For the sages of the ‘conservative’ Establishment (I’m looking at you, Sean Hannity), a revisiting of recent history that illustrates why a coloring in of the country isn’t just bad for Republicans’ electoral prospects, it bodes terribly for a whole host of social, cultural, and economic positions that define the contemporary American right. The lesson at hand today is Michigan’s 2006 Proposition 2 banning affirmative action programs in education and public sector hiring, which passed with strong voter approval, 58%-42%. From exit polling on the ballot initiative:
White men made it happn. If the nation looked more like Michigan and less like California, Romney would’ve humiliated Obama on election day. Well, if Obama was around to be humiliated in the first place–in this hypothetical US, McCain would’ve already crushed him in 2008.
Tangentially, note that relatively speaking, men favor equality of opportunity and women favor equality of outcome.
A couple of weeks ago, another court decision was handed down on the law, which has been wrangled over in the courts since it was passed six years ago. This time the sixth circuit struck it down. There’s a decent chance it will make it to the supreme court, where democracy and judicial fiat will square off (with the winner being determined by a body with the ultimate judicial fiat power!). That’s not necessarily reason for democracy to despair in this case, though–there’s a lot of overlap in the electoral power behind Prop 2’s success and the fact that the supreme court is centrist (for the time being, anyhow, with at least an outside chance of keeping it that way if Scalia is still sitting upon becoming an octogenarian). But if the exorable (yes, exorable) change in the face of America continues apace, both the electorate and the magistrates it ultimately appoints will no longer be able to pass initiatives like Prop 2 in the future.
Parenthetically, I detect a somewhat widespread sense of racial identity growing among whites of my generation. The GSS suggests as much and I pick it up in bits and pieces in the real world. It’s nascent and inchoate, but I think it’s there. Consider how support for Prop 2 broke down by age:
The older generations are whiter than the younger ones are, yet the younger ones show slightly stronger opposition to affirmative action. I suspect youthful NAMs are even more supportive of affirmative action than their parents are, which means that young whites must be non-trivially more hostile to racial preferences than older whites are, the tendency for youth and leftism to correlate happily notwithstanding here.