January 6, 2016


How Trump-Style Politics Turned California Into a Blue State (JASON L. RILEY, Jan. 5, 2016, WSJ)

Mr. Wilson, who was first elected in 1990, signed a large tax increase that infuriated conservatives and damaged his poll numbers. Eager to change the subject as he began campaigning for a second term, the governor became a vocal supporter of Proposition 187, a referendum that denied illegal aliens and their children access to schools and health care. The referendum passed (though it was later gutted by the courts) and Mr. Wilson won re-election, but the victory turned out to be shallow, while the subsequent political damage ran much deeper.

Mr. Wilson's support among Hispanics was 47% in 1990. Four years later it was 25%, and ethnic voting patterns would run against Republicans for another decade. The party lost state assembly seats for three successive elections. Mr. Wilson's would-be GOP successor, Dan Lungren, carried only 17% of the Hispanic vote just eight years after Mr. Wilson had won close to half of it.

Nationally, what was once a stronghold state for Republicans became easy pickings for Democrats. Between 1952 and 1988, Republicans won California in nine of 10 presidential elections, but Democrats have won the state in the past six contests. The 1996 Republican presidential candidate, Bob Dole, won only 6% of California's Hispanic vote, compared with former Gov. Ronald Reagan's 35% in 1980 and 45% in 1984. Republicans held half of California's U.S. House seats in 1994. Today they hold 26%, and their U.S. Senate candidates regularly lose.

It seems lost on Donald Trump that demographic trends that have played out in California over the past quarter-century are no longer unique to the Golden State. But it behooves Republicans to recognize these patterns and adjust their rhetoric accordingly. Today, more minority babies than white babies are born in the U.S. each year. "The shift toward a nation in which no racial group is the majority" is already taking place," writes demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution in his book, "Diversity Explosion." "In 2010, 22 of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas were minority white, up from just 14 in 2000 and 5 in 1990."

Part of the problem in California was that the GOP's perceived animosity toward Hispanics gained notice from other nonwhite voting blocs, which led to a drop in support among the Chinese and Koreans who had a history of voting Republican. The decision to double down on white voters in a state that was becoming less white haunts the party to this day.

It's awfully hard to convince folks that you only hate some of the "other"--even if it were true.

The GOP Has Stopped Hiding Its Identity Politics (Michael Graham, JANUARY 5, 2016, The Federalist)

Conservatives once hated identity politics and victimhood--but then again, we once supported free trade, too. Perhaps our disdain for tribalism was always a high-minded, yet doomed, effort to suppress the natural, carnal state of a fallen humanity. You and I may view politics as being about ideas and human flourishing, but a lot of people believe it's really about power--about making sure scarce resources are allocated to "our" people.

But what about people like me who don't have a "people?" Where does that leave us?

Now, I'm not going to join the liars on the Left who smear all Trump supporters as racists and xenophobes. But I'm also not going to deny there's a "What's in it for us white people?" element among his support. It's one thing to support enforcing America's immigration laws (I do) and deporting people for being here illegally (we should). It's another to oppose immigration because you think there's something wrong with Mexicans.

Unlike many of the Trump fans I hear from, I don't care that America will become a minority-white country. I care about whether the next generation believes in the American ideas of liberty, opportunity, and equality under the law.

I want a tax policy that promotes the most wealth and most jobs for the most people. I don't care if those jobs go to white guys or Hispanic transgenders. I want to replace the government-run school system, not because it failed a white redneck kid like me (it did), but because every motivated student who escapes an academic cesspool for education success will become a happy, productive, low-crime, taxpaying citizen.

I want to fight Islamists, not because they're Muslims, but because they're anti-rational, murderous loonies who are, alas, inspired by a major world religion that still refuses to reform itself.

These are the ideas I "identify" with. I honestly believe that if those of us who share these ideas will reach out in smart ways to our fellow Americans of all races/genders/incomes/etc., we can persuade a majority to join us.

Many people on the talk-radio Right don't agree. Some never really believed in small government to begin with and always wanted a government that used its power to help "Us" over "Them."

Posted by at January 6, 2016 6:26 PM