Jewish World Review Aug 3, 2012 / 20 Menachem-Av, 5772
No more boring white guys for the GOP
By Jonah Goldberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "A friend of mine, a Hispanic entrepreneur, asked me a question some time ago. He said, 'When is the last time you saw a Hispanic panhandler?' I think it's a great question. I'll tell you, in my life I never once have seen a Hispanic panhandler, because in our community it would be viewed as shameful to be out on the street begging."
That was Republican U.S.
Just for the record, I've seen a Latino panhandler or two. Or at least I think they were Latino -- I don't usually quiz panhandlers about their ethnic backgrounds.
But Cruz is right that there do seem to be fewer Latino beggars than other ethnicities (though in my experience, Asian-Americans are the biggest shirkers when it comes to creating an ethnically diverse lumpenproletariat), and I think Cruz's pride in this fact is refreshing -- and helpful.
I've been saying for a while now that this is the last presidential election in American history where the
This is not a point about racial animosity toward
But going forward, the
Boring white guys aren't great for that project. But candidates like
It's hardly a novel insight that the
The substance of those policies aside, there are political problems with this thinking. First, Republicans rarely if ever win such bidding wars.
Second, there's a faulty assumption here: that various ethnicities, and young people generally, are both monolithic and hardwired to support certain policies and are therefore immune to persuasion.
But young people almost by definition believe in things they eventually grow out of. The same goes for Latino voters, who are not monolithic in almost any sense: racially, ethnically, religiously or ideologically.
For instance, contrary to much of what you've heard in the press, the Latino vote in
Trende argues that most of the Democratic advantage among Latinos can be explained by income. Poor people tend to vote Democratic. There are a lot of poor Latinos in the U.S. Still, if you control for income, the Latino voter becomes less distinct from the average voter.
In short, Latinos lean decidedly Democratic, but they are decidedly persuadable as well. And young politicians like Cruz -- and Sen.
White Republican politicians tend to be terrified of racial and ethnic activists and the journalists who empower them. This results in many
Young, energetic, whip-smart and philosophically coherent politicians like Cruz and Rubio can confidently appeal to Latinos without sounding condescending and without caving to liberal assumptions about how to win over Latinos. They're also harder to demonize.
I mean, just imagine if Romney had mused about the nation's dearth of Hispanic panhandlers.
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