There are those on the right who, attuned to the (liberal) zeitgeist, attempt to bring NAMs into their political ranks by emphasizing the putative social conservatism of blacks and Hispanics. Rick Santorum recently illustrated this, and the late Richard Nadler epitomized it.
As the US becomes increasingly multiracial and multicultural, our democratic system will increasingly turn into a spoils system, where votes are determined by the demographic characteristics of the candidates in question, who, once elected, will use their power to redistribute wealth away from out-group members to the in-group members who elected them. Even at the federal level, where this is less of an issue than it is at more local levels of government, it is certainly detectable.
While that is related to this post’s purpose, the focus should be on the data. The following table shows the percentages of SWPLS (liberal and very liberal whites), white conservatives (conservative and very conservative whites), and NAMs (blacks and Hispanics) who agree with a host of political and social statements. The 20 items are broken up into four categories; those in which SWPLs and NAMs are on the same page, those in which NAMs fall midway between SWPLs and white conservatives, those in which whites of all political persuasions are lined up against NAMs, and those in which white conservatives and NAMs are aligned against SWPLs. For contemporary relevancy, all responses are from 2000 onward:
|SWPLs and NAMs agree||SWPLs||WhtCons||NAMs|
|The death penalty should be given to those who commit murder||50.4||84.8||48.2|
|Pornography should be made illegal||19.8||52.2||33.1|
|Expresses a great deal of confidence in the US military||36.3||67.8||42.9|
|Favors increases nuclear power generation in the US||66.4||86.6||50.0|
|The government should spend more on health care||85.5||59.5||87.7|
|Immigration into the US should be increased||14.9||6.7||11.9|
|The government should raise taxes to reduce income inequality||67.5||24.0||55.6|
|NAMs fall in between SWPLs and white conservatives|
|The government should spend more to protect the environment||79.7||26.6||55.9|
|The government should spend more on the military||15.2||55.7||38.4|
|The government should spend more on culture and the arts||48.1||6.2||31.0|
|Background checks should be required for gun ownership||87.0||70.5||79.9|
|Environmental threats are exaggerated||14.9||67.5||32.5|
|Whites band together against NAMs|
|Special preferences should be given to minorities in hiring decisions||22.8||6.1||37.9|
|The government should spend more on unemployment benefits||34.3||20.1||54.5|
|White conservatives and NAMs agree|
|A woman should be able to have an abortion for any reason||69.7||21.8||35.3|
|Marijuana should be legalized||66.4||22.6||31.7|
|Same sex marriage should be allowed||81.5||14.5||28.7|
|Prayer should be permissible in public schools||35.3||68.9||68.2|
|It is okay to spank a child for disciplinary purposes||52.3||81.0||77.4|
|Terminal patients should be allowed to die if they choose to do so||86.3||50.4||53.4|
Even though white conservatives and NAMs are more closely aligned with one another than either is with SWPLs on multiple social issues, pocketbook concerns trump moral values, especially among those who are not affluent, and of course NAMs disproportionately are not. SWPLs want to take from whites and give to NAMs to achieve social justice and NAMs want to take from whites and give to themselves to realize a higher material standard of living. Even on issues that are not of great interest to NAMs, like the arts (a liberal cause) and the military (a conservative cause), NAMs tend to favor more spending than the opposing white group does. Politically, the best strategy for Republicans is probably to highlight Democratic attitudes on things like religion, drug legalization*, and abortion and hope that reduces NAM voters’ enthusiasm for going out and voting.
GSS variables used: RACECEN(1)(2, 15-16), POLVIEWS(1-2)(6-7), YEAR(2000-2010), ABANY, GRASS, MARHOMO, PRAYER, SPANKING, LETDIE1, SPENVIRO, SPARMS, GUNSALES, GRNEXAGG, AFFACT, SPUNEMP, CAPPUN, EQWLTH, PORNLAW, SPARTS, SPHLTH, CONARMY, LETIN, NUKEELEC
* Because of its pervasiveness among the (largely NAM) underclass, lots of whites presume that non-whites are amenable to the idea of decriminalizing drug use. I’ve spent enough time around blacks to know that among those who aren’t users, the stuff is not smiled upon. Blacks living in the hood see its consequences firsthand and they don’t like it anymore than you or I do.