White people and the future of the Republican Party

Great piece by Clare Malone at 538.  She combines polling data with lots of interviews to take a thorough look at today’s amazingly white-based Republican party and where it may be headed in the future.  You should read it.  Here’s a quote that I think really sums up the difficulties ahead:

“This isn’t the most artful way to say it, but it’s like, where do you go when the only people who seem to agree with you on taxes hate black people?” [emphasis mine] [ Conservative blogger, Ben] Howe laughed ruefully. “I think what you do is you say, ‘Well, I may lose but I can’t align myself with them.’

But instead, Howe said, he made moral compromises he regrets.

“There are some things that I don’t have core values about, that I can be negotiable on, compromise on. But then there are other things that I can’t budge on,” he said. “I think I thought I had to budge on some things: ‘Yeah, this guy talking to me right now just said he agrees with my taxes and also we need to get that Kenyan out of office.’ Why did I stand there and say, ‘Yeah’? You know? I shouldn’t have done that. I should’ve said, ‘Wait, what? No, that’s stupid. You’re stupid. Don’t be stupid.’”

Yeah.  Not nearly enough “don’t be stupid” going on.  Probably because there’s far too much white ethnocentrism going on (as the article makes clear).

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

3 Responses to White people and the future of the Republican Party

  1. rgbact says:

    Liberals suffered two straight midterms wipeouts and they’re barely beating the worst GOP candidate imaginable…..but they’ll always remain smug about it. I swear they spit out these “the GOP is dying” almost on a weekly basis. You’d think the smart guys at 538 would’ve figured out that appealing to increasing amounts of older voters ain’t so bad in politics. You’d think they’d also realize that older voters don’t necessarily like change, but like nostalgia. So long as smug liberals insult older white voters about as much as conservatives insults minorities, I think the GOP will be fine.

  2. ohwilleke says:

    Indeed.

    It is terribly premature to talk about the end of the GOP when the Republican party has majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Supreme Court, and then controls at least one house or major statewide post in most U.S. state governments to the point of being a “dominant party” in quite a few states, and is ultimately going to nominate a Presidential nominee this week whom it leadership had no viable alternative to. And Republicans and conservative interest groups are certainly competitive with liberal and Democratic forces at a national level when it comes to campaign finance and also in longer term financial support for institutions like think tanks, policy magazines, and closely allied special interest groups (e.g. the NRA and most historically white Evangelical Christian organizations).

    The U.S. as a whole has a competitive two party system and will for the foreseeable future. The GOP is basically the institutional manifestation of a major American subculture that has been around since at least the Second Great Awakening in the early 1800s, and subcultures don’t come and go with the speed of fads like hoola hoops and Crocs.

  3. Steve Greene says:

    Oh, I think predictions of the demise of the Republican Party are far overblown. But analyses that show the degree to which the Republican Party has become the party of white ethnocentrism– and the internal divisions that means– are pretty accurate.

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