Democrats and demography: From destiny to decline (if the GOP can ever gets its act together)

Democrats believed not so long ago that ongoing demographic shifts in the ethnic makeup of the U.S. destined them to a nearly permanent majority.  Oversimplifying, thanks to massive immigration (legal and illegal) and declining birthrates among Caucasians, ethnicities that have tended to support Dems would become their permanent majority.  Nobody can take more credit for this idea spreading to become almost gospel among political observers of all stripes than a Ph.D. sociologist named Ruy Teixera, who co-authored  a 2002 book, The Emerging Democratic Majority, which the New York Times later called "one of the most influential political books of the 21st century." 

But two decades later, that dream is crumbling, and Teixeira, a smart and honest observer, understands why and is trying to alert his party to the folly of their policy positions that he sees alienating the very groups whose rising share of the population he earlier credited as a plus for them.

Just yesterday, he published an essay in the Washington Post warning them that Hispanic voters are drifting toward the GOP.

[P]olls consistently find that Hispanic voters prefer Republicans to Democrats on inflation and handling the economy. Nearly all — 86 percent — Hispanics say economic conditions are only fair or poor and about three-quarters say the same thing about their personal financial situation. By 2 to 1 they say President Biden's policies are hurting, not helping, them and their families. In a just-released 6,000 respondent poll from the Survey Center on American Life (SCAL) on evolving party coalitions, almost two-thirds believe Biden has accomplished not that much or little or nothing during his time in office.

And in a recent Washington Post-ABC poll, Hispanics preferred the way Trump handled the economy when he was in office to Biden's performance so far by 55 to 36 percent.

Beneath this discontent is an emerging gulf between the cultural outlook of many Hispanics and the increasingly left-wing values of the Democratic Party. In the SCAL survey, half of Hispanics think Democrats are "too extreme" and slightly more than half think Democrats don't share their values. A healthy minority, 42 percent, believe the Democratic Party "looks down on people like me." This is not to say Republicans come out any better on these measures — they don't — but simply to illustrate how many Hispanics struggle to identify with Democrats.

Take the issue of racism in our society. Is racism "built into our society, including into its policies and institutions" or does racism "come from individuals who hold racist views, not from our society and institutions?" In the SCAL survey, by 60 to 39 percent, Hispanics chose the latter view rather than the received wisdom in Democratic circles that racism is baked into society and institutions.

In contrast, White, college-graduate liberals chose the "structural racism" position by an overwhelming 81 to 19 percent.

In a nutshell, the Democrats have become the party of the educated elite and give them what they want on social issues, scorning the more traditional values of those who have been processed through the propaganda mills of higher education.  These elites donate vast sums to the Democrats and pretty much call the shots.  They comfort themselves that they have compassion for and serve the interests of the "oppressed," but the oppressed no longer are working-class Americans, who have been replaced as objects of pity compassion by Blacks, homosexuals, and in the few years especially transgenders:

[C]onsider the question of transgender athletes participating in team sports. Should "transgender athletes ... be able to play on sports teams that match their current gender identity" or should "transgender athletes ... only be allowed to play on sports teams that match their birth gender?" By 66 to 30 percent, Hispanics in the SCAL survey choose the second option. For Hispanic men, the margin is 74 to 22 percent. White, college-graduate liberals, on the other hand, believe eligibility should be dictated by current gender identity by 68 to 31 percent.

The same goes for other luxury beliefs of the educated technocracy:

The same pattern can be observed on issues ranging from the funding of police departments to the "greatness of America" to the continued use of fossil fuels.

Teixeira's message is not welcomed by these groups, not just because it no longer indulges their fantasy of permanent power, but also because it shatters their belief that that are the caring custodians of the interests of the lower orders — so much so that he has left the Democrat establishment–aligned Center for American Progress and joined instead the GOP establishment–aligned American Enterprise Institute...even as he continues to write advice on how the Democrats can reform and once again put themselves on the path to power.

Teixeira, whose surname is Hispanic, has written less about Asians, but Asians are another rising ethnic minority group, one growing even faster than Hispanics.  According to Pew:

Of course, Asians are a highly diverse category, encompassing Indians, Chinese, Japanese, and other very different groups with differing values and traditions.  But in general, Asian cultures are not as wedded to traditional sexuality issues as Hispanic cultures.  More importantly, Asian ethnicities strive to become highly educated and tend to succeed in spectacular fashion, especially when not being racially discriminated against, a practice among elite colleges that has now been declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

But the Democrats/educated elites are wedded to their paternalistic attitudes toward African Americans and are declaring their horror at the latest SCOTUS ruling making racial preferences illegal and have denounced the Court's ruling on the cases brought against Harvard and the University of North Carolina by Students for Fair Admissions.  They call this effort to prefer Blacks over better qualified Asian Americans "equity."  Most of the elite schools that practiced such racial discrimination are vowing to find other means to accomplish the same ends.  These are the very schools that are the dream destinations for a large cohort of young Asian Americans and their families.

At the University of California's two most elite campuses, Berkeley and UCLA, around 50% of entering classes have comprised Asian American students ever since California voters passed a measure outlawing racial preferences there.  Caltech, another elite school that doesn't practice racial exclusion of Asian Americans, currently has 44% of its undergraduates identified as Asian.  Wedded as they now are to the concept that the important institutions (with the notable exception of professional sports) should "look like America" (meaning various ethnicities present in proportion to their share of the population), Democrats seem determined to frustrate the educational dreams that motivate many Asian American parents and children.

Democrats run a big risk of becoming perceived as hostile to the aspirations of Asian Americans to acquire the educational credentials needed for membership in the educated elite that constitutes the new demographic base of the Democrats.

Then there is the issue of crime.  Democrat politicians espouse compassion for criminals over compassion for their victims.  Often this compassion is expressed in claims that Black criminals are being unjustly arrested and convicted at higher rates than other ethnic groups, and in efforts to defund police and elect prosecutors that will go easier on offenders who are Black.  In the successful recall election of Chesa Boudin, the Soros-funded D.A. of San Francisco, evidence shows that Asian Americans strongly supported his ouster.

If Democrats lose even more support among Hispanics and Asian Americans over time, their future is dim.  But it remains a big question whether the GOP has the wit and the guts to make this happen.

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