Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Republican white nationalist vortex

If you're a national-level Republican official and care about your party tribe and nothing else, then I suppose you should enjoy this moment, because it's downhill from here. You lost the popular vote, three times in a row and six times out of the last seven, and that'll likely get worse next time and definitely for several cycles afterwards.

Some people have interpreted exit polls to show that Trump did not get a reduced share of the minority vote compared to Romney. Best analysis I've seen is that the exits aren't sampled to accurately measure sub-groups - they say so themselves - and Trump lost share with Hispanics. I'd guess the same is true with almost all other communities of color. African-Americans might be different in the short term, no longer voting for the first black president, but the Republican vote share isn't going anywhere far in that community.

The white nationalist vortex is going to drive moderating voters, those from minority communities, out of the Republican Party. The Republicans had some tiny chance of escaping the vortex if they had lost the presidency and then reconsidered anti-immigrant policies, but that's gone now. Instead the outcome is going to be which type of white nationalist vortex they fall into for national politics:

1. Anti-Muslim immigrant only (also bias against black people is assumed in all categories)

2. Anti-Muslim and anti-Hispanic immigrant

3. Anti-immigrant generally

4. Anti-immigrant with extra-overt bias against black people

5. All the above plus anti-Semitism

6. All the above plus anti-Mormon

My guess is the Republicans will mainly fall in Category 3, although there will be some Republicans in the other categories. Anti-Semitism was barely visible in American life prior to 2016. Now it's back, but I'm hoping it'll drop back down to the background noise that it was. Some evangelical Christians have a very patronizing attitude towards Judaism and Israel, but I don't think they'd support overt anti-Semitism given their attitude towards Israel and the imminent End Times.

That same group would determine the attitude towards Mormons - many in the past did not think of Mormons as Christians, and if that attitude came back it would have a powerful dynamic in Utah and other Western states.

It almost doesn't matter which category dominates the white nationalist party. In each election cycle, the white nationalist vote will be a smaller overall percentage, but will demand loyalty to the white nationalist position on immigrants. It won't be until some combination of white nationalists aging out of dominance of the conservative demographic, plus other ethnic groups becoming less tied to immigrant communities, and the unknown political affiliations of large groups of people with mixed race backgrounds, that the nativism could be replaced among conservatives.

As everyone keeps saying, we've seen this game here in California. It's worth acknowledging that it'll be another 30-50 years for the rest of the county to have California's demographics. OTOH, California Republicans today hold no statewide offices and struggle to hold a third of the seats in the legislature - we don't need that level of demographic overkill to get real change in political power.

It all might still be delayed. I read a depressing political/econ analysis saying the economy might be ready now to really take off, and Trump's inefficient tax cuts and infrastructure spending may accelerate that. The effect may be to give a "Morning in America" economy in 2018 that Trump will take credit for, and even in 2020, the incumbent advantage might overcome demographic change. On the other hand, maybe not. And demographics is not a maybe.


Fernando Leanme said...

Maybe I'll have a giant Hugo Chavez statue built in Southern California, finance a proposition to have the state renamed "People's Popular Socialist Republic of California" and change the state flag to the old Soviet hammer and sickle, which will induce all the left wing nuts in the country to move there. This in turn will reduce their voting power in other states and the democrats will continue to lose elections. The country can then turn into a God fearing nation with a drive in church next to the Walmart and Deuteronomy written into Federal law.

Arun said...

As long as the left wing nuts move to California before the census, then the 2020 reapportionment will give California more electoral votes.


Did California Zoning Cause the Trump Win? A Counter-Factual of My State's Electoral Count if Housing Supply is Elastic

Victor Venema said...

This makes it all the more likely that future elections will not be fair. The hard right believes in power and violence, not in fairness and democracy.

Hank Roberts said...

Given the preponderance of Kochpublicans in state legislatures, gerrymandering will proceed apace -- leaving fewer and fewer "unsafe seats" for the House of Representatives -- over the next few cycles.

That gives the appearance of stability -- but it's actually brittle inflexibility.

I fear our political system is capable of building a structure that grows beyond our ability to keep fiddling with it. The old analogy would be to a house of cards. The contemporary analogy would be to the Microsoft Office software model.

Hank Roberts said...

Hank Roberts said...

... partisan elites in the U.S. are as polarized today as they were around the time of the Civil War, it suggests that there is a huge gulf in the middle that’s not being responded to by the two parties,” he said. “So it speaks to the question of how this polarization has inhibited the ability for the two-party system to function.”

Anonymous said...

The appeasement and apologetics by people who call themselves scientists over at ATTP just makes me want to vomit.


Will Rahn of CBS says the major media " missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.

This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness.…Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists….That’s the fantasy, the idea that if we mock them enough, call them racist enough, they’ll eventually shut up and get in line….[We] treat the economic grievances of Middle America like they’re some sort of punchline."

I can but agree- 'Tis sport to see the Climate Framers hoist on there own meme.

Bryson said...

So how would you treat those economic grievances, Russell? Maybe as the Republicans do, as election fodder to be exploited while handing out more power and tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy?

Howard said...

Brian: This essay might make you feel good, but it's not based in reality. The exit polls are right until they don't confirm your bias. By accepting the brainwashing from the John Podesta controlled media, you cannot possibly overcome the Trump victory. He won because democrats voted for him, republicans voted for Hillary and a lot of people didn't vote.

I think the biggest bias is the highly educated city office worker lack of experience in heavy industry and industrial agriculture where the deplorables work side-by-side with Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, Sikhs, etc. Often these jobs are dangerous and working on a crew or in a plant feels a little like the camaraderie of a platoon, which is something else your typical highly educated city office worker has not likely experienced.

It's not race, it's not homophobia, its about the blue collar middle class getting screwed. When I was a kid, the Democrats stood for blue collar union working class. Now they concentrate on the poor, identity politics and pay for it by giving Wall Street the bail outs and trade deals they crave.

Trumpland by Michael Moore is highly recommended.

Fernando Leanme said...

Somebody made a comment about the extreme right being violent. I observe that both extremes are very similar. They are autocratic, intolerant, and very willing to use violence. They are so close, in recent decades we have seen hard core communist regimes in China, Vietnam, and Russia evolve towards a neofascist brand of authoritarian, highly stratified caste based regime.

I'm now observing the Castro family dictatorship struggle as Raúl Castro tries to drive Cuba towards the neofascist mold while trying to satisfy the remaining Marxist hard core's wishes to preserve the communist system even though it's such a huge failure. And what I see Raúl trying to accomplish is possibly similar to what is advocated (silently) by the hard core right wing elite in the USA, a repressive autocracy which uses modern technology to brainwash and control the population. An approach the extreme left will also use and is using wherever it gains control.

It's amazing, but what George Orwell wrote about is happening. What he didn't see was the advances in computer hardware and software, surveillance methods, and biological/medical sciences. The Castro dictatorship is working very hard in these fields, they even have a standard procedure which includes taking a series of biological samples when they "request" that suspected dissidents present themselves at the political police center for questioning. They are setting up a data base to identify suspected "enemies of the state" by their smell, looks, etc. Orwell never imagined how horrible it could turn out.

E. Swanson said...

There's talk about California leaving the USA which sounds rather familiar. Back in the '70's, there was similar talk about "Ecotopia", to be made up of Northern California, Oregon and Washington, as the result of the breakup of the USA into it's regional divisions. When I was living in CA, there was a rather sharp divide between the northern, more "liberal" half and the southern, more conservative area. To be sure, the demographics have changed considerably, but I think it's incorrect to lump all of California into a "liberal" mold using the PC test in Brian's post. Here's another example of such binary thinking:

Why shouldn’t liberal California or London break away?

Ahyway, it should also be noted that the election was very close in several states. It's been suggested that a few hundred thousand votes shifted to Clinton would have given her the majority in the Electoral College. And, the fact that some 100 million eligible voters didn't bother to participate says to me that lots of folks were so sick of all the election hype over more than 1.5 years that they voted for None Of The Above...

Mark said...

Brian-- You hope the anti-semitism will die down? Did you write this post before Trump announced his selection of anti-semitic white nationalist Stepehn Bannon to be his chief strategist?


Bryson : So how would you treat those economic grievances, Russell?

Boswell: So, Sir, you laugh at schemes of social improvement?

Johnson: Why, Sir, most schemes for social improvement are very laughable things.

bjchip said...

Trump won because the voters wanted to have a revolt. Sanders was the candidate of revolt, and the DNC turned the firehose on him and his supporters, to put out "the Bern". They succeeded.

The result was that they then brought in a candidate representing the establishment that the Republicans and the Sanders supporters wished to revolt against. Independents too, had to wish for revolt in no small numbers.

When voters who wanted revolt at the ballot box were offered that choice between a candidate of the status-quo and a candidate who was revolting, they made the obvious choice. :-)