The Democratic Party is the party of diversity. Everyone knows that. Night after night, talking-heads reiterate the message they deliver podcast after podcast, op-ed piece after op-ed piece, article after article. The demographics of the American voting population is changing and white people, especially non-college educated white people are the losers. As a result they are deploying every trick in the book and some that aren’t in the face of the inevitable loss of power to curtail the emerging Democratic majority (Demographic Deluge, Democratic Nightmare: The Emerging Democratic Majority).
Now finally their ship has arrived. The Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House and this is only the beginning. They should be eagerly anticipating upcoming elections which will only serve to demonstrate that emerging Democratic majority. Right?
There are some chinks in that scenario. Have the Democrats been listening?
Trump also managed to garner the second-highest share of the non-white vote, 26%. Only George W. Bush outdid him, winning 28% in 2004… Against that, by the time of the 2020 election, there was a wealth of evidence that “racial revanchism” was central to President Trump’s political agenda. This, however, did not prevent a significant number of minority voters from casting their ballots for him. Whether or not this made a difference is an interesting question. In some cases, it might have, most notably in Texas.
…. Trump, however, did surprisingly well in the heavily Latino counties in southern Texas along the Rio Grande border with Mexico. In Starr county, for instance, which is almost completely Hispanic, Trump gained more than 55% of the vote compared to 2016. These results, as neutral observers have charged, “ended up helping to dash any hopes Democrats had of taking Texas.”
Ahead of the election, Democrats had high hopes that this time, the emerging Democratic majority was finally going to materialize. The notion goes back to the title of a book from 2002, written by John Judis and Ruy Teixeira. In it, the authors argued that the future belonged to the Democrats, for a number of reasons. There was the transformation of America’s demography, there were secular ideological changes going in a progressive direction, and there was, last but not least, the growing socioeconomic and sociocultural dominance of large metropolitan areas, rooted in the growth of a postindustrial economy — what Teixeira called “ideopolises,” organized around ideas and services….
Today’s “global cities” such as New York, London, Paris and Tokyo generate a significant part of their respective nation’s wealth. At the same time, however, they also represent quasi self-contained entities increasingly disconnected from the rest of the country.
This is a problem, for in the process, the hinterland, which at one time played a crucial role as a supplier of myriads of inputs from small and medium-sized companies, has largely become structurally irrelevant to the metropolitan economy. With it went the middle-class labor force that was the backbone of what once was known as America’s heartland but is today disparaged as flyover country, its inhabitants dismissed as deplorable and repellent racist, sexist, homophobic ignoramuses. Proof: Why else would they have voted for somebody like Trump?
After roughly two decades since the book was published, the emerging Democratic majority has still not fully materialized.
Not Fade Away….
Even if Trump should miraculously disappear from the American political scene, Trumpism, as The Washington Post’s conservative commentator Gary Abernathy has recently maintained, “Trumpism is the GOP’s future.” If this indeed should be the case, it means that the chances for the emergence of a Democratic majority are likely to be as bleak as they have been over the past two decades….
The same applies to all the white women who voted for Trump, despite his record of routinely disparaging and denigrating women. As Sarah Jaffe has put it in an article for the New Labor Forum, no single fact about the 2016 election was “more confounding than the fact that Trump’s margin of victory included a slim majority of white women voters.” Things were even worse in 2020. While Trump lost some support among white men, his support among white women remained virtually unchanged.
…. In response to the statement that “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it,” more than a third of respondents agreed either completely (11%) or somewhat (25%).
In light of the events of January 6, this is quite alarming. But it jibes with the findings of a recent study of MAGA supporters, who to a significant extent consist of white Christian males beyond retirement age. Full of resentment toward assertive women no longer willing to take shit from men, African Americans seen as not trying hard enough and immigrants accused of changing American culture for the worse, they epitomize this kind of radical political nostalgia….
Are the Democrats listening? Even by February, 2021, some people knew there was no emerging Democratic majority. Still night after night one could hear Democratic strategists/advocates/ analysts pontificate about the problem was white racists who were losing their positions of power. And there seems to be nothing elitists enjoy more than to alienate people who once voted Democratic. Finally it seemed as if the long awaited dream of the “emerging Democratic majority” was dead.
This article comments on the growing number of Hispanics who vote Republican. For a while I was clipping articles about this trend. I stopped because there were too many and the development was too obvious. Hispanics are not a monolithic people. Hispanics are not a “Middle Passage” people. Hispanics are not a 1619 people. Hispanics are not Woke. Democrats are only slowly awakening to that reality. Even Ruy Teixeira was ready to throw in the towel.
The Democrats are steadily losing ground with Hispanic voters. The seriousness of this problem tends to be underestimated in Democratic circles for a couple of reasons: (1) they don’t realize how big the shift is; and (2) they don’t realize how thoroughly it undermines the most influential Democratic theory of the case for building their coalition.
On the latter, consider that most Democrats like to believe that, since a relatively conservative white population is in sharp decline while a presumably liberal nonwhite population keeps growing, the course of social and demographic change should deliver an ever-growing Democratic coalition. It is simply a matter of getting this burgeoning nonwhite population to the polls.
But consider further that, as the Census documents, the biggest single driver of the increased nonwhite population is the growth of the Hispanic population. They are by far the largest group within the Census-designated nonwhite population (19 percent vs. 12 percent for blacks). While their representation among voters considerably lags their representation in the overall population, it is fair to say that voting trends among this group will decisively shape voting trends among nonwhites in the future since their share of voters will continue to increase while black voter share is expected to remain roughly constant.
One notes that these words were written long before the current controversy in the Los Angeles Council.
Even calling Hispanic non-white is part of the problem. The Hispanics who consider themselves to be white routinely are overlooked. Hispanics turn out to be patriotic Americans seeking to live the American Dream and who celebrate Columbus Day as if they were Italian (The Five Levels of Columbus).
As Democrats scramble for every last House district, it is learning that it cannot take the Hispanic vote for granted. It cannot take the Asian vote for granted. It cannot even take the African vote for granted (be it immigrant or Middle Passage). Yet still night after night, podcast after podcast after podcast, op-ed piece after op-ed piece, article after article, one can still hear about the fears of the white racists of being replaced. While such people do exist and in large numbers and should not be discounted, one should not overlook the possibility that it is the Republicans who are slowly and slightly changing their composition and would do so even faster if they became the party of Lincoln than if they remained the party of Trump.