The Scared, White GOP

Wray Herbert digs into the reasons for the Republican Party’s right turn in The Huffington Post.

The 2012 election, according to sociologist Michael Kimmel, merely crystallized a much larger cultural and economic shift already taking place in the country. In his top-selling new book, Angry White Men, Kimmel describes the gradual but profound changes that have marginalized — and continue to marginalize — white men in America. These changes, Kimmel argues, have left the country’s once dominant group with a sense of “aggrieved entitlement” — the sense that their rightful place has been usurped.

If white voters are angry now, just wait. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that, by the year 2042, racial minority groups will make up the majority of the nation’s population — and voters. Nobody really knows how this so-called “majority-minority” shift will affect Americans’ attitudes and actions, although many believe it will spell even further trouble for conservatives and Republicans.

Others aren’t so sure. Those include Northwestern University psychological scientists Maureen Craig and Jennifer Richeson, who raise another possibility. Might this demographic shift have the opposite effect, leading to greater endorsement of conservative political ideology, at least among white Americans? Psychological theory supports the idea that conservatives, if threatened, will circle the ideological wagons, embracing rather than moving away from conservative values. Craig and Richeson decided to explore this idea empirically, to see if the likelihood of an increasingly diverse racial landscape influences the politics of white Americans, and if so, how.

…the scientists found that those who were thinking about the changing racial landscape of the country — these white Americans were more likely to endorse conservative policies. What’s more, as described in a forthcoming article in the journal Psychological Science, this move to the right was clearly motivated by white fears of losing status. Intriguingly, the conservative shift affected both race-related policies and policies unconnected to race — suggesting that psychological threat is capable of triggering a broad political shift.

Think about this. We’re not talking about threats to life and limb here, but rather abstract concerns about a loss of status. And not even an imminent loss of status, but instead one that’s coming three decades down the road. These results suggest that predictions about the decline of the Republican Party may be premature, indeed that more white Americans may join the conservative, Republican ranks as this threat gets closer. But the GOP they join will be whiter and whiter, and the political landscape will be more and more racially polarized.

Cross-posted from The Sensible Center

http://thesensiblecentercom.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-scared-white-gop.html

         

Author: Ballard Burgher

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10 Comments

  1. If white voters are angry now, just wait. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that, by the year 2042, racial minority groups will make up the majority of the nation’s population — and voters. Nobody really knows how this so-called “majority-minority” shift will affect Americans’ attitudes and actions, although many believe it will spell even further trouble for conservatives and Republicans

    These results suggest that predictions about the decline of the Republican Party may be premature, indeed that more white Americans may join the conservative, Republican ranks as this threat gets closer.

    The up and coming younger white generation will vote increasingly for Democratic candidates, or more moderate candidates, who don’t insult their friends. Like it or not, society is becoming more racially integrated. Until Republicans face the music they will continue to lose.

    Because Obama is president, I find it hard to believe that any whites who are not already voting Republican, would change from the D to the R column. The current Republican politicians have scared white Americans with Obama-hate so much that I think it’s safe to say that people know who are the racists and bigots (the very people who would fear a changing demographic). As Bush said, “You’re either with us or against us”. I can’t imagine more white people voting Republican if the next Democratic presidential candidate is white.

  2. Until Republicans face the music they will continue to lose.

    I wouldn’t count them out just yet.

    They’ve managed to convince enough voters that “socialism” is still enough of a problem to not check the “D” box at the ballot.

    They figured out a way to convince lower and middle class Americans that raising taxes on their bosses would for some reason be a horrible idea, and a vote for a “low taxes on the rich” candidate would help them somehow.

    Despite all the scientific evidence to the contrary, they’ve talked a significant portion of the public into believing that not only is climate change not real, but is in fact a sinister liberal conspiracy.

    And of course there’s the increasingly popular notion amongst conservatives that if you’re in any way discouraged from treating non-Christians as second class citizens, your “religious freedom” is somehow under attack.

    I wouldn’t count these folks out just yet. Not by a long shot.

  3. The GOP has been feeding people a diet of fear, BS, and division for a very long time, so it’s going to take more than a few election cycles to dissapate all that toxic programming. I think it will eventually happen though. Demographics will play a part, so will the fact that truth can only be hidden for so long before it breaks free. When that happens, let’s hope it breaks out with a vengeance.

  4. “If white voters are angry now, just wait. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that, by the year 2042, racial minority groups will make up the majority of the nation’s population — and voters. Nobody really knows how this so-called “majority-minority” shift will affect Americans’ attitudes and actions, although many believe it will spell even further trouble for conservatives and Republicans.”

    I seriously doubt though that the R party as it exists today will still be around in 2042. Oh there will be a conservative party, but if Americans haven’t purged them from the SC and changed some laws and minimized corporate influence and enacted universal healthcare, all by then, I would be amazed.

    The alternative to that is a very ugly autocracy with an elite minority white power ruling the masses and the end of civil liberties and a free society.
    Somehow, I don’t see that happening. I see a revolt before I see that.

  5. The growing obsolescence of the GOP is pretty obvious these days, so I really don’t understand this argument. By 2042 it doesn’t much matter how radically conservative the Republicans are, because a ‘minority majority’ is going to make them politically irrelevant. In fact, the more extreme they get, the more they guarantee their own obsolescence by consciously excluding the minority voters they’ll need for a majority.

    Their only hope is to become more inclusive, which means a shift to the center, and that would surely fracture the GOP. They’ve simply put themselves squarely on the wrong side of history.

  6. sk

    The alternative to that is a very ugly autocracy with an elite minority white power ruling the masses and the end of civil liberties and a free society.

    Very perceptive; much like South African apartheid. Our politics is so raucous I don’t see a revolt; the public is more tuned into instant information and reacts quicker to stem autocracy than happens in less informed nations.

    Just saw a devastating ad against a GOP lady candidate with the Koch brothers pictures large in the background and listing all the ways the candidate would do their will. Very effective.

  7. LOL. I wonder how the non-whites Reps, all three of them, feel when they read the stuff above. :-)

  8. Just saw a devastating ad against a GOP lady candidate with the Koch brothers pictures large in the background and listing all the ways the candidate would do their will. Very effective.

    Thanks The_Ohioan, I’d like to see that ad.

    A big difference between anti-Democrat Ads and anti-Republican Ads is the Democrats clearly explain what they think the problem is while the Republicans pretend their ad is for the democratic candidate.

    In other words, the Democrats let you know who they are and what they think. The Republicans… Not so much.

  9. Thanks The_Ohioan!

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