The Democrats' Demographic Delusion

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Good news, in terms of the short-term political fortunes of the Democratic Party, comes from an article in the New Republic. Said article warns the Democrats that its "white working class problem" can't be solved simply by writing off the South. I think the warning will go unheeded despite the fact that the article supports its contention by re-analyzing the data the Democrats are betting on. Crucial to this re-analysis is a breakdown of the country into "a set of regions that more closely mirrors the basic, underlying sociological and political divisions in the nation" -- rather than just Central-Northeast-West-South. The article concludes:

Many Democrats would prefer not to have to face this monumental organization challenge, hoping instead that the existing Obama coalition and demographic changes in America will prove sufficient to elect a president in 2016, hold the Senate, and weaken GOP control over the House of Representatives. But the harsh reality for Democrats is that they cannot achieve all three of these objectives without increasing their support among white working class Americans--and if Democrats keep telling themselves that "the problem is just the South," that support may decrease instead.
I'd go further, based on my experiences of growing up in the South and of living in the Northeast for several years. From what I can tell, from encounters with angry leftists (e.g., "Republican people" used as a direct insult (I am not a Republican.)) and from overhearing conversations in public (e.g., "some hick from Texas" as shorthand for "white Southerner"), many Democrats like to imagine that nothing has changed in the South in the past half-century plus, and are quite happy to write off any fair-skinned individual from that part of the country. And, based on my reading of left-wing commentary, I think that most Democrats would also prefer not to question their policies or why they don't appeal to large swaths of "working class whites". It's easy to be smug when one can assume that the whole problem is due to a bunch of easily-marginalized hicks.

May the donkey keep its blinders on! Perhaps this will buy more time for cultural change and the emergence of a significant pro-individual rights electoral bloc. I hold out little hope for an improvement from the GOP, but perhaps its short-term profit can stall our headlong march into tyranny.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Demographically, it seems over for the Republicans. Romney got 60% of the white vote and lost. If this had been 1980 or 84 it would have been a landslide.

Now the Republicans have lost Virginia thanks to immigration.

The last reliable big republican state is Texas. If illegals are amnestied, it could turn Democratic. It's no surprise that Holder and the "voting rights" crowd have turned their attention to Texas.

-Joe Jones

Gus Van Horn said...

It seems over -- if you forget that large blocs of voters have shifted allegiances many times in the past. (This is because these are groups of individuals, who have free will, and can decide whom to support individually.)

Blacks, who now vote overwhelmingly for Democrats once were reliable supporters of the GOP. Southern whites, who used to vote Democratic, moved into the Republican column more recently.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but this seems more a reflection of a change in the strategies of the political parties then a change in viewpoints by the voters.

When it dawned on Southern whites that the National Democratic Party wanted to ram integration down their throats, they opted for the Republicans.

The largest group of immigrants are Hispanics who, as polls show, support Obamacare, punitive taxes on the rich, redistribution of wealth, and affirmative action by large margins. Contrary to perceptions, they have a high level of broken homes, single mothers and welfare dependency.

People have free will, but as a group it is quite unlikely that Blacks and Hispanics will support a political party that is perceived to want less government.

-Joe Jones

Gus Van Horn said...

Really? My Dad was a working class white who voted for Reagan. It had nothing to do with segregation, based on the fact that (for our example) he had a black friend over for chess when I was a kid, and at a time that something like this could get a cross burned in your yard. (I had a friend, also white, that this actually happened to after a party his parents held.) His vote was due in large part to how badly off we were after four years of Carter.

I don't mean to sound hard on you, and my post does deal with generalities, but it doesn't require huge numbers of people changing their minds for the right reasons to make a difference. I think the Democrats are idiots on many levels for betting on ethnicity and that the Republicans are also idiots for giving up too easily based on ethnicity.