I disagree with Hightower.

What you will find here is: a centrist's view of current events;
a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
that I have found appealing and/or amusing over the years;
and, if you choose, your civil contributions which will make it into a conversation.

He not busy bein' born, is busy dyin'. - Bob Dylan

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Racial Malarky

Across the nation the pundits are telling one and all that the Republicans are history.  A big component of what these commentators see as the problem is racial.  They sometimes throw in “old white men” and other general demographic issues as part of the problem, but basically it is a racial song that they are singing.

It goes like this: blacks vote overwhelmingly democratic and Hispanics voted democratic in the recent presidential elections.  Therefore Hispanics are like blacks and will vote overwhelming democratic.  The percentage of the whole population that is Hispanic is growing.  The white majority is vanishing and therefore the democratic vote is going to grow and the Rs are doomed.    See Juan Williams: Obama's Daunting Demographic Message for the GOP 

I think that this is wishful thinking by the left. 

I do not believe that there is anything in the Hispanic dna that makes them inevitably democratic voters.  The blacks have, of course, voted overwhelmingly for the political party (first the Rs and then the Ds) that has used the power of the federal government to promote their group interests while the other party did not.  If the Hispanics see one of the political parties as being committed to their group interests while the other is not, then they will vote overwhelmingly for that party. 

I believe that, so far, the Ds have played the immigration issue very effectively and the Rs have played it very poorly.  Even in the face of that, the Rs have gotten 30-40% of the Hispanic vote in recent presidential elections.

That being said the Rs do have to review their situation.  As a centrist I would recommend the following:

1.  Accept that certain things are history and no longer negotiable.  Among these things are gay rights and women’s reproductive issues.  If you keep these items on the menu, then guess who's not coming to dinner.  Leave any  discussions about rape to the women in your caucus.

2.  Push hard to resolve the immigration issue.  Give up whatever you have to for the short term to get a rational long term solution.

3.  Continue and increase your outreach to minorities.

4.  (added 11-15)  Quit appearing to be the advocates of the rich.

I wish you success because the country needs at least two vibrant political parties.


  1. I'm not sure I understand what your point is unless it's that you desire the Republican Party to continue to be relevant. I agree that we need at least 2 vibrant parties. Maybe a couple more would be even better. But one would definitely be a bad thing.

    But in the first section you seem to decry the idea that the Republican Party is in trouble unless it can attract minority votes. "It goes like this: blacks vote overwhelmingly democratic and Hispanics voted democratic in the recent presidential elections. Therefore Hispanics are like blacks and will vote overwhelming democratic. The percentage of the whole population that is Hispanic is growing. The white majority is vanishing and therefore the democratic vote is going to grow and the Rs are doomed. I think that is wishful thinking by the left." First, I would disagree that the analysis includes anything like "Therefore Hispanics are like blacks and will vote overwhelming democratic." What I see is that they are looking at the actual numbers over the last few elections PLUS looking at the positions of the Rs on issues that Hispanics generally consider important and then doing the simple arithmetic. The Rs are not going to attract over 50% of Hispanics with the platform they currently are pushing.

    But then toward the end you say that the "Rs do have to review their situation". And you give them several suggestions, 2 of which involve attracting minorities. So I don't see much difference between what you say toward the end of your post and what you criticize the news media for saying at the beginning of your post. It seems to me that it's not about Hispanics "being like the blacks" nor does anyone assert that, that I have heard. As I said above, it is about the R's positions on the issues. Soften some of their positions that are important to the Hispanic community and the Hispanic Community will soften toward them. It does appear that some of the more extreme righties did not get reelected Tuesday night and I think that will help the Rs in that they won't have them out there saying some of the crazy wacko stuff that some of them have said over the past couple of years.

    Demographics (race)aside, Bill O'Reilly says that America has reached a tipping point where 50% of the population (the people that voted for Obama)just wants stuff from the government. They don't want to work. I disagree and the Republican party would do well to not follow Bill down that road. They need some of that 50%.

    1. I am sorry that I am not being clear. The numbers refer to your paragraphs:

      1. You did get the main point right, it was the last line.

      2. The story line of many Dem pundits (Juan in particular) is that race is the driving force of the future. The nonwhite majority is coming and they will vote as a racial block and blow the whites away.

      3. I disagree with the story line in 2. I do not think that Hispanics will vote as a racial block. The Rs do need to get rid of some negative press, but in the long run they have just as good of a chance of getting a Hispanic vote as they do of getting a white vote.

      4. We will have a better chance at having a conversation if we make the following deal. You don’t try to make me responsible for Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and I won’t try to make you responsible for Michael Moore and Chris Matthews.

  2. To focus on a single remark in Wayne’s original post I will agree that I do not see anything in the Hispanic “DNA” that will cause them to continue to vote Democrat. As a group they have a work ethic that should be a model for the rest of us, and culturally they are bedrock practical. If the immigration issue were magically settled today I would expect this group (like the Vietnamese Boat People) to assimilate and disappear into the American melting pot.

    1. I would agree with everything you say Tom. I don't want what I have said to be misinterpreted to mean that I believe that political party affiliation is in anyone's DNA. I thought that had been decided some time back. Who knows...if the Rs moderate their positions enough to address some of the common interests of the Hispanic community and the African American community maybe I will vote Republican again. When we no longer have the races being addressed as if they are one big bloc that will be a great day indeed.