Thursday, November 08, 2012

Asian-Americans destroy the "maker/taker" narrative

The absurd outburst of Nate Silver Denialism was just the most egregious example of the alternate reality bubble that the American conservative movement has been constructing over the last decade-and-change - the phenomenon that used to be called "epistemic closure." In this devastating analysis, Conor Friedersdorf lays out just how monumentally stupid is is for a movement to divorce itself from extant reality:
I see a coalition that has lost all perspective, partly because there's no cost to broadcasting or publishing inane bullshit. In fact, it's often very profitable. A lot of cynical people have gotten rich broadcasting and publishing red meat for movement conservative consumption.
Since the election, I've been reading The Corner, the group blog of the National Review, a publication which probably still represents the intellectual forefront of the conservative movement. I've seen some very intelligent and thoughtful discussion there, and also some absolute head-in-the-sand denialist comfort-food. But one thing I don't see anyone challenging is the master narrative of modern American conservatism: the "maker/taker" story.

The "maker/taker" story is exactly the "47 percent" story that Mitt Romney told at that fund-raiser. It's the idea that the Democrats' core constituency is a bunch of lazy and/or untalented "takers" who want to use the government to steal from the hard-working "makers". Here's The Corner's David French summing up the idea:
To tens of millions of American voters, a conservative message of self-reliance and individual economic freedom is, quite frankly, terrifying. 
First, each of Obama’s core constituencies (single women, African-Americans, and Latinos) is seriously — and disproportionately — economically disadvantaged compared to the classic paradigm of the white, college-educated Republican voter. The rates of poverty and near-poverty among these groups are much greater, thus causing a critical mass of both populations to suffer — even if they’re technically middle class — from a greater degree of economic insecurity...Ideologically and historically they are pre-disposed towards statism as the means of alleviating economic insecurity and distress.
As you can see, the "maker/taker" narrative has a strong ethnic angle; the "takers" are supposed to be mostly minorities and single women. White men and their wives produce things; blacks, Hispanics, and sluts single women live on the dole. Naturally, this ethnic angle plays well with the conservative "base", i.e. Southern and exurban working-class whites for whom politics is ethnic and tribal. Here's Fox News' Bill O'Reilly reinforcing that racial version of the narrative:
The white establishment is now the minority. And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?
So, here's the problem: The narrative is wrong. Completely, utterly, wrong. The Democrats' appeal is not based on people "wanting stuff". And how do I know this? I know it because Asian-Americans voted for Obama by a 3-to-1 margin. Check this out:
Much has been made of the Latino vote and its crucial role in boosting President Obama to victory, but it was Asian Americans who made the most dramatic shift in support for the president Tuesday. 
Exit polls show that 73% of Asian Americans backed Obama, an 11-point increase since 2008.  Asian Americans came out in such force for Obama that they topped Latinos as his second-most supportive ethnic group, behind African Americans... 
While Asians accounted for just 3% of the electorate – up from 2% in 2008 – their overwhelming support made them a key component of the Obama coalition, especially in swing states like Virginia, Florida and Colorado.  
And their numbers are increasing rapidly. They were the fastest-growing ethnic group from 2000 to 2010... 
73% [of Asian-American voters] supported Democrats in congressional races.
So, for those of you who don't know this, Asian-Americans make more money than white Americans. Thus, they pay more income tax. And Asians are half as likely as the average American to be on welfare.

Thus, Asian-Americans, by the Romney/O'Reilly/French definition, are "makers", not "takers". Even more than whites. They're also more likely to be married. And to start businesses.

And yet Asian-Americans broke for Obama 3-to-1. David French should definitely be including them in his list of Obama's "core constituencies". The fact that he doesn't do so is a telling sign of "epistemic closure" - of conservatives not seeing what is plainly in front of them, preferring instead to repeat to themselves a pleasant, soothing, but false story.

If they're not "takers", why did Asian-Americans break so strongly for Obama? The answer is pretty clear: Conservative ethnic identity politics. The American conservative movement has made it abundantly clear that it sees America as a "white people country", and views Asians - like blacks and Hispanics - as guests (at best) or interlopers (at worst). The blood-and-soil white ethnocentrism of the conservative movement makes Asians feel like permanent foreigners in their own country, and they don't like feeling like that. Who would?

I'm pretty sure this is the right answer. Why? Because I myself am a member of a group that is demographically and electorally similar to Asian-Americans - namely, Jewish-Americans. Jews are America's second-richest religious group (behind Hindus), and yet Jewish voters broke almost 3-to-1 for Obama this year, and more than 3-to-1 in 2008. Why do Jews vote Democratic? Simple: for all their talk of "Judeo-Christian values" and support for Israel (as if anyone cares about that!), the Republicans make it clear that they think the ethnic core of America is not just white, but Christian as well. Jews don't want to have their schools lead them in prayers to Jesus. We don't like it when Bill O'Reilly demands that stores put only "Merry Christmas" on their holiday banners, and not "Happy Channukah". 

We Jews are not stupid; we know that the grassroots of the conservative movement, at least in its present incarnation, will never accept us as true "sons of the soil". The liberal movement will. It's as simple as that. And I'm pretty sure Asian-Americans are thinking along similar lines.

So if conservative intellectuals really want to turn their movement away from the self-destructive path that they're on, they need to face up to one overwhelmingly important piece of reality: White (Christian) ethnocentrism is turning everyone else against them. Getting rid of that ethnocentrism will take more than putting some Hispanics, or some Asians, or some Jews on the speaker's podium. It will take more than pretending to vote for - or even actually voting for! - Herman Cain or Marco Rubio or Bobby Jindal.

What will it mean? It will mean no longer talking about a "culture war". It will mean no longer talking about the "real America". It will mean rejecting race-baiters like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart - not grudgingly, but wholeheartedly. It will mean rejecting nativist groups like the Minutemen. It will mean admitting that the Civil War was all about slavery, and that the Confederacy were the bad guys. It will mean disavowing the whole stupid narrative that blacks and Hispanics are a bunch of lazy "takers".

In other words, it will mean doing a lot more than the conservative movement is currently prepared to do. But guys, at least face up to reality. At least open your eyes and see what the rest of America really thinks about you. The Asian-American vote is an unmistakable sign that your master narrative is wrong.

Update: Lots of other people are saying the same thing. For example, here's Chris Hayes. Also, here's Paul Krugman with a nice graph.

Update 2: In a new article, Charles Murray says much the same thing as this blog post. Which is interesting, given Murray's prominent role in promoting the general white-supremacist overtone of the conservative movement.

Update 3: Richard Posner is with us too.


  1. To add at the end... it will also mean speaking identity politics in a way utterly foreign and deplorable to their base. That really is the problem: barring a miracle, even if their enlightened leaders tilt to a pluralist conservatism, their (primary) voters will kick them out. Won't they? Because the majority of their base (lower & middle class white people, southern whites, etc.) LIVE on the kinds of identity politics you note. I wonder if it's possible for that to change, unless they first change their primary process.

    1. Anonymous10:29 PM

      Agree thoroughly. Plenty of conservative parties get locked out of power in Europe, because they don't pick their base, they reflect it. But I don't think that procedural changes in the primary system will make a substantive difference. At best it will just delay things. For Republicans to change, and survive, they'll need to change their base's attitudes.

      That said, it may be possible. Conservative epistemic closure comes because most conservatives take their information only from trusted authorities. If those authorities change their message, it may well change the opinions of the Republicans.

      I guess I see the majority of the Republican base as a group with a cultural history of nativism and racism being exploited for the gain of the powerful in the US. The original motivations for that nativism and racism are long since gone. Maybe they could actually let it go.

  2. The "maker/taker" narrative is the racist narrative on steroids.
    That's why this map was making its round in the internet yesterday.

  3. They've actually come a long way: A Mormon for prez!

    Great post...

  4. To Alex's point, that's the result LBJ knew was going to happen when he signed the Civil Rights act of 1965. It carries forward through Nixon's Southern strategy, Reagan's Philadelphia, Miss speech and welfare queen mythology, right up to today's racist dog whistles.

    Noah - I don't disagree with anything you've said. But policy is also important. Smart educated people at least have a chance of seeing through nonsense like the Ryan Budget, the Romney Tax plan, and the fact that these guys had no definable position on any other policy item of significance.

    [As an aside, I know lots of smart educated people who voted for Romney - they believe his debt crisis, small government nonsense, or respond to religious hot button issues. Ironically, they think I drink Obama kool-aide.]

    The R's thought Karl Rove's "genius", boatloads of $$$$ and an attractive [to some] line of BS, coupled with gonzo voter suppression would bring it all home.

    The EC count isn't close, but the popular vote is. This really concerns me.


    1. Anonymous1:11 AM

      I also know of smart and educated people who subscribe to the bizzare idea that 'Obama's economic policy is dominated by looney left', that his healthcare plan will bankrupt America and that 'vindictive regulation of Wall Street' is anti business. When pressed they end with 'But big business says they feel disliked, therefore its true'

      Quite frankly, I think this is progress. Its no longer polite to say "I'd rather keep my tax cuts than the poor get healthcare"

    2. The EC count isn't close, but the popular vote is. This really concerns me.

      Learn to be an optimist.

      Obama has been incompetent in the "how" department. He performed better in a depression than FDR but his pole numbers have gone South because of his "how." Given what he has done, he should have been as popular as FDR. Why not?

      His "how" forced voters to choose between incompetence and Modernity. We all know that millions of Democrats went home Tuesday night and said a prayer something like, "Big Ernie, please, please, please, never again put me in a position when I have to vote for someone who is so incompetent."

      Liberals need to learn that "how you do something" is far more important than what you do.

      RR had great "how."

      Noah, here, is the best example on the web. The "how" he writes is wonderful. Compare him to Krugman.

      I agree with him 99% (he is wrong on trade and doesn't understand location economics). My "how," . . .

      Thus, my future role is only to ride in the Chariot and whisper in Noah's ear, "All glory is fleeting"

      For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. And a slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting."

    3. Alex -

      In all honesty, I have no idea what in the hell you are talking about.

      "Liberals need to learn that 'how you do something' is far more important than what you do."

      The ultimate statement of style over substance.

      "Obama has been incompetent in the 'how' department."

      What does this even mean?


    4. Anonymous2:14 PM

      Do you ever read?

      Try Beckwith, Selling the Invisible

      He explains "How" in very simple terms.

      How is simple to illustrate. It has been consistently shown that doctors who wear white coats are perceived by everyone as being better doctors.

      People are unable to judge a service like government, so that are forced to decide based on "how."

      A political example. I don't care what Obama's plan is for the fiscal cliff, but whatever he plans, I wish that he would put it in writing, put it on the web, and meet his promise to be transparent. He should then tell the House Republicans that he won't sign anything but that bill. The bill doesn't have to be perfect just fair, and mostly simple.

      I could write the bill in less than 300 words.

      Have someone who understands typography to set the document up so that, unlike stuff before Congress, it is readable.

      Enough tax hikes for the rich to be square with the campaign and force the Republicans to break their no new tax pledge and real spending cuts, with Homeland Security being the best target (the fed gov't is in the info business and yet we have never saved a dollar even being 30 years into the personal computer revolution, so we know the cuts can be made).

    5. Anonymous11:41 PM

      I see your point, Hamilton, though it may be overstated. Obama often seemed weak or passive in his first term. That image would be indelible if he had lost. However, he took his opponent's entire five-year campaign effort apart on Election Night like he was carving a Thanksgiving turkey. Depending on what he accomplishes going forward, all anyone may remember about his first term was that the Republicans went mad trying to kill him and he got the last laugh. Oh, and the whole economic rescue/health reform/dismantling Al Qaeda thing, in his spare time.

    6. My point isn't overstated. It goes directly to why Obama is so much less popular than FDR, Truman, RR, etc.

      Whether Obama accomplished anything is besides the point, for in the political world, perception is reality.

      I could go on but if someone is moderate or left and doesn't understand the total incompetence that Obama has shown, then that person is no more fact based than the Right Wing Wack jobs of this World.

      For example, Obama had the votes to end voting on extending the debt ceiling. The law and exercise is madness. It hands a weapon of mass extortion to your enemies. Obama should have repealed such when he had the votes.

      This total inability to think strategically and act tactically is incompetence on horrible scale. An inability to think on second, third, and fourth level effects puts us behind the eight ball with Putin, Iran, and China

    7. FDR also had the votes to end voting on extending the debt ceiling, was he incompetent for not doing so? And any number of presidents since? Or was Obama incompetent because he did not recognize what the GOP had recently become?

    8. AH, classic armchair arrogance trolling. There is plenty of specific, reasoned criticism of O from the left. But if you're going to wave a broad brush of "incompetence" at him without considering 'compared to what alternatives?' then you're just wasting everyone's time.

    9. Anonymous9:25 PM

      I have to agree with mattski here. Alex is just talking a lot of nonsense without any substance. If you remember the debt ceiling discussions before the elections, the Republicans were giving O no room to breath, and both sides decided to punt until after the election. And now that O has won decisively it certainly seems like "competent" move to me in hindsight.

      As for the previous anonymous - do you really think you're that much smarter (and better read) then the professionals and experts playing high politics right now? I seriously doubt it's as simple as putting out a 300 word statement on the internet. Now I'm not saying that it would be awful but it is far from obviously being the best move. It would certainly limit room to negotiate in an environment where the dems are going to have to allow the republicans to compromise while not looking weak to their constituents.

  5. ps. the captcha here is hard to get past..

  6. Great rant.

    You could also have mentioned that most of Romney's 47% live in Republican states.

    The master narrative sounds intuitive but isn't backed by facts.

  7. How long do you think it will take for the Conservatives to be able to shift the paradigm away from religion and race voting? The potential issue here is that if 2012 is an inflection point, or tipping point, of liberal values becoming the mainstream in America (drug and gay marriage, etc) and Conservatives can't adjust their game, for the foreseeable future, USA will become a one-party system. Although I am clearly not a Republican fan, I do believe any country needs to have at least two strong parties to have an effective political system. I don't personally think Obama is that great of a President, but imagine if a any mediocre, or slightly above, likable candidate on the left could get in, just because the right was so caught up on appealing to a declining demographic (white, conservative Christians). Like be trapped in quick sand of white conservatism and a Mexican/Gay/Jew/Environmentalist/Black/Asia reaches out to offer assistance (not unconditionally of course) and you just say "no thanks, I am fine right here".
    I hope the conservatives can broaden their appeal, but at this point, it doesn't look hopeful.

    1. To change their appeal, they need a completely new ideology. That will not happen.

      But I will say again that the Rethugs that we know are not going away. They got 48% of the popular vote. Look at the county results all over the country. We are divided by race, gender, and age, and completely fragmented by geography. Obama only wins in places where people outnumber cattle, deer, or goats. He took the metro areas in Texas! But the R message has united white regressives of all economic classes. Some 30 yr-old white guy making minimum wage in Alabama voted the same way as Rudi Guiliani.

      Hence my pessimism.

    2. There will be a lot of money, and a lot of young ambitious politicians, with incentive to get the GOP on the road.

  8. Americans Elect and No Labels seem like the inarticulate cries of a yet to be born conservative party; the conservative party you describe. But if they reject nativism, and reject homophobia, they'll need to steal a big slice of the Democratic party to make up for the loss of their base. You don't just want to change one party, but both parties, wherein the Tea Party rump is left out in the cold.

  9. Looks like David Brooks also noticed the Asian-American problem:

    1. Brooks is only eight years late in noticing it (which probably isn't bad for him), given that it's been going on since at least 2004. Ironically, he would have known it before the election had he taken Nate Silver at seriously instead of snarkily dismissing his work because it failed to synch up with the GOP's narrative; Silver had an article discussing this very point back on August 30th:

      Brooks, alas, was too caught up in epistemic closure. He still is, really.

  10. Anonymous12:43 AM

    This is exactly why I don't understand the focus on immigration policy. Conservatives right now seem to be of the, "Maybe if we do a little immigration reform, Hispanics will listen to us!" Of course, if that was the reason that Hispanics weren't voting for them, it sure as hell doesn't explain Asian, African-Americans or Jews.

    But hey, if they want to keep going on about 'real Americans', that's fine by me.

  11. Anonymous12:55 AM

    It seems that we've been discussing this for eight years now, maybe longer. Is the root of this not the Southern Strategy? Is that not rooted in the fallout of the Civil War, and of slavery? This seems so obvious to me that I feel like I'm taking a short-cut.

    I think it's a good thing that this has finally, apparently, reached a boiling point. The root of that, I believe, is that after decades of GOP dominance in the executive branch (from 1969 to 2009, only 12 years had Dem presidents), they could write off the Clinton presidency as being a fluke from Ross Perot sabotaging Bush 41's re-election, and Clinton's re-election as him being fortunate enough to be president just as the economy boomed. They wrote off Obama's first term as being an historic event, a combination of black turnout surging with the presence of the first major black presidential candidate, and a historic financial crisis that unfortunately happened on Bush's watch. (Some even say the Dems TIMED the crisis to occur during the election season so as to unseat Republicans.)

    But now, they can no longer explain away those presidencies this way. Or at least, they can't just chalk it up to the fact that even a loaded die is going to land the 'wrong' side up a few times. They are now, gladly, asking if they've been doing missing out on something. They see the country getting browner; they can start to envision Arizona and Texas and maybe Georgia turning blue over the next 12 years. They see that the Obama constituency wasn't a one-time event. They mock Nate Silver, apparently ignorant of his track record, and watch the result come out as Silver rigged the election machines himself.

    - @bawld

    1. Anonymous3:18 AM

      The Southern Strategy isn't particularly rooted in the Civil War. It is much more accurate to say it is rooted in the battles for Civil Rights.

      The Republicans used to be the party of freedom, after all. When President Johnson signed the Civil Rights act into law he shook the existing alliances. Southern Democrats weren't happy with it and African-Americans were pulled partially out of the Republican party base. Nixon saw that he could pull the votes of those disaffected Southern Democrats and that he would get more of their votes then he was likely to lose.

      On top of that the late 50s through the 70s was a time of tremendous ferment. Reactions to the Counter Culture and the Sexual Revolution, amongst other things, eventually fueled the rise of the Religious Right in the early 80s. Reagan saw how he could add those voters to the Republican base. The "Southern Strategy" was modified to include the new constituents, who came from Middle America as well as the Old South.

      There was also the addition of the libertarians on account of adding some of the state's right's planks, and that is even more complicated.

      Now, all of these groups were/are predominantly white mostly because they all appeared when whites were very much the majority.

      If you really want to analyze how things are changing it is vital to examine all the different factions that are in play.

    2. "The Southern Strategy isn't particularly rooted in the Civil War. It is much more accurate to say it is rooted in the battles for Civil Rights. "

      But the battle for civil rights is rooted in the Civil War, so this is just moving the goal post.

      I pretty much agree with the rest of it, though.

    3. Anonymous7:43 PM

      No it isn't moving the goal post it is attending to the proximate causes rather than the remote causes.

      The battle for Black Civil Rights of the 1960s can be used as an example. If you go far enough it is rooted in the Civil War (broadly defined), but its proximate causes include the perpetual struggle of all people to maintain an acceptable lifestyle, the increases in American prosperity, and the importance of freedom/liberty in that era of the Cold War. As a side note that emphasis on liberty also helped create the modern libertarian movement mostly out of the State's Rights movement that has been around since the Revolution. The two that aren't perpetual are rooted in the 1950s.

      We could trace the roots of the idea of liberty back through the Civil War, but that's messy and extremely complicated. We could also trace the causes of that American prosperity back, but that would be worse.

      Let's trace the African-American struggle for the good life back. In brief, the struggle in the 60's was against conditions caused partially by their general poverty, partially by the general racism of the whites around them, and was rooted in the prior Civil Rights struggles by folks like WEB Dubois and Booker T Washington.

      The racism came partially from being competitors with the the local whites and partially from the memory/legend that these people used to be slaves. The legend came about because during the Reconstruction period there were a number of former slaves with no more education than their former masters had given them. Of course this leads us back to the Civil War since Lincoln freed the slaves as part of his effort to win that war.

      We could also trace the poverty back to the Civil War, though that is rather more complicated. It includes the racism, which was and is a nasty and defining part of the African-American experience, the ongoing struggle for civil rights, and the usually poor quality of education in the schools they were allowed to attend.

      More generally, and succinctly, it is usually a mistake to talk about causes that took place 150 years ago over ones that took place 50 years ago. After all a great many things tend to happen in a century and a half.

    4. Anonymous11:35 PM

      The failure of Reconstruction is the key, I think. Something closer to what would later happen with de-Nazification was required.

  12. oblong2:18 AM

    This completely leaves aside people such as myself; white, male, high-earning, pot smoking libertarians who could happily vote for a Republican.. if they'd drop the religion, the class warfare, the racism, and the anti-intellectualism.

    1. Then what would they be left with? The top quintile? Or maybe the top 1%, who are their real constituents?

    2. Anonymous5:28 AM

      What they'd be left with is the ability to fight for the rest of country's voters.

      I am with oblong here. There is very much a way for the Republican Party to enter the 21st century. But that means going back to its libertarian tradition, being socially liberal while asking for the government spending to be held in check.

      Simply put, right now they are on the wrong side of history.

    3. The libertarians are just not a big enough factor to be important. And of course the libertarians have their own epistemic closure problems that (in large part) overlap those of the Republicans. Just look at the board of CATO, and you will see the identical problem: all rich, white males except the few working on interlocking boards between similar organizations and other hirelings.

      The idea of Republican Party libertarian tradition is rather funny, considering that Lincoln was their first president. Recently, libertarian revisionist historians such as Jeffrey Rogers Hummel have blamed Lincoln for the demise of libertarian principles in US government.

    4. and what is the libertarian position on abortion?

      going forward, the Republican Party is going to base itself on two principles

      First, abortion.

      Second, jealously, the most powerful of human emotions.

      Obama's map is where people have some hope or optimism about the future. We are all trained economists and understand path dependence and location economics. The entire future of the Country is in our cities.

      The four southern states that could eventually be blue (Tex, NC, Ga, and Mo) are dominated by cities.

      The GOP will switch to being the party of jealously of success. They carried the water for the .1% this time and lost. Protecting the rich is what they will drop.

    5. Anonymous8:24 AM

      If they are truly libertarian, anti-religion, relying on the power of individual decision making their stance on abortion should be on the left of the Democratic Party.

      Because unless you have a religious belief that life begins at conception, how else can you force a woman to carry a child she doesn't want to.

    6. Noah

      In support of my jealously argument, read this paper

      What Drives Views on Government Redistribution and Anti-Capitalism: Envy or a Desire for Social Dominance?James Lindgren

      Northwestern University - School of Law

      KISS summary: racists are jealous and anti-capitalist

  13. Noah, I think you're right about this but it's also worth asking why so many white males, especially in the South, feel alienated by the Democratic party. The politics of insult cuts both ways, and there's a sneering superior attitude towards "rednecks" that is not uncommon in liberal circles. As Lynn Parramore says in a very thoughtful recent piece: "Every time a San Franciscan or a New Yorker rails against “rednecks” in the South, he has done Karl Rove’s work for him."

    Right now this may not be electorally decisive but it is one more obstacle to serious and open debate about pressing economics and social issues.

    1. super great link

    2. I read the first couple of paragraphs. It's an exercise in straw man stuffing. Smart, educated northern Republicans that I know voted for Romney because they are ignorant in a very targeted way - they don't bother to think through the facts that neither the Ryan budget nor the Romney tax plan stand up to simple arithmetic, they think he is for small government, and ignore that he has no definable position on any issue other than cutting taxes. What causes this kind of blindness? It's the triumph of imagined ideology over a real lack of substance.

      Throw in racism south of the Mason-Dixon line and you have multitudes of counties that Romney carried with percentages even reaching into the 90's.

      At least one of the reasons this popular vote was so close is that B. Hussein Obama is waaaayyyy too black.

  14. Anonymous7:44 AM

    Never would I have expected so large a percentage of Asian-Americans to support President Obama especially when one considers that blacks specialize in the brutal treatment of Asian-Americans. The LA riots are perhaps the most notable example but one must not forget the violence faced by Asian youngsters in the urban schools. Yes, those same poor schools that blacks attend but somehow Asians manage to leave them prepared for university (a result of a yellow power structure, I wonder?).

    I'm not sure if the irony is intended but having higher incomes than whites and being such a small portion of the electorate would make the burden of the welfare state heavier for Asians than for whites. That Asians are hurt more by affirmative action than whites only adds to the irony.

    1. The Supreme Court is about to end this problem for the Democratic Party

    2. Anonymous8:16 AM

      "Never would I have expected so large a percentage of Asian-Americans to support President Obama especially when one considers that blacks specialize in the brutal treatment of Asian-Americans."

      Maybe they're not particularly racist.

  15. Anonymous8:14 AM

    Is it not true that Asian-Americans' higher income is partially to do with their concentration in a few major, high-cost-of-living cities? That is, I thought that if you controlled for cost of living and occupation, they nonetheless earn less than their equally skilled white counterparts.

    Of course, this is moot to Noah's point, since most conservatives buy the "Model Minority" line anyway, mostly so they can point to Asian-Americans to "disprove" white privilege.

  16. Anonymous8:36 AM

    How about another group that completely blows out the taker/maker narrative: the IT sector of Silicon Valley.

    Think about it, this group should be the model of the Republican Party if they really are what they think they are - the party of entrepreneurs, small business, and hard workers. Not only that, but by and large the IT sector is the defining industry of the United States. Traditional manufacturing is not anymore, and the only reason we hear so much about it because of Electoral College politics. The financial services industry is much more global, and yet even if it wasn't conservatives have become quite suspicious to it as well.

    But the IT sector should be thee "it" electorate for them! Yet not only is Silicon Vally voting democrat, they are now their largest campaign contributors.

    Someone within the conservative circles should look at that and think about the implication. To me it's clear, a party that nominates the Todd Akins and Sharon Angles of the world has nothing to do with "fiscal conservatism", and everything to do with the most extreme views of social conservatism.

    1. Anonymous11:24 PM

      In terms of sheer clout, Silicon Valley is also where the money (i.e. power) is and will increasingly be. This may be the moment it begins asserting itself, replacing the Sun Belt (fueled by oil and a resurgent post-New Deal Dixie), and before that, the Eastern industrial establishment it replaced, symbolically and somewhat literally, at the moment Kennedy was shot. Think about where the next several presidents were, from then until Obama. All from SoCal, Texas, or the South, except for Ford who was never elected, and arguably the Bushes, who faked it.

      In fact, the Bush family is the perfect case study in how this regional power struggle works, because they're so adept at shape-shifting: from Connecticut bluebloods to Texas good ol' boys, seamlessly...and now they're turning Hispanic!

      I really hope Northern California, with its historically unprecedented creation of wealth, starts asserting its politics more on a national level. I think we're beginning to see it, just think about the big winners Tuesday: pot, pluralism, gays, and information science :)

    2. Anonymous2:33 PM

      I agree on pretty much everything. Money is more and more concentrated around SV and the urban area around the Bay. It's kind of surprising that it took this long for them to begin asserting themselves in politics.

  17. The most remarkable part is that the Dem leaning of Asians is relatively new, unlike that of Jews. In both 1992 and 1996, Clinton lost the Asian vote by a larger margin than he did the white vote. I realize there has been much greater growth and internal demographic change among the Asian population, but still. Asians generally don't have a history of commitment to social justice and all that crap, and when the GOP was behaving like a comfortable and genteel ruling class rather than freaking out about white people under siege, Asians were quite happy to support and aspire to join them.

    1. Anonymous11:17 AM

      This. George W. Bush won 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004 because a lot of Hispanics have no inherent love for certain government programs that they themselves believe are mainly for blacks (and lets not kid ourselves about the general racism of minority groups towards each other)and hispanics comes from countries with even more retrograde systems than the US.

    2. Anonymous11:28 PM

      "Asians generally don't have a history of commitment to social justice and all that crap"

      You're right, they're only the continent where communism gained more purchase than anywhere else on the freakin' planet...

  18. Noah, it seems to me there is an economic angle to this too. Asians and Jews being relatively better educated and wealthy and hence well informed must realize that, conservative fantasies aside, the best economic times come when Democrats are in power. The data and anecdotal evidence are both overwhelmingly conclusive on that point.

    So it would be reasonable to believe that both groups can figure out that despite paying higher taxes y'all come out ahead. The decline of public education and the rise of the Republican propaganda machine has made it so that a majority of us white guys are idiotically shooting ourselves in the foot. It's pretty sad.

    1. Anonymous6:35 PM


    2. Anonymous9:23 AM

      >Asians and Jews being relatively better educated and wealthy and hence well informed must realize that, conservative fantasies aside, the best economic times come when Democrats are in power. The data and anecdotal evidence are both overwhelmingly conclusive on that point.

      I wonder if that's actually true for Republican-voting areas, Republican-voting demographics, etc... My first impulse is to doubt it. Certainly it should be untrue for Republican-supported industries!

  19. Anonymous10:27 AM

    I think the point about the Asian vote is interesting but I think the broader point is that the narrative is wrong because it's complete unsubstantiated nonsense. There is no evidence for it. The argument that 47% pay no tax has been shown to be disingenuous. Analysis shows that the states that receive more federal dollars than collected are largely republican. Further, a substantial number of the "47%" are white and identify republican. In my view the maker/taker narrative is part of a well thought out strategy of portraying a president whose main objective is to take money from the hard working, self dependent white and give it to shiftless blacks.

    1. Anonymous9:26 AM

      >Analysis shows that the states that receive more federal dollars than collected are largely republican.

      How does that fit in with the "99% of Republicans vote against their economic self-interest" story? I see that a lot from anti-Republicans.

  20. Hi Noah,
    There is some truth in the 'makers' vs 'takers' trope. Except that the direction of that flow is a bit different than what the GoP would admit to. To state a well-known fact, the "core" of the GoP, in the red states have for the previous couple of decades,been net takers.

    I also feel quite comfortable in speculating, that this has not been particularly beneficial to the citizens of these states, as they lag in many measures of advancement. I would further assert that this was by design, a creation of people like Carl Rove, who wanted a captive and unthinking mass unflinchingly voting for them,allowing the puppet masters in turn to skew and destroy legislation and foster crony capitalism.

    The GoP has backed themselves into this awful place. Escape would require monumental change and a true f*kup from the Dems. One of these f*kups, as I see it, is about to be committed by Mr. Obama, as he will most likely compromise on the Fiscal Cliff.

  21. inertial11:38 AM

    Culture war, schmulture war. Just wait until the Democrats raise taxes again. You know, back in the day there was an actual cost for voting Democrat. As in dollars and cents. Everyone knew it; that's how Reagan/Bush got their landslides in the 80s.

    Now, there hasn't been a tax increase in a generation. Many Asians (and non Asians) don't know what it's like, don't even realize such a thing is possible. For a generation, you could vote Democrat to protect gay people against the redneck Neanderthals (or something), feel virtuous about it -- and pay no cost! Well, that's coming to an end. The Asians (and many non-Asians) are about learn that voting Democrat can hurt you in the place most near and dear to you -- your pocketbook. The results are going to be interesting to watch.

    1. Yes. An increase in the top marginal rate from 33 to 36% for those making over $250K is going to be devastating to the 98% of the population who make a whole helluva lot less.


    2. inertial1:45 PM

      You are naive if you think that's going to be the only tax increase. But even then, there are plenty of Asian professionals or business owners in blue areas who make this kind of money. Will they be devastated by this? Not really, not a great majority of them. But they all will receive a message -- your vote is not free, it has an out-of-pocket cost.

    3. "You are naive if you think that's going to be the only tax increase. But even then, there are plenty of Asian professionals or business owners in blue areas who make this kind of money. Will they be devastated by this? Not really, not a great majority of them. But they all will receive a message -- your vote is not free, it has an out-of-pocket cost."

      Any such message will be drowned out the overall state of the economy.

    4. Even if this very tax-sensitive Asian voter eventually begins to dislike voting Democratic, that doesn't mean they have to return to actively voting for Republicans. It's quite probable they wouldn't, as long as the message is loud and clear that their kind (doubly so if they're not Christian) is disdained and will never be a "real American." They can always withhold their support from both parties, and thus not feel ashamed about giving their vote to the Republicans.

    5. "There hasn't been a tax increase in a generation."

      Maybe not an income tax increase, but there have been many increases in fuel taxes, tobacco taxes, state and local sales taxes, and so on during that time. This isn't that big a surprise.

  22. Anonymous12:02 PM

    I think the urban/rural divide is key to the Asian and Jewish vote being liberal. The urban/rural divide is more important than income, religion or race, in my opinion.

    1. Anonymous3:28 PM

      Yeah I think Noah missed something pretty obvious.

    2. Keep in mind, though, that's a self-selected set. No one's stopping Asian-Americans from moving out to the country.

    3. Malatesta4:18 PM

      Well, no one but the hostile white people who already live there.

  23. Bill Ellis12:52 PM

    There is a common sense, one I share on a gut level, that holds that the Right-wing info bubble is mostly something that imprisons only the average conservative. The feeling is that the reality/science denying bubble is something the elite cons created to control their rabble and that they are above it... with their heads in reality.
    And maybe that is the way the bubble started. But now, more and more, it is clear that the elite have been swallowed by their own bubble.

    So I have to lean to ignore my gut on this.

    The Romney camp's election expectations are a good example of being swallowed by their own bubble.

    When it came to the polls...Mitt and his own private pollsters believed the same things the right wing talking heads believed.

    It’s just one more example of the right’s capacity to ignore science when it conflicts with what they want, or need to believe.

    Mitt Romney ‘Shellshocked’ After Lost Election, Adviser Says

    (…) the campaign was unprepared for this in part because it had ignored polling that showed the races favoring Obama. Instead, it turned to its own internal “unskewed” polls, which it believed more accurately reflected the situation on the ground. They didn’t.”

    “unskewing” in this case meant ignoring undeniable changes in basic demographics… changes that were in the census for all to see… changes that WERE pointed out to them, but ignored.

    The reason the repubs missed so badly with their polls was because they willfully ignored reality… and that willful ignorance of reality went all the way to the top.

    1. inertial1:38 PM

      Have you been around in 2004? The liberals were sure Kerry would win; any evidence to the contrary was explained away (Bush may be ahead in the polls but the independents always break for the challenger! and so on.) So, they were stunned when Kerry didn't win. Things like that are only natural; no one goes into fight believing he would lose. Every side believes they have a great chance. This is not bubble.

      The truth is, there is no such thing as conservative bubble. You cannot exist in the modern America society without being exposed to huge dollops of liberalism. Just turn on TV and watch it through the nearest commercial break. On the other hand, the liberal bubble is quite real. The liberals are naturally not aware of it, just like fish doesn't know it's wet. As a result, liberals typically believe that they have monopoly on Reality, Truth, and Science. And, because of bubble, there is no one to tell them it's ain't necessarily true.

      This won't end well.

    2. Bill Ellis5:39 PM

      I was around. And your memory of 2004 is way off.

      Dems became hopeful at the end. The polls were trending in the right direction just before the election. Kerry's people believed they could win... could ... And that they had a better than 50 / 50 probability that they would win.. And it was a rational position to take given the data the polls showed. In the end a very closely contested Ohio would have swung the election either way.
      When the election results started coming in dems were disappointed. Not shocked. Not in denial.

      The Romney team, had to access to good scientific statistical data that should have informed them that they were wrong two weeks before the election. Minimum.

      This is the first time in my life a Presidential candidate was this deluded about his chances.
      Most of them have known the outcome. In the closer races there was some unwarranted optimism on the part of the loser.. often hand in hand with unwarranted pessimism on the part of the winner.

      In 2004 the polls showed it was going to be close... In 2012 the polls showed that there would be a stomping.

    3. inertial6:46 PM

      Ah, here is Exhibit A of the liberal bubble. So, the 2004 election, when Bush got 50.7% of the popular vote, was "close"; but the 2012 election, when Obama got 50.4%, is a "stomping". (Both figures are from Wikipedia.)

      BTW, 2-3 weeks before the election Romney was ahead in most polls (national polls, that is). It wasn't crazy to suppose that he might win. If the conservative base turned out even to a degree it did for McCain Romney would've won.

      Look, among and all this talk about how conservatives failed one thing is getting lost. This was a very, very close election. Even when conservative turnout was at a historic low, Obama still barely survived. He won this election by the skin of his teeth. Now think what it implies for the next election.

      Here is a likely scenario. In 2016, conservatives will be angrier and hungrier. It's very likely that they'll flock to the poll at the record levels. On the other hand, most polling organizations will assume the 2008 & 2012 turnout model (i.e. a low conservative turnout). The liberals, in their bubble, will think themselves safe, because Science! Math! Then on the election night -- boom.

      It's okay, the liberal bubble won't be punctured no matter what happens. If they lose, they'll explain it away by voter fraud.

    4. Anonymous8:29 PM

      Noah, this is a great sign of success. In "inertial" you might have your very own Morgan Warstler or Major Freedom. That's a sign that the blog is growing.

    5. I had my own Morgan Warstler. His name was Morgan Warstler. I banned him because he kept triggering my schizophrenia phobia.

    6. Anonymous11:07 PM

      Dude. The way elections are actually decided, as people like the now-infamous Nate spent all year pointing out, is in the Electoral College. That's why Al Gore was never President even though he squeaked by in the popular vote too. Bush beat Kerry by one state. Obama beat Romney by 126 EV, meaning he could have given up Ohio AND Virginia AND Florida (thank God, or we still wouldn't know the winner) and STILL won. This was, in the terms that matter, a STOMPING.

    7. Bill Ellis8:34 PM

      Maybe I will get my own category Noah's next addition of internet trolls ?

      But as has been pointed out the vote total was similarly close but the electoral collage vote was not. And the polls in both case reflected it.

      In 2004 The EXIT POLLS even showed Kerry doing better than Bush...yet the Kerry folks were never as deluded as Mitt and Co. were on the night of the election.

    8. Anonymous11:30 PM

      I'd just like to add there are still millions of uncounted votes. Currently it's Obama 50.5% and Romney 47.9% with Obama continuing to widen the gap (most of the uncounted ballots are early votes). Compare that with Bush 50.7% and Kerry 48.3%. Obama's margin is wider than in the 2004 election.

  24. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Angry much?

  25. Seems like the repubs are going to gradually increase their inclusion bubble (expand their narrative, if you will) to include hispanic Christians, under the code word of "values". I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner, frankly, since the grass-roots repub movement has always been so big on value voting at the cost of economic malaise.

  26. " I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner, frankly, ..."

    We saw in the last few years a revolt by the base precisely about this. The base/Tea Party defined latinos as 'non-white' for the purposes of the White People's Party.

    It's clear now that that message was received loud and clear.

  27. buddyglass5:05 PM

    Allow me to suggest that you oversimplify the GOP's argument with respect to who's voting Democrat and why. Certainly they believe the "takers" are a core Democratic constituency, but they're not the only Democratic constituency. Let's call them the "greedy". Another part of the Democratic coalition, if you were to ask the typical hyper-partisan Republican, could be called the "evil" camp. Whereas the "greedy" just want to laze around and have the government provide for them, the "evil" want to do things that ought not be done. For instance, marry someone of the same sex, abort a fetus or take away our guns.

    The "evil" camp is a way to explain all the wealthy whites (and Asians, and blacks, and Latinos) who vote Democratic despite not being members of the "takers" camp.

  28. To a certain extent you are missing what goes on in conservative circles. The issue of whether or not their narrative is true is irrelevant. They may or may not believe the things they say, but either way the actual point of peddling ideas like how Nate Silver is wrong or all democrats are welfare queens is to provide a signal of how conservative they are. A key result from the signaling literature in labor economics is that signals have to be costly to be effective, and that's whats going on here--the more you sacrifice your credibility and alienate liberals and moderates the better, since this will provide a more credible signal to others about how conservative you are.

  29. Anonymous11:03 PM

    Nailed it nailed it nailed it. The maker/taker thing, if possible, is almost WORSE than the general naked xenophobia. It's so incorrect, and so insulting, that every time they start on it, it's like they're begging, DON'T VOTE FOR US, WE SUCK, NO SERIOUSLY WE'RE THE BIGGEST ASSHOLES IN THE WORLD. But somehow I guess it doesn't sound that way if your native language is Republicanese-Amurcan?

  30. Great post, Noah. If you don't mind I linked to it and excerpted it on my blog ( It's also brave of you to spell things out the way they are, what with the prevailing poisonous atmosphere.

  31. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Being an asian who waited years to vote for obama, here's my spin on this.

    1. Asians due to the the emphasis on education are more irreligious which results in no motivation towards the republican party. Which is ironic given that social positions of the bible would of favoured progressive ideals. On the otherhand while conservative christians support the values opposite of their own religion. All while republicans talk about getting government off people's lives their base (don't give me that no true scotsman YOU AND I KNOW that most republicans gave the rhetoric) support banning abortion, the indifference to discriminication against gays and minorities.

    2. the core republican values have no appeal with asians. The whole taking our guns garbage, restriction on women's reproductive rights, the HAHA SOCIALIST COMMIE MARXIST KENYAN ISLAMOFACIST NAZI only wins with morons, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, screw the poor all while many asians had experienced poverty at first hand. the republican anti science bandwagon which of course never bodes well with asians. Social conservatism is dead to asians and trying to talk asians into it is only going to result in a who the hell are you? stare.

    3. Yes maybe racism and xenophobia exists in both sides but with the democrats its so scant while on the republicans its very much prominent. Most republicans are extremly ignorant of minorities and this never appeals to asians, who believe it or not are much aware with the shit they deal with everyday. When the news about asians voting 73-24 for obama came out, in left websites the comments made no ignorant references towards asians. While on right websites, morons were spewing dumb shit, "Of course! asians love the gangnam style!" "I thought asians were smart?" " looks like they never left communism".

    Republicans can use us against other minorities as long as they want but we can make our own decisions. And were sticking with obama.

  32. Spot on, Noah! I am amazed at the level of denial of basic facts in the current conservative movement. Even a challenge to their bogus facts results in accusations against the challenger coupled with even more false factual claims. Take a look at the following exchange that happened on my Facebook feed:

    screen shots are here.

    Honestly, how do you reason with people so divorced from reality and so eager to post anything as fact without even checking to see if it is true? What rock do they hide under to not know who won the popular vote? How do they pop up from under that rock in time to notice this bogus map of the election results without also noticing that Obama won the popular vote? I don't get it. I really don't.

    Best of luck to you!

    Ben Wheeler

    1. Anonymous5:36 PM

      Conservative logic

      Hick county > Urban area of 500,000+

    2. @anonymous. It's not just that. They didn't seem to care that some of the counties had been colored red when they should have been blue. I pointed out 3 of those and the response was "chill dog, the song remains the same."

      Ben Wheeler
      Sensational Sonnets

  33. Anonymous7:22 PM

    My parents are the 1st generation viet-americans who vote republican and here's a little secret.

    Most of the older viet and korean generation vote for republicans because of the eighties "Reagan will destroy communism" rhetoric. But most of them vote for republicans because they think that voting for republicans would make them more accepted with white people. A lot of the younger asian generation like mines don't suscribe to that BS. And i try not to reason with them on what the democrats are , because they keep repeating about communism this and that even though a lot of times their positions line up more with the democrats.

    And ive been told by my filipino friends that their parents vote for republicans because they agree with the social conservatism back in their homeland (overpopulation is a really huge problem back there and the catholic church refuses to allow birth control because they want more catholics being born despite the crushing poverty)

  34. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Fret not, my liberal Jewish friend. Within just another half-century or so, your fantasy of a multicultural wonderland dominated by third-worlders will finally be realized, with your hated White European-Blooded Male being forever relegated to irrelevance in American politics. At best it will resemble Brazil with sky-high crime rates, gated communities and lawless favelas; at worst it will resemble South Africa with mini-genocides occurring on a weekly basis. Either way, however, I'm sure your kind's "master narrative" of who is to blame for it all will remain exactly the same.

    1. Anonymous8:23 PM

      Here it is ladies and gentlemen. The future of the republican party.

    2. Heh. Well, my Aryan Ubermesch friend, maybe you're right! But I think not.

      Remember, "white" is a term made up by Americans. Europeans thought of themselves as a hodgepodge of races - Germans certainly didn't think of themselves as the same race as Russians or French, English people called Swedes "swarthy", etc. Even Jews were considered a separate race. When all of those people immigrated here, they got lumped into the "white" category, and then they all intermarried and forgot that they had ever been different races.

      I'm pretty sure the same thing will happen with the new Asian and Hispanic immigrants. Yes, we'll be kind of like Brazil. But Brazil has its own problems.

      Will we have gated communities surrounded by high-crime sprawl? Yes. Arguably that's what we have right now. But it'll get better. Look, crime has dropped by 60% since I was a kid, and it's still falling. (Don't look now, but crime is falling in Brazil too!) Not to mention the fact that drug use and teen pregnancy are also down here in the U.S.

      So maybe you're right, but I think you're being way too pessimistic. Embrace the new world. Immigrants are hot, dude. Go marry one!

    3. You forgot to add the part about enforced Sharia law. K. Thx.

    4. Noah is right: the supply of white people is endogenous. The grandchildren of Mexicans who came here in the 20s still have Spanish names, but now self-identify and are perceived as white. So shall it be for many other children of immigrants.

    5. Furthermore: It's fairly obvious WHY the white-people supply is endogenous. Returns on whiteness are real and easily perceived. So anyone who can plausibly pass as "white," will choose to do so. We see this, in a weird way, in the ridiculous racial categories that emerged in the post-bellum South, with the concepts of "Quadroons," "Octamaroons" and so forth placing meddlesome barriers to entry on whiteness.

  35. Anonymous9:51 PM

    Noah, re: your update --- other people may be saying the same thing, but you said it very well.

  36. Interesting discussion. Although the campaign rhetoric was mostly about "jobs", the economy and women's issues and the post-election analysis is mostly about demographics in a very broad sense. To me this is too narrow a view on the reasons that Obama and Democrats get support as there are a ton of ways in which the Republicans could be alienating to many, and I might posit, Asian-Americans in particular.

    1) As a commenter mentioned earlier. Don't underestimate the anti-science angle the Republicans themselves seem to be proud of. Witness the way they've seemed to take the creationist idealogy and transfered that to the science of global warming not existing. Everything they don't believe in is a left-wing conspiracy by biased liberal elite scientists. Insulting science probably doesn't endear oneself to many educated people.

    2) Foreign Policy: Many of us still haven't forgot W. Bush's assualt on diplomacy and bullying of our allies. Say what you will about the wars themselves but the whole Axis of Evil statement, the Bush Doctrine, the idiotic nature our views were presented to the world and the "Youre either with us or against us" absolutism really turned people off. That combined with Obama's first term, which dispelled the Republican myth that the Democrats were soft on terror has really made it easy to support Democrats if you don't want things to be the way they were from 2000-2008. Obama isn't perfect, but Romney made no effort to distance himself from any of the stuff about the Bush years that are disliked. So people were afraid of going back to that.

    3) The way the fringe right attacked Obama for being a "muslim", "anti-colonialist" and "Kenyan" when neither is true yet substantial numbers of Republicans believe these lies in polling. How do you think Asian-Americans would feel when they see one party attack the sitting president with such venom for basically being a foreign other?

  37. Why is it that everyone is trying to figure out how Republicans can become a strong "winning" party again? Seems like since Romney lost, everyone is just chatty Kathy about the next move of team (R). Frankly, somewhere between Art Laffer and Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan and George Bush, I just kinda decided that 8f they'd just go away, we'd all be much better off.

    But thanks for the constructive criticism! Maybe if we keep helping them refine their electoral strategy, next time Romney might win! Woo-Hoo!

    Feh. Meh. Pleh.

  38. Anonymous11:50 AM

    Noah there's so much wrong with your thinking about minority voting patterns. To begin, Jews have historically voted Democratic. Also, Jewish voting patterns revert to community voting patterns once they marry outside the faith (which they do in large numbers).

    With Asian voting patterns, you're missing an even more obvious explanation. Asians and Jews may share a common cultural experience in America separate from race, and so would be expected to vote similarly.

    Blacks began shifting away from the Republicans decades before Nixon's 'Southern Strategy' and political historians typically explain this by FDR/Truman opening up Federal employment to blacks. This started when Democrats were the party of race, a clear counter-factual.

    There's more squish in your thinking. Your 'Republicans are racialists so minorities don't vote for them' theory is so strong you don't have to explain the 3 in the 3/1 pattern but the 1. You need to explain how any Jew/Asian could vote differently from you. Something like self-hatred. In your experience are Jews/Asians who vote differently from you self-haters? Perhaps something else, say idiocy.

    But then Noah, idiocy explains so much, doesn't it. I am a nerd, and I know many nerds and you are not a nerd. Maybe you don't have the chops for it. Think about renaming your site to something more appropriate like Nerd Wannabe, or Just Can't Quite Make It As A Nerd.

    1. I see a long rant here, but very little evidence to contradict anything I said in my post...

      But then Noah, idiocy explains so much, doesn't it. I am a nerd, and I know many nerds and you are not a nerd. Maybe you don't have the chops for it. Think about renaming your site to something more appropriate like Nerd Wannabe, or Just Can't Quite Make It As A Nerd.

      Sigh. Yet another man of moderate intelligence trying to strap on conventional ideas as an intellectual muscle one's buying it dude.

    2. No true Nerdsman...

  39. Anonymous5:13 PM

    This is exactly what I've been saying. How do you think I feel? I'm Jewish *and* Chinese... Even though I'm rich, married, and regularly attend religious services, my wife is an immigrant, I'm not Christian, nor white, and my family is polyethnic/religious/cultural/linguistic... and we don't feel welcome in the small tent Republican party.

  40. Anonymous7:30 AM

    Being an achiever doesn't mean that someone is motivated by Wall Street gang members dangling class-specific tax cuts tailored to appeal to the acquisitiveness of those who need them least. Next time you're in the financial district look for the gang members on the street corner. They'll be wearing their colors, navy blue or charcoal grey.

    Every party is a coalition of disparate interests stitched together, but the faction ascendant in the GOP is Wall Street. Wall Street politics thrive on self-interest and upward income redistribution.

    The GOP has a huge share of takers in its tent. Witness Romney's efforts to reassure the military-industrial complex that his election would mean business as usual, keeping their financial umbilical cord intact even if it kills the body politic.

    That wing of the GOP is almost entirely comprised of tax units who directly or indirectly get their paychecks from the government. Only arrogance and entitlement keep them from recognizing that the ghost of "socialist" FDR's WPA lives on with every workfare paycheck they take.

  41. Anonymous10:10 AM

    Aggressive Christian identity politics by the GOP has alienated many Asian Americans, a population which has grown less Christian since 1990:

  42. Anonymous8:34 AM

    >White (Christian) ethnocentrism is turning everyone else against them.

    "Everyone else turning against" an ethnic group sounds like that very very evil (according to popular culture and propaganda, at least) thing called... racism.

    And this also sounds like you're implying that there are, in fact, justifiable and/or rational reasons to be racist. An interesting but politically incorrect idea.

  43. Finally found time to read this....Great post Noah!

  44. As a Korean-American, I'd say this analysis is spot on for me.

  45. In a society that treats "diversity" as holy writ, identifying oneself with an "out" group and expressing alienation (unjustified typically) is to be expected. Voting against the "mainstream" comes naturally from oppositional self-identification.

    Stated differently, a culture that encourages division rather than assimilation and conformity can only expect everyone outside of the "core" to vote against the "core".

    Obviously the Democratic party benefits from racial identity politics. Inevitably they will continue to promote it, no matter what the danger to the Republic.

  46. Anonymous7:30 AM

    Here is a link to a pretty long article I recently read that raises, I think, quite interesting points about this ethnic relations stuff.

    What reminded me in the article about this post of yours was the finding that "liberal" (as you call it in your country) ideology seems like a great benefit in getting admission to the elite "Ivy League" universities in your country, which seem to be the way to the political, financial, cultural etc. elite in your country. On the other hand, being racially Asian is found to be a great hindrance to such admission (although the greatest hindrance seems to be being non-Jewish white). This would seem to me like a strong incentive for Asians to pay allegiance to the ideology and culture of "liberalism", as it would significantly increase (or at least not hinder) their chances in the very tough competition that Asians face in such admissions. At the same time, being an ethnic, often recently immigrated minority would not make them have strong ties to the historical ethnic core of your country, whose interests seem to be opposed in many ways by the ideology of "liberalism".

  47. Anonymous2:37 PM

    I'm Asian-American, and I have to agree on that point with you. I'll be forever seen as an exotic foreign in the eyes of those so-called "patriotic" conservatives. It's ironic that, if we trace far enough, everyone has come here by boat; except for possibly the Native Americans, and we've treated them like crap. It's ironic that, Chinese Americans were here back in the early construction of the country.
    How "patriotic" of them that they've decided to exclude every other fragments of America, rather than the (misinformed) "West European White" "ethnic".
    Even I'm growing frustrating with the Dems, I am far more offended by the Reps.
    And I don't understand the notion that "Anonymous" before me posted, that Asians have hindrance to get to "Ivy League". The reality is, there are far more great state and non-Ivy universities than just the Ivy League. Smart people don't choose schools for the name, and many poor Asian-American students find these non-Ivy universities to be more welcoming.
    I was twice accepted to Ivy schools, with fellowship, turned them both down to go to a state university. I'd like to be in a progressive school where they care about public education for America.