Let’s face it: We are starkly divided by race

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(AP)

Among white voters in Georgia, Donald Trump enjoys a massive 46-point advantage over Hillary Clinton, says the latest Monmouth University poll. Only one in five non-Hispanic white Georgians say they will vote for Clinton, and outside metro Atlanta the number falls into single digits.

Among everybody else in the state, Clinton enjoys a 70-point lead. Just 9 percent of non-white Georgians — fewer than one in 10 — say they will vote for Trump. In short, if you tell me your race, I can tell you how you’ll vote with a depressing degree of accuracy. We are a people starkly divided, and that dividing line is race.

The consistency of it is striking: Every single minority group of the size needed to generate national polling data has decided to cast its lot with the Democratic Party. Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, African Americans, and Jewish Americans are all voting overwhelming for the Democrat, and you can add gay Americans to the list as well. The single exception to that rule has been Cuban Americans, but even they are now abandoning the GOP.

And the question that must be asked is, why? Those groups are very different, each with its own unique American story. Some are relatively new arrivals, others have been here since the beginning. Some boast high levels of educational and economic success; others are still struggling to find a foothold. Yet they all have one thing in common: By overwhelming and growing margins, every single one has gravitated away from the Republican Party.

That does not happen by accident, not over and over and over again. It happens because when those groups look at the Republican Party, they see a white party that very much wants to remain the white party, as proved emphatically by its nomination of Trump.¹ So they go to the party that feels welcoming, whatever its other faults might be.

And because demography is destiny, we know where this is headed.  The changes that are transforming this country are irreversible no matter who gets elected president, and they can’t be stopped by any wall. As of 2012, the majority of babies born in this country are being born to non-white parents, and that trend will accelerate. Non-Hispanic whites comprised 67 percent of the population in 2005 and 61 percent in 2015. They are projected to comprise just 47 percent by 2050.

And it’s ironic. As far back as Benjamin Franklin’s lament about “swarthy” German immigrants in 1751², our immigration debate has centered around questions of assimilation, about how quickly various ethnic groups are able and willing to abandon being the “other” and become “American.” Today, you could argue, the ethnic group that is most stubbornly refusing assimilation into the modern United States and instead asserting its “otherness” are white Americans. It is white Americans who are retreating in substantial numbers into their own enclaves, politically and culturally as well as physically, reluctant to make peace with their new country.

The Republican Party is one such enclave. Fox News is another. The nation as a whole is still 61 percent white, but according to Nielsen the Fox News audience is 92 percent white, much higher than MSNBC (67 percent) and CNN (73 percent). Just 1 percent of the Fox audience is black, and I suspect that most of that 1 percent are black Americans eavesdropping to hear what those crazy white folk are talking about.

And as with any ethnic group, it is young white Americans who are most at ease in their new country. They are “native-born” to it in ways that their parents are not, having been raised and educated in a multicultural setting where diversity is so accepted that it isn’t even noticed. That too shows up in the polling. Among Georgia voters 49 and younger, Clinton has an 10-point lead. Among those 50 and older, Trump has a 14-point lead.

These are not easy subjects to discuss respectfully and honestly, but they are real.  And you don’t have to sympathize with Trump’s message to recognize that there’s a real sadness in so many people feeling alienated from the country of their birth, the country that had given them their identity and a great sense of pride. There’s a lot of pain there, and in Trump a hope that they can “take it back” to how it used to be.

They can’t. I don’t know what the answer is, but he isn’t it.

 

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¹ The lesson has been particularly disillusioning for conservative intellectuals who had thought they were building a movement based on principles of free markets and limited government, only to watch their party rally around a candidate opposed to those ideas. They have been dismayed to learn that no, what has really united the movement all along was racial identity.


² Franklin wrote:

“[W]hy should the [German} Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will  never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion…. But perhaps I am partial to the Complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind.”

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

1914 comments
BenRainey
BenRainey

Ben L, Rainey Bookman did it ever enter your liberal mind that the less said on a subject or picture the better.  As you know the Gettysburg Address has only 272 words, but it tells the story of the whole Civil War.  I glanced at your essay but knew enough very quickly what it was about.  What will comment on is picture of the white American shown,  Has it ever entered in to your liberal white guilt mind that starting with the Revolutionary War to present millions of white faces have died to allow you to criticizes our state with no fear.  As  to the picture has it entered your liberal mind that there are just as many black faces standing behind Trump protecting his back?

Birdfanforlife
Birdfanforlife

It is true we are divided but as we have seen in South Africa and Israel just because the demographic math doesn't seem to bode well for the dominant race does not mean that they will simply "assimilate" peacefully into the new multicultural society. Instead they build walls and live fat and happy rich lives in their compounds. Meanwhile the poor minority no matter how large remains poor and isolated. I see it every day. White people live in white neighborhoods and go to white schools or better yet white private schools. Basically, the only white people and black people intermixing are in poor areas. Meanwhile, the urban liberal Jay Bookmans of the world are also living in their white neighborhoods married to their white wives, but have no problem calling the rest of racist.  

CaptainTom
CaptainTom

We were never divided as much as now until Obama came in power!  Typical Alinsky, divide and conquer in order to become Socialist!

13Directors
13Directors

@CaptainTom I still remember like it was yesterday. Everyone else in the office was pounding their chest, salivating over invading Iraq, even when it when it became evident that Bush, Cheney & Co.'s war cry was based on shoddy evidence. And now look where are. We're over hear at each others throats because we're stuck is an quagmire over there, in the middle east, and you want to pin this all on Obama?  Come on, I can also remember W threatening us  and anyone else that dared to question the war, that "you're either with us or against us."Then there were the Dixie Chicks who were pretty much run out of the country music business far saying something far less offensive about Bush than what Trump now has to say about Bush and the Iraq War. Trump even criticizes American POWs for getting caught, yet many of these same people who criticized the Dixie Chicks and people like myself back then during the run up to the war, are now voting for Trump. Who wants to talk about divide and conquer? 


Binderlady2016
Binderlady2016

Donald Trump = Alt-right.  Donald Trump seems to believe that when running a clean campaign doesn't work, then go get the Alt-right hate group who Breitbart suggested. 

Binderlady2016
Binderlady2016

Trump when asked about Putin a couple of months ago, this is Trump's response, "well, I don't know Putin, well we have hung out several times, well, a great leader, well when I sat down with Putin, he called Obama a bad name", well, well, well.  What do you think will be one of the biggest things on his tax return, Russia and Putin (the man that Trump never met, according to the Fuhrer Trump).

Lee30519
Lee30519

Nate Silver is now on the Trump side!

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

DowninAlbany

It's a safe bet that it's because the current administration is frantically negotiating with him.  So, it kind of takes the winds out of the sails of the "...Trump's bromance with Putin..." crowd.

-

I suspect that may have something to do with it, but after the events of recent days I think that applies less and less. 

Plus, the New York Times continues its daily stream of anti-Russian disinformation, so there's been no let-up that I can see.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Donnie_Pinko 

Donnie, what do you make of the fact that the "pollution of our precious bodily fluids" wing of the American political spectrum is now expressing its admiration of Putin? 

Has their love of "strongman as leader" overcome their fear of pollution?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

I wonder what type of public comments Hillary will be making today?

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@DownInAlbany List of SCOTUS candidates:
Present FLOTUS
Jimmy Carter
Senator Warren
Senator Sanders


Anyone not named Trump....

Just to hear your fear.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@DownInAlbany

Didn't you hear your guy yesterday? She is resting. For the debates. So she can kick some a$$.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

I was looking for you yesterday. I busted out the old SNL skit. White guys we take no crap when we deliver our white rap.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@DownInAlbany  I wonder when Trump will answer questions from any member of the press not named Hannity?