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How Republicans embraced identity politics

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jouris

Republican partisans’ views of who is more discriminated against are belied by the evidence.
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But life is so much more pleasant when you just ignore inconvenient reality and embrace "alternative facts." And if you already have decided to eschew expertise, there's no reason to believe anything you might find inconvenient or embarrassing. Which it would be.

Unliberal

Whites used to be , more or less, equally devided between the two parties mostly bc their political allegiances to the respective parties principles; ie, democrats bc of social platforms, Unionized labor, etc. Republicans bc of national defense, free markets, rule of law, etc.

But after 8-10 years of whites being boxed in the racist, xenophobic, mysoginist compartment, no matter how much republicans tried to explain not the case, the media pounded so much on it, that eventually all those whites from both sides, decided ...the heck with it, call me racist then. This I knew exactly what was going to happen. And who can blame them? Want identity politics? take some of the white variety now.

Yet the cynicism and loaded questions you hear from the liberal side are astonishing...like those reporters on election night asking trump voters “why wasn’t the crowd more “diverse”? Well, duh! If 90% of minorities positions on issues like immigration, law and order, etc, are diametrically opposed to those the republicans support, what they expect the republicans do? Change their positions and principles just to fill out a quota? Force those diverse people to be in a party just to please the media?

Truth is that this republicans-so-white meme isn’t nothing but the result of a boy who cried wolf scenario. So much liberals demonized republicans (Palin, McCain, Romney, Ryan, etc) even if they were good, honorable guys that when the real wolf came out, they couldn’t stop it because people simply had tuned out.

LexHumana

Both parties engage in identity politics, but the reason you perceive more cultural homogeneity within the Republican party versus the Democratic party is entirely due to the relative sizes of the "identities" that each party is catering to. The article notes that the Democratic party has catered to the Latino and African-American populations. In 2017, African-Americans were roughly 12% of the population. Those of Hispanic or latino origin were approximately 17% of the population. Needless to say, even if they voted as an unified block (which they don't), they would represent less than 30% of the population, so by necessity you have to reach out to other groups (including whites) to generate a majority. In contrast, the white population has, for a very long time, not needed to reach out to other demographic groups to achieve voting majorities. When the Democratic party lost significant segments of the white demographic as a reliable voting block, they were forced to become more "multi-cultural" in their outreach.
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It should be noted that this does not make all of these subgroups within the Democratic Party see eye-to-eye. Consider that alliance a marriage of convenience rather than one of convictions. In contrast, the Republican Party has a more homogeneous voting block, and is not required to make as many concessions to other subgroups.
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Interestingly, however, as the demographic shifts in the U.S. continue, the Republican Party will face greater and greater pressure to compromise with these subgroups in order to have a chance to achieve majorities. How well it can do this without disintegrating in an internal civil war will be the determinative factor as to whether they remain a viable political party. Of course, the Democratic Party is faced with the same pressures, but they have had several years of a head start to try and reconcile their competing agendas. Unfortunately for the Democrats, I do see that they can actually agree on much of anything internally any more than the Republicans can. Both are hamstrung by their sub-factions that are insistent on asserting unreasonable and unrealistic demands.

WT Economist

The Republicans embraced identity politics in 1968. They were starting to disavow it, when along came The Donald.
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Prior to 1964, the Democrats were the party of bigots, and the Republicans were the party of snobs.
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Since 1964 the Republicans have been the party of bigots, and the Democrats the party of snobs.

A. Andros

"A supporter of the more racially and culturally diverse Democratic Party, meanwhile, is more open to different religious or racial members than are supporters of the Republican Party. "

Diversity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Republicans are as "diverse" as Democrats (a dubious distinction) but the Left tends to have cataracts on this issue.

Republicans I know have Irish, Italian and Slavic (to name a very few) heritages. They are frequently evangelical Christians but most of the ones I know personally are Catholics (thank the abortion issue for that.)

Republicans are more heavily represented in rural districts while Democrats tend to live in more urban areas. Why is one locale more or less "diverse" than the other?

There is a sort of "They all look alike" mentality (we call that racism) when it comes to Caucasians on the part of the Left. A majority of college-educated women voted for Trump in 2016 -- what is operative in such a case? Religion, skin color, gender or, perhaps, financial standing? If you answer "All or most of those categories" then you have acknowledged "diversity" among Republicans.

I believe there are really only two significant "Identity" groups in today's United States and these are Blacks and Everyone Who Is Not Black. The rock-ribbed Democrats of my youth (your chance of finding a Republican among the Irish of the Rockaways or the Italians of Brooklyn fifty years ago were virtually non-existent) are now as likely to be Republicans as Democrats. American ethnic/racial/religious composition is amazingly protean.

The Hispanics are an example of what I mean. At the moment, Democrats try to win that vote through an immigration "policy" of open borders. One might think that this would nail-down the Latino(a) vote and, for now, it does so. But, spend some time in the O.C. and ask yourself, "Do the Hispanic-Americans (i.e. citizens) of this area really WANT an additional 100,000 impoverished Hispanics to move there and compete for already scarce affordable housing and municipal services?" Like the Italians and Irish of the last generation, the Hispanics will eventually vote for their individual, not ethnic, interests.

The supposed homogeneity of the GOP vote can be assumed ONLY if one insists that "All whites are the same." We don't say that about Asians ("They all have slanty eyes and look alike") and the wiser of us don't assume that all Hispanics are "the same." (In fact, there is real friction between, say, Mexicans and immigrants from the Dominican Republic.)

LIberals have created the myth of the generic "white man." I can remember when people used to say I was a WASP -- until I corrected them by pointing out that I was a) Celtic, and b) Catholic. This came as a revelation to their racist mindset.

I don't think, as a Parthian shot, that a Jew whose ancestors fled Tsarist pogroms a little over a century ago is interchangeable with someone who left Northern Ireland for America during the "Troubles" of the 1970s. But, to a certain racist mentality the two people just described would be interchangeable "White people."

It is not surprising, though, that a party fixated on race (the Democrats) should be racist.

Duckdodger

Relativity matters. And come down from the status that the uber race, class and gender has enjoyed for decades will feel like discrimination. Coupled with that, top status without having to work for it brings about laziness, entitlement and stupidity. Therefore any form of status equalization for blacks, hispanics, women, gays and/or non-Christian enrages those who's fathers and forefathers were never so challenged. The actual uber rich, the oligarchs of the Republican Party have been able to exploit this anger and manipulate the white Christian middle Americans to vote for a MAGA platform (Make white America Great Again) that they have no intention of delivering on. And those who buy in are too stupid or too enraged or too hurt to realize that they are voting almost 100% against their interests and are being made poorer, sicker and less educated by their party that only cares about making the top 0.1% richer and creating a plutocracy that is unassailable. When will white middle America wake up and realize that they have been played for fools for generations by their beloved Grand Ol' Party?

guest-oajemln

This is a point I've tried to make to some more conservative colleagues in the past when they critique the Democratic party's "Platform of Identity Politics." I would argue that all politics are identity politics. In terms of who and what someone sees themselves as, your identity is the biggest shaper of a persons worldview and political leanings. Our complicated racial history has meant that, for non-whites, society makes it very hard to separate your sense of identity from your being black, native, whatever. By virtue of being the dominant majority, most white people have had an easier time forming somewhat color-blind senses of identity. As non-hispanic whites start to shrink as a percentage of total population, that probably starts to change.

I'm not sure what long-term effects this will have on the country. Does "White Identity" become just another partisan voting bloc, or does it lead to something worse?

guest-soamwaj

One of the biggest and most consequential racial divides in America today is that between white people (to whom racial identity is not particularly meaningful) and White people (for whom race is a key part of personal definition and self-identity). In terms of politics, the former can be found in both parties, while the latter are ever more exclusively Republican.

Mr. Dean

That has always been the frustrating contradiction in the identity politics narrative. The Democratic Party includes many such identities while the Republican Party has, at least for the past 30 years, been narrowly focused on straight, white, Christian, men. That's why the culture war has been the GOP's primary campaign issue from Bush to today. The base doesn't get fired up about their signature tax cut; they want red meat about how liberals are evil. That in turn leads to sclerotic governing where the GOP controls every branch of government and has passed a single significant piece of legislation, with nothing else on the horizon. You don't vote Republic these days because of small government policies; you do it to hear more wild nonsense about the War on Christmas or whatever.