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“Obama’s Demographic Gamble”—And Romney’s Failure to Challenge It
When the “Anti-Racist” witch hunters attack VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow by point’n’sputtering at some of his politically incorrect statements, they often mention his line that “race is destiny in American politics.”
Brimelow was using the word destiny in its literal sense—that is a “predetermined course of events.” No rational observer would deny that, if a Congressional district that is 90% black or 90% non-Cuban Hispanic, you can predict in advance that the winner of any election will be a Black or Hispanic Democrat. Pointing out this fact should not be objectionable even to a liberal.
Still, I suspect what made Brimelow’s statement more controversial was the mythical connotations attached to the word “destiny.” Two lovers will often say they were destined to be together, suggesting the hand of fate guided their relationship. The concept of Manifest Destiny was related to the belief that it was God’s providence that Americans conquer the North American continent.
Thus by claiming Brimelow’s innocuous quote is scandalous, the Left is hoping the words “race” and “destiny” used in the same sentence evokes memories of the racial views of Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Alfred Rosenberg.
With this background, consider Obama’s demographic gamble by Alexander Burns (POLITICO, Nov. 3, 2012).
According to Burns, “Obama is likely to get blown out among white voters on Election Day” but may still win by turning out the black and Hispanics vote (as well as young voters and single women). Burns continues:
Obama’s campaign message reflects its faith in demographic and social destiny: the president has campaigned hard on immigration reform and national surveys show him leading Romney by 40 to 50 points among Latinos.
Of course, this is a reporter summarizing the Obama strategy rather than anyone in the campaign. But throughout the article, Burns quotes Obama official after Obama official salivating over this demographic destiny. Thus according to Obama National Field Director Jeremy Bird [Twitter]
The Romney campaign believes the electorate still looks like it did in 2004. It doesn’t. American voters are more diverse than ever. More Latinos will vote this year than ever before—both in raw numbers and as a percentage of the electorate in battleground states—and the President will win the most Latino votes of any presidential candidate ever.
Of course, when Peter Brimelow spoke of race being destiny, he meant only that it was destiny in politics—not for America overall. As he has pointed out over and over again, the racial changes in this country’s population are the results of government policy—which can be changed.
It is the Democratic strategists who are gleefully suggesting that these changes are truly destined. Burns notes that “As Obama strategists will happily point out, the white vote has decreased steadily in every election for two decades.” He quotes an anonymous Obama strategist:
The percent of white vote in elections since ‘96 has gone down by 3 to 4 points. There is absolutely no reason to believe that in a time when the census data shows that whites as a share of the population are 5 percent smaller and African Americans and Latinos combine for a greater share of 4.1 percent, that the racial makeup based on these trends is going to change.
Similarly, it’s easy to find Leftist after Leftist on the record cheering the destruction of the GOP’s white base through immigration and birthrates.
Most recently, Bill Maher, after citing the demographics of the GOP said, “This is the last hurrah for the whites, is it not?” Maher made this comments in response to a statement by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham: “The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
His Republican guest Margaret Hoover, rather than asking why Maher was celebrating the dispossession of whites—or, as they were known until the 1965 immigration Act, “Americans”— simply intoned “You’re absolutely right” and lamented that “we need to reach out to Hispanics” as well as gays and other liberal victim groups. [Bill Maher says presidential election ‘the last hurrah for the whites,’ ‘Battle of the Bulge’, Daily Caller, November 3, 2012]
Both Maher and the POLITICO do note that Romney could very well win the election with virtually no support from minorities. However, it would be, Maher claimed, a “last hurrah.”
In August, Ron Brownstein summarized the conventional view of the GOP’s demographic problem:
Republican strategists clearly feel the weight of trying to assemble a national majority with so little support among minorities that they must win three in five whites. “This is the last time anyone will try to do this,” one said. A GOP coalition that relies almost entirely on whites could squeeze out one more narrow victory in November. But if Republicans can’t find more effective ways to bridge the priorities of their conservative core and the diversifying Next America, that weight will grow more daunting every year.
[Obama Needs 80% of Minority Vote to Win 2012 Presidential Election, National Journal, August 27, 2012]
But Burn’s POLITICO piece was headlined “Obama’s Demographic Gamble” because of its thesis: while making these appeals to gays and minorities, Obama still needs to ensure “white voters in Ohio didn’t desert him en masse.” Despite all the hype about the minority vote, whites will make well over 70% of the electorate with some projections putting them as high as 77% [How White Will the Electorate Be? By Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine, June 18, 2012]. In 2008, the Ohio electorate was 83% white and only 4% Hispanic.
And, absent any push back from the Republicans, Obama is not taking much of a gamble by making these naked racial appeals.
Alexander Hart (email him) is a conservative journalist.