Electing a New People


Peter Brimelow writes:

At last—available on the
Internet! I still think Ed Rubenstein`s and my analysis
of current immigration policy`s impact on future
Presidential politics is the best thing around—partly
because, incredibly, it`s still the only thing around.
Its publication as a

National Review cover
story (June 16, 1997) was greeted with a resounding
silence. No argument with our assumptions. Nothing.
(Except for a reference in



American Prospect Magazine,

which loved our cover line
reference to "the Emerging Democratic Majority.") The
entire political establishment, emphatically including
its "conservative" wing, was retreating into
denial.


Ominously,
this included the

NR
website, which never
posted the story. Yet the numbers are as dramatic as
anything in American history. We`ll be updating them


later
this year. The headline, of course, refers to


Bertolt Brecht`s

satirical

poem
after the

1953 East German risings
:
the government should
dissolve the people and elect another. Well? Well?

By Peter Brimelow
&

Edwin S. Rubenstein

DEMOGRAPHY is destiny in American politics. This
point was made brilliantly almost exactly thirty years
ago, by Kevin Phillips in

The Emerging Republican Majority
(1968). In the
shadow of the Democrats` long-dominant "Roosevelt
coalition," and amid the wreckage and recrimination of
the disastrous Goldwater defeat, Phillips boldly
predicted a generation of Republican victories based on
the persistent but dynamic pattern of ethnic politics.
He has been triumphantly vindicated.

But the Republican hour is rapidly drawing to a
close. Not because the "Phillips Coalition" of the West
and the South, of the middle class and urban blue-collar
voters, is breaking up in the traditional manner.
Instead, it is being drowned—as a direct result of the

1965 Immigration Act
, which ironically became
effective in the year Phillips`s book was published.
Nine-tenths of the immigrant influx is from groups with
significant—sometimes overwhelming—Democratic
propensities. After thirty years, their numbers are
reaching critical mass. And there is no end in sight.

To estimate the future impact of Immigration, we took
the 1988 presidential race, in which George Bush beat
Michael Dukakis with 53 per cent of the vote. This
figure happens also to be the average vote received by
the Republicans in presidential elections since 1968—the
largest advantage won by any party over any six
elections in American history. And it is the vote
received by Republicans in 1994, when they took control
of the Senate and House. It can reasonably be regarded
as the Republican high-water mark.

Then we lowered this high-water mark by accounting
for the shifting ethnic balance that the Census projects
will result from immigration, assuming that the ethnic
groups continued to vote as they did in 1988. The
results are startling: [SEE
TABLE
]. Even if the Republicans can again win their
1988 level of support in each ethnic group—which they
have miserably failed to do against Bill Clinton—they
have at most two presidential cycles left. Then they go
inexorably into minority status, beginning in 2008.

Indeed, looking at the electorate in this cold-eyed
Phillipsian way suggests a reinterpretation of recent
history. On this reading, America turned to the
Republicans, not because it was convinced by the
compelling logic of free-market economics and the
capital gains tax cut, but because the Democratic Party
"tipped,"
like a housing project. Amazingly, no Democratic
presidential nominee has received a majority of the
white vote since 1948, with the aberrational exception
of Lyndon B. Johnson. As liberal commentators Tom and
Mary

Edsall
pointed out in their book

Chain Reaction,
whites seem to have left a party
that they perceived as becoming alien and even hostile
to them.

This caused a seismic shift to the Republicans, which
is still not complete. But if whites fled the Democratic
Party, it is now coming after them. In the years to
come, the new Democratic trend will overwhelm the old
Republican one—assuming mass immigration continues.

Any projections of this kind, of course, are
problematical. We have necessarily made drastic
assumptions. We assume that the Asian and Hispanic
voting rate increases—but only to that of blacks, which
seems reasonable. We assume that the Republican share of
the Hispanic vote

remains low
—but we also assume near-parity in the

Asian vote
, which, given the hard-left

"Asian" leadership
now emerging on the

campuses
, especially for

Chinese
, may be optimistic. We assume that
Republicans do not increase their share of the white
vote—but, since the current congressional leadership
refuses to voice

white concerns
over such matters as

immigration
and

affirmative action
, this seems all too probable.

Whether our projections are too optimistic or
pessimistic is ultimately irrelevant. The fundamental
point, which does not seem to have dawned yet on the
Beltway Right, remains the same: The trend is not our
friend. In this perspective, the decision of
congressional Republicans in 1996 to run away from the
immigration cuts recommended by the bipartisan

Jordan Commission
can only be described as, well,
brave.

There is much bluster, notably by the

incorrigible
Wall Street Journal editorial
page, to the effect that the GOP can win more Hispanic
votes. But at the very best this will be an uphill
struggle. Hispanics do indeed move rightward the longer
they remain in America. But this effect is canceled out
by newly arrived immigrants who

overwhelmingly
vote Democratic. Hence, directly
because of immigration the GOP has never approached a
majority of the Hispanic vote. And this shows no sign of
changing any time soon.

The latest alleged portent: the laudable victory of
Rev. Bill Redmond in the recent New Mexico special
election for the House seat vacated by UN Ambassador
Bill Richardson. A more careful reading of this result,
however, leads (not for the first time) to the
conclusion that immigration enthusiasts

can`t count.
The Republican vote, 42 per cent, was
barely above its previous peak and well short of a
majority. What happened was that the Democratic vote was

split,
by a former Democrat running as the candidate
of New Mexico`s

enviro-Stalinist
Green Party, who got

17 per cent of the vote
. This, and not a mass
conversion of Hispanics, won the seat. Rep. Redmond will
do well to hold it in 1998.
[PB 2000 note: he did not]

In fact, the New Mexico race does presage the future,
albeit in ways unforeseen by the

Wall Street Journal
. It shows the power of
independent candidates to hurt major-party candidates by

splitting the vote
—and immigration, as evidenced in
countries as far apart as

France
and

Australia
, is pre-eminently an issue that, if
ignored by establishment parties, provokes

insurrection.
Not coincidentally, the rumored
Michigan candidacy of ophthalmologist

Dr. John Tanton
, the chairman of

Federation for American Immigration Reform
, against
Republican Sen. Spencer Abraham has been getting
front-page treatment in the state`s heavily Democratic
media. [PB 2000 note:

Tanton is apparently not running, but immigration
reform groups` advertising against Abraham has got his
supporters in the national press


huffing and puffing.
] Other such
single-issue candidacies are being mentioned—for
example, a 1998 challenge to Republican Arizona

Sen. John McCain
by

Robert D. Park
, leader of the state`s successful
Official English referendum campaign in 1988.

New Mexico may presage the future also in that the
Democrats split—apparently a worldly Hispanic machine
was pitted against Anglo leftist loonies. The vast
complication of

ethnic politics
brought about by current immigration
policy may, in the end, undermine both parties. Politics
will presumably continue. But not

American
politics as we have known and loved it.

Maybe some supply-sider or neoconservative can get
elected to something in 2050, borne along by a
multicultural throng like Tarzan on a litter. But, as
always with immigration—particularly since the

National Academy of Sciences
has confirmed that
there is no

significant aggregate economic benefit
(See "The
Week")—the question must be: Why take the risk?