Thursday, March 27, 2014

Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to America: A New Gallup Survey Details How the Republican Party Lurches Forward as a Shambling Corpse of Whiteness

The Republican Party is a white identity organization. This week, the polling firm Gallup has released new data that confirms how the Republican Party--a shambling corpse of Whiteness--lurches onward in the Age of Obama:
The increasing racial polarization in party preferences is evident when comparing the data by presidential administration. Nonwhites' average party preferences have been quite stable across the last three administrations, consistently showing a roughly 47-point Democratic advantage under Clinton, Bush, and Obama. On average, 69% of nonwhites have identified as Democrats or said they were independents who leaned Democratic, and 21% have identified as Republicans or leaned Republican. 
Meanwhile, whites have become increasingly Republican, moving from an average 4.1-point Republican advantage under Clinton to an average 9.5-point advantage under Obama.
This polarization could ease by the time Obama's term finishes, in three years. However, given the already large racial gap in party preferences in his first five years, unless there is a dramatic shift among whites toward the Democratic Party or among nonwhites toward the GOP in the next three years, party preferences will end up more racially polarized in Obama's presidency than in his two predecessors' administrations.
Political pundits have generated a narrative which concludes that changing racial demographics will continue to make the Republican Party noncompetitive on a national level. The election of Barack Obama was viewed by mainstream political analysts as a coronation for "the browning of America", and the Republican Party's near, if not, inevitable obsolescence as a competitive political party.

I have thought for some time that such a claim is premature because politics is a "push and pull" story.

The Republicans have aggressively reacted to the election of Barack Obama, the country's first black president, with a strategy designed to use racial anxiety and overt racism to win the support of new white voters while simultaneously mobilizing its existing base.

The Republican Party's strategy of voter harassment, efforts to restrict access to voting for people of color, the young, and the poor, and using the courts to subvert democratic rule and consensus, is an effort to shrink the electorate so that a dying and older cohort of white voters can continue to exercise an out-sized amount of influence on American politics.

The Republican Party may be a shambling corpse of Whiteness, but it still refuses to die.

In the 2012 election, 88 percent of Mitt Romney's voters were white. Romney won 59 percent of white voters nationwide.

Gallup's finding that the Republican Party has increased its support among white voters 5 points during Obama's tenure is in many ways a function of the White Right's concerted strategy of coordinated racial appeals that range from the bizarre and histrionic (Birtherism); to outright lies (Obama is the "food stamp" president and want to give things to "lazy" black people); an intentional obstruction of governance (a record number of filibusters and holding the American federal government hostage during the debt ceiling debate by Republicans); and an assault on the symbolic power and legitimacy of Barack Obama because his personhood as a black man is incompatible with '"real (white) America".

The phrase "white identity organization" conjures up visions of the KKK or Neo Nazis. In reality, White identity organizations are any group which is dedicated to maintaining a superior relative group position for white people, and the various economic, material, political, and psychological privileges that come with the arbitrary distinction of what it means to be "white" in America.

Of course, all white people, and most certainly all white Republicans and conservatives, do not benefit from Whiteness and white skin privilege in the same way--this is of course true for poor white people (who are over-represented in Red State America).

Nevertheless, Republican elites, corporatists, and supporters of the robber baron class can use white identity politics as a means of mobilizing their base into supporting policies that in fact hurt poor, working, and middle class Americans across the colorline. The "psychic wages of whiteness" are most deeply felt when used to create an arbitrary distinction between "them" and "us"...even if it is the "us" who are hurt the most in the process.

Research suggests that the naked embrace of the Republican Party as the natural political party for "white people" is already occurring among members of the Tea Party faction. Moreover, recent work by Theda Skocpol details how the Tea Party--what is the contemporary descendant of the John Birch and White Citizens Councils--has served as a racializing experience for its white members in which they are learning to openly embrace their racial identity as central to their political decision making.

In response to this claim, there will be an obligatory protest or comment about African-Americans and their overwhelming support for the Democratic Party, such as "why can't white people organize for their own political interests too?"

Individuals and groups organize, advance, and fight for their own political goals. However imperfect in process, this is the core of interest group politics in the United States.

Of course, Black and brown folks have political interests: those political interests have been "racialized" by how centuries of personal and institutional White Supremacy have forced African-Americans and other people of color to think in terms of group uplift, survival, and advocacy. But, the Black Freedom Struggle has been radically inclusive and democratic. It created opportunities for all Americans to be more free.

There are two important distinctions to be made here.

White identity politics is based on exclusion.

The open racialization of white people's political interests is not new.

In many ways, white identity politics and White Supremacy have been the Constitutional and legal norm in the United States from the founding to the near present. Whiteness--be it mobilized and manifested by Jim and Jane, housing segregation, slavery, or "colorblind" institutional racism in the Age of Obama--is dependent upon a sense of group superiority and power over other those understood by "common sense" to be "non-white".

Although White Supremacy has morphed and changed, the multicultural, colorblind present still operates from many of its long-standing principles: black and brown people can ascend as individuals while institutional white racism still exists; white people can enjoy black and brown culture, but the former simultaneously morphs and changes the latter to their liking and sensibilities, while very often denying the equal humanity of African-Americans and other people of color in the process.

Racism works for the Republican Party in the short-term. Ironically, the Republican Party's name brand as a white identity organization in post civil rights America, and efforts to further expand its white voting base, will enable the GOP to lose by winning.

American (and world history) is replete with examples of how Whiteness does not play well with others. Consequently, the racialization of white voters' political interests by the Republican Party and its media apparatus is a threat to American democracy.

As we are seeing with the Right's efforts to subvert democracy, and eviscerate the social safety through appeals to white identity politics and white racial resentment, the further whitening of the Republican Party does not bode well for the American people in mass.

The historian Noel Ignatiev famously suggested that treason to Whiteness is loyalty to humanity. It is also true that treason to the Republican Party's white identity politics is loyalty to the Common Good, the General Welfare, and American democracy.


Werner Herzog's Bear said...

Great post. In many ways, it looks like they're doubling down on a strategy they've used in the past, a la Nixon's southern strategy, Reagan's "welfare queens," etc., but now that America is becoming much less demographically white it might be a path to defeat. Of course, all of the voter suppression going on in GOP-controlled states is an attempt to counteract these changing demographics.

Buddy H said...

I remember when Obama won his second term, there was so much discussion about the GOP widening its base; trying to appeal to hispanics and young libertarians. When I saw this, I remember thinking "naw, they'll just restrict voting," and sure enough, that's what they're doing.

FOX News is launching a Spanish language network. I believe Roger Ailes will do to Hispanics what he did to old white folks: feed them non-stop paranoid bullshit until they vote GOP. At least that's the plan. It certainly worked for old white folks.

On the subject of treason to whiteness... I committed that "crime" twenty-six years ago, when I married a black woman. In those years, I've worked many jobs (I had an unfortunate talent for picking small companies that would close up shop and lay off its workers) and I had my share of racist co-workers who would spout hate without knowing my family situation (Black wife, two mixed-race children). I remember when Amadou Diallo was shot, and a guy I worked with (Portuguese) smirked "It's open season on black people" thinking I'd chuckle along with him. I realized at that moment that I'd become Undercover White Man, hearing all the racist bullshit my co-workers would never say in front of a mixed audience.
By the way, out of curiosity, I recently checked that Portuguese dude's Facebook, and he's become a community college professor. I pity any young black man who finds himself in his class wondering why his grades are so low.

joe manning said...

Fate will not confer power upon a long suffering majority. Arizona, Mississippi, and Georgia are examples of states wherein a white minority subjugates the majority. In Texas Greg Abbot's small business-ism is drawing multitudes of Latinos into his coalition of Tea Partiers and racists--they don't have to like each other. History is replete with examples of elite's holding the balance of power by "divide and rule." What Republicans lack in numbers they over compensate for with vote suppression, gerrymandering, and electoral college tinkering. Democracy and liberalism can't work without an informed public. Hence the push to privatize and limit all things public.

Vic78 said...

Georgia and Mississippi aren't there yet. I blame electoral defeats at the Democrats' feet. They don't have a winning strategy to take advantage of the demographic shifts. It looks like they're going to wait for year 2050.

joe manning said...

The left has to be at least half as organized as the right in order to slow down the juggernaut.

smiley said...

As long as infantile wannabe pundits busy themselves calling white folks everything but children of god, the problem is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As long as infantile, wannabe pundits sustain the big lie that culturally degenerate dysgenic breeders constitute an acceptable proxy for political and cultural blackness, the problem they pretend to "critique" is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Irresponsible, infantile wannabes with no personal responsibility, no personal or professional accountability, and no viable vocational skills - comprise the single greatest treason to political and cultural blackness.

Just like crackers in the klan, lacking skills that the market values, political shit-stirring becomes the exclusive avenue available to irresponsible, infantile wannabes for pursuing their own economic ends.

Daily appeals to dysgenic breeder identity politics and dysgenic breeder racial resentment is not a service to the common good, and, is plainly treasonous to black political and cultural welfare.

Justin M. White said...

I'm sure I've brought this up, but Warren Throckmorton has also tracked the influx of blatant White Supremacists into what were conventionally not White Identity organizations, and their how their emphasis on ideological purity has been driving out their "moderates", if such a term is applicable here. This tag, Institute on the Constitution, is one of the good ones to follow for his writings on that.

chauncey devega said...

Undercover White Man. I like that. You should check out the great graphic novel Incognegro. One of the triumphs of the post civil rights era is how white supremacy has been pushed to private spaces; one of the failures of the post civil rights era is how supremacy has been pushed to private space. Quite a paradox.

chauncey devega said...

If they can suppress votes and follow the white turnout strategy--which incidentally is plenty close to a strategy outlined by a vocal white supremacist online by the way...again another story the msm won't comment on--and if the economy trends to its Great Depression 2.0 level then white reactionary voters could have their day.

chauncey devega said...

Your point on Texas is scary. When then all this crowing--which I don't buy--about Texas becoming a "blue" state.

Courtney H. said...

Buddy H:

I posted the following video on another blog and one of the posters commented that if there is going to be a race war, it will be between Whites and a new "White Club" member group, duking it out for power.

What do you think?

Guy Fawks said...

You people are the racist bigots....i bet none of you even know any white people.......You have been marked. You will lose everything if you continue your baseless rhetoric. Have a nice day. Anon.

Buddy H said...

Courtney H:

I find race war talk depressing. An old white man once told me (again, while not knowing my family situation) that there'd definitely be a race war "because blacks make up ten percent of the population and commit ninety percent of the crimes." He seemed to long for it, the way some doomsday preppers long for a chance to hide in bunkers and eat canned rations.

What the human race needs is an invasion of giant, extraterrestrial killer centipedes. Then we could all high-five each other as we battle them with flame throwers, all colors and creeds united at last.

Courtney H. said...

Just like in "Stormship Troopers" or "Independence Day?"

Buddy H said...

The correct spelling is Guy Fawkes.
I hope the centipedes get you.
Have a nice day.

chauncey devega said...

I will leave up "Guy Fawks" as an object lesson in how white racism hurts the intellectual and cognitive abilities of white folks.

Fawk Guy said...

Yet you came here. We don't visit sites where you be. True to form; if more than one black person is talking whites are trying to infiltrate. The one true construct you can y'all can lay claim to without copyright is racism yet you refuse to claim your invention. Next time nonwhites are being racist, you stop 'em and say "hey that's our ish, stop biting. We the originals."

chauncey devega said...

Race war foolishness in a society where the rich and green is the color that counts the most. Sigh.

RPM said...

While I'm not a fan of government and all the shitty wars and exploitation it does, we are stuck with one at the moment so we should all vote. And I mean ALL Citizens. Like Australia we should make voting compulsory. Instead of fining people for not voting (as they do over there) we should give them a 100 dollar tax return if they vote in all federal elections. $200 if they vote in all local and federal. If you were in prison you should still be able to vote. If you have a felony conviction you should still be able to vote. I would go so far as to say if you have lived in the country for a year or more you should be able to vote even if you aren't a citizen yet. It was called the voting rights act not the voting privilege act. Rights should be universal not based on some bigots whim. If voting was mandatory than we would see not only the elimination of republicans but the whole 2 party system. If voting was mandatory we would be able to get money out of politics. Imprison all tax dodgers and take all the money they stole and use it for the non millionaire Americans. If everyone voted racists would lose, the top 10% can go back to paying 91% of their income through whatever means in taxes, which could be used to increase the minimum wage to the U.S. worker to about $25 an hour(which is what it should be for inflation) and put people to work on infrastructure. Even racist poor whites would prefer that society to the one we have now.You'd still have bigoted assholes like that Guy Fawks nut job but their institutional racist power system would fade away. Voter suppression happens because they know they will lose as they are the true minority. Isn't that a fun thought? All these minority racist, uppity, conservatives keep trying to get special privileges. If all they want is a fair society, I say give it to them. Voting for all, treason to the oligarchs and equality for the masses.

Buddy H- Sorry you have to listen to that crap. I do as well, and it's always annoying. Whenever someone leans in toward me I know they are gonna say some bigoted shit. I've never been accused of being a race traitor, but that's probably because anyone who thinks like that wouldn't want me in there weird shitty little club. Do you ever tell them about your family and watch them backtrack all flustered and sweaty? The only good thing about hearing someone say some bigoted shit (besides knowing to avoid that prick in the future) is to call them on it and watch them get nervous.

joe manning said...

Wendy Davis is still a contender but Gregg Abbot has a 10% advantage. In the primaries he polled well among Latinos compared to Davis' poor showing. Demographics are more complicated per state than what the national "experts" say. Like W. Bush, Abbot's anti-abortionism, religious fundamentalism, gun-rights-ism, and libertarianism appeal to large segments of the brown community. Texas Republicans welcome people of color to become "part of the deal" to become "white," socio-nomically. Neo-liberalism has hollowed out real liberalism and has brought down the Democratic party. I think Dem's will have cyclical resurgences but only in reaction to the Republican austerity agenda, corruption, and over reaching.

aspergum said...

Maybe, joe, but I think the bigger problem is money. The right has SO much more of it, e.g., the Koch bros, and so much more willingness to use it mendaciously in pursuit of a 1%-er agenda. Bloddy MFers.

joe manning said...

Money is part of the problem alright.

skilletblonde said...

I would not trust the findings of Gallup. Nor would I give credence to most of these polls for valid data. I don't think it is the narrative that drives the polls. The polls are creating the narrative. They coexist with the Mainstream Media to propagate a certain point of view.

The country sent a message with the election of Barack Obama, yet in spite of winning two elections, his presidency continues to be discounted and minimized. President Bush did not win the popular vote in 2000, or the election. He was appointed by the Supreme Court. Neither did he legally win in 2004. However, at no time were polling firms excessively used to question his "very questionable" wins of the elections. Neither were they used against Bush's inability to capture the black vote. It was never viewed as an aberration of his presidency. Instead, the polls were used for the contrary. The MSM and the Polling Firms Announced over and over that the public was behind every Bush policy.

We can go back as far as the Kennedy Administration and you will hear a familiar narrative for a Democratic Party candidate. The question is always, can he win the South? Never is the same pressure placed on a Republican candidate, for attracting the votes of bigots. What the Obama election revealed was the South was not needed to win the election. Instead of celebrating the collation of voters that had finally put the South in its place, the old white men that run the media and the polling firms, were not going to have it. Therefore, they appear to be insinuating, because Obama couldn't win over the bigots, he should be condemn. So, we'll use the power of polling and media ,to remind white people, that they've been wronged. In other words they won't let go of the white supremacy.

I would wager a few bucks, if I had any, that Gallup does not have one black employee. Maybe...they have a token? However, their CEO Jim Clifton is a white male over 60. I counted 15 Gallup Board of Directors- listed on Businessweek's website. Out of that 15, two are woman about 50 years-old. Deepak Chopra and Shane Lopez are the only minorities. The The remaining 11 are all white males. They are all over 60 years-old except for, Justin Wolfers. He is 42.

You can also check the Quinpiac Poll. It's a poll that's often referenced by MSNBC. Again, a quick look at their website reveals their polling staff is comprised of 3 white 60-ish males, and one white female. We already know that Rasmussan and Mason Dixon are Republican Pollsters. So no need to go there. However, if you care to investigate, I'm sure that most polling firms are staffed about the same.

In summation Gallup has been wrong about several elections. According to their data, Mitt Romney would beat Barack Obama by 1 point -after previously giving him a 7 point lead. Mark Blumenthal chastised Gallup for continuously under sampling African Americans and Hispanics. Nate Silver wrote that Gallup's results were the most inaccurate of the 23 major polling firms. If you recall most polls were wrong scewed toward a Romney victory.

Frankly, these polls are an extension of propaganda. We should be demanding from Gallup what is their motivation here. Are we to wring our hands and gnash our teeth because bigots are mad? Are the sheet people coming?

fasd said...

Your an angry racist black man.

fasd said...

I guess you hate it how my wife is black and she hates Obama. Did you have a stroke?

JustMe said...

Oh, damn. I was really liking this blog, the articles, the comments from readers and discussions and such. First time here and was loving the insightful subjects, the respectful debates, the citation of facts and I totally forgot that I was white until I saw Guy Fawks comment. It makes me sad that now that the white guy has spoken, I have to say.... dude, really? Its not racism, you simply have inadequate critical reasoning skills and a low proficiency at comprehending what intelligent human beings are conversing about therefore it triggers an emotional over reaction fueled by an obvious inferiority complex and expressed as ignorance and hate.

Intellect is colorblind, even if eyes are not.