Running against affirmative action–with campaign ads showing white men and women coming home to somberly deliver bad news to the family about being passed over for the job or promotion–is a political winner. Or at least it would be if the Stupid Party had the sense to capitalize on it.
In fairness to the GOP, they are pushing hard on immigration, at least in the primaries. Stopping the invasion now regularly tops issue priority lists, especially among young Republicans. It’s a happy reminder to those of us who’ve been in this thing for decades that the National Question has finally obtained the salience it deserves.
Anyway, from the GSS comes the percentages of respondents, by selected demographic characteristics, who support preferential hiring and promotional opportunities for blacks in the workplace. For contemporary relevance, all responses are from America’s post-racial era. The data is dichotomous–respondents either support or oppose, no “don’t know” or “unsure” responses were recorded:
Even most Jewish Democrats say they are opposed. So do blacks. Whether they are actually opposed, a residual sense of fairness means advocating for racial preferences is something only downwardly mobile non-white college students who don’t belong anywhere near a university and the blue checkmark brigade on Twitter do much of.
In Republican primaries there is scarcely a position more popular than opposition to affirmative action. Opposition to affirmative action leads to opposition to Diversity!. Opposition to Diversity! leads to opposition to disparate impact. Opposition to disparate impact leads to a sense of white identity. Without unadulterated isonomy and freedom of association, identity politics becomes a necessity. Opposition to affirmative action is prerequisite for getting there.
GSS variables used: AFFRMACT(1-2)(3-4), RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10), HISPANIC(1)(2-50), RELIG(1,2,4-13)(3), PARTYID(0-1)(2-4)(5-6), YEAR(2008-2016)