Maybe Minorities’ Values Need Changing

The most widely offered explanation for Mitt Romney’s defeat is that the Republican Party is disproportionately composed of — aging — white males.

That is, alas, true.

But the real question is what Republicans should do with this truth.

There are two responses.

The nearly universal response — meaning the response offered by the liberal media and liberal academics (and some Republicans) — is that the Republican Party needs to rethink its positions, moving away from conservatism and toward the political center.

The other response is for conservatives and the Republican Party to embark on a massive campaign to influence, and ultimately change, the values of those groups that voted Democrat.

The Democratic Party, and the left generally, have done a magnificent job in identifying conservative values as white male values. One reason for their success is that they dominate virtually every lever of influence — the high schools and universities, television, newspapers, movies, pop culture and everything else except talk radio. Another is that they really believe that conservative values are nothing more than white male — especially aging white male — values. Remember, leftism has its own trinity — the prism through which it perceives the world — race, gender and class. In this case the race is white; the gender is male; and the class is rich.

As a result of this identification, there is no debate over whether the minorities’ (and single women’s) values are correct or whether the values of the white males are correct. The left has successfully forestalled any such national discussion by simply reducing conservative values to the dying fulminations of a former ruling class.

In the words of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, “Mitt Romney is the president of white male America.”

This identification seems to be working. But it’s intellectually dishonest. Aging white males are as important to the left as they are to the right.

In a recent issue of the New York Review of Books, liberal Harvard professor Benjamin M. Friedman strongly criticized the Tea Party. After citing “surveys showing that Tea Party members are ‘predominantly white, male, older, more college-educated and better off economically than typical Americans,'” he noted parenthetically “they sound like, say, readers of The New York Review of Books.”

Come to think of it, these people who make up the tea party also sound like the people who attend classical music concerts, who endow concert halls, museums, hospitals, and universities, and fund left-wing causes (George Soros, for example).

Perhaps when this generation of aging white males dies off, aging women, aging Latino and black males, and young people will become the readers of journals such as the New York Review of Books and endow symphony orchestras.

I suspect not. And if not, the left may come to regret its contempt for this particular group. Without aging white males, I doubt the New York Times would survive. How many young people, females, Hispanics and blacks subscribe to the New York Times?

Obviously the issue for the left isn’t aging white males, it is conservatives, whether they are young or old, white or nonwhite, male or female. If female aborigines were conservative, the left would have a problem with female aborigines.

For conservatives, the issue is that for generations now, they have failed to make the case for their values. They haven’t even conveyed conservative values to many of their children. And when they have, the university has often succeeded in undoing them.

The only answer to the “demographic” problem, therefore, is to bring women (single women, to be precise), young people, Hispanics, and blacks to conservative values. I wrote a column in September (“It’s not Just the Economy, Stupid!”) criticizing the Mitt Romney campaign for only talking about jobs and the economy. President Obama kept saying that this election was about two different visions of America. But like George Herbert Walker Bush, the Romney campaign appeared to disdain “the vision thing.”

Our only hope for America is that every conservative takes upon him or herself the project of learning what American and conservative values are, coming to understand what leftism stands for, and learning how to make the case for those values to women, young people, blacks and Hispanics. That is what my radio show, latest book and Prager University are about. And while I am, happily, hardly alone, there are still far too few of us who understand “the vision thing.” Surely the Republican establishment has not.

We should missionize for the American Trinity (Liberty, In God We Trust, E Pluribus Unum) as least as passionately as the left has missionized for its antithesis — Egalitarianism, Secularism and Multiculturalism. Or we will lose America as we have always known it.

  • Mr_Kuryakyn

    PERSPECTIVE: Teach them that wealth flows from pools of wealth accumulated from the 2% downhill to them. When government takes more from pool means less wealth for them. Government gives crumbs from table in food stamps, welfare benefits, earned income tax credit to obscure theft from pool.
    __American Education system is pathetic joke worldwide. Department of Education turned American first rate education system into daycare propaganda mill in 35 years since Jimmy Carter. People wth no marketable skills will always vote for free lunch.
    __Mexican illegal border crossers come for free lunch and free health care. Eliminate free stuff from government so border crossers will for freedom and opportunity. This would cut out freeloaders from coming here.
    __Give back education to states which ought to wiseup the marketably useless electorate with real education. Make Engineers, and Scientists, not Ethnic studies, under water basket weaving, political scienc idiots who qualify as -:-) .,grocery clerks at best.

  • Roger Ward

    Sorry, Dennis, but the battle has already been lost. By the next election, there will be more minorities, not fewer …. and more takers, not fewer. I hate to see the greatest country in the history of the World go the way of ancient Rome …. but it has. Our sun was at its zenith four years ago. It will take a while for this country to completely become Western Europe …. but it will. Our descent is fixed and inexorable. Say goodbye and shed a tear for the America we’ve known and loved; the country in which you and I grew up is irretrievably lost.

  • Wheels55

    Republicans can win back the hispanic vote if they take the lead with Immigration reform. I have heard and read more solid ideas from Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio than anyone in the left ranks. Get-er-done amigos.

    • isabella hunt

      If the Republicans lead with immigration reform, they’d be Democrats.
      Giving in to the opposition is not the way to go.

      • Wheels55

        This wouldn’t be giving in at all. It would be taking the lead. As a practical matter, our current immigration laws and policies, procedures and enforcement simply do not work. Reform the laws (a little), reform procedures a lot and enforce the outcome. Make it tough for an immigrant to not want to be legal. If they don’t get legal, then they leave with their kids.

        • isabella hunt

          But, Wheels55 – without sealing the border, nothing’s going to do any good. That was supposed to be done under Reagan; that was the stipulation upon giving 3 million amnesty. As we “chat” hundreds are entering our country! Someone suggested, giving amnesty, but not letting them vote for 25 years might do it. Since many vote (illegally) now, what good will that do! Why is it the Democrats (liberals/progressives/far left) are never the ones to bend on their principles – it’s always the other side? Perhaps it’s time for a third party? One that upholds the Constitution & Bill of Rights. Small federal government, states rights, one language, and respect for individual freedoms. This collective business is bunk! As is the constant class warfare we hear from Obama. (Rule for Radicals; pick an enemy, keep pounding on them, create hatred/division: the masses will follow.) Gotta get some coffee. – Good moring. And thank you for replying, Wheels55.

  • seanmy

    Well said, though clearly an uphill fight.