Skip to comments.Shifts that have helped Obama can shift away
Posted on 11/09/2012 7:23:49 PM PST by Jyotishi
This time around, all the major voter consolidation processes appear to have worked to the advantage of Mr Barack Obama. Eight years earlier, those processes had favoured Mr George Bush
Right after President Barack Obama won his second term, there were the obvious questions about the wider implications of his mandate. At one level, these questions were lazy and misleading. In election after election, political pundits and this writer is not excluded faithfully identify long-term trends only to find that there is no long-term trend. That comment may sound facetious and overstated but, nevertheless, cannot be dismissed.
Take Mr Obamas victory. He nosed ahead of Mr Mitt Romney, his Republican rival, due to the rainbow coalition of minorities and young, Liberal Whites that he built encompassing Blacks (90 per cent of whom are believed to have voted for the President), Hispanics (70 per cent for Mr Obama) as well as those who support Liberal social policies and postures either because those directly affect them (gays) or as a matter of principle. Mr Romney and the Republicans were left looking like the party of old, white people, largely men.
The multi-ethnic and multicultural momentum in the US is unstoppable. More non-White babies are born in America every day than White babies. By the middle of the 21st century, the nation that George Washington founded will not have a White majority. The political appeal of groups such as the Hispanics an umbrella expression that includes people of Mexican origin (about 50 per cent) as well as Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Southern American origin, and already comprising 10 per cent of all voters will be enormous. Asian-Americans and, of course, Blacks, will also matter more and more as social coalitions will need to be stitched together much more adroitly.
The quick assessment would be that the minorities and the young White Liberals now hold an absolute veto in the US, and that the mainstream White population whatever the word mainstream may mean in this context, and it will no doubt be contested cannot hope to impose its choice on them. As such, the Democrats will keep winning as the party of social liberalism and enough economic freedom not to rock the boat. This is an accurate analysis of US politics and electoral demography as it stands in November 2012. It is prudent to note that it may not be true forever. As the old line goes, nothing lasts forever and certainly not political coalitions.
In 2004, President George W Bush won a big mandate that was described, at the time, in the same sweeping and definitive terms as Mr Obamas victory this month. Three years after 9/11, in the midst of two wars, a society roused by its sense of itself had backed the Republicans that year. A Christian current was evident, as was an urge of national identity. It linked Whites, Hispanics and sections of Blacks.
Mr Bush, who has a Hispanic sister-in-law and had advocated a more rational approach to immigration than many others in his party, made a stronger impact on Hispanic voters than almost any other Republican in history. He tapped the social and fiscal conservatism of Hispanics opinion polls suggest second and further generation Hispanics are among the population groups most sceptical about large welfare Budgets.
After the Democrats were smashed in that election in 2004, many had suggested that the US was a naturally Right nation, and the American creed to borrow Samuel Huntingtons expression encompassed more than just White citizens. This creed, it was said, was better represented by the Republicans, and they would not lose for decades to come. Today, it is said that the Democrats will rule for decades to come. Obviously both assertions cant be right.
What went right for Mr Obama this time? First, he successfully portrayed Mr Romney as a patrician, Wall Street type who lacked the common touch. Second, he attacked the social conservatism of the Republicans as being outmoded. Both these statements made sense to different, sometimes contradictory sets of voters. It helped that Mr Romney seemed to lack the folksy, roll-up-your-sleeves persona that, say, Mr Bush and this comparison is being made only because he was the last successful Republican candidate had.
Blue-collar Whites in the rust belt of the American Midwest see themselves as the losers of globalisation, of outsourcing (of manufacturing to China and southeast Asia) and of new business strategies of the big corporations. This group is instinctively anti-free trade. In 2000, it backed Al Gore and for two elections has voted for Mr Obama. This group, however, is also among the most patriotic, my country, right or wrong segments of American society. In 2004, when national security trumped economic concerns, these blue-collar Whites voted overwhelmingly for Mr Bush.
Socially and economically, and in terms of how they see the world, rust-belt, working class Whites have little in common with the more prosperous Whites from richer southern and western States, or the East Coast. The latter see globalisation as an opportunity and not a challenge, and could well have voted for Mr Romney. However, they were clearly repelled by some of the anti-gay, anti-immigrant and plain misogynist rhetoric coming out the Republican Party. Mr Romney didnt have the authority to repudiate this, and it was easy for the Obama team to paint him as unable to take on such extremism.
Take a third group southern Blacks, who are strongly Christian. They were knitted together by the Baptists into a Black-White alliance that represented a post-Civil Rights era reconciliation. This coalition took Jimmy Carter (Democrat) to the White House in 1976 and swerved towards Mr Bush a quarter-century later. In 2012, it cracked. The White evangelicals couldnt get themselves to back either a Black or a wishy-washy Mormon; the Blacks in the old southern coalition voted for a fellow African-American, as one template of identity surpassed another.
In 2012, all the major voter shifts (or consolidation processes) seemed to go in favour of Mr Obama. In a close election, it put him on top. It is worth noting that these shifts are not irreversible. To regain influence, the Republicans will need to put up a Centrist candidate who combines the platform of business freedom with a laid-back social attitude, and says he will get the Government out of both boardrooms and bedrooms. It requires a leader with the political capital and confidence to take on the evangelicals and the Tea Party and draw a line in the sand beyond which they cant go. In time, such a leader will emerge. He has to.
I stopped at “favoured”
Probably a good article but it assumes Obama has won legally. I have not concluded that yet. I’m surprised the RomneyBots are not suspicious.
Lukewarmness. Beware of it.
favoured is UN-American
You observe language variations, I see. Well, “America” is from “Americus”, Latinized form of the forename of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
Being an American of Italian descent I already know that.
Surely you're not going to dispute that the majority of people in the world (and ESPECIALLY in the USA - who are not immigrants) who spell "favor" as "favour" and "labor" as "labour" are liberals.
Now, there are exceptions. There are a few that are more conservative such as: The Daily Mail (UK), Canada Free Press...etc and maybe the above website. I stopped at "favour" for the reason you suspect but also because I have not concluded that Obama has not yet stolen this election.
And let it be known, I was never a Romney supporter. I do think he may have been cheated though. That became the primary reason why I did not continue after I stopped at "favoured".
The facts are many voted for Obama giving him his “second chance” not necessarily endorsing the Socialism they’re oblivious to.
Midterms, baby, midterms!!!
> People are moving to places like Costa Rica and pacific Islands
I know many families who have moved out of the US to Mexico and South America after 2008.
We The People, the sane ones, should be demanding a national recount. Obviously, no one in the Congress has the spine, guts, or gonads to demand a recount or an investigation into the obvious voter fraud.
There have been many news reports of fraud during Tuesday’s elections. I am certain that Hussein stole it. Favor = favour; color = colour; rumor = rumour — I too observe spelling differences. Great profiling tool, hmm? With many exceptions, of course.
The Republicans need to develop a strong national organization with state, local and precinct chapters below. The the national needs to fully support and guide the organizations that are below. If they were to do that they would get the grassroot votes and support and probably win.
This encompasses message, talking points and vision.
Yup, you still gotta read them to see where they're coming from. Some of the best conservative writing comes from those who use "favour" instead of "favor". They know how to articulate what they're saying much better than Americans especially the British (they know their language well). A great example is Stuart Varney. Another, Margaret Thatcher.
So yes, you gotta read them because if they are one of the exceptions they are usually VERY GOOD.
“...the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
“Maybe we should rename America after Thomas Crapper?
I’d include that alien, Mark Steyn.
OMG! That's actually who I mean when I said Stuart Varney! Thanks! I meant Mark Steyn.
Could have been worse. I could have said "Piers Morgan" :(
Mark is a self professed "effete milquetoast pantywaist sissified foreigner", LOL.
And the fun is just beginning - when the wave of layoffs caused by Obamacare hits, and all those youngsters and single females start realizing that their healthcare isn't really free but instead comes with a big insurance or tax bill, per the Supreme Court, I'm thinking a bunch more 'rats will be looking elsewhere for some cool guy to vote for - maybe a Ryan or Rubio. Be afraid Democrats, be at least a little afraid......
> ...I’m thinking a bunch more ‘rats will be looking elsewhere for some cool guy to vote for...
Yes, but maybe by then they’ll move on to unemployment and welfare checks, EBT cards, crystal meth, oblivion... and not care so much about voting.
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