Friday, January 07, 2011

Democrats Becoming A Minority Party Comprised of Minorities

If minorities are so supportive of Democrats, why aren't there more minorities holding elected office under the Democrat banner?
Major Garrett, formerly of Fox News and now writing for the National Journal, pointed folks to an article written by one of his colleagues, Ronald Brownstein, which was a dissection of the racial demographics of the voters in the latest national election. The report is disturbing in that it points to a real divide in this country along racial lines in regards to party affiliation and really more to the difference in attitudes towards the role of government in our lives as it relates to race.

It shows that the Democrats have a good grip on the black and Hispanic population, although in this mid term election that grip showed signs of loosening. The real difference came down to the general sense in the minority community that government should play a bigger role in their lives and the reasons were varied but they seemed to revolve around a theme of them believing it was the role of government to not only level the playing field but to punish those they viewed as being successful. There was not a sense that they wanted to improve their station in life as much as there was a sentiment that they wanted others brought down to their level.

The facts on the ground however run counter to this view as the Republicans made good strides in getting minorities elected to office at all levels from state up to the federal.

The Republicans seated two new African Americans in the House, (Allen West - FL, Tim Scott - SC) while the Dems merely held on to seats already occupied by blacks. The Republicans added a Hispanic to the Senate, (Marco Rubio - FL) while once again the Dems merely held on to what they already had. In fact the most overlooked fact from this last election was that the Dems elected no new members and instead simply voted for their incumbents. Hispanics and women picked up governor's seats running on the Republican ticket while Democrats were soundly beaten.
Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University, says that blue-collar disaffection from Democratic candidates reflects not only immediate economic distress but also a longer-term process of alienation from the party. “The noncollege whites … see themselves as a declining minority within the national Democratic Party, where they have very little control or influence on the policies,” he says. “The party is controlled by the coastal elites and nonwhites, and that is a very different kind of Democratic Party” than a generation ago.

Any discussion of race is an invitation to disaster, but the one point I would like to make is it seems the white community which so often demonized, is actually the one sector that can look beyond race and elect the person. Those whites just didn't vote for the old white guy. They voted for the black, Hispanic, middle aged, Asian and female candidates as well. If anything, the recent demographics for this new congress in fact show that the Republicans elected are younger then their Democrat counterparts.

The message that should be sent appears to be if you want to succeed in life and not merely float along with the tide you should look towards the Republicans or at least their policies to improve your chances.

The report is lengthy, but if you get the chance take the time to read it and digest it. It is a good report and everybody will glean something different out it, which means this is a good example of reporting.

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