Anatomies of Electoral Madness
The truth is that the present system of illegal immigration is quite logical and thrives because too many are invested in it, well aside from corporate employers. California is a permanently blue state. Latino leaders, many of whom can no longer speak Spanish, represent a vast underclass of illegal aliens whose numbers warp all statistics on Latino achievement and become a permanent argument for set-asides, more government help, higher taxes (cf. who just voted for California’s higher taxes?), affirmative action, and changing demography. Why simply give that up, and join a party of the melting-pot, up-by-the bootstraps, self-reliant, shrink-the-government types? To go to Parlier or Orange Cove is to drive through a maze of federal/state clinics and government facilities, many eponymously named by those who secured the government funding for them. No, I am sorry: I don’t see a natural Hispanic constituency for what Mitt Romney was trying to offer. I also confess that stupid ads like Lena Dunham’s sex-equals-voting-for-Obama ad and stupider ones like the African-American garbage collector who said Romney never talked to him at the curb worked.
I sense the same misinformation about the “wealthy” and the “job creators:” Just think the opposite and the truth emerges. Most in the top brackets voted for Obama; eight out of the ten wealthiest counties did at least. Many of the people I know in Silicon Valley, who this year passed on the signs and bumper stickers, nonetheless voted for Obama. The fact is that the Democratic Party, to generalize, is largely now the subsidized lower classes who pay no federal income tax and receive a growing array of federal largess coupled with, on the other end, a technocratic blue-state elite making over $200,000 annually. If taxes go up under Obama, at least theirs will, too. Another truth: the Republican Party is basically made up of a shrinking middle class and upper middle class, flanked on both ends by Democrats who, for various reasons, on one end, either do not appreciate their success or, on the other, hate them for their hoity-toity, un-PC tastes and culture. Yet how strange that the two ends of the Democratic coalition have so little to do with each other -- a partnership based on cynical opportunism on both sides. All that is missing are the Roman tribunes, or perhaps the wealthy demagogi.
What Lost the Election?
Marco Rubio would not have won the Latino vote this year. A ticket of Condoleezza Rice and Herman Cain would not have won the black vote. Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley would not have won the Asian vote. Obama, in brilliant fashion, marketed himself as the above-the-fray great healer and our post-racial future, while his surrogates waged the most vicious race-, class-, gender-divisive campaign in history. More likely, what lost the race for Romney -- a decent and strong candidate -- was instead the failure of the white working classes to turn out to vote en masse.
Why so? I was in Michigan, near the Ohio border, for all of September, and each night was stunned by the variations in the class warfare ads, mostly brilliant and effective in painting Romney as your kill-Detroit, wet-suited, jet-ski-setting, multi-home employer -- a veritable John Kerry, John Edwards, or Ted Kennedy -- and “us” as a disabled, homeless, starving, and out-of-work collective victim as a result. Millions, who did not prefer Obama, just stayed home and thought that they would pass on voting for the guy who had too much money and gave them their pink slips. In 2004 they saw Kerry as the wet-suited wind surfer; in 2012 it was Romney.