Is Demography Destiny?

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Thomas Sowell @ The American Spectator:

Some media pundits see in the growing proportion of non-white groups in the population a growing opposition to the Republican Party that will sooner or later make it virtually impossible for Republicans to win presidential elections or even to control either house of Congress. But is demography destiny?

Conventional wisdom in the Republican establishment is that what the GOP needs to do, in order to win black votes or Hispanic votes, is to craft policies specifically targeting these groups. In other words, Republicans need to become more like Democrats.

Whether in a racial context or in other contexts, the supposed need for Republicans to become more like Democrats has long been a recurring theme of the moderate Republican establishment, going back more than half a century.

Yet the most successful Republican presidential candidate during that long period was a man who went completely counter to that conventional wisdom — namely, Ronald Reagan, who won back to back landslide election victories.

Meanwhile, moderate Republican presidential candidate after moderate Republican presidential candidate has gone down to defeat, even against Democratic presidential candidates who were unpopular (Harry Truman), previously unknown (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) or who had a terrible economic track record (Barack Obama).

None of this seems to have caused any second thoughts in the Republican establishment. So long as that remains the case, demography may indeed be destiny — and that destiny could be Democratic administrations as far out as the eye can see.

If non-white voters can only be gotten by pandering to them with goodies earmarked for them, then Republicans are doomed, even if they choose to go that route. Why should anyone who wants racially earmarked goodies vote for Republicans, when the Democrats already have a track record of delivering such goodies?

An alternative way to make inroads into the overwhelming majority of minority votes for Democrats would be for the Republicans to articulate a coherent case for their principles and the benefits that those principles offer to all Americans.

But the Republicans’ greatest failure has been precisely their chronic failure to spell out their principles — and the track record of those principles — to either white or non-white voters.

Very few people know, for example, that the gap between black and white incomes narrowed during the Reagan administration and widened during the Obama administration. This was not because of Republican policies designed specifically for blacks, but because free market policies create an economy in which all people can improve their economic situation.

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

4 Responses to “Is Demography Destiny?”

  1. 1

    Nan G

    Lots of Western European countries are in negative population rates (shrinkage).
    Lots of the ethnic Europeans are elderly.
    In Italy it is nearly 40% of all the ethnic Italians.
    Even Muslim countries have declining population rates.
    Turkey’s is only 1.5 (it takes a 2.2 baby per woman to have zero population growth) although their Kurds are still having 4 or 5 children in an average family.
    In Gaza, West Bank and Arabs inside Israel there used to be an average of 8 babies per woman.
    Now it is only 3 just like their Jewish neighbors.
    In Iran the leaders call lack of having babies a form of genocide and warn against the tidal wave of elderly people with no one to care for them.
    Russia used to try to reward extra babies with bigger housing and stuff. (It didn’t work.)

    Even here our Hispanic population is beginning to have fewer babies than it did only 20 years ago.

    But I guess the real issue is; does conservatism only appeal to whites?
    Why should it?
    Economic conservatism celebrates private enterprise.

    My favorite car salesman was a man from Ethiopia.
    Our favorite store is run by Vietnamese people.
    During the Rodney King riots it was the Asian business owners who made media history by standing on their rooftops and protecting their businesses with arms.
    In India people are every business-oriented.
    The Chinese, though unconstrained by scruples, ruthlessly run businesses and even commit suicide when their practices are shown to have been dangerous.

    So, are we talking business or SOCIAL issues?
    Socially, conservatives have been absorbed by fiscally conservative Democrats who (for example) embrace gays.

  2. 3


    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    You mean like the Hollywood crowd who buries their money into off-shore accounts or establish residency in a foreign nation with lower tax liabilities? Do you think that Tina Turner moved to another country because she loved the food?

    The wealthy are mobile. All those 1% bundlers for Obama are not stuck in one place and can move their money around, to lower tax climates, yet you are part of the 99% that is too damn stupid to understand that.

    So, Lib1, why don’t you tell us why you are so supportives of Marxist lite policies? Or has the DNC not provided you with a talking point response on that?

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