May 14, 2008
Andrew Sullivan regales us once again with his Oxford education. Sadly enough, he must come to terms with the fact that white rednecks still exist; their votes count as much as anyone else’s; and they like neither Obama nor black candidates in general. Why might that be?
Sullivan’s analysis consists in part of the following: “The race factor seems to have tipped very heavily toward Clinton in West Virginia. In Indiana, 16 percent said race was an important factor for them; in Pennsylvania, 19 percent; in West Virginia, 22 percent. The racial skew to Clinton does soar in West Virginia: 81 percent of race-based voters went for Clinton; in Pennsylvania, it was 55; in Indiana, it was 53 percent. Oddly, Obama did better among white Catholics in West Virginia than he has in the past. No idea, if that means anything.”
Consider how incredibly facile this statement is. For starters, 81% of 22% of West Virginia’s Democratic voters amounts to 17%. Hillary won by a good deal more than that with a net lead over 40%. More important, the net effect of race-conscious voters was smaller, since 4% voted for Obama for race-related reasons. Even if every single race-based voter went for Obama, he still would have lost.
Indeed, isn’t all this talk of white race-conscious voting ignoring the elephant in the room? West Virginia is almost all white. Its voters will split, nearly evenly, between Republican and Democrat in the fall. Yet blacks will not. We know, for example, that 90% or more blacks will vote Democratic in the general election no matter who the Republican candidate is. We know also that for many years majority black voting districts have been created purposefully with an eye to electing black candidates and cultivating distinctly black political power. This takes place because everyone knows that black voters, given a chance, will almost always choose a black candidate over a white one, just as they will almost never vote Republican. Black voters are the ones with racial solidarity, whereas white voters have strong cohorts in both parties. Obama’s 90% showing among black Mississippi Democrats didn’t exactly occasion hand-wringing about rising race consciousness by Sullivan, but 17% of West Virginia’s white Democrats voting against a black man on racial grounds is major cause for concern. This reveals, once again, the basic rules of “diversity”: everyone can act and think tribally, except whites, who are supposed to be aloof from appeals such appeals and internally divided.
Sullivan’s thinking out loud about Catholics in West Virginia is even worse, revealing his foreign roots and general ignorance of American life. There are almost no Catholics in West Virginia; they rank 49th out of the 50 states as a percentage of West Virginians. Whether they tipped this way or that is almost entirely irrelevant. It’s an old school Protestant state, with snake-handling churches and everything. West Virginia is a metaphor for all that the cultural left hates about America, its past, and its culture. Like America (particularly the America of yesteryear), it is majority Protestant, majority white, with a significant (75%+) cohort that is not university educated, where hard-working white people do the jobs Americans supposedly won’t do. This older America is a persistent reality that deeply frustrates Sullivan, Obama, and other forces of the cultural left. It’s why they resorted to court-led change and rearrangement of America’s demographics in the 1960s. Among this older, mostly white America, the cultural left sees nothing but hate, racism, and malevolence. If Obama loses, it will be because whites reject him. In the age of the trans-racial candidate, the rednecks and the white suburbanites will mutatis mutandis be the swing voters—the power-brokers of a democratic system. The Jewish vote, the black vote, the gay vote, and the various hodge-podge alienated minorities who make up the Democratic Party cannot (yet) outweigh the collective voice of America’s historical majority.
Leftist elites presume to have a moral claim to rule against majority sentiment because of their education. It would be nice if that included basic numeracy. There’s a reason it does not. Numbers representing facts are the starting point for realistic appraisals of everything from our enormous debt to the burden of mass immigration. Numbers too demonstrate the deep alienation and tribalism of black Americans and other minorities. Jeremiah Wright’s loony speeches were not a “distraction”; in fact, looking at the numbers tells us that he is a typical representative of his people and their chosen leaders. Numbers relating to voting, criminality, illegitimacy, IQ, and poverty also tell the story of our deep internal divide in an undeniable and often depressing way . . . if only we take the time to count.
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