Friday, November 09, 2012

Liberal Racism.

With recent examples from last week including Bill Maher's racist schtick to Obama's assocation with racist preachers, the lack of liberal self-awareness of the racism problem in their ranks is something to behold.

Prior to the election, I was puzzled by the factually devoid nature of the accusations of racism against the Republican party and Mitt Romney. For all his sins, Romney was, after all, a governor of the liberal state of Massachusetts, a state not known for its long association with the forces of reaction and racism. After the election and reading my liberal friends expressing gratitude to providence from rescuing them from the clutches of a moderate former governor of the liberal state of Massachusetts, it occurred to me that there was something historical going on.

What that historical thing was, it seemed to me, was the deployment of the same tactic of name-calling and virulent hatred used by Martin Luther to keep his flock from associating with other Protestants or with Catholics. By demonizing everyone else, Luther was able to define a boundary that his followers could see and follow.

James Taranto points out a similar phenomenon going on with modern Democrats:

How do you unite a collection of groups that have disparate and often conflicting interests? By turning them against a common enemy. In an early-morning postelection blog post, former Enron adviser Paul Krugman revealed this ugly truth:

One big thing that just happened was that the real America trumped the "real America." And it's also the election that lets us ask, finally, "Who cares what's the matter with Kansas?"

For a long time, right-wingers--and some pundits--have peddled the notion that the "real America," all that really counted, was the land of non-urban white people, to which both parties must abase themselves. Meanwhile, the actual electorate was getting racially and ethnically diverse, and increasingly tolerant too. The 2008 Obama coalition wasn't a fluke; it was the country we are becoming.

And sure enough that more diverse and, if you ask me, better nation just won big.

The lack of self-awareness here is something to behold. Krugman identifies a racially defined out-group, excludes it from the "real America," and declares the in-group to be a "better nation" than the out-group (which is, in fact, part of the same nation). All this in the name of tolerance.

McArdle cites a demographic reason to think the Democratic majority may not be a durable one:

We're heading for a showdown between the recipients of old-age benefits, and recipients of all the other kinds of benefits. Even after we hike taxes, something has to be cut. I'm betting on the oldsters to win this fight. They're motivated, and they have a lot of time on their hands. And their middle-aged, middle class children will also freak out if you cut their benefits. They will not be nearly as upset if you slash Head Start. But those kinds of decisions are going to set off a sort of Hobbesian war of all-against-all within the Democratic coalition. And the aging of our population is an even more dramatic shift than its increasingly tan hue.

The aging of the population is driven in part by the decline in marriage, which the Democrats have to thank for all those unmarried female voters. As reported last month: "The birth rate in the United States hit an all-time low in 2011, according to . . . the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . . . More than 40 percent of all babies born in the country last year, the report said, were born to unmarried women."

It also seems to me that this racial polarization can backfire for more reasons than just the fact that race is only one way to divide up America. It may backfire if race is used as the way to divide America.

Right now, the Democrats are maxed out on the Black vote and nearly maxed on the Hispanic vote. Whatever the demographic projection may be for Hispanics, the fact remains that White voters make up 70 to 75% of the population and that more Whites voted Democrat than minorities.

In other words, there are a whole lot of White voters to vote Republican if the Republican party becomes the avowed "White" party - as it now is in the minds of minorities. Of course, the response I've heard is that's now how things are supposed to be, but this is a naive view insofar as minority groups are explicitly organizing as racial groups. At some point, Whites are going to wake up and say, hey, maybe unlimited immigration that lowers my wages isn't a good thing for me.

What if some demagogue decides, "to Hell with the media and liberal niceties; I'm going to make an explicit racial appeal - a positive appeal that doesn't demonize Blacks or other minorities"?

It seems that playing the racial game is not a good idea if everyone plays it, which is why Martin Luther King, Jr. properly looked forward to a society where race didn't matter, rather than the one we have now.

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