2012 November 06 Tuesday
Loyal Party Voters Doing Themselves A Disservice?

Noah Millman thinks blacks and Hispanics should court the Republican Party. Question: Do the leaders of the two major US parties really hurt their bases much to help the middle? If they do, then do they really have a choice in the matter?

In my view, the fact that black and Hispanic voters overwhelmingly prefer the Democratic party hurts black and Hispanic voters more than it hurts the Republicans. Republicans dont need to court these voters these voters need to court the Republican Party. The fact that highly religious white voters overwhelmingly prefer the Republican party hurts highly religious white voters more than it hurts the Democrats. The Democrats dont need to court these voters these voters need to court the Democratic Party. And polarization on the basis of identity hurts the country more than it hurts either party.

I do not get Noah's reasoning. Why should voters court the other party when the other party has a large vested interest in opposing what they want? I mean, people solidly in one party want thinks that are the other party is deeply opposed to. For example, would the Democrats offer the Christians that secular Democrats would find agreeable to offer them?

What's more important here: America's demographics are changing in ways that deepen polarization by identity. If we had fewer identities then people would vote on other issues. A homogeneous society can debate other issues. A very heterogeneous society is going to split on identifies. This is one reason why immigration policy over the last 40 or so years has been such a bad set of ideas. Too late now. The divisions will deepen.

My guess: the base of each party should become even more demanding. Each party still has primaries. The bases can fight out issues with each other in primaries so ensure that candidates that advance to the general election will be sure to deliver for their bases.

The Republican Party is on the losing side in demographic battles. If any base should try to appeal to the opposing party maybe it makes more sense for Republicans to reach out to the Democrats. Republicans fought for the demographic victory of the Democrats and succeeded. With two parties united in fighting for the interests of the Democrat politicians it is not surprising that together the Republicans and Democrats delivered the Democrats a resounding demographic victory. How to move on from here?

At this point the base of the Republican Party needs to figure out how to respond to their demographic defeat. Should a very large fraction of them move en masse to the Democratic Party as a way to have a say in the governing coalition? Our should they try to encourage more white defections from the Democrats? Even if they try to do the latter and succeed isn't that success only going to work for a decade or two at best?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 November 06 07:53 PM 

Mike M said at November 6, 2012 11:54 PM:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. ― Alexis de Tocqueville

The fact that as the campaign progressed we saw Romney reluctantly begin to acquiesce to those wanting government goodies at the expense of "the rich" indicates that we may have crossed the Rubicon and will continue to sink further into the nightmare of socialism.

In general, I have no objection to Mexican immigrants coming to America. The problem stems not from immigrants per se getting welfare/entitlements from the government, but from anyone (who is ABLE to work) getting welfare from the government, These programs should be a true safety net available only to a very limited segment of the population and with very limited benefits that keep the recipients uncomfortable enough that they have ample incentive to either return to work or engage in some productive economic activity to supplement the government assistance. A second problem specific to the Latin American immigrants is that most of them have grown up in countries where reliance on government handouts is the norm. The influx of a large number of immigrants with this expectation prevents their assimilation into and adaptation of a culture of self reliance and personal responsibility. When coupled with a president and liberal politicians who recognize that they can bribe the public with the public's money, it's only a matter of time before our individual rights are eroded.

Matthew Wolfinbarger said at November 7, 2012 6:54 AM:

A lot of minorities are clearly voting against their interests. I don't see how it's in the interests of blacks to be voting 90+% Democratic--especially at middle and upper income levels--ditto for Hispanics (income does not seem to be a major factor in non-white voting, though it also seems to be less of a factor for whites than it used to be as well). Asians and Jews are clearly voting against their interests, since they tend to have fairly high incomes and don't get affirmative action.

It seems that voters of all races are increasingly polarized along cultural lines. To me this makes no sense--people in more culturally liberal states have no chance of losing their abortion rights, for example. I know a lot of people who use drugs (mostly pharmaceuticals and pot) and make most of their money on the grey market, and theoretically a socially conservative Republican (or one like McCain, who pandered to social conservatives a lot) could threaten such individuals. But these people make up a small portion of the population, and an even smaller portion of the electorate (even when people like this are informed, they tend to be very cynical about the political process).

I think a lot of nonwhites do face private discrimination, but there isn't really much politicians can do about this. The fundamental problem seems to be that people overestimate the influence of the government (and especially the federal government) on cultural issues. The best way for minorities and socially liberal whites to avoid the influence of cultural conservatives is to not live in states or localities where they are dominant, which people in urban California (for example) are already doing.

James Bowery said at November 9, 2012 11:13 AM:

The real problem with American politics is evidenced by the fact that "realists" would respond to absurd rhetoric as Noah Millman's.

The cause? The Noah Millman's of the world have somehow managed to ensconce themselves in positions of sociopolitical status from which they can spout absurdities. The solution? Figure out how they so-ensconce themselves. Clue: It has to do with a sociobiological weakness among the "realists".

Engineer-Poet said at November 16, 2012 7:42 AM:
I don't see how it's in the interests of blacks to be voting 90+% Democratic--especially at middle and upper income levels
You just listed the reason:  affirmative action and other race-based preferences.  The Black middle and upper classes would be minuscule if not for them, and the Democrats are its major supporters.

For an example of how racial job allocations produce a large group of well-paid Blacks who would otherwise be employed in low-wage jobs or no jobs at all, read this.

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