Republicans Spurn Base On Affirmative Action, Immigration
What is the Republican constituency? This fall`s
election, with control of Congress important to
Bush`s presidency, makes this question central.
There are different ways to answer the question.
Partisan Democrats, policy wonks, and campaign advisers
have different perspectives.
Democrats say the Republican constituency consists of
interest groups, such as the rich and
environmental polluters. Policy wonks emphasize
policy goals, such as tax cuts, less government,
economic growth, and national security.
Campaign advisers focus on the swing vote.
But interest groups, policies, and swing votes don`t
define a political constituency. Neither does a war on
terrorists. A lasting constituency is built on
principles that offer a political vision of a good
society. When these principles are sacrificed to
pandering to interest groups and swing voters,
constituencies are lost, not gained.
Intimidated by interest group politics, Republicans
are deserting their principles.
Ever since federal bureaucrats and judges illegally
and unconstitutionally created race and gender
privileges in the name of civil rights, many Americans
have been patiently waiting for Republicans to reaffirm
equality in law.
Equality in law means that government cannot favor
groups by granting status-based privileges. Its opposite
is equality of result, which is achieved by treating
Policies designed to achieve quality of result, such
as race and gender quotas, contravene the
equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution and
are illegal under the statutory language of the
1964 Civil Rights Act.
The purpose of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was to bring
an end to
legal discrimination against individual black
Americans. When bureaucrats made discrimination a group
issue and defined discrimination as the absence of
proportional representation, the judiciary
winked at this creation of race-based preferences in
The imposition of proportional outcomes requires
legal discrimination. Universities admit minorities on
the basis of preferment and require whites to meet
higher entrance standards. Minority preferment trumps
the low bid in government contracts.
Legal preferment has been extended to women. One
result is that men`s participation in college sports is
limited by the
participation rate of women. It is discrimination
and grounds for a federal lawsuit if a higher percentage
of the male student body participates in sports.
This extraordinary development is the result of one
ruling by one female
assistant secretary of education
in the Clinton Administration. Her ruling has terminated
350 men`s college sport teams. Proportional
representation for women is achieved by shrinking
opportunities for men.
After 38 years of civil rights policy, legally
imposed race and gender discrimination are far more
prevalent in the U.S. today than during the 1950s. In
those days discrimination was private or imposed by
state or local law and customary male and female roles.
Today discrimination against white males is required by
The Bush Justice Department has twice
against those seeking redress from
reverse discrimination, thus sacrificing a core
constituency principle to interest groups that do not
Citizenship is another principle that is under
attack. Aliens, both
illegal, and their advocates have succeeded in
forcing citizens to open their purses to them and to
provide them with the full range of
medical, educational, and
income support programs. Some states now grant
aliens more rights than they grant to U.S. citizens from
other states. For example, some state universities
supported by taxpayers grant
in-state tuition to illegal (“undocumented”) aliens.
Another constituency-defining principle bites the
If Republicans desert a principle-based constituency,
how will the party fare in political competition?
Are Republicans acquiescing to the liberals` morality
that the only just policy is to
redistribute income and power to the oppressed?
Paul Craig Roberts is the author of
The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name