The Party Of Conservative Old White Men Having New Difficulties

Republicans might have a good year this year due to the dynamics of off year elections, but long term the demographics are against them. Younger voters might not turn out in the numbers needed by Democrats this year, but Republicans will have a tough time making up for the loss of much of a generation in the future, especially as the percentage of minority voters increases. A party which has based its electoral strategy on the southern strategy (i.e. pandering to racism) is in serious trouble.

On example of this problem is that The Wall Street Journal reports that Republicans are losing the support of conservative Latino voters.

Massey Villarreal, a Houston businessman and past national chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, an independent group with chapters nationwide, said, “It’s insulting to have Republican leaders across the country applauding this racist law. I’m sure this is going to hurt the Republican Party.”

Latinos are the fastest growing demographic group in the U.S. After spending the first part of this decade loosening their historical ties to the Democratic Party, Latinos have been returning to the Democratic fold over such issues as the economy and immigration.

President George W. Bush clinched 40% of the Latino vote in 2004 with a message that struck a chord with a group that is generally family-oriented, religious and socially conservative. In 2008, President Barack Obama won two-thirds of the constituency’s vote in an election that confirmed Latinos’ emerging political clout.

Some Democrats in Congress have tried to cement that support by pushing for legislation that would overhaul immigration policy and create a path to citizenship for some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.

While the current Republican problem stems from the immigration bill, it is inevitable that the racism which is endemic in the American right wing will also create additional problems for the party of conservative old white men. Andrew Sullivan ties this into other aspects of the conservative mind set:

The GOP is now doing to Latinos what it did to gays. Its leaders – by backing the Federal Marriage Amendment in the last decade and now the Arizona law in this – are essentially saying that they do not understand how these measures could impact a minority’s collective psyche. Whatever the technical merits of either measure – and there were intellectually coherent (if, to my mind, unpersuasive) defenses of both – the lack of empathy or understanding is the real issue. It places the Republican “us” against the minority “them.” This is not just a failure of empathy; it is failure of judgment. The votes of Latinos will be massively important in the very near future, and the number of people who know and love gay people grows daily.

The Republican base’s inability to place itself in the shoes of homosexuals who are being told they could be second class citizens for ever or in the shoes of Latinos being told they are effectively guilty before being found innocent is a fatal moral and political gambit. Once your party has revealed that it cannot empathize and is willing to stigmatize an entire minority, it takes decades to reverse the damage.

Be Sociable, Share!

4 Comments

  1. 1
    Brett Robinson says:

    RT @ronchusid: The Party Of Conservative Old White Men Having New Difficulties, now with Latino voters. http://is.gd/bT7HT/04/ #p2

  2. 2
    Ralph Joseph says:

    RT @ronchusid: The Party Of Conservative Old White Men Having New Difficulties, now with Latino voters. http://is.gd/bT7HT/04/ #p2

  3. 3
    GShirley says:

    RT @ronchusid: The Party Of Conservative Old White Men Having New Difficulties, now with Latino voters. http://is.gd/bT7HT/04/ #p2

  4. 4
    JUDI POWELL says:

    http://tinyurl.com/25fytxs// Old Conservative party having trouble with liberal values

2 Trackbacks

Leave a comment