Ron Unz, VDARE's candidate for America's most intelligent high immigration enthusiast, here responds to Steve Sailer's pieces on electoral demographics and the future of the Republican party. Says Unz: GOP attacks on affirmative action the way to go. Sailer explains why immigration reform the better route for splintering the burgeoning left-liberal/anti-American/anti-white coalition.
VDARE's data-mining in the election results has generated lots of interesting mail. I'll try to work my way through some of them over the next couple of weeks. Here's one to start with.
Fresh off his initiative victory outlawing bilingual education in Arizona, Ron Unz wrote me a note in response to my column. He suggested that Bush's unprecedented ethnic outreach effort had failed dismally, with the Republican Presidential candidate receiving about the lowest black percentage of the vote in history, and with W's mediocre 35% of the Hispanic vote being as high as it was mostly because of the 90% Cuban support caused by the Elian Gonzalez factor. Unz argues that since black and to some extent Hispanic support for the Democrats has "maxed out," the Republicans have nothing to lose and everything to gain by targetting the white working class through issues such as affirmative action. However, Unz doubts that the Republicans will follow this strategy, and fears that only huge and repeated political disasters will eventually persuade the national Republicans to stop trying to beat the Democrats at diversity politics.
A cogent analysis. I'd add that Ron's issue — stomping on bilingual ed — is a natural vote winner too. I haven't seen the detailed data from the Arizona vote, but I predicted before the election that Ron's initiative would win in a landslide, but lose among Arizona Hispanics, just like in California in 1998. Was I right, Ron?
In California, Ron had hoped to win a majority of Hispanics. Yet, he ended up drawing only about 35-40%. Ron had hoped that the economic benefits of learning English well would lure the majority of Hispanics. Unfortunately, Ron, who has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and a 214 I.Q., didn't fully grasp the emotional costs of imposing monolingualism on immigrants. Using the public schools to assimilate children completely into English means that their ability to speak Spanish with their parents, grandparents, and extended family back home in Mexico fades away. It's hardly surprising that many immigrants weigh the benefits and costs and come down on the side of maintaining family ties.
Unfortunately, during the early days of his California campaign, Ron made some effusive remarks about how his victory would be hollow if he didn't carry a majority of Hispanics. I hope he's learned since then that there is nothing illegitimate about the majority imposing its will on a minority. That's democracy in action. In fact, the most successful federal domestic legislation of the Nineties, the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, was largely imposed by whites upon blacks and browns, despite the fervent opposition of minority politicians.
By the way, anti-bilingualism draws a fair degree of black support in referendums. I doubt if it's a pressing enough concern to mobilize many black voters in a general election, but it's a convenient issue for driving a small wedge between "civil rights leaders" and their followers. Black parents know their kids have plenty to do at school just learning to read and write well in English. Making Spanish a necessity for ambitious Americans (e.g., President Clinton recently announced that he would probably be the last President who didn't speak Spanish) will give affluent and clever white kids just another advantage over black kids.
The important point is not that the GOP might raise its share of the black vote from 10% to 15% or even 20% by emphasizing a patriotic agenda that puts the interests of American citizens ahead of the interests of foreign nationals. That would be nice, but doubling the Republican black vote would have added fewer votes to Bush's total than increasing his fraction of the white vote from 54% to 56%.
No, the key problem facing the GOP is the mindset in the institutional press that automatically views every racial and ethnic issue as a conflict between victimized non-whites and the evil white majority. For evidence of this, check out the Americans Against Discrimination and Preferences website, which daily culls from the online media a couple of dozen new "news" articles and a half dozen or so "opinion" essays on race and gender controversies. While the op-eds tend to be highly sensible (helped along in no small measure by the frequent inclusion of VDARE pieces), the news articles are overwhelmingly driven by the crudest worldview imaginable: Minorities Are Victims, Whites Are Victimizers.
This constant propagandizing drives huge numbers of whites to the Left. Few white Democrats actually care much about minorities. What they do care deeply about is feeling morally and culturally superior to other whites. (Civil wars are always the most bitter.) The news organizations' monolithic coverage of race just feeds this kind of status seeking among fashion-conscious whites.
The result is that the GOP isn't cool. Just look at the Republican's pathetic stable of celebrities. The only category of entertainers where the GOP leads the Democrats is in game show hosts (e.g., Pat Sajak and Ben Stein).
One step toward breaking up this absurd mindset is to drive wedge issues between minorities. By showing that each minority group has its own interests that they squabble over, you can slowly undermine the disastrous presumption that every single minority complaint is the fault of evil whites.
Three big racial wedge issues are bilingualism, affirmative action, and immigration. Ron and I are agreed on fighting bilingualism. He, however, would rather attack affirmative action while maintaining the current mass levels of immigration.
In contrast, I see immigration as the key to winning all three battles. During the next recession, we must the break the presumption among politicians that mass immigration will continue forever. It's this assumption that makes them wary of lending their support to popular causes like these.
If we don't cut the numbers of immigrants during the next recession, it will become much harder to do so during subsequent recessions due to their swelling numbers. In contrast, the most emotionally powerful argument in favor of affirmative action — that blacks deserve a period of preference as reparations — declines each year. After 30 years of quotas, the argument doesn't make all that much sense to whites. After 40 years, it will make even less.
I'm interested in a campaign to limit affirmative action to native-born Americans. The moral argument for it is obvious: If you chose to come to America, why do you deserve advantages over the people who didn't choose to be born here? It would be a wonderful issue for driving another wedge between the black masses, their leaders, and Hispanics, since most blacks deeply resent preferences for immigrants. Once in place, it would begin to wean much of the Hispanic population off supporting quotas.
In summary, the failure of Dubya to do well among minorities anywhere — except among Hispanics in his home state and Eskimos in Alaska — has visibly rattled the Republican establishment. They are starting to realize that immigration is driving the country toward the Democrats.
The Republicans need an entirely new philosophy to remain viable in the long run. The best alternative to the Democrats' use of race appeals to harvest votes from racial blocs is an appeal to American patriotism. Bush says he wants to be a "uniter, not a divider." But no group can be united without being divided from somebody else. The best division would be between American citizens and non-American citizens.
The first step to running the government for the benefit of American citizens: reform the immigration system so that it serves their interests as a whole.
Tomorrow: Sailer vs. Wanniski!
[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog.]
December 14, 2000