Your Lying Eyes

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14 December 2011

Asymmetric Political Warfare

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Texas' appeal of a judicially imposed apportionment plan and issued a stay against the plan's implementation. The Justice Department claims that Texas's reapportionment discriminates against Hispanic voters by reducing their representation. But what this case really comes down to - and how I think the 5 conservative justices will decide - is the Justice Department attempting to dictate to states the partisan makeup of their delegations, which is clearly a violation of state sovereignty.

Back in the early days of the voting rights act, which imposes onerous restrictions on jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory voting rules, the question was whether you'd have a white Democrat or a black Democrat in the legislature or in Congress. Now that whites in the South have pretty much made a complete party switch, enforcing the Voting Rights act means mandating more Democrats than the legislature would prefer. But it is the right of state legislatures, going back to the early days of the Republic, to maximize their party's representation via apportionment.

States dominated by Democrats, however, have no such concerns - they can apportion their voters as they see fit (granted, California voters decided to implement a non-partisan apportionment scheme, but that's their choice). So how is it a level political playing field if one party is forced by the courts to give up seats while the other can operate without restrictions? It isn't, of course, which is why I think the 5 'good guys' on the court will overturn it. The question is how weasily will they do so?

This imbalanced political landscape is not just restricted to the Voting Rights Act. The Republican Party is basically the party of white America, but of course such an entity as "white America" cannot be acknowledged in mainstream outlets (except of course as a source of some evil). A Republican legislator cannot complain that his constituents are being forced to move because their schools are becoming disabled by excessive numbers of non-English speakers or poorly behaved minorities. So instead he must complain about "illegal" immigration in the vaguest of terms and express displeasure with the failure of schools by blaming teacher-unions (bastions of anti-Republican rhetoric). A Democrat, on the other hand, can freely rile up his constituents by denouncing "discrimination" and favoritism, regardless of the facts.

Similarly, any Democrat politician, black or white, can make unlimited hay over alleged racial profiling among the police or "institutional racism" in the law enforcement. But no Republican politician would dare court white voters by defending the police, pointing out, for example, the disproportionately high levels of criminal behavior in the black community. When it was recently revealed that some NYPD officers had the nerve to complain on a facebook page about having to work during the West-Indian Day parade which annually features gun-fire and police injuries, who came to their defense, pointing out that people who engage in gunfights during a parade deserve to be called 'animals'?

The essence of this asymmetry in political combat is that Democrats are free to rabble-rouse and demagogue their positions without penalty - indeed, often with great showers of media attention for doing so - while Republicans must rouse their constituents only obliquely through proxies - religious faith, gun rights, opposition to gay marriage, and of course "No New Taxes". Even then, we often hear pundits denounce the "Three G's" - Gays, Guns and Gods - so even their proxies are derided.

But this leads to dumb policies - or at least failure to enact sensible policies. We can't have sensible gun laws, because Republicans have to prove that they sympathize with white-Americans' anxiety over the baneful impacts of minorities on their neighborhoods not by addressing that issue directly but by supporting unrestricted gun rights. Gay marriage is stupid - but the real problem is the insidious "Diversity" mentality that so offends the white middle class, but instead of fighting that, Republicans must single out Gay marriage (and even that fight is being rapidly lost). And Religion leads to unnecessary constitutional battles, while it is just a proxy of course for the desire of white Americans to keep America the way it is - not a banana republic, not a dysfunctional, balkanized economic zone, as it is on its way to becoming.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could the rising popularity of black conservatives like Allen West start to break down this asymmetry? I admit this is wishful thinking, but I think a subtle shift is occuring (especially with college students).

The clear thinking and bluntness of some black conservatives are beginning to pique some interest among young voters. I, myself, was overwhelmingly liberal when I entered college, but by the end of grad school my entire political outlook had shifted considerably "right". I was introduced to the work of Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Ellis Washington, etc... I quickly realized that there is no arguing facts, and I had lived my entire life wishing for some sort of unrealistic fantasy world, where everyone accepts everyone and universal compassion would create peace and thriving economies.

Becoming a conservative was not a natural progression for me. I was humiliated into becoming one! Williams and Sowell basically bitch-slapped some sense into me.

As stated in your post, the left owns 95% of the socio-political talking points. For whatever reason, these talking points have become much easier and comforting for people to accept than hard-hitting facts and lessons from history. Attempting to argue talking points with facts is nearly impossible, especially on college campuses. The environment is downright hostile.

I hate to agree with McCain's daughter, but it seems America DOES need a few conservative leaders who are "pop culturally relevant". This is an unfortunate circumstance, and it speaks very lowly of the American masses. Most young voters seem to view Democrats as being "cool and compassionate", while Republicans are "white, old, and cranky". We need leaders who shift this paradigm.

Are there anymore enthusiastic, confrontational, clear-speaking Paul Ryans and Allen Wests out there? We need them if we want symmetry in the political landscape.

December 16, 2011 10:01 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

Or we could try to make "white, old and cranky" cool. If we had more cranky people in charge of banking, we probably wouldn't be in the mess we're in. If you asked 20 random people why this big mess happened, how many would correctly answer "because too many people got loans they had no business getting"?

December 16, 2011 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Touche! Maybe need to start exposing young Americans to "Married with Children" and "All in the Family". An Al Bundy and Archie Bunker renaissance of sorts...

December 16, 2011 1:07 PM  
Blogger Steve Sailer said...

This is really good. Remind me to link to it next week.

December 17, 2011 4:59 AM  
Blogger Doug1 said...

Really good post.

Steve Sailer led me to here.

You need to add a RSS button.

February 24, 2012 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Harry Baldwin said...

>>We can't have sensible gun laws, because Republicans have to prove that they sympathize with white-Americans' anxiety over the baneful impacts of minorities on their neighborhoods not by addressing that issue directly but by supporting unrestricted gun rights.>>

This is a great post, but I can't make sense of this sentence. Are gun rights a bad thing that we require only because we have troublesome minorities among us? A great many Americans value their gun rights for their own sake. And how would the government address "the baneful impacts of minorities on [our] neighborhoods" anyway? Apartheid? Even that didn't work out in the long run.

BTW, you probably know this, but the passage of concealed carry laws in most states now have not resulted in the bloodbath predicted by those opposed to gun rights -- quite the contrary, in fact.

February 24, 2012 11:00 PM  

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