Demographics and Destiny

John Judis is a man of the Left, but nonetheless an honest man.  He wrote a book fifteen years ago stating that demographics would create an enduring Democrat majority.  He now states that he was wrong:

Whiteness is not a genetic category, after all; it’s a social and political construct that relies on perception and prejudice. A century ago, Irish, Italians, and Jews were not seen as whites. “This town has 8,000,000 people,” a young Harry Truman wrote his cousin upon visiting New York City in 1918. “7,500,000 of ’em are of Israelish extraction. (400,000 wops and the rest are white people.)” But by the time Truman became president, all those immigrant groups were considered “white.” There’s no reason to imagine that Latinos and Asians won’t follow much the same pattern.

In fact, it’s already happening. In the 2010 Census, 53 percent of Latinos identified as “white,” as did more than half of Asian Americans of mixed parentage. In future generations, those percentages are almost certain to grow. According to a recent Pew study, more than one-quarter of Latinos and Asians marry non-Latinos and non-Asians, and that number will surely continue to climb over the generations.

Unless ethnic identification is defined in purely racial—and racist—terms, the census projections are straight-out wrong and profoundly misleading. So is the assumption that Asians and Latinos will continue to vote at an overwhelming clip for Democrats. This view, which underpins the whole idea of a “new American majority,” ignores the diversity that already prevails among voters lumped together as “Latino” or “Asian.” Cuban-Americans in Miami vote very differently from Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles; immigrants from Japan or Vietnam come from starkly different cultures than those from South Korea or China. While more than two-thirds of Asian voters went for Obama in 2012 and Clinton in 2016, they leaned the other way in the 2014 midterms: National exit polls showed them favoring Republicans by 50 to 49 percent.

Similarly, while Latinos form a strong Democratic bloc in California, in most states they don’t automatically punch the “D.” In Texas, Senator John Cornyn bested his Democratic opponent among Latinos in 2014 by a small margin, and Senator Richard Burr won 49 percent of the Latino vote in North Carolina last year over a strong liberal challenger. In Florida, Marco Rubio almost won the Latino vote in 2016. Those are not the kinds of numbers on which you can build a lasting majority.


Go here to read the rest.  Time, assimilation and prosperity often tend to shift the political allegiances of immigrant groups.  Italian-Americans were once regarded as a rock solid part of the Democrat Party for example, and now they lean Republican.  The downfall of identity group politics is that most groups are not static and their politics often change as the group they belong to changes, as new issues emerge and those essential building blocks of politics, current events, ever pursue their myriad paths through the years.  In the American political context, talk of permanent majorities for a party is usually a sign that said party is about to enter a rough patch.

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  1. With respect to demographics, Mark Steyn had this insight: it hall hangs on the birth rate; if an ethnic (racial) group has a birthrate 2.0, it will increase. In Europe, Spain, Italy, France (all the “Catholic” countries) and Russia, “white” ethnicities have had birthrates much less than 2.0, while Muslim immigrants much greater. Guess who will be the majority population in 20 years time. Islam doesn’t need to conduct terrorism to win–just wait it out and let contraception and abortion work their ways.

  2. Bob Kurland wrote“[I]f an ethnic (racial) group has a birthrate 2.0, it will increase.”

    No, it won’t. A Total Fertility Rate of 2.1 is necessary to keep a population at replacement level. The 0.1 takes account of the slightly higher number of boys over girls, deaths before puberty &c.

    Donald R McClarey wrote, “Islamic demographics are also now crashing through the floor:”

    That is certainly true; a decline that took place over two or three generations in Western Europe is taking place in one.

    Of the Muslim majority countries in Europe, Bosnia & Herzegovina has one of the lowest Total Fertility Rates in the world at 1.28 per woman. Albania’s is 1.51 and Turkey, at 2.03 is just below replacement.

    Outside Europe, Iran has a Total Fertility Rate of 1.71. Azerbaijan (1.90) Turkmenistan (2.08) and Uzbekistan (1.78) are all below replacement.

    In the Maghreb, Tunisia has a TFR below replacement at 1.98, as does Libya (2.04). Morocco at 2.2 is just above it and Algeria’s 2.74 is well above replacement, but down from over 5 in the 1960s

  3. I read a similar lament by Mark Shea, who wrote about a talk he heard John Rhys Davies give. Davies said the same thing, the threat to Western Civilization by Islam because of demographics. Mark heartily agreed with Mr. Davies. Back then. Years ago.

  4. Identity politics is the new racism; but marriage is the final arbiter. It’s not imaginary to say that Democrats are really against intermarriage (again), because (this time) it hurts identity politics.

  5. Even “blacks” can lose their race-card by “acting white”– look at Thomas Sowell, or compare how Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) is treated compared to Obama. (No idea of his politics, but I know who gets the “decent guy” award in my book!)
    Holy cow, there’s a website for this… I could get seriously lost.
    Ariana Grande– the cute girl whose concert got blown up– is Italian and Jewish; Weird Al is “All the countries near Ireland except for England” and “Italy and the two countries behind it.”

  6. Maybe we are creating our own infertile dystopian future voluntarily. We need no mysterious virus or bacteria or anomalous genetic defect as the movie “Children of Men” postulates:

    It’s just like what Ms. Owens said in those other videos that Donald McClarey posted in a different blog entry yesterday:

    “Nobody wants us dead more than we want ourselves dead.”

    And that’s demonic!


  7. LCQ, what do you expect when our national pasttime is to talk about how guilty and evil we are? Of course at some point people are going to be convinced we deserve to be extinct.

  8. Noteworthy thing is, “we” don’t want ourselves dead, and “we” aren’t actually failing to reproduce– the simplest breakdown of reproduction is that those who don’t actively practice a faith tend not to have kids.
    (This gets muddled with Islam, because it’s hard to identify people who aren’t actively practicing– the whole quitting having unacceptable costs thing, but even their official birth rates are dropping.)

  9. C Matt

    The majority of women of childbearing age living in England and Wales were born in the UK (77% in 2016). As a result, UK-born women continue to make the largest contribution to the overall TFR by a large margin.

    In 2016, Women born outside the UK accounted for 28.2% of all live births. The top 6 were
    Poland 3.2%
    Pakistan 2.5%
    India 2%
    Romania 1.7
    Bangladesh 1.2
    Nigeria 1%

    These are the only nationalities to account for over 1%

    The growing Polis population is believed to have been a significant factor in the Brexit vote

  10. A minor problem with looking at the mother’s country of birth– doesn’t matter if she’s a perfect rose of English ancestry, if she’s converted and hasn’t been seen by anyone not her husband’s blood relative for the last few years.

  11. LCQ, what do you expect when our national pasttime is to talk about how guilty and evil we are?

    It’s only the pasttime of the media, academe, obstreperous extraparliamentary politicians, and sundry bourgeois twits.

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