin in The Occidental Quarterly [Elite and Underclass, January 9, 2012]. Other informative analyses are by Ed West in The Telegraph, [How Britain and America are coming apart, February 24th, 2012] Roger Lowenstein in Business Week (the best of the liberal reviews), Foseti at his blog, and mine in The American Conservative [The Bell Curve’s Toll, February 13, 2012].

In brief, Murray argues that the middle class society that dominated white America in 1960 is bifurcating. A flourishing upper middle class continues to follow the fundamental bourgeois norms of monogamy and parental investment in children, but no longer bothers to preach what it practices to the lower orders, who are suffering as a result.

Responses in the first month of publication fall into a number of categories, ranging from the most primitive reptilian brain expressions of loathing to the most sophisticated. Let’s consider the reactions under some stylized categories:

  • Why is anybody allowed to talk about Charles Murray? Doesn’t he have cooties? Shame!

CUNY academic and leftist enforcer Eric Alterman is furious that Murray hasn’t been permanently silenced after all of Eric’s past efforts. He risks an aneurysm by recounting for the umpty-umpth time Murray’s sins against goodthink:

“racist pseudoscience … found guilty… outright phony claims … fraud … fraud … fraud … reactionary politics … abuse of science … racist … Nazi sympathizers …”[Think Again: Charles Murray and the Power of Mainstream Media Amnesia, Center For American Progress, February 9, 2012]

Likewise, Joan Walsh complained in Salon:

I shouldn’t admit this, but I almost didn’t review Murray’s Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960 to 2010. I told my editors it was just a mashup of his two most infamous books, Losing Ground and The Bell Curve … Only in this book, Murray confined his analysis to poor and struggling white people, to defuse charges of racism that greeted his two earlier bestsellers. …What do I know? Coming Apart is No. 9 on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list, and it’s been reviewed, with varying degrees of respect, almost everywhere that matters. [My Debate With Charles Murray, February 14, 2012]

But, somewhat surprisingly, these represent the more demented fringe of the early responders.

Of course, Murray isn’t out of the woods yet. Most of the initial responses to The Bell Curve were rational and respectful. Only the berserk mutiny at The New Republic, where 15 staffers demanded to each publish their own ill-informed bile, portended the medium term future dominated by ignorant rage against The Bell Curve. [TNR,October 31, 1994]

As Daniel Seligman, author of A Question of Intelligence, which remains the best intro to I.Q., lamented:

A howling mob of liberal commentators not knowing what in hell they are talking about is a dispiriting spectacle, and media reaction to the Herrnstein—Murray book has been infinitely depressing. I cannot remember any other work of scholarship, in any field at all, that has been assailed so cavalierly by writers ignorant of the material and manifestly unconcerned about accurately representing its ideas. [Trashing The Bell Curve,National Review, December 5, 1994]

As Yeats observed:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Unfortunately, as Keynes is commonly said to have noted, “The markets can remain irrational far longer than you or I can remain solvent.” Similarly, the rageaholics can project their own loathing and ignorance upon you a lot longer than most outside observers can be bothered to try to figure out who the real haters are.

In the very long run, however, there are advantages to being right. Eighteen years after The Bell Curve, despite extraordinary exertions to prove it wrong, it’s hard to see much post-1994 evidence that Herrnstein and Murray weren’t right.

  • Charles Murray is, uh, controversial, if you know what I mean …

If you Google “Charles Murray” “Coming Apart” controversial you’ll get 11,000 pages. Talk about a cliché!

(And it’s is particularly amusing if you happen to know Murray, who is perhaps the most careful and judicious thinker in American life. He’s a sensitive soul who gets depressed by the mindless vitriol directed at him. Fortunately for us, he has an inner core on which is etched Illegitimi non carborundum.)

When I started reading newspapers and magazines in the late 1960s, the word “controversial” was used as praise, as a come-on. Today, it’s used to warn readers that you are supposed to avert your eyes.

Why the change? The main reason, I suspect, is that the people who were “controversial” in the late 1960s are now The Establishment.

Consider an intelligent corporate manager browsing in an airport bookstore before flying to DFW on business. He picks up a Murray book, flips through it. The data graphics are elegant and informative, the prose is lucid and understated, and the insights ring true to what’s he’s observed in his own life.

But didn’t he hear something about Murray once? That he was controversial? And the person denouncing Murray as controversial seemed very worked up. What if somebody reported to the HR department that he was seen reading a book by a controversial author? It could come up in discovery in a discrimination lawsuit! Better not risk it. Oh, look, here’s a little book by that Malcolm Gladwell who spoke at the company sales conference a couple of years ago – a much safer purchase!

  • “White America”?!? – That’s racist!

A number of the dimmer critics have gotten angry over Murray’s subtitle. Many, however, have accepted Murray’s explanation that looking just at non-Hispanic whites ages 30-49 is simply a methodological necessity to eliminate the impact of demographic change over the last 50 years. Otherwise, how can trends in class be accurately tracked?

So far, Murray appears to have gotten away with using the term “White America.” This marks a subtle landmark: to refer to “white America” with concern and even sympathy, indeed with any purpose other than derision and condescension, is quite new in the Main Stream Media.

I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if there is a backlash over the next few months against the legitimacy of being interested in the welfare of white America, as the volunteer Thought Police start to get clued in to how important this development may be.

  • Thank God he doesn’t talk about race.

Jennifer Schuessler wrote in the New York Times:

When Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein’s book The Bell Curve appeared in 1994, it was denounced by social scientists, liberal pundits and a little-known Chicago civil-rights lawyer named Barack Obama, who in a commentary on NPR accused the authors of calculating that “white America is ready for a return to good old-fashioned racism [so] long as it’s artfully packaged.”

Anyone who remembers the firestorm over that 845-page doorstop’s dense arguments about race, class, genetics and I.Q. might be tempted to look at the cover of Mr. Murray’s latest book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, and think, “Here we go again.”

[A Lightning Rod in the Storm Over America’s Class Divide, February 5, 2012]

But, Schuessler goes on to imply, this new book is not about race, so Murray is okay to read now.

From a lot of MSM reviews, you can pick up a widespread sense that being well informed about race is considered “inappropriate.” It’s in bad taste. Ironically, this book about the class system is showing that being ignorant about the basics of race in modern America is a mark of upper class refinement.

Of course, this sort of willful ignorance leads to all sorts of crazy lurches implicitly aimed at trying to Prove The Bell Curve Wrong—such as the No Child Left Behind law…or electing as President a little-known Chicago civil rights lawyer.

  • I’m working class, and I know better than Charles Murray.

Actually, in all my reading of reviews, this has not come up—which validates one of the book’s points—Murray makes clear that he expects that virtually all readers of his book will be from the upper end of the social scale.

Tellingly, I have yet to see any reviewer claim he’s wrong. More typical is Timothy Noah’s review in The New Republic, in which he recalls that back when he was growing up in Beverly Hills, there was still “a tacky Polynesian restaurant on Rodeo Drive.” [The Two Americas, February 20, 2012]

Because people love to reminisce about how they had to walk to school five miles through the snow uphill both ways, I suspect that absence of evidence of working class origins implies evidence of absence.

Murray helpfully includes a 25-question quiz so you can evaluate what class you are and how intellectually isolated you are from other classes. A score of 1 is the most insulated upper crust socialite (say,Caroline Kennedy or Theodore Roosevelt V); 100 being Clevon, the philoprogenitive trailer park denizen from the opening scene of Idiocracy. The highest score I’ve seen any reviewer claim for himself is talk show host Michael Smerconish’s 42. (I would guess that both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney would score below 25.)

Murray is from Newton, Iowa, but he grew up more middle class than working class: his father wasn’t a college graduate, but he became a manager for Maytag, the big home appliance company headquartered in Newton. The only MSM commentator to mention a similar small town background is Nicholas Kristof. He wrote a good column in the New York Times about how he sees the signs of decay that Murray describes when he visits his hometown of Yamhill, Oregon. [The White Underclass, February 8, 2012] (Both of Kristof’s parents, by the way, were college professors. Kristof went to Harvard and then to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.)

Graham H. Seibert, an American social scientist who has become one of the most valuable Amazon reviewers, writing informative and insightful critiques of serious books, scored 41 on Murray’s quiz. More importantly, he notes that his first wife came from Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood, which Murray uses as a synecdoche of the white working class—in contrast to Belmont, MA, where Mitt Romney long lived. Seibert says that Murray’s portrait of Fishtown is accurate:

“Fishtown in 2010 is a very different place. People simply don’t feel an obligation to either work or get married. There are many never married people, and many out of wedlock children. A lot of the guys are just bums—don’t work, don’t want to work, don’t want to get married, and waste their time watching television. An inordinately large number have figured how to game the system by qualifying for Social Security disability. Their attitude is that work is for chumps.”

  • It’s about time to mention the white working class.

Much of the impact of the book comes from the sheer novelty of the topic. I’ve read innumerable essays in this century in the New York Times Magazine alone about how crucial it is for society to send its finest young people into black and Hispanic schools and daycare centers. Kipling expressed this attitude memorably in 1899:

Take up the White Man’s burden—Send forth the best ye breed—Go send your sons to exileTo serve your captives’ need

But today’s conventional wisdom lacks both the sense of history and the sense of irony needed to get that joke.

On the other hand, nobody has much given a damn about white youths in the exurbs and hinterland.

The unfortunate reality: the white working class isn’t thriving, but it hasn’t caused much trouble for its social betters either, so they ignore it.

It’s striking that the white American working class lacks a non-ethnic expression of vigorous bad taste comparable to the chavs of Britain. In the U.S., we have the Jersey Shore phenomenon for Italian-Americans (and would-be Italians like JWoww), but that epitome of lowbrow vitality excludes most other ethnicities.

A decade ago, NASCAR served as a sort of ethnic pride rally demonstrating stratospheric levels of competence and courage for the kind of Americans who are not allowed to hold ethnic pride rallies. But stock car racing has been fading.

In fact, white working class men mostly seem kind of beaten down these days. They’re getting in a lot of couch time. Murray checks time use surveys and discovers that less educated white males are now spending increasing hours per weeks watching TV and sleeping. One of the book’s most indelible images is of the young dad tagging along behind his woman and her toddlers, head down, playing with his Gameboy.

  • What about other countries?

Blue-collar whites are doing reasonably well in Germany, but they seem to be falling apart even faster in Britain than in America.

Neither Coming Apart nor its critics explore this phenomenon.

Back in 2005, I offered half-dozen reasons for why British “youfs” were turning into Ali Gs more rapidly than their distant cousins in America.

One key reason: the chief divide in England is class, while in America it’s race. White working class Americans have retained one subliminal, unspoken bit of racial pride: they believe street crime is a black thing, not a white thing.

In confirmation, last August in England, blacks started looting and white yobs followed them into the streets. It’s hard to imagine that happening on a large scale in America. Historian David Starkey caused a huge uproar by saying on the BBC what everybody was sensing:

“What has happened is that a substantial section of the chavs … have become black. … The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion and black and white boys and girls operate in this language together.”

  • Things aren’t so bad.

Economist Paul Krugman argues:

“Reading Charles Murray and all the commentary about the sources of moral collapse among working-class whites, I’ve had a nagging question: is it really all that bad?”[A Strange Form of Social Collapse, New York Times, February 9, 2012]

After all, crime is down and so is teen pregnancy. What’s way up among working class whites are out of wedlock births and males dropping out of the workforce.

I would simply point out: Economists used to be familiar with the concept of ceteris paribus, that the way to analyze is by setting “all else being equal.” We live in the age of Moore’s Law, in which computing power doubles every year or two. That’s one of the most remarkable blessings ever bestowed upon humanity. Thus, life ought to be getting better. If it’s not, it may have something to do with whether there are taboos against open discussion of problems.

  • Who cares if white working class men don’t marry because they’d rather waste time on gaming, gambling, and porn?

Matthew Yglesias contends in Slate that video games are getting so awesome that it’s okay that dim guys spend more time twiddling X-Box controllers than trying to earn a living, because what kind of living could they expect to earn?

Murray would answer, following Aristotle, that true happiness is “a lasting and justified satisfaction with one’s life as a whole.”

I would add that Americans on the right half of the Bell Curve are going to have to subsidize their fellow citizens on the Left Half of the Bell Curve one way or another. The least corrupting way to do it is through a market system rigged slightly to bribing them into honest toil by not forcing their wages into a race to the bottom against everybody else on Earth. As Stalin might have called it: libertarianism in one country.

Moreover, Krugman and Yglesias are ignoring the impact on inequality. That’s supposed to be 2012’s buzzword, but everybody (including Murray) overlooks how raising, or merely maintaining, a young person’s status in life is becoming ever more dependent upon having two parents pushing him forward as a team. The growth in the number of Tiger Mothers and Eagle Dads makes it increasingly difficult for the children of broken homes to get ahead.

One point lacking in Coming Apart: a sense of how the upper middle class is not just negligent in moral instruction, but is actively re-engineering society to make it harder for working class youths to compete with their offspring. For example, applying to college these days requires two parents cooperating closely, maybe a tutor, a consultant to write the essays, and a well-off extended family to pass along crucial tips. Oh, and it’s a good idea to redshirt your son by having him repeat kindergarten so he’s bigger and smarter and more socially dominant than his classmate. Of course, this means you’ll have to support him for an extra year. And then he’ll need to intern without pay to get started in his career, so you’ll have to support him then, too.

Working class families just can’t compete.

  • Murray claims the rich are liberal.

This was one of David “Unpatriotic Conservatives” Frum’s complaints in his fevered five-part denunciation of Coming Apart in The Daily Beast. He cited the distinguished Columbia U. statistician’ Andrew Gelman’s research showing that, especially in Republican-leaning states, a large fraction of the rich are (unsurprisingly) conservative.

The brilliant free-floating web commenter Jason Malloy noted in comments on Bryan Caplan’s blog : “I’m glad that Frum was upfront about his personal issues with Charles Murray, since it makes his shrill, belabored opposition more comprehensible.”

Unfortunately, Frum’s personal animus against Murray and his carelessness led to embarrassment for Gelman, who on his blog took Frum at his word about what Murray’s book is about. When Gelman’s commenters pointed out passages in Coming Apart showing that Murray agreed with him, the author of Red State, Blue State graciously acknowledged “I mischaracterized Murray’s statements …”

Gelman goes on to say:

After his offhand remark about the upper class being liberal …, Murray takes pains to emphasize that this popular impression is exaggerated, writing, “the essence of the culture of the new upper class is remarkably consistent across the political spectrum.” The concept of upper-class people being liberal is not central to Murray’s argument;

Gelman explains:

if anything, his point is the opposite, to de-emphasize the liberal tilt of “famous academics, journalists, Hollywooders, etc.” and rather make the point that, that whatever the political attitudes are of the new upper class, their attitudes and actions isolate them from mainstream America.

Indeed, another point that’s lacking in Murray’s book is a more probing examination of the ideological commonalities among Democratic and Republican elites beyond mere “nonjudgmentalism.” The chasm between, on the one hand, both the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and the average American on the other, is mostly over globalism versus patriotism. Most Americans feel more loyalty toward their fellow Americans over random foreigners. But American elites across the political spectrum tend to view solidarity among citizens as vulgar, if not downright loathsome.

  • What would the Founding Fathers say?

Murray devotes a number of eloquent chapters to the “founding virtues” that made America a middle class republican society. Frum retorts that Noah Webster orated that “vast inequality of fortunes” brought down the Roman Republic.

Yet the first of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, offered a more insightful view than either. Franklin explained in 1754 that life in America is happier than in Europe because we have more land and fewer people, and thus higher wages and lower land prices; and, Ben suggested, we should try to keep it that way—by restricting immigration.

  • Good for Murray for showing there are no differences between the races.

Frum commends Murray’s most statistically slippery chapter:

“Murray then presents a sequence of charts showing that marriage numbers for prime-age adults in the white working class have deteriorated to the point of indistinguishability from the numbers for all working class Americans regardless of race and ethnicity. Ditto for the numbers for children living at home with both parents, ditto for labor force participation by prime-age men, ditto for full-time work by prime-age adults.”

Okay, but can’t anybody see what the sleight of hand is here? It’s like saying that among women over six feet tall, an equally high percentage are six-footers as among men over six feet tall. It’s true that that all working class Americans have roughly the same low IQ—but that, proportionately, there are many more blacks with lower IQs.

It’s hard to blame Murray for slathering on the old soft soap in this instance, but you don’t have to praise him for it.

  • Coming Apart is all about Murray’s libertarian policy prescriptions.

I was surprised that this was what most of the hubbub has been about, since the policy stuff comes toward the end when Murray’s energy and enthusiasm were clearly running down. Murray’s libertarianism has long been tepid, world-weary, and distinctly limited. Murray, more than anybody, knows the limits of treatment versus selection. We’re not going to solve all our problems by either cutting or increasing taxes, by lowering or raising regulation.

  • Where’s the impact of inequality?

Although income inequality is today’s hot topic, it doesn’t particularly interest Murray. Still, Roger Lowenstein has a point in his review in Business Week that the vague libertarian policy suggestions tacked on at the end feel rushed:

Murray says we are becoming a European-style welfare state. That conclusion is debatable, but it is a debate that should follow a different book than the searing sociological study he has written. Coming Apart is, he says, his “valedictory on the topic of happiness and public policy.” But nowhere in this volume are public policies truly discussed; their effect is simply assumed. Maybe welfare kept the lower class low. Maybe assistance programs made the rich want nothing to do with anyone else. Hereby a modest proposition is offered: Vastly diverging wages had something to do with it.

In other words, you get more of what you pay for, and American employers don’t pay workers as much, relatively speaking, as they used to. So, not surprisingly, more guys are finding ways to get on disability or to be supported by their parents or girlfriend(s).

Krugman writes:

“Still, something is clearly happening to the traditional working-class family. The question is what. And it is, frankly, amazing how quickly and blithely conservatives dismiss the seemingly obvious answer: A drastic reduction in the work opportunities available to less-educated men.”

I would extend this analysis from just wages to standard of living. The traditional American bargain with its native sons was that if they worked hard, settled down, obeyed the law, and married they could eventually afford a house with a yard for their children to play in with a nearby public school that would offer the a decent education without their having to endure a soul-crushing commute. Today, though, what’s the point of putting your nose to the grindstone to pursue the American Dream when the dominant classes, whether Republican or Democrat, think that once you start making a decent wage, you should be replaced by a foreigner?

But the policy implications inexorably point to issue that the Main Stream Media definitely don’t want to discuss, such as the problems caused by free trade, and feminism—and immigration,

Roger Devlin explains in Occidental Quarterly:

“In short, the American dream of a home and family through honest labor is now far out of reach for an increasing number of low-status men. Under these circumstances, what is such a man to do with his life? I’d say an unconstrained bachelor existence with plenty of time for amusements looks very much like a rational choice. The male commentariat may make you out to be a bum, but that sure beats years of performing all the hard work traditionally required to support a family and then not getting the family.”

For a Not Safe For Work version of this line of thought, here’s the game blog Chateau Heartiste:

“If you were a man with diminishing job prospects and stagnant wages thanks to mass low-skill immigration and automation, would you ‘man up’ and ‘do your duty’ for the sake of societal health and elite approval…? In short, men will man up when women woman up. Because women, as the gatekeepers of sex, get the men they deserve. And, more often than not, what they deserve is what they want.”

  • What about immigration?

Between 1960 and 2010, the US experienced an unprecedented wave of perhaps 60 million legal and illegal immigrants. It has created whole new ethnic blocs: Hispanics, who have proved especially adept at snagging any new jobs going, increased from roughly 5 million in 1960 to over 50 million in 2010. The impact of this on the white working class’s wages, housing costs, schools, and commutes cannot be ignored. But our punditariat is trying hard to do just that.

And so, unmistakably, is Charles Murray. Immigration is essentially absent from Coming Apart. It does not appear in the book’s index, and a google search finds only three uses of the word in the text.

Maybe Murray judges this part of the price of renewed respectability.

In contrast, to their credit, Nicholas Kristof mentioned the I-word in passing and Mickey Kaus and Ross Douthat discussed it more substantively.

The best statement of immigration’s impact is by Frederick Lynch of Claremont McKenna College:

The primary problem with Coming Apart is that Murray’s focus on a cultural divide among whites obscures something else: The destruction of values, economic sectors and entire occupational classes by automation and outsourcing. And don’t forget the massive movements of cheap legal and illegal immigrant labor: This factor sets up a classic conflict, the ethnically split labor market, in which you find unionized working-class whites pitted against minority newcomers who are willing to work for less (sometimes “off the books” and under abysmal conditions).

For Murray, immigration is evidence that “America had jobs for everyone who wanted to work”. He’s rightly depressed by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam’s research findings of an inverse relationship between ethnic diversity and strong civic culture. But Murray can’t—or won’t—credit as a causal factor the race-to-the-bottom wage spiral propelled by cheap immigrant labor.

Book review: ‘Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010′ by Charles Murray, Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2012

More representative, unfortunately, is David Frum (who knows the immigration score, although he mentions it only rarely according to some obscure calculation of his own). In his five separate attacks on the book, he only mentions immigration when he quotes, with approval, Murray’s inglorious bit of CYA:

Don’t kid yourselves that we are looking at stresses that can be remedied by attacking the legacy of racism or by restricting immigration.

There are many problem in this world that can’t be 100% remedied. But that doesn’t mean we should continue to exacerbate them—as mass immigration worsens, ceteris paribus, the problems of the white working class.

I’ve just decided what I’m going to have carved on my tombstone: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” It ought to be an obvious policy prescription, but it never seems to come up.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics • Tags: Charles Murray 
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Saturday’s New York Times front-page article detailing the Obama Administration’s plans to boost minority preferences in schooling, U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity [webposted December 2], reflects a big shift in how the Main Stream Media talks about the 2012 election—towards the frank racial analysis I’ve been using for the last eleven years.

Reporter Sam Dillon’s article starts:

“The Obama administration on Friday urged colleges and universities to get creative in improving racial diversity at their campuses, throwing out a Bush-era interpretation of recent Supreme Court rulings that limited affirmative action in admissions.”

In other words, the Affirmative Action President wants, unsurprisingly, more Affirmative Action. As I argued in America’s Half Blood Prince, Obama is essentially a racial redistributionist.

But what’s interesting is that Dillon’s article twice mentions how this payoff is part of the Obama Administration’s grand strategy for 2012:

“ ‘The administration is making strong policy statements on low-income children and students of color, outlining remedies,’ said Bob Wise, a former Democratic governor of West Virginia who heads an education nonprofit organization aimed at improving high school graduation rates. ‘They seem to be putting some markers down as the election begins,’ he said, adding that the new set of guidelines ‘tries to keep within the letter of the Supreme Court opinions, while probably pushing the spirit.’ ”

This confirms the insight of veteran Democratic pundit Tom Edsall in his The Future of the Obama Coalition (New York Times, November 27, 2011):

“[P]reparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class. All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment—professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists—and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.”

As Noah Millman commented at The American Scene:

“… Thomas Edsall’s reporting that the Obama campaign is basically resigned to the fact that they will be running against a party following some version of the Sailer Strategy, and is accordingly planning a campaign based on the demographic groups left out of a Sailer Strategy coalition.”

The “Sailer Strategy” is the term has given to my pointing out that simple arithmetic suggests the GOP could more easily win by modestly but plausibly increasing its share of the (very large) white vote rather than by massively but very implausibly increasing its share of the (much smaller) minority vote. See here for more detail.

Of course, I think Noah is getting cause and effect mixed up here. After decades of U.S. governments celebrating their election of a New People, it’s not all that astonishing that the Old People won’t be celebrating the government at the next election.

As I may have mentioned before, if you don’t want whites to act like a minority voting bloc, then don’t make them into a minority.

One might wonder how more college quotas are supposed to appeal to what Edsall calls “voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment.” If you’ve attained your career goals by going to a desirable college, why would you vote to hurt your own children’s and grandchildren’s chances? And there’s some evidence that recent college students are conservative on—and only on—this sort of issue.

But Edsall’s mordant list of white college graduates targeted by the White House—not engineers or accountants, but “professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists”—makes clear that Obama has his sights set on the more clueless sort of Stuff White People Likewhites.

All this election strategizing raises the question of how much is at stake in the 2012 Presidential election.

This is a do or die election … for a few tens of thousands of young go-getters whose resumes desperately need some Executive Branch experience for them to subsequently cash in big in the crony capitalist sector.

This election will also be highly meaningful to real estate brokers in the booming suburban D.C. markets. Because Republicans tend to prefer D.C.’s Virginia suburbs while Democrats opt for Maryland’s suburbs, who wins in 2012 may well determine whether Virginia or Maryland realtors earn bigger commissions in 2013.

But for average voters, without a change in what narratives are allowed in the respectable media, the impact of the Presidential election might well turn out no more personally tangible than who wins the Super Bowl.

Anyone more familiar with the history of education and race in America than the New York Times’ hopelessly naïve education correspondent might start to wonder: Is the Obama Administration all that much more liberal on quotas t han the previous Bush White House?

Poor Sam Dillon works hard to make it appear that these new Obama Administration policies regarding Affirmative Action in education represent a huge change from what the Bush Justice Department was doing in 2008 under Affirmative Action baby Alberto Gonzales:

“The two [Obama Justice Dept.] documents, issued as the presidential campaign heats up and as the Supreme Court considers whether to hear a new affirmative action case, were designed to give educators a clear administration interpretation of three high court cases that, since 2003, have limited the use of race in admissions, zoning and other school policies…

“The contrast with the Bush guidelines interpreting the same three cases is stark. Where the Bush administration’s letter in 2008 states, ‘Quotas are impermissible,’ the 2011 version says ‘an institution may permissibly aim to achieve a critical mass of underrepresented students.’”[Link in original]

Yet everybody who follows quota law knows that, ever since Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell’ s decision in the Bakke case a third of a century ago, the phrase “Quotas are impermissible” means, in practice,The word ‘quotas’ is impermissible. You must call quotas ‘goals’!”

There is an old saying within the Beltway that “Personnel is policy.” In his Howard University campaign speech i n 2007, which slipped completely beneath the non-black media’s radar, Obama promised to hire lots of fanatical black civil rights lawyers. [Howard Speech Transcript | Factsheet (PDF)]

In contrast, Republican Administrations just have a harder time finding frothing fundamentalists to fill Civil Rights department jobs. Their staffers in these areas tend to be idealists who actually take seriously all that guff in the 14th Amendment about “equal protection of the laws.” They sometimes even think the Constitution applies to white people, too.

But the Bush legal lackeys’ instincts were hamstrung by their bosses’ strategy of bribing Hispanics into voting Republican. (How well did that work out?)

In the Grutter and Gratz cases of 2003, Solicitor General Theodore Olson prepared two staunch briefs attacking the use of racial “goals” at the University of Michigan. But the Administration’s briefs were sabotaged by Gonzales, with Bush’s permission, presumably as part of Karl Rove’s pursuit of the Latino electorate. Gonzales’s rewrites sent the message to swing vote Sandra Day O’Connor that Bush wanted her to uphold Affirmative Action in admissions, as long as it was kept surreptitious by requiring it to be “holistic” (i.e., opaque to its victims).

The New York Times’ Dillon blunders onward:

“Even in addressing the same principles, the framework is practically reversed.

“Bush guidelines: ‘Before using race, there must be a serious good faith consideration of workable race-neutral alternatives.’

“Obama guidelines: ‘Institutions are not required to implement race-neutral approaches if, in their judgment, the approaches would be unworkable.’”

Uh, I’m no logician, but I think those two statements mean basically the same thing in practice: Public educational institutions can use blatant racial quotas (excuse me, blatant racial goals) if more devious ways of hurting whites aren’t workable (or are unworkable).

Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Dillon then delivers a funny rationalization from Obama’s version of Gonzales:

“‘Diverse learning environments promote development of analytical skills, dismantle stereotypes and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. ‘The guidance announced today will aid educational institutions in their efforts to provide true equality of opportunity.’” [Link in original]

Oh, so that’s why PISA test scores are so low in South Korea and Finland—lack of diversity!

Ironically, of course, Affirmative Action makes white and Asian students’ stereotypes about blacks and Hispanics being less intelligent more plausible by letting in less intelligent Hispanics and blacks.

As for the standard talking point about diversity preparing students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world, you’ll notice how nobody at the University of Michigan ever says, “Because Germany has become so economically dominant in our increasingly interconnected world, we’d better admit more students with Teutonic surnames so that our other students can benefit from exposure to their ancestral ethnic connections to Frankfurt.”

Heck, black kids from Detroit are likely just about the least globally interconnected people in America. But that doesn’t mean they should be kept out of the college they deserve to attend.

Holder’s is the kind of gibberish that ought to make college graduates ashamed to be Democrats.

But that won’t happen—unless Republicans call Democrats on it.

The Obama Administration has now opened the door to making racial preferences an issue in 2012. Obama thinks this will help him win next November because his base will be pleased—while the Republican candidate won’t dare touch the issue.

Of course, this is exactly what happened in 2008. Obama handed John McCain the quota issue by opposing Ward Connerly’s Arizona Civil Rights Initiative. McCain didn’t dare touch it—and lost.

Especially given Newt Gingrich’s history, Obama will probably proved right again.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Affirmative Action 
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Former President Bill Clinton is the latest Establishment type to praise former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for his repackaging amnesty. [Bill Clinton Praises Old Foe Newt Gingrich,, November 26, 2011] It’s less surprising than it might seem: both, along with former President George W. Bush, are bought-and-paid-for servants of Davos Man.

The truly dominant ideology of our times isn’t anti-governmentism, it’s globalism. It’s so suffocating that at the elite level even an ex-President can only peck at it without daring to call it out by name.

Indeed, the most interesting aspect of Clinton’s recently-published Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy is the subterranean but still noticeable conflict between Clinton’s devotion to his globalist paymasters and his still-sharp political instincts that tell him that American patriotism wins elections.

It’s a struggle. But he manages.

Nobody would call Bill Clinton a profound thinker. While shallow, however, his range is certainly broad. For example, he concludes Back To Work with 46 scattershot suggestions for improving the economy, such as:

  • To support the insourcing movement, we should increase the number of empowerment zones and expand the reach of the New Markets Initiative”.

You have to give Clinton this much credit: he does not bore easily. Bush and Clinton were both born in 1946, but Bush has retired, while Clinton is still out there on the conference circuit sitting through Powerpoint presentations. He gives the impression that he’s actually interested in, say,

  • “21. Speed up the issuance of new energy efficiency rules for the most common household appliances” or
  • “33. Increase the role of the Small Business Administration (SBA).”

Clinton endorses the Obama policy on immigration, but only as #41 out of 46:

  • “41. Keep pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, and in the meantime grant more H-1B visas to immigrants in STEM fields until we have enough qualified citizens to fill the openings.

( links added to quotes thoughout). To my eye, he sounds less enthusiastic, more pro forma, about claiming that “the immigrants who fill the STEM jobs “ will somehow create jobs for Americans than he does about his priority #12:

  • “At least paint the roofs white.”

(Needless to say, Clinton makes no mention of the anti-unemployment immigration moratorium policy option, nor does he even show awareness of the wage and job displacement consequences of increasing the labor supply through legal and illegal immigration.)

In contrast, it’s hard to imagine either Bush or Obama sitting still for this wonkery without at least feeling the urge to flip on ESPN to check out the latest scores.

Yet because Clinton’s prose style is so non-magisterial, it’s hard to feel much confidence that he’s really thought through all these issues himself, rather than just becoming excited by some self-promoters’ ideas that he heard about at Davos or Aspen.

Inevitably, Back to Work is poorly organized. The usual way to write a policy book is to argue for some small number of organizing principles, then show how these ideas can be applied in practice. Perhaps this leads to too much ideology, but at least it leads to better books. Clinton’s brain is so random, however, that he mostly works in the opposite direction: throw out a bunch of ideas and let the reader try to figure out if there are any unifying theme. (Another point of similarity with Gingrich). That’s perhaps not necessarily a bad way to be President, but it’s a lousy way to write a book.

Clinton’s one big assertion is that the “anti-government” ideology he associates with Ronald Reagan and the Tea Party is wrong.

Instead, he reiterates, government and business should cooperate. He attempts to demonstrate this by tossing out lots of proposals he’s heard about from rich guys like his old co-campaign manager Terry McAuliffe about how the taxpayers should help out businessmen.

Significantly, Clinton never seems to notice that his proposals sound like the crony capitalism made notorious by Third World politicos such as Hosni Mubarak or Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos.

A lot of rich interests have handed Clinton a lot of cash since he left office. Since Hillary became Secretary of State, Bill has had to disclose his income, although that hasn’t seemed to slow him down. Last year, he was paid $10.7 million for giving 52 speeches.

I, personally, listened to many Clinton speeches for free in the 1990s, and those struck me as enough for one lifetime. It has never occurred to me since to that I would want to pay to hear another one. But, apparently, a lot of organizations think giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the husband of the Secretary of State is in their best interests.

(You’ll notice that Muammar Gaddafi never anted-up for a Clinton speech. He just invested in second-stringers like Blair. And look where that got him.)

Perhaps Mr. Clinton has figured out some rules of thumb for distinguishing between public-spirited projects and Solyndra-style rip-offs of the taxpayers. But if he has, I didn’t notice him sharing them in Back to Work.

Clinton and Bush were opposites in managerial style. Especially after he hired Dick Morris for his re-election run, Clinton emphasized a profusion of micro-issues, such as school uniforms.

As President, Bush tried to reproduce his minimalist success in Texas, where he had run on just four issues: limited government, local control of schools, “family values,” and individual responsibility..

But Bush’s grand strategy in the White House mostly turned out to be:Invade the World, Invite the World, In Hock to the World. (Houston sportswriter Mickey Herskowitz, initially signed to write Bush’s first memoir back in 1999, revealed in 2005 that as early as 1999, Bush had expounded to him the political advantages of invading Iraq.)

Still, although Clinton and Bush had different cognitive styles, on substantive issues they were often surprisingly close. Clinton praises Bush for being: “… genuine in his commitment to diversity in government, to improved learning in public school s, to immigration reform, and to doing more to help poor nations fight AIDS.” On the big questions of ideology in the 21st Century—globalism v. patriotism and elites using concern for the poor and diverse to exploit the middle class—Clinton and Bush (not to mention Gingrich and Obama) are mostly in agreement.

The plain fact is that the money is just too good for a public figure to displease global elites. More details: Since leaving the White House, Clinton has pocketed $75.6 million in speaking fees—with $44.9 million coming from abroad. Considering how much the international conference circuit loves both Democratic ex-Presidents and black mascots such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Obama has a shot at pocketing a billion dollars during his retirement.

Clinton claims that the Tea Party’s message is “You’re on your own”. In contrast, his motto is “We’re all in this together.”

Yet Clinton does seem vaguely cognizant that “We’re all in this together” hardly jibes with his expressions of fashionable utopian anti-nationalism. On p. 14, he writes, “Because the world is still organized around nations …” echoing his should-have-been notorious statement on September 10, 2001 that he “supported the ultimate wisdom of a borderless world for people and for trade.”

On his book’s back cover, Clinton expounds upon his philosophy of American exceptionalism:

“… America at its core is an idea—the idea that no matter who you are or where you’re from, if you work hard and play by the rules, you’ll have the freedom and opportunity to pursue your own dreams and leave your kids a country where they can chase theirs.”

This is the just the same jejune propositionism that George W. Bush put forward to con the gullible.

In contrast, the reality is that I don’t want my kids to have to compete with anybody from anywhere—especially if these foreigners are unlikely to follow the rules.

Turning the United States of America into the world’s swap meet sounds very good for the handful of people who lend Clinton their private jets, but not likely to be terribly good for me and mine—and most Americans.

Still, some of the more interesting proposals in Back to Work would be unsettling to the editors of The Economist magazine. For example, in a paragraph praising the sainted Steve Jobs, Clinton writes:

“… I think most Americans respect people like Steve Jobs, who made a fortune producing products or services they wanted to buy like the iPad and the iPhone (though we wish they were made in the United States).”

This parenthetical remark (my emphasis) might just be a jibe at his former Vice-President Al Gore, who is on the Apple board. But still it’s interesting—because it’s uncool. As a good globalist, you aren’t supposed to worry that Apple, a vastly fashionable and profitable company, does very little manufacturing in the United States. That’s just the fault of those useless American workers.

I would have liked to have seen Clinton take on the Apple cult by making the innocent suggestion that Apple should manufacture in America its highest margin products, such as the $2499 MacBook Pro with the 17” screen.

Similarly, Clinton twice brings up a bizarre but obscure recent incident in which the city of Los Angeles asked for bids for new high speed trains from European manufacturers. One offered to build a plant in Los Angeles and employ Los Angelenos, while the other intended to import the rail cars from abroad. [Rail car bid in doubt, firm makes new offer,by Maeve Reston, LA Times, May 28, 2009] But, to Clinton’s incredulity:

“… the federal government told Los Angeles that since federal money would pay for the fast trains, the very different impacts on the local economy of the two proposals could not be considered in awarding the bid! … This is nuts.”


That certainly counts as a peck at the globalism ideology. But it’s pretty pathetic.

Someday, some politician might finally say: “America is exceptional to me, because it’s my country.”

But I’m not holding my breath.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics • Tags: Amnesty 
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Last week, the Washington Post ran an amusing story on a new public school teacher in suburban Maryland’s Prince George’s County who can’t speak English very well.

Sixth-grade teacher David Colon, who was recently recruited from Puerto Rico, admitted:

“’My mother, her English: excellent. My father, excellent,’ Colon said. ‘Pero me, eh, regular.’

“A friend helped him translate this point: ‘I try to tell the kids that my English is limited, so I hope you don’t judge me. In this class, we don’t judge each other—we help each other.’’”

[With Hispanic students on the rise, Hispanic teachers in short supply, by Robert Samuels, November 15, 2011]

It’s important to note that Señor Colon’s struggles with English aren’t a mistake—they’re a triumph of government policy.

Why hire teachers who are bad role models for speaking English? According to the Washington Post’s Samuels:

“This month, the left-leaning Center for American Progress reported that almost every state—including Maryland and Virginia—has a large need for more minority teachers.

According to this report, 41 percent of public school students are non-white, but only 17 percent of public school teachers are.

Samuels continues:

“Beltsville Academy was so desperate for a Hispanic teacher that it hired one who is still learning English.”

And higher-ups aren’t apologetic. Samuels reports:

“’If we hear of a Hispanic teacher who is qualified, we are going to go after them,’ said Robert Gaskin, [Email him] the county’s recruiting director.’Everyone is.’ Gaskin said Colon’s assets as an educator outweigh the challenges of his limited English.” [Links added by throughout].

Recruiting Hispanic teachers, even ones who can’t speak English very well, is expensive:

“Prince George’s, like many school systems, faces several challenges in finding Hispanic teachers in tight budget times. Many of its Hispanic residents are immigrants and lack college degrees. County recruiters have tried several strategies: word of mouth, e-mail blasts, going to Puerto Rico, recruiting from colleges with many Hispanic students and offering to cover job prospects’ relocation costs to sweeten the deal.”

Why go to all this trouble? WaPo’s Samuels asserts:

“The surge in Hispanic students across the nation is forcing schools to reckon with a deep shortage of teachers who share their cultural heritage.

“More than 21 percent of schoolchildren are Hispanic, experts report, compared with 7 percent of teachers. No other racial or ethnic minority group has such a wide disparity. In the struggle to close this gap, the stakes are high: Research suggests that a more diverse faculty might lead to better attendance, fewer suspensions and higher test scores.” correction: In reality, research is supposed to suggest that diversity among teachers leads to higher test scores. But some 45 years of looking has not, in fact, brought much evidence for that Politically Correct idea.

James Coleman wanted to report it in his celebrated 1966 Coleman Report, which was funded by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But his huge study came up with three unwanted findings:

  • First, what kids bring from home (e.g., their nature and nurture) largely drive test scores.
  • Second, teachers with good vocabularies and reading comprehension (i.e., higher IQs) have a mildly positive effect on their students.
  • Third, black teachers , especially black male teachers, tended to have a big enough shortfall cognitively that they were, on average, slightly detrimental to their students.

Coleman worried over this finding—and then left it out of the Coleman Report. He only confessed it years later, reflecting that he had betrayed his credentials as a scientist by censoring himself.

But in any case, some simple reality checks ought to have suggested themselves to Samuels (and his editors).

For example New Mexico and California have relatively high percentages of Hispanic teachers—but low test scores.

Moreover, even in theory, the idea of scraping the bottom of the barrel harder for minority teachers ought to raise rational concerns about what that does to students.

Granted, Señor Colon doesn’t look too diverse. Like most of the beneficiaries of quota hiring of Hispanics, Colon is whiter than average, a point that reporter Samuels slips in deftly:

“Colon, 29, has small eyes, slick black hair, pale skin and animated hands.”

But how many Washington Post readers will get the joke?

An even funnier joke: Colon was hired because Prince George’s County, perhaps the wealthiest black-dominated county in the country, is filling up with Spanish-speaking students. So what was Colon brought from Puerto Rico to do?

Colon teaches Spanish-speaking students how to speak Spanish!

Talk about coals-to-Newcastle!

But what should a school filling up with children from Spanish-speaking homes do? Simple: it should shift resources from teaching Spanish(they can learn Spanish at home for free) to teaching English.

The unmentionable truth: Spanish instruction in public schools increasingly exists mostly to provide Latino students with an easy subject in which to garner high test scores.

A few years ago, a friend took his daughter on a college tour of UC Santa Barbara. The perky young Hispanic lady from the Admissions Office reassured the mostly Mexican students on the tour that they shouldn’t worry about their poor test scores: “I always got bad scores. But that’s because I’m a bad test taker. Yet, I got a perfect 800 on the Spanish SAT Subject test, so here I am!”

We’re always told that the youth of America must study Spanish because Latin America is such an economic powerhouse. But consider how few students are taught German today. Slightly more than one out of every thousand high school students takes the Advanced Placement test in German Language. In contrast, 25 times as many students take the AP Spanish Language test.

And Germany actually is an economic superpower—the Financial Fourth Reich, deciding the fate of the Euro.

So why has studying German in school practically died out, despite Germany’s pre-eminence in international business?

Because, as John Cleese (recently in trouble for noting that London is no longer an English city) might say: We won The War.

Because of the Anglo-American victories in the 20th Century’s wars,English is the dominant global language in the 21st Century. And it’s only becoming more dominant. We expect ambitious Germans to learn English as a second language. If you want to get ahead in this world, it pays to speak English.

So, if we don’t need German, why go to great expense to find Spanish teachers for Spanish speakers?

Another funny irony: the diversity dogma is so impenetrable that it drives hiring even in Prince George’s County—where half the teachers are black.

In general, African-Americans don’t like Spanish. They find being forced to study it is just a reminder of their demographic displacement as the biggest minority group. And blacks don’t like people speaking Spanish around them. It makes them uneasy, it makes them feel less street-smart. The strangers could be conspiring out loud in Spanish to jump them and they wouldn’t be able to tell.

Maybe this isn’t a realistic fear, but that’s how a lot of lower class blacks feel.

Blacks don’t really like any language other than English. But middle class African-Americans sometimes do find French attractive. French offers them the attractions of exoticism while still maintaining the imperative to keep it real, since French is intertwined with the history of jazz. That great art form originated in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and many black jazz musicians found appreciative audiences in Paris. Not surprisingly, blacks make up just 2% of all Spanish AP test takers and but 8% of all French AP test takers. Also, the number of black girls who score the maximum score of 5 on French is pretty decent. Overall, French is probably the best black AP subject. So the most likely way to get African-Americans interested in a foreign language would be to invest in French.

But even a black-run district can’t stand up to the tidal wave of policy-driven demographic replacement.

As I’ve been pointing out for years, immigration and affirmative action are, as Hugh Davis Graham said, on a collision course. When the Nixon Administration invented quotas in 1969, there were about seven white benefactors for every black beneficiary. But by extending quotas to immigrants in 1973, Nixon set a demographic time bomb ticking—the “racial ratio” is shrinking to the point of instability.

Still, Hispanics, or at least the Mexicans I’m most familiar with, remain more leery than blacks of using diversity and affirmative action to take the more upscale jobs that they would likely be lousy at. This has slowed the collision. But it hasn’t thrown it off course.

As this Washington Post article illustrates, on the rare occasions when white people do pay attention to Hispanics, they tell them to follow the black path and grab for all the quotas they can get.

The logic of Diversity Think simply doesn’t allow for any realism.

You can’t say: “Well, if Hispanics tend to be bad students, as their test scores suggest, they might tend to be bad teachers, too, so let’s just hire the best teachers of any ethnicity to improve their scores.”

No, you are supposed to say: “Since Hispanics don’t like studying, we need more Hispanics teaching!”

That doesn’t make any sense—which is why it’s considered in poor taste to spell out the illogic.

The good news: white people don’t really care about Hispanics the way they care about blacks, so there isn’t quite as much pressure to follow this reasoning to its irrational end as there is with blacks.

But, still, you can’t publicly disagree with the logic. And so the system slowly grinds onward.

Finally, as I’ve also been pointing out for some time, while Republicans need to address the huge cost of civil servants, it doesn’t make much electoral sense for the GOP to merely wage war on this huge voting bloc without offering them anything in return. It would save the taxpayers’ money, and swing a few votes toward the right, if Republicans would publicly offer to protect cops, firemen, and teachers from the discrimination they now suffer just because they are white and English-speaking a.k.a. Americans—exactly what is going on in this Prince George’s county microcosm.

Being a wild-eyed extremist, my suggestion to GOP strategists is to offer this deal to civil servants:

“We’re going to take a sharp pencil to abuses like government workers piling up all their vacation days in their last year on the job so they can retire on lavish pensions. You won’t like that. But, in return, we’re going to keep you from being victimized by your bosses and politicians just because of your race or ethnicity. Because fair is fair.

In contrast, the deal offered by Establishment Republican voices to voters who are public school teachers (and only slightly less so to cops and firemen) is:

We hate you.

Does the GOP/ GAP want Reagan Democrats i.e. the white working class—or not?

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration 
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In his November 9th New York Times column cleverly entitled The Cain Scrutiny, Ross Douthat calls attention to the arresting spectacle of white conservatives rising up to defend the honor of Herman Cain and black manhood against allegations by blonde tramps that the Republican Presidential candidate’s sexual advances were unwanted:

“We should remember this moment, because it’s a perfect encapsulation of how race’s role in American politics has changed over the last 75 years.”


But to say that the role of race has changed is not to say that race doesn’t matter. The emergence of Herman Cain in the GOP polls has everything to do with race. The Republicans have no shortage of successful CEOs with track records similar to Cain’s. But few get to make a credible run for the nomination.

And Cain’s appeal to Republican voters is not just in the obvious we-must-prove-we’re-not-racist-way. He is a classic genial, loquacious,egotistical black Big Man, the kind (think basketball commentator Charles Barkley) whom American whites find hugely likable.

Perhaps there’s a sociobiological explanation for this The Big Man personality type is hardly restricted to blacks—note how much Italians enjoyed Silvio Berlusconi. Yet black personalities seem to have been selected more for likability than for functionality. If over the millennia, men in, say, Manchuria or Finland hadn’t performed at a high enough level for their wives and children to survive the winter, they wouldn’t have many living descendants. Not surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of Manchurian or Finnish celebrities.

In contrast, in tropical agricultural environments, women did most of the work (basically, hoeing weeds) to keep the children fed. Hence, the reproductive payoff for being a charismatic Big Man who could attract 10 or 100 wives would be quite high. So, there are more fun, amusingly egomaniacal personalities among blacks than among Manchurians or Finns…or, say, Mormons.

Douthat goes on:

“We are nowhere near the post-racial moment that Barack Obama’s election was supposed to usher in; instead, we seem more obsessed with race than ever, and more attuned to identity politics in all its permutations. But Herman Cain’s candidacy has confirmed what the experience of the Obama era has already suggested: In national politics, race matters, but ideology matters much, much more.”

Ross offers a sophisticated view, but is it quite sophisticated enough?

I would argue, to the contrary, that much of what sounds like ideological debate today is actually the flailing about of white Americans trying to come up with acceptable-sounding rationalizations for their more primal loyalties.

For example, consider this Washington Post article, Two Washingtons:Bitterly divided Georgia town reflects discord in nation’s capital, [By Eli Saslow, November 12, 2011] about the recent mayor’s race in the small town of Washington, Georgia, near the South Carolina border. The race turned, as it does in every mayor’s election, solely upon the race of voters. The black Democratic incumbent:

“had spent millions in city funds as mayor to revive a destitute neighborhood and expand poverty programs. Now, with the unemployment rate stuck at 12 percent, he wanted to increase spending on assistance programs again.”

The white Republican challenger:

“wanted to cut property taxes and tighten the budget.”

Why this ideological chasm over tax and spend policies?

Let me take a wild guess: It’s because whites tend to have more money than blacks.

Granted, in a democracy, you have to argue over something. But the problem with multiracial politics is that race absorbs all the oxygen in the room. It reduces competition over issues, honesty, and competence. When all the people who are related to you are in one party, it puts too much pressure on you to rubberstamp the candidate of your people’s race.

You’ll notice that most Americans are pretty content that the crucial first two states in the Presidential nominating process are white-dominated Iowa and New Hampshire.

In January 2008, Barack Obama’s victory in the quite white Iowa caucuses legitimized his candidacy in a way that an initial victory in, say, the black-dominated South Carolina Democratic primary wouldn’t have done. Then, Hillary Clinton’s comeback win the next week in white New Hampshire suggested that Democrats were closely divided between the two candidates–as, indeed, they proved to be.

You aren’t supposed to notice this, but the Democratic Party as a whole doesn’t want a heavily black state, in which blacks would vote as a bloc for their racial champion, to horn in at the beginning of the primary process.

Of course, they can’t talk about not wanting diversity either. When Bill Clinton, the “first black President,” not unreasonably downplayed the importance of his wife’s loss in the 2008 South Carolina primary by pointing out, accurately, that Jesse Jackson had won South Carolina in 1984 and 1988, he was widely denounced as a racist.

That the Main Stream Media was shocked, shocked over Bill Clinton’s awareness of 1980s Democratic politics is just another example of how diversity enstupefies democracy. That’s one reason most Americans would prefer the politics of non-diverse New Hampshire to the politics of diverse South Carolina, even if we aren’t allowed to talk about it.

So, why do we want to import more diversity via mass immigration?

Granted, Hispanics aren’t quite as polarizing as blacks, but we have a century of mostly dismal experience with New Mexico politics to suggest that more influx from Old Mexico won’t make our democracy better.

Douthat’s contention that ideology matters more than blood relations is a lot like saying that Chicago Bears fans root for the Bears because they believe intellectually in the Bears’ Tampa-2 defensive alignment, while Green Bay Packer rooters have chosen their team out of their faith in the merits of the Packers’ 3-4 defensive set.

Well, maybe, in a few cases. But most Chicago Bears fans are either Chicagoans or have family-and-friend ties to Chicagoans. Intellectual debates over the merits of various defensive and offensive philosophies don’t have much to do with their loyalties.

And why should they? Fans want their teams to adopt the best strategies so they can win. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your team to win. That’s why they play the game.

But that’s not a popular view these days.

The recent boom in the Ayn Rand ideology among Republicans, for example, has less to do with the rightness or wrongness of the late Ms. Rand’s analysis of the world, and more to do with aroused citizens searching for some permissible ideological justification for their perfectly reasonable emotions.

Or consider Glenn Beck’s truncated career on Fox News in which the autodidact rummaged around for an ideology to justify opposing the Democratic President (and was eventually fired for being a potential loose cannon).

“Permissible” is the key word here. Douthat asks:

“When was the last time you heard a national Republican politician attack affirmative action…?”

Good question. And I have a better answer: The summer of 2009, when the Ricci case, the Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination, and the humiliating Beer Summit ended Obama’s honeymoon, as his approval ratings with whites dropped sharply.

That summer, Republican politicians took advantage of Obama’s racial gaffes, such as nominating the Wise Latina who had ruled against Frank Ricci with little explanation.

But since then, GOP leaders have fecklessly failed to go on the offensive on these wedge issues. After all, what would the MSM think?

In contrast, Democrats feel little need for complex ideologies to excuse their loyalties. That Obama is attempting, for example, to reignite black turnout by implying that his defeat in 2012 would be a racial insult is uncontroversial.

An October 26, 2011 NYT article by Helene Cooper, Black Support for Obama Is Steady and Strong, makes clear that Democrats are unmotivated to ideologically rationalize their appeals to tribal loyalties:

“Democratic campaign strategists … are already building staffs in swing states with significant black populations, like Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, for an intensive effort called Operation Vote, which will focus on African-Americans, women and Hispanics.”

At least among blacks, Obama’s strategy of rallying his base appears to be working:

“Mr. Obama’s support among African-Americans appears strikingly strong, even among many who are out of work, who might be expected to complain the loudest. … In a recent Pew Research Center poll, black voters preferred Mr. Obama 95 percent to 3 percent over Mitt Romney, ‘which is at least the margin he got in 2008,’ said Michael Dimock, associate director for research at Pew. ‘There’s no erosion at all.’” …

What complex ideological policy analysis motivates this loyalty? Eh, just racialism:

“Beyond issues, many African-Americans feel an emotional connection to Mr. Obama that seems unshakable, saying that nothing can compare with seeing someone who looks like them in the White House.”

And why not? Mr. Obama might not be terribly representative of the average African-American. But, then, few Green Bay Packers had any connection to Green Bay before the vicissitudes of a pro football career happened to land them there for a few seasons. They wear jerseys that read “Green Bay,” which is good enough for Wisconsinites.

In general, the dominant view among Democrats seems to be that, at least in the long run, they are going to achieve hegemony through electing a new people. And victory will be its own justification.

For Republicans, the range of permissible domestic ideologies covers two issues: tax rates and regulation of business. That’s about it.

Not surprisingly, this narrow trough of the allowable dumbs down discourse. For example, what caused the mortgage meltdown? You would think we would want to have a sophisticated understanding by now. But Democrats go with Greed, while Republicans, with their Obama Era libertarian ideological purity, blame Government Regulation of the Free Market.

Thus, public debates wind up being between competing strawmen. For example, Michael Bloomberg, centrist billionaire mayor of New York, recently blamed the mortgage meltdown on Congress:

“It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go andgive mortgages to people who were on the cusp.”

In response, financial blowhard Barry Ritholtz leapt in with a long op-ed in the Washington Post poking easy holes in this simplistic view. [What caused the financial crisis? The Big Lie goes viral , November 5, 2011]

What’s interesting, however, is that way back in 2009, Ritholtz came to my blog’s comments to challenge me to a high-stakes debate. I explained to him how diversity, in manifold ways, had exacerbated the catastrophe. For instance, George W. Bush had used fighting racial inequality to justify undermining time-tested regulations of mortgages, such as requiring downpayments and documentation.

Ritholtz wound up slinking away in defeat. You can read our exchange here; just start with the bottom posting and read upward.

Now Ritholtz has apparently forgotten all he learned so painfully a couple of years ago. And why bother remembering: How much of a market is there for a non-ideological analysis of diversity that is skeptical of both diversity and Wall Street?

And how much of a market is there for honest analysis, of even reporting, of the policy-driven displacement of the historic American nation?

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election 
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About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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