The Conservative Face of the Changing Demographics in America

How will future Democratic politicians cater to this growing demographic?

How will future Democratic politicians cater to this growing demographic?

When Obama was re-elected a lot of people commented on the fact that this was due to the changing demographics of the US. Conservatives did so in a bitter and resentful way, like Bill O’Reilly who said that “white establishment is no the minority” and that those supporting Obama do so to get hand outs. On the liberal side comments were more derogatory, like Bill Maher’s, “White people vote for white people like it’s going out of style /…/ And like most things white people do, it’s going out of style.”

Clearly, the Democratic party looks poised to rule for a long period of time, given that the Hispanic part of the population is just going to increase in the future. But should liberals be all that happy about this? Hispanics may vote for the Dems, but they are much more socially conservative than the White Democratic voters.  And this could mean troubles ahead for social liberals.

While the leftist think tank Think Progress justify their headline, “The Emerging Pro-choice Majority” with a single exit poll, the larger and nonpartisan sources tell a different story. According to Gallup the trend is clear: back in 1995 those who identified as pro-choice were 56 percent while the pro-lifers were a mere 33 percent. In 2012 the tables had turned with pro-lifers at 50 percent and pro-choice at 41 percent. Under this period Hispanics increased from 10 to 17 percent of the population. Another survey from the Public Religion Research Institute showed that Hispanics are distinctly more against abortion than the rest of the population with 79 percent viewing it as morally wrong. The same number for all Americans, according to Gallup is 51 percent.

No doubt this isn’t the only issue on which the predominantly Catholic Hispanics are more conservative than the average White liberal. And yet the political leftists are enthused by the changing demographics, mocking backward-minded White conservatives for their fear of change. I wonder how long they can stay in that bubble before reality kicks in. Because politicians will inevitably start fighting over the Hispanic vote and find that a socially conservative agenda will serve them well in that regard. When Democratic candidates openly begin to declare themselves pro-life, White liberals may succumb to the well-known White resentment and ask for their country back. But then it will be too late.

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12 Responses to The Conservative Face of the Changing Demographics in America

  1. adambnoel says:

    I really see this as a potentially stratifying demographic shift in America. Multiculturalism is incoherent. Multiple cultures can’t exist peacefully without, eventually, assimilating into a single culture or factionalism occurring. Multiculturalism prevents assimilation so the only other possibility is factionalism.

    The question is how long can factions co-exist peacefully within a two party political system. When the south-western states are majority Hispanic will there be movements to separate? These are all important possibilities that need to be considered.

    • Staffan says:

      I was wondering about that too. I’m not that familiar with latin culture. I know from here in Europe that some groups, like East Asians are completely peaceful and law abiding whereas others, especially Muslims, constitute a serious problem in terms of violent crime and human rights.

      Then there is the financial side of it. Who is going to pay taxes to fund all the public expenses? The really rich are good at evading taxes so if the wealthy middle class are made to pay for everyone else they may become secessionists or simply move to Australia or even Canada.

      • adambnoel says:

        It all seems to be how well they fit into the overall economic structure of the place they are moving to that predicts how peaceful they are. In the case of the Hispanics I am pretty confident that they have more economic power then the African-Americans so perhaps the situation is not as bad. As far as I know there is not as much tension between the White Democrats and the Hispanic Democrats but in the future, who knows.

        In regards to the situation in Europe it seems to be the compatibility of the culture that determines how well the culture assimilates. In the case of Islam the cultures are fairly different (To my understanding Islam is a lot more church-centric, the Christianity that founds the basis of Secular Europe is very work-centric in the countries that had a Protestant reformation).

        In the case of the East Asians the assimilation occurs after a few generations. The East Asian work ethic is a result of most Asian cultures recognizing it as an important facet of Western Civilization. Chinese scholars have stated before they consider the Protestant Reformation one of the key parts that made the west’s ascendancy possible.

        If that’s the case, the Latin Americans have the fact their version of Roman Catholicism is closer to the roots of the religion and so they are definitely to the right of where the Democratic party normally stands. In addition Latin Americans have their indigenous cultural influences that further separates them from the Democrats who are still very European.

        If the continued diversification occurs I can see the parties basically dividing along racial lines due to the two-party system with the European Democrats becoming increasingly alienated as their sacred policies of anti-abortion and such turn against them.

        This is actually a problem most of the Western World faces. If Secular societies are not going to have children then their values will be threatened as they become a minority. We could argue that more people will convert to a Secular society but that does not seem to necessarily be the case so we are stuck with an inevitable decline in Secular values short of religious reformation.

  2. Staffan says:

    Sadly, liberals are rarely concerned with being outnumbered. They assume that their cultural dominance (although they wouldn’t use that expression) will resist any foreign influence. And they also reject the idea that their could be genetics involved in the formation of cultures, which would further undermine their position.

    I say “their position” but being an eclectic, I share a lot of their values and end up losing as well : (

    • adambnoel says:

      I think the reason is similar to how crowd psychology works at the top of a bubble. Liberalism is the end product of the development of Western Civilization (just as fatalism was in the development of medieval Islamic) so it feels like liberalism is the solution to everything. As time goes on the diminishing returns of liberalism are felt, hostility grows towards the philosophy and cracks begin to emerge in society.

      We are at the beginning of the end of Western Civilization I think. Spengler’s civilization model seems to suggest to me that the collapse of art in the 1960s and the current state of the world economic system are signs of this. The policies of the 70s that seemed smart are looking like they could backfire in the long run.

      I agree with you on losing as well. I agree with a lot of liberal values but they are not tenable in the long term. They are too utopian. Modernity and post-modernity are strange periods in human history. I do not see them lasting forever.

  3. Staffan says:

    We’ll see soon enough. Hopefully the transition to whatever comes next won’t be too painful. Thanks for your input btw; it seems you should have a blog of your own. I’d read it : )

  4. Benjamin David Steele says:

    Of course, Americans were saying the same thing during the 19th century and early 20th century (e.g., Irish ‘niggers’).. It took a long while before non-Anglo Europeans became assimilated and considered white. Germans had their own communities, entire cities in fact, where they taught in German in public schools and had newspapers written in German, and they are the single largest ancestral group in the US.

    If we successfully assimilated proud Germans, then I wouldn’t underestimate the power of assimilation in American society. All we need is another World War and we’ll be on our way to a new phase of right-wing paranoia that will force oppressive assimilation onto all populations, whether they want it or not. That is how German culture was nearly annihalated in the US. Peaceful assimilation is theoretically possible, but we Americans have never been good at it.

    As for Hispanics, many of them are already being assimilated under the white category. We now speak of white Hispanics and non-white Hispanics.

    • Staffan says:

      True, they are assimilated but when we talk about large groups of immigrants assimilation works both ways – they also assimilate you. That’s what happens when pro-life becomes more common that pro-choice. So liberals undermine their own positions by being pro-immigration, naively assuming that they are making friends.

      • Benjamin David Steele says:

        Indeed, assimilation does work both ways. Much of American culture is German in origin. The Midwest is defined by that German and Northern European inheritance, and through the Midwest all of American society has been influenced. Assimilation was imperfect, though. There are still a massive number of non-English speakers in the North: German, French, etc. Part of that has to do with laws. The North, including the rural Midwest, has been more accepting of ethno-cultural diversity. Because of this, there are fewer English-only laws in the Northern states.

        The big thing with assimilation or resistance thereof is that is hard to predict the results, especially with the hispanic population as they existed in large numbers in the present US territory long before there was a country called the US. They haven’t gone away in all of these centuries and, besides oppressive measures, they are unlikely to go anywhere. Much of the Southwest has always had a majority of its population that speaks Spanish at home. They always have spoken Spanish, long before the US annexed their ancestor’s homeland.

        Before that, Britain annexed (so to speak) the Dutch colony of New Netherlands which became New York City, along with its Dutch culture that has shaped modern American culture as much as any Anglo tradition. The Dutch were perfectly fine with other cultures and hence embraced multiculturalism. Netherlands was the soil out of which classical liberalism and much of the Enlightenment was born, both Spinoza and John Locke (the latter sought freedom of speech in Netherlands when the English sought to oppress him).

        I see a place like the US as a fascinating experiment. It might gloriously succeed or gloriously fail, but it will no doubt be interesting no matter which path we attempt to take. North America has been one of the most multicultural places on earth in all of human history, and that was true even during colonial times.

        I hope it doesn’t turn out badly and we shouldn’t be naive about it. But this multicultural experiment began many centuries before we were born.

  5. Staffan says:

    It will fail, I think, because every group has its own values but the law can only codify on set of values. It’s possible that it will break up in different less heterogenous parts – Midwest, South, South West etc – starting off like a weakening of the federal government and then turning gradually more autonomous.

    Yes, it will be interesting to see. Things are happening so fast now.

    • Benjamin David Steele says:

      I’m actually more or less fine with it failing.

      You can’t have a good experiment, if you’re afraid of failure. Those people who weren’t risk-takers were less likely to immigrate to America in the first place. We aren’t a conservative-minded people, in that sense. Americans often react to too much change that happens to quickly, but in the end we are a people who love change… for good or ill.

      I have strong left-libertarian tendencies (or what some call liberaltarian). I love democracy, but I think American democracy already has failed on the large-scale. Where democracy works best is in localized direct democracy where communities make their own decisions and suffer their own consequences. Of course, globalized nature of the economy and the ecosystem makes isolationism an impossibility, at least without a massive die-off.

      I’m a Northerner who supports secession. I sometimes think the North and South have done each other more harm than good.

      http://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/sin-of-the-north-sin-of-the-south/

      The South made a big mistake by attacking Fort Sumter. That turned so many states against them. Many of the Midwestern and border states didn’t like the federal government any more than they liked the Southern aristocracy. They just wanted to be left alone. If the South had been patient and played a waiting game, they easily could have gained their independence. Starting a war was a very naive choice they made.

      It would have been interesting to see this how this American experiment would have happened with a peaceful separation between North and South. Maybe separation between other regions as well.

      Lincoln feared such disintegration because he saw all the warring kingdoms in Europe and wanted to avoid that. I understand his fear which was well founded, but ultimately he may be proved wrong. The ideal of the Union is a lovely notion, I can’t deny it. Paine was also another who wanted to unite people rather than see divisions grow. Even though I hold such values, I also want a democracy that actually works.

      • Staffan says:

        I wouldn’t worry about war breaking out. If you look at Europe it has plenty of hostility but no country is looking like it would start a war with another (depending on how you define the situation in Russia). I doubt even North Korea will do so.

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