Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rich Lowry: 'Racialized politics'

You almost get the feeling that Rich Lowry deliberately misunderstands:
"One of the most extraordinary things about the post-election discussion is how Democrats and the media are hailing a more or less explicitly racialized politics in this country."
Only if by "racialized" you mean "inclusive of more than one race." But I don't think that's what Lowry intends.

Here's the breakdown: Roughly 72 percent of Americans are white. 12 percent are black, 5 percent are Asian, and 16 percent are Hispanic or Latino (which gets included in the "white" count, which is why this adds up to more than 100 percent.)

Romney voters were 88 percent white. "We find that 2 percent of Romney's voters were black, 6 percent were Latino, 2 percent were Asian, and 2 percent had some other ethnic classification."

And Obama? "Obama's support was 56 percent white, 24 percent black, 14 percent Latino, 4 percent Asian, and 2 percent other."

Neither set of voters is entirely demographically representative of the United States population. But one set is a lot closer. And that set happened to be on the winning side.

This isn't rocket science: Republicans have spent decades appealing to white voters and deliberately repelling minority voters, usually screaming in anguish when anybody points that out. That's racialized politics. My advice to Republicans, if they want to be true to themselves but also win elections: You don't need to pander to minority voters. Just stop being jerks to them. And stop kidding yourselves that pandering to white voters is "colorblind." It's not.

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