Obama's re-election: more historic than 2008?
Jonathan Martin on Politico called the obvious on the eve of the elections: "The GOP coalition is undergirded by a shrinking population of older white conservative men from the countryside, while the Democrats rely on an ascendant bloc of minorities, moderate women and culturally tolerant young voters in cities and suburbs. This is why, in every election, since 1992, Democrats have either won the White House or fallen a single state short of the presidency." And he quotes Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): "If we lose this election there is only one explanation—demographics." In the actual event, Romney won 59% of the white vote, according to exit polls, a whopping twenty-point margin over Obama. "If only white people had voted on Tuesday, Mitt Romney would have carried every state except for Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut and New Hampshire," Jon Wiener writes in The Nation. "Even in the deepest blue states, white voters went for Romney: 53 percent in California, 52 percent in New York, 55 percent in Pennsylvania. Liberals hoped that whites who opposed Obama in 2008 would learn toleration and acceptance of racial difference after four years with a black president in the White House. But what happened was the opposite: Romney won 4 percent more of the white vote in 2012 than John McCain won in 2008."
Wiener entitles his column "The Bad News About White People." And yes, it is depressing that white people continue to be so stupid. But nor should it be surprising; racism has always been the mechanism by which the white working class is manipulated into betryaing its own class interests. Way back in the Watergate scandal, Nixon said to his aide HR Haldeman behind closed doors: "The whole problem is the Blacks. We have to devise a system to keep them in check." (Quoted in The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in The Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.) (Which, if you haven't figured it out, is what the War on Drugs is about.) The New York Times, on the release of Haldeman's diaries in 1994, rendered it as: "[Y]ou have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." (Emphasis added.) Hence the use of code words ("welfare cheats," "personal responsibility," "tough on crime," "state's rights," etc.). But this time, the Republicans came just shy of blatantly playing to white supremacism. The coded racism was just barely coded—if at all.
But few are noting how in a very significant way, Obama's second election is more historic than his first: 2012 marks the first time a US president has been elected without a majority of the white vote. And here's some good news: The US Census Bureau reported earlier this year that "minority" births outnumbered whites for first time. (LAT, May 17) So, while we object to the loaded word "minority," it is clear that playing to the racist vote is only going to result in diminishing returns for the Republicans as the USA goes deeper into its inevitable demographic shift. Of course this also explains both the radicalization of the GOP and why white people keep going postal.
The white race (by which we mean the social construct, of course) is fast headed for its inevitable historical destiny of extinction. How much of a mess it will make on its way down remains to be seen...