Numbers Not Fit To Print: What I Said That Upset The New York Times
February 04, 2009, 04:00 AM
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I felt a pang when I saw in Marcus Epstein`s recent article that I "may not be quite as `respectable`" as Bay Buchanan and Jim Pinkerton, my co-panelists at last week`s American Cause press conference—particularly as I have been laboring continuously in the all-too-respectable if BORING field of financial journalism for the best part of forty years.

But I didn`t edit it out. As Chairman Mao said, let a hundred flowers bloom! Diversity is Strength!

And it is true that at VDARE.COM we are prepared to publish arguments that go a lot further than many other immigration patriots.

The New York Times, in its blog item clumsily attempting to defend its February 1 editorial attacking us, to which it admitted reaction had been "furious", harrumphed that

"The harsh Republican line on immigration is usually depicted as motivated by concern about jobs, national security, drugs or terrorism. But that tune has a persistent undercurrent of fretfulness about race, culture and ethnicity."

This was not the least of the NYT`s errors. At VDARE.COM, we are indeed interested in jobs, national security, drugs etc. etc.—that is, we continue to make the "broad case" against immigration that FAIR`s Ira Mehlman noted in his review of my book Alien Nation back in 1994. But race, culture and ethnicity are no mere "undercurrent" here: they are an overcurrent, if not a tsunami.

And why not? Does anyone seriously argue (except inside the Beltway) that they`re not important?

You could read the NYT`s pieces without any idea of what we actually said at the American Cause conference. This is the News that was not Fit To Print, to adapt the famous NYT motto: Marcus talked about his analysis of the 2008 House races, concluding that immigration was mostly either a non-issue or (incredibly) stolen from the GOP candidates by "Lou Dobbs Democrats". Jim Pinkerton talked about immigration and border security. I talked about…numbers.

Of course, I realize that in itself won`t save me from the charge of "hate speech". Joe Guzzardi recently noted the phenomenon of "hate facts"— things that are true but too politically incorrect to mention. No doubt there are "hate numbers" too.

But the numbers are compelling. We at VDARE.COM think that immigration is steadily weakening the GOP (and America). In the long term, only an immigration cut-off will save it. But we also think that, in the short and medium term, the GOP could easily recoup its position by making a more effective appeal to its base: white Americans. Patriotic immigration reform is the most effective way to do this.

Incidentally, as it happens, it`s also a surprisingly effective way of appealing to minorities too. Immigration is not popular with them either, probably because they`re on the front line. For example, in 2004 the anti-illegal alien Proposition 200 in Arizona got 47% of the Hispanic vote and ran well ahead of George W. Bush.

In 1997, Ed Rubenstein and I wrote a National Review cover story, Electing A New People, basically making three points:

1] a static point: in American politics, race is destiny—the races vote systematically differently and these differences are very slow to change;

2] a dynamic point: the major parties` share of the overall vote sways back and forth according to political conditions, and the proportion they get of each race`s vote sways back and forth in parallel (but the differences between the races remain roughly the same);

3] an immigration point: immigration policy is shifting America`s racial balance toward minorities, and therefore the ability of the Republican Party to win national elections is being steadily reduced.

We updated the article in 2000 for the Hudson Institute`s American Outlook magazine.

Subsequently, Steve Sailer has been making a corollary point on VDARE.COM: the most practical electoral strategy for the GOP is not outreach, but inreach—to access more fully its white base—what we call the "Sailer Strategy".

In 2004, despite all the hypocritical pandering rhetoric, this is in effect how Bush/ Rove won, relying on the patriotic appeal of the Iraq War. In 2008, with the war still dragging on and the economy collapsing, it wasn`t enough. But McCain`s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate did get him briefly ahead in the polls precisely because it motivated the GOP base.

In 2008, according to CNN`s exit polls, whites cast 74% of the presidential ballots, blacks 13%, Latinos 9%, others 5%.

Right here, you can see why these numbers aren`t Fit To Print. Whites are still by far the largest block of voters—even in a year when their turnout was widely reported to be down. Relatively small shifts in the white vote swamp relatively large shifts in the minority vote (assuming these occur, which they do not) in absolute terms. Immigration is changing this, but quite slowly.

In other words, the conventional wisdom that the GOP can only survive if it gets more minority votes is innumerate—it is made by people who can`t (or won`t) count.

Although you wouldn`t know it from the MSM, McCain easily won the white vote—what would until the 1960s would have been called the "American" vote—55%-43%. This is actually quite a significant achievement, considering the disaster of the Bush Presidency.

I asked Ed to take this year`s result, the share of the different racial groups that McCain got in 2008, and project it backwards, calculating what McCain`s share of the overall popular vote would have been if adjusted for the racial balance that in fact existed in the U.S. at the time of each Presidential election.

The result: McCain would have won a majority of the overall popular vote as recently as 1976.

I remember 1976. Jimmy Carter beat Jerry Ford. This analysis suggests that McCain ran slightly better than Ford (although of course much worse than Reagan in 1984—he got 64% of the white vote). But McCain still didn`t win the Presidency in 2008, because public policy (which he stupidly supported) had shifted the racial balance against him.

To give an idea of what could be done: in Alabama, whites cast only 65% of the presidential votes—but went for McCain 88%-10%. He carried the state in a landslide.

(The 2008 exit polls have lots of other interesting details. For example, white Protestants, still 42% of the electorate, voted 65%-34% for McCain. White Catholics, 19% of the electorate, voted 52%-47% for McCain. Jews, 2% of the electorate, voted 16%-83% for Obama. Non-whites voted 18%-79% for Obama. These divisions are so deep and systemic that you have to wonder whether the U.S. is still a nation, with a common culture, or whether it has become a sort of heterogeneous empire. You also have to wonder at a situation where white Protestants, who after all invented the U.S., have so completely lost control of the national government.)

Of course, you won`t read anything about this in the new, post-purge National Review, where they are wittering wonkishly about the "middle class" and even (and to think they once opposed Nelson Rockefeller) the "center".

But while it may not be "respectable", the fact remains that what the New York Times calls "race, culture and ethnicity" is the most powerful way to analyze American politics. And the analysis suggests that the Democrats are in a precarious position: they are a coalition of minorities and must at all costs prevent America`s majority from uniting. Hence the NYT`s hysteria.

Moral for the GOP: Stop. Immigration. Now. Deport. Illegals. Now. Reform the Citizen Child Clause. Now.

Or when you next have the chance

At VDARE.COM, we don`t support any political party and certainly have no reason to like the Bush-McCain-Steele Republican Party. Moreover, I`ve been making this argument for more than a decade, to absolutely no effect.

But the symbol of the GOP is the elephant. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

Peter Brimelow (email him) is editor of VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced Alien Nation: Common Sense About America`s Immigration Disaster, (Random House - 1995) and The Worm in the Apple (HarperCollins - 2003)