Latinos or New Hampshire?

With whites comprising a rapidly falling share of the electorate, the GOP must make a decision.  They will need to reach out beyond their base in the Appalachian Mountains and Ozarks (notice how I refrain from using the “H-word”) and build a new coalition.  The Democratic coalition is basically utilitarian whites, and also various minorities.  The GOP has had a more difficult task; roping together economic libertarians, social conservatives, and “American greatness” neoconservatives.  More recently the nativists have been added to the mix.

Consider two areas where the GOP has recently slipped, Latino voters and New Hampshire voters.  The Latino problem is obvious; the GOP is now seen as being strongly anti-immigration.  The GOP wins working-class white voters with exactly the same views on social and economic issues as the Latino voters it loses.

I find the New Hampshire case more interesting.  I’ve previously argued that New Hampshire is the most successful state in America.  Remember those “quality of life” indices done by organizations like the UN?  The ones usually headed by a Nordic country?  New Hampshire would probably come in number one in America.  It’s the only state that I know of that has a very high average income level and a very high level of income equality.  I’m pretty sure that New Hampshire’s bottom 20% are the most affluent in America, perhaps the world.  They also do very well in education, and other non-economic indicators.

New Hampshire is also number one in America in terms of that Republican mantra of “getting the government off our backs.”  No income or sales tax.  Gay marriage.  It’s a paradise for pragmatic libertarians like me.  And it used to be highly Republican, but has suddenly become a red blue state.  The GOP couldn’t even win Dixville Notch, a northern town they used to carry by a landslide.  The collapse of the GOP in New Hampshire, a state that ought to be the number one showcase model for the “small government party,” is a microcosm of what’s wrong with the modern Republican Party.

Don’t get me wrong; I understand that there are no easy answers here.  If there were, they already would have been done.  A less hostile stance on immigration (to get Latino voters), or a more accepting attitude toward gay marriage (to get New Hampshire voters), is likely to piss off some of the GOP base.  I’m just trying to lay out the problem.

Please don’t leave the following silly comments:

1.  ”New Hampshire is small, it doesn’t matter.”  Obviously I meant they are also losing New Hampshire-type voters in bigger states.

2.  New Hamsphire went red because of migration from Massachusetts.  No it didn’t.  The migration is far too slow in the last two decades to explain the huge shift, and some of the people I know who migrated there were Republicans fleeing “Taxachusetts,” (which is also a misleading term.)  Trust me, the numbers show you are wrong.

3.  Don’t say New Hampshire is doing well because there are few minorities.  There are lots of northern states with small percentages of minorities, and New Hampshire blows them all out of the water.  They have an excellent governance model.  Period. End of story.

PS.  Hats off to Nate Silver.

PPS.  Talk about polarization!  Romney one won 24 states, but only one by a less than 8% margin.

PPPS.  Hats off to the voters of Washington and Colorado, for legalizing small amounts of pot.  And Tyler Cowen mentioned GMOs won in California.  I didn’t follow that issue, but I’m pleased to hear that.

PPPPS.  All you Massachusetts liberals who voted in favor of making people suffer before they die should be ashamed of yourselves.  That’s worse than Bush’s torture policy, and I’ll say so to your face when I meet you.  (Conservatives too, but at least they have a religious reason.)


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64 Responses to “Latinos or New Hampshire?”

  1. Gravatar of Ritwik Ritwik
    7. November 2012 at 06:32

    Don’t you mean blue where you’ve written ‘red’ ?

  2. Gravatar of Martin Martin
    7. November 2012 at 06:43

    I don’t get the “red” there either…

  3. Gravatar of adam adam
    7. November 2012 at 06:51

    Can I just say that this focus on Republicans being ‘anti-immigration’ as the problem is a bit absurd? It’s not just their immigration policy, it’s their implicit attitude toward minorities. The ‘real American’ rhetoric really doesn’t help them either.

  4. Gravatar of Darren Darren
    7. November 2012 at 06:55

    What’s interesting with regards to the minority vote is that exit polls show Obama carried Asians by a greater margin than he did Latinos. In my opinion, a small government message should play very well with first generation immigrants of all races. It seems to me that Republicans are not just seen as anti-immigration, but hostile to non-whites altogether.

    And yes, hats off to Nate Silver. I find it pretty ironic that people spend all this money on polls that turned out to be correct, and then turn around and go on cable news to tell us why the polls are wrong.

  5. Gravatar of Mike Gallo Mike Gallo
    7. November 2012 at 06:56

    Wrong on NH. Gay Marrige? what? Uber liberals suffering white guilt and to many people making to much money. If NH had 10% unemployment and Manchester was 70% african american they would see and experience the real america. I think they would vote another way.

  6. Gravatar of Jon Jon
    7. November 2012 at 07:05

    Cheers for Scott breaking the color meme.

    Scott writes: “More recently the nativists have been added to the mix.”

    I don’t get this. Remember Pat Buchanan? If anything the nativists have been roundly ejected from the elephant herd. Romney even called for more immigration and referred to immigrants as key to prosperity in the US.

    Your sense of the derivative is wrong. What’s happened with Latinos is a nearly complete capture of Spanish language television channels. For all the talk about media bias, you haven’t heard anything until you listen to the Spanish broadcasts.

  7. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    7. November 2012 at 07:11

    The Democratic coalition is basically utilitarian whites…”

    Ha, dream on, Scott…

    adam, there are plenty of Republicans from minority ethnic groups. And do you know how many immigrants Obama has deported recently? But the Australian news has picked up this meme too, unfortunately.

    I was going to say, the real story here is that Nate Silver is apparently God…

    “Talk about polarization! Romney one 24 states, but only one by a less than 8% margin.”

    That doesn’t seem like a good argument, since Obama apparently had a lot of tight victories…

  8. Gravatar of Tom Hannaford Tom Hannaford
    7. November 2012 at 07:12

    To think, it wasn’t that long ago when Dubya was attracting record numbers of Latino voters (by GOP standards at least)! I mean, of all the things one should and shouldn’t take away from the Bush 2.0 presidency, I’m still at a loss as to why the GOP decided not to push forward with comprehensive immigration reform…

    Alas, apparently the only lessons either party learned from the Bush era were that Americans only pay attention to wars when they don’t involve drones, and that the public will most likely succumb to party bias when it comes to voting despite 10 trillion dollars worth of new debt over the past 12 years :(

  9. Gravatar of Tom Hannaford Tom Hannaford
    7. November 2012 at 07:15

    Also, for as much as I love stat nerds getting airtime these days, why is Silver suddenly god of all predictions? I mean, if one tuned out the punditry and just looked at the RCP poll averages on a daily basis, one would have been able to conclude who was likely to win fairly easily…

  10. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    7. November 2012 at 07:27

    Tom Hannaford, dude, he got every single state right… He has discovered the laws of human behavior. (In polling booths.)

  11. Gravatar of Darren Darren
    7. November 2012 at 07:29

    Jon, do you think Democrats have the market cornered on Asian-American media too?

    Tom, 538 had the election called back in September when Intrade still had Obama at 55 to 65%. He called Ohio as the crucial swing state before anyone else. And he saw Florida breaking for Obama Monday and switched it from red to blue (RCP has Romney taking Florida). It’s not just about being right, it’s about being right before everyone else and having a model that’s responsive and robust at the same time.

  12. Gravatar of Neil S Neil S
    7. November 2012 at 07:29

    Scott,

    Regarding CA Prop 37. Rather than GMOs winning, it is more accurate to say that trial lawyers (the intended beneficiaries of the prop) lost. The depressing news was that it was only a 53-47 margin – so we’re likely to see another variation on the theme in the near future.

    Regards,
    Neil

  13. Gravatar of Jon Jon
    7. November 2012 at 07:39

    Darren, I cannot read the Chinese language papers. So I have no idea.

    The republican party actually aligns very well with Latino voters on the issues, so when Romney loses the Latino vote 2:1, we should look at other reasons.

    How do republicans align with Asian American policy preferences? Is there something to explain there?

  14. Gravatar of Becky Hargrove Becky Hargrove
    7. November 2012 at 07:48

    Saturos,
    As to polarization, yes it’s a close call in some states, but spend a little time in the South where it’s not even really cool publicly to talk about the Democratic party or liberal social issues…at least for whites.

  15. Gravatar of Assorted links | Economics of the 2012 Presidential Election Assorted links | Economics of the 2012 Presidential Election
    7. November 2012 at 08:05

    [...] Whither GOP? [...]

  16. Gravatar of Squarely Rooted Squarely Rooted
    7. November 2012 at 08:06

    Scott, you may find it interesting to look at this in the reverse manner. It is kind of strange, looking at the national pattern, that affluent largely-white New England is so overwhelmingly “blue” – Maine, Mass, Conn, RI, VT. So among its compatriots, NH is the red outlier, the double weirdo among weirdos. And even there it is not a recent story, NH went blue in 2004 when Kerry lost (though admittedly he was a New Englander) and 2008.

    Also, listen to the most recent episode of This American Life, which is largely about the horrifying implosion of New Hampshire’s quality of governance since the GOP wave of 2010, and maybe that will prove further clarifying.

  17. Gravatar of Wonks Anonymous Wonks Anonymous
    7. November 2012 at 08:09

    “working-class white voters with exactly the same views on social and economic issues as the Latino voters it loses”
    Citation needed.

  18. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    7. November 2012 at 08:21

    “Conservatives too, but at least they have a religious reason.”

    I don’t think that there’s a Biblical case for making marijuana illegal, especially when it can relieve suffering. It doesn’t even follow as logically as opposition to abortion, which is at least logically consistent with Christian (and in fact almost all) morality IF one makes some questionable assumptions about when life begins.

    The polarisation of American politics seems to go back to two events: the shattering of the John Dewey/FDR kind of social liberalism by the counter-culture on the one hand and Roe vs. Wade which led to the rise of the religious right. The religious right has benefited the Republicans a lot from 1980 to the present. Now, the perfection of identity politics (something foreign to traditional social liberalism) by the Democrats is benefiting them a lot.

    Unfortunately, these ideological shifts have the by-product of creating echo-chamber politics or (to use Diane Mutz’s terminology) an excess of participationary over deliberative democracy. How can you have regular and sustained dialogue with people whom you’re characterising as pure evil in your propaganda?

    This doesn’t just have superficial effects like those awful political pseudo-news shows (Maddow, Beck etc.) you have. It has practical consequences in the American system which depends on bipartisan compromise: the debt ceiling was an obvious symptom and was almost entirely the fault of the congressional Republicans, but it’s part of a long-term trend-

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Cloture-Invoked3Final.png

    The really weird thing is that multipartisanship is almost useless (except for committees) in the UK political system, because any time the executive lacks the ability to pass a budget then we have an election, yet our politics has never been so multipartisan: we have a two-party coalition and Conservative rebels recently voted alongside the opposition against the government on our tribute to the EU. On the other hand, the strengths of the US system (executive accountability and the separation of powers) depend on multipartisan politics.

  19. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    7. November 2012 at 08:45

    W. Peden, Scott was talking about euthanasia.

  20. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    7. November 2012 at 08:46

    Saturos,

    That makes sense. Thanks.

  21. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    7. November 2012 at 08:54

    “spend a little time in the South where it’s not even really cool publicly to talk about the Democratic party or liberal social issues…at least for whites”

    Becky, or diss NASCAR, apparently.

    Then again, to a large extent my knowledge of the American South comes from these guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPnyMLt7A3I&feature=relmfu

  22. Gravatar of Gabe Gabe
    7. November 2012 at 09:04

    The state of NH is good for one reason. The free state project and the 10,000 extremely radical libertarians that regularly fight against statism.

  23. Gravatar of Essayist-Lawyer Essayist-Lawyer
    7. November 2012 at 09:24

    As I understand them, Latino voters generally side with Republicans on abortion and gay marriage and Democrats on universal health care and tax progressivity. So which party to choose is a matter of emphasis and priority, until one party urges a generalized campaign of harassment and persecution to encourage illegal immigrants to “self deport.” Republicans assure us that they do not intend to target citizens or legal immigrants. But being asked to prove that you are not a legitimate target of harassment or persecution is deeply offensive and insulting.

  24. Gravatar of mpowell mpowell
    7. November 2012 at 09:27

    I used to regard the Republican party as a center-right party that was interested in high quality governance (which, according to their philosophy is a small government). And I was pretty sympathetic towards that party. But over the last 10 years I have become convinced that the Republicans as currently constituted stand for much worse governance than the Democrats. They will cut money in the least efficient ways (cut support for families with children and pay more on prisons later) and spend money in the least efficient ways (expensive foreign wars) and their approach to deregulating the economy is to let the big players cheat and steal as much as possible. I don’t know if this is why NH has abandoned the GOP, but it is certainly why I won’t vote for them. Whether Republican voters have realized it or not, the Republican party has been taken over by people who think the purpose of acquiring political power and influence is to enrich yourself and your friends. Reform will have to come from bottom up. And the tea party candidates are far too extreme and unserious to accomplish it.

  25. Gravatar of dBonar dBonar
    7. November 2012 at 09:29

    Becky & Saturos,

    Spend some time in parts of New York City where it’s not socially acceptable to talk about the Republican party or question received wisdom on social issues. Tribalism and group-think aren’t one-sided issues.

  26. Gravatar of sourcreamus sourcreamus
    7. November 2012 at 09:45

    The problem with identity politics is that you can’t appeal to people by issues only with identities.
    Mitt Romney was the moderate governor of a nearby state. He ran as a pragmatist and hardly mentioned social conservativism. He was what pragmatists say they wanted but he still lost New Hampshire. That is because they identify culturally with the Democrat party, and don’t want to be associated with the Republican party who they think represent the Clampetts.
    On the plus side, think of how much money the GOP will save by not having to have a primary and just annointing Rubio the nominee.

  27. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    7. November 2012 at 09:46

    dBonar, that sounds quite plausible to me as well… but I tend to think that a lot of your “polarization” is in fact media-manufactured.

  28. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    7. November 2012 at 09:47

    @ Saturos

    Silver did well, as did the other meta-analysis sites. That’s why Scott Rasmussen hates them – why bother paying any attention to the individual polls when you can just go and read the meta models?

    What Nate did particularly well, however, was integrating past information about pollster house effects, building an appropriate updating structure, and shrinking state projections to a national trend in the update. The updating structure has to balance several things – the improved accuracy from keeping older information vs. the bias of using older information, and the improved accuracy of using national data to update state trends vs. the potential bias in using national data intead of state trends.

    If you were to ask Nate himself, however, I’m sure he would say that his own model predicted a very low probability of him being right on all states.

  29. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    7. November 2012 at 09:50

    The Democratic party is the party of the urban, and the Republican party is the party of the rural. It is a complete flip from their roots.

    The Republicans have worked for a long time to deal with its internal conflict between the “social conservatives” and the “fiscal conservatives.” They two could unite so long as they had as they needed to work together against the spectre of creeping socialism.

    The Democrats moved toward the middle on economic policies in the Clinton years — free trade, welfare reform, balanced budgets… Clinton was the perfect Republican!

    GW Bush sold out the fiscal conservatives — Keynesian stimulus, trade protections, farm subsidies, general expansion of the Federal budget… biggest liberal since LBJ!

    The fiscal conservatives drifted out from the Republican party. When the country took a shift leftward, the fiscal conservatives woke up with the Tea party movement. But, it seems that the social conservatives have hijacked the Tea party.

    Before you pronounce the Republicans dead, do consider that they do still have the House and most of the governorships.

    Republicans are quite divided on immigration — George Bush and John McCain both attempted to liberalize immigration policies, but could craft neither a republican nor a bi-partisan strategy. The pro-union wing of the Democratic party also quite anti-immigrant. However, I will hand it to Pete Wilson for giving the California forever to the Democratic party with his Prop 187 immigration proposal.

  30. Gravatar of Stan Greer Stan Greer
    7. November 2012 at 10:13

    New Hampshire’s per capita income is nothing to brag about when the state’s high cost of living is taken into account. And its 2001-2011 private sector job growth, according to the broad U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis measure, is well below average. (See links below.) I am a fan of Scott Sumner’s, but I think he is way overstating the Granite State’s economic attractiveness here.

    Stan Greer
    National Right to Work Committee
    National Institute for Labor Relations Research

    http://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/index.stm

    http://bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=70&step=1&isuri=1&acrdn=4

  31. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    7. November 2012 at 10:14

    sourcreamus,

    The biggest single problem with identity politics, in my opinion, is that it is fundamentally based on indignation and group-identification. Of the rational emotions, these are two of the most hostile to reason, if one defines reason as “openess to arguments”.

    The GOP strategy has been similarly profitable for them and disastrous for political debate in America. The language of “moral values” and “Christian values” is poisonous, partly for the same reasons given above, but also because you can openly debate “moral beliefs” or “Christian beliefs”, but ‘values’ (in the Nietzschean sense the Christian right uses the term) are private and non-negotiable. A ‘belief’ suggests something related to evidence, justification and logic. ‘Values’ is much less obviously so related.

    This kind of politics is also related to pragmatism, in the vulgar sense: identity politics is easiest if you don’t have strong consistent principles (so socialism for car workers Detroit while believing in the market in general) while the same people who profess approval of private property at Tea Party rallies support the “socialist enterprise” (in Friedman’s words) of the War on Drugs.

    Identity politics isn’t NEW in America (the Republicans did it in the Reconstruction period and the Greenbackers gave it their all) but its blatancy and long-term success do seem to be more recent phenomena. I think it’s symptomatic of a long-term shift in the philosophies of both the left and the right in America, which is problematic because both are shifting away from the Enlightenment beliefs regarding reason and dialogue which are the foundation of the American system.

  32. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    7. November 2012 at 10:16

    W. Peden:

    Of the rational emotions, these are two of the most hostile to reason, if one defines reason as “openess to arguments”.

    Who isn’t open to any arguments whatever?

  33. Gravatar of Gabe Gabe
    7. November 2012 at 10:16

    Where is Morgan Weezler? GOP lost and it isn’t a big surprise…they can’t win by pissing off 10% of republicans(Ron Paul sympathizers, people who actually want smaller more peaceful government). It is funny they had to lose to our 2nd worst president ever(only behind W) and yet they still don’t realize the truth.

  34. Gravatar of Becky Hargrove Becky Hargrove
    7. November 2012 at 10:21

    dBonar,
    Yes and it divides extended families to an amazing degree, sometimes the only framework they have for “winners” and “losers”.

    Saturos,
    Loved the video. Football fields in Texas are amazing things of grandeur! Sometimes I’m not sure why I was born in the South, my mother says I talk too fast to be a Southerner. Between Nascar, football and rodeo, rodeo is definitely the most entertaining.

  35. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    7. November 2012 at 10:21

    dBonar,

    Ironically, the tribalisation of American politics is itself an issue which tends to be tribalised by both sides: “It’s all the liberals/conservatives fault!”

    Doug M,

    I agree. The two-party system in the US is extremely robust: 20 years away from the presidency didn’t kill the Republicans in 1932-1952, nor did a period of only 12 years of executive power from 1968-2008 kill the Democrats. And despite very strong disillusionment with both parties in the 1990s & a lot of money & very good grassroots campaigners, Ross Perot couldn’t come close to wresting control of the presidency from the two party system.

    America is stuck with the two-party system for the forseeable future, which makes it all the more imperative to make it work. However, that’s difficult: the last time it seemed to really work well was 1994-2000, partly because both Gingrich and Clinton had flexibility and a love of negotiation in common, as well as other traits.

  36. Gravatar of David S David S
    7. November 2012 at 10:23

    I grew up in New Hampshire and I’m not sure the place can be classified as a libertarian paradise with Nordic-like prosperity. There is a fair amount of rural ossification and poverty. The public schools suffer from a disparity in performance due to an inefficient tax collection system. Also, it’s financial success piggybacks on Massachusetts–where the engine of the Boston area university system keeps folks like Prof. Sumner and me relatively comfortable.

  37. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    7. November 2012 at 10:31

    MF,

    “Who isn’t open to any arguments whatever?”

    Animals, rocks, gases, people in comas, the mentally ill, very young children i.e. things without the ability to reason.

    In fact, to be totally closed to arguments and therefore totally unreasonable is basically the definition of delusion, in the cognitive science sense. Since most people aren’t delusional in that strong sense, more people aren’t TOTALLY unreasonable.

    However, between perfect reasonableness and insanity there is a broad spectrum. It’s possible to be very resistant to listening to alternative points of view, despite not being mentally ill.

    One of the beauties of the American Constitution is how it followed through the Enlightenment principle that freedom and reason were linked at the roots. Take away the Enlightenment respect for freedom & reason and it ceases to work so optimally.

    Note that being open to arguments has nothing to do with how often one is convinced by them. I’m open to the arguments of Young Earth Creationists and the Flat Earth Society- I just haven’t heard any good ones yet.

    The usual ersatz substitute for reason is to historicise, psychologise or demonise the opposition. This is what C. S. Lewis called “Bulverism” – instead of arguing, assume your opponent is wrong and explain WHY they’re wrong.

  38. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    7. November 2012 at 11:16

    Re: Conservatives and immigration: Do any of you watch Fox News or listen to Limbaugh? Limbaugh used to think being anti-immigration was a bad idea back in the 80s and 90s (he basically parroted the WSJ on that, saying nativism was bad for business) but he changed his mind during Bush 43, and became very anti-immigrant when he saw the raw emotionalism that nativism stirred up in conservatives. Fox, with O’Reilly, Hannity, and now even Lou Dobbs is STRONGLY anti-immigrant: They have been ADAMANT for years now that there should be ABSOLUTELY NO AMNESTY AND NO COMPROMISE WHATSOEVER (since they constantly complain that Reagan was fooled by “amnesty”… one of the only mistakes Reagan ever made in their books)… because they know that produces the same strong emotional reaction that Limbaugh found in his audience. Their attitude seems to be: “Build an electrified, 30 ft high, double wall FIRST, with razor wire, killer drones overhead, a moat filled with acid, and closely guarded 24/7 by the national guard… then we can talk ‘reform’!!!” That was what the Alabama, Arizona, and Georgia laws were all about. Why do you think Jan Brewer became a darling on the right for shoving her finger in Obama’s face? What do you suppose she was telling him? Even Romney, to win the primary, had to be adamant that self-deportation was the way to go: make life miserable for the immigrants (a la Alabama), so they get OUT!. Remember how Perry was ridiculed during the primary for showing a bit of softness on this issue? “Building a higher wall just makes for higher ladders” he said, and was roundly criticized for in conservative circles. Ultimately Fox and Limbaugh are about making money for themselves (not helping conservatives) and that means ratings, and that means stirring up emotional anti-immigrant feelings. They’ve been playing that card since Bush 43, even opposing Bush 43 on his immigration ideas (a rarity for both Limbaugh and Fox).

    The lesson the conservatives will learn from this is that the border has to be sealed with even MORE urgency! “The problem is all the illegals voting illegally so they can continue to be on the government dole!” You watch… the Mark Levins, Limbaughs, Michael Savages, and Laura Ingrahams out there will DOUBLE DOWN (like they always do) to blame Obama’s re-election on a porous border.

  39. Gravatar of Richard A. Richard A.
    7. November 2012 at 11:20

    “The pro-union wing of the Democratic party also quite anti-immigrant.”

    I would have to disagree with this. The pro labor wing of the Democratic party seems to only oppose non-immigrant guest worker visas that leave foreign workers tied to sponsoring employers like slaves. Obama’s instinct is against the guest worker approach.

  40. Gravatar of Brock Brock
    7. November 2012 at 11:30

    “The GOP has had a more difficult task; roping together economic libertarians, social conservatives, and “American greatness” neoconservatives. More recently the nativists have been added to the mix.”

    “Nativists” have NOT been added to the mix. Anyone with the slightest whiff of racial or native superiority is quickly ejected from any Republican conversation. There’s a reason Ted Cruz won in Texas, and it’s not because of “nativists”.

    The Republicans have been PAINTED as anti-immigrant, even while they aren’t. Would you consider Bobby Jindal a “nativist”?

    They have also been PAINTED as anti-black, when when Condi Rice and Colin Power and Thomas Sowel and Clarence Thomas are all prominent Republicans. The GOP is merely anti-PRIVILEGE, which the liberal media cannot stand.

    I have my ideas for how the GOP can come into national relevance again, but no one has hired me to be their strategist. So what do I know. But the idea that the GOP is somehow “nativist” is absurd. There’s a wide gulf between wanting to end the lawlessnes on the Southern Border and being anti-immigrant generally.

  41. Gravatar of Brendan Brendan
    7. November 2012 at 11:33

    Boiling the nativist argument on immigration down to its essentials:

    They are skeptical that Mexican immigrants will catch up to white americans economically and socially. They point out that second generation immigrants tend to be more criminal and more anti-american than first gen immigrants. And they think that a less successful group with its own distinct race and culture will inevitably resent the majority, and vote for liberal redistributionists.

    Now, I understand why most folks find nativists to be unpleasant. But I’m not sure where they disagree w/ nativists in their description of the world.

    Said differently, I can’t see any basis to believe that economic libertarians will like what policy looks like when whites become a minority. Hispanic demand for economic libertarian policies, I think, depends on Hispanics closing the income/education/crime gaps…but I don’t see why that is likely.

  42. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    7. November 2012 at 11:34

    W. Peden:

    “Who isn’t open to any arguments whatever?”

    Animals, rocks, gases, people in comas, the mentally ill, very young children i.e. things without the ability to reason.

    So if reason is open to argument, and those not open argument are those who don’t reason, then you’re saying those who don’t reason are those who don’t reason.

    It’s OK, reason is rarely if ever properly and clearly defined in the literature.

    However, between perfect reasonableness and insanity there is a broad spectrum. It’s possible to be very resistant to listening to alternative points of view, despite not being mentally ill.

    Good thing, because I am very resistant to listening to alternative points of view on things like theft, rape and murder.

    One of the beauties of the American Constitution is how it followed through the Enlightenment principle that freedom and reason were linked at the roots. Take away the Enlightenment respect for freedom & reason and it ceases to work so optimally.

    Yes, agreed….but mistakes were made, and the hole in the founder’s theory on government was torn open like the eye of goatse.

    Note that being open to arguments has nothing to do with how often one is convinced by them. I’m open to the arguments of Young Earth Creationists and the Flat Earth Society- I just haven’t heard any good ones yet.

    So one being open to argument seems to mean one is willing to think about an argument and consider it, if only for a short time.

    The usual ersatz substitute for reason is to historicise, psychologise or demonise the opposition. This is what C. S. Lewis called “Bulverism” – instead of arguing, assume your opponent is wrong and explain WHY they’re wrong.

    You just described Objectivists rather accurately.

  43. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    7. November 2012 at 12:05

    MF,

    “So if reason is open to argument, and those not open argument are those who don’t reason, then you’re saying those who don’t reason are those who don’t reason.”

    Yes. Definitions have this property: if you define cheese as ‘the curd of milk separated from the whey and prepared in many ways as a food’ and the curd of milk separated from the whey and prepared in many ways as a food is cheese, then cheese is cheese. Which is true.

    It’s not a circular definition of ‘reason’, because ‘openess to argument’ is definable without the use of the word ‘reason’. Dictionary.reference.com defines ‘open-minded’ as-

    “1. having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments.

    2. unprejudiced; unbigoted; impartial.”

    “Good thing, because I am very resistant to listening to alternative points of view on things like theft, rape and murder.”

    No you’re not. Otherwise, you wouldn’t spend so much time debating with statists.

    “Yes, agreed….but mistakes were made, and the hole in the founder’s theory on government was torn open like the eye of goatse.”

    Certainly. The United States has never been a “perfect union”.

    “So one being open to argument seems to mean one is willing to think about an argument and consider it, if only for a short time.”

    As Aristotle put it, “The mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it.” Someone who is open to argument can examine the logic of an argument, consider the truth of its premises, separate the argument from the arguer, and then accept or reject it based on its merits. Some famous logical fallacies (like argumentum ad hominem, petitio principii and argumentum baculum) are fallacious because they close down one’s mind to argument.

    It’s worth repeating: open-mindedness has nothing instrinsically to do with moderation, centrism, compromise, acceptance or even tolerance. A moderate, centrist or compromising position on murder is not a requirement of being open-minded. Similarly, when one encounters a foreign culture with different views, one can be open-minded in one’s studies of their ways and their merits, and then decide to not accept them as good. One might decide that the forign practices are intolerable e.g. not tolerating the practices of the Thuggees because they were non-Western would be close-minded, but not tolerating them because they were incompatible with a free and orderly society would be correct.

  44. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    7. November 2012 at 12:20

    Just to echo a comment folk on here stated much better than me, the GOP isn’t anti-immigrant, or at least not the bulk of the party; they have simply been painted as so by the DNC. They are definitely anti-ILLEGAL immigration and possibly anti-Mexican / Central American immigration but they are not against immigration as a whole.

  45. Gravatar of ChargerCarl ChargerCarl
    7. November 2012 at 12:35

    Speaking of Latino voters, anybody else see that Puerto Rico voted in support of statehood? If the GOP really wants to appeal to hispanics they should jump all over that.

  46. Gravatar of DocMerlin DocMerlin
    7. November 2012 at 12:49

    It always happens. When libertarian policies are enacted in democratic areas, that area prospers far more than the surrounding areas. Anti-libertarian people move there in huge numbers and then vote against those ideas. It then becomes more anti-libertarian than it was libertarian before-hand.

    Look at California. It used to be a haven of libertarianish-ness.

  47. Gravatar of rubin pham rubin pham
    7. November 2012 at 13:08

    All you Massachusetts liberals who voted in favor of making people suffer before they die should be ashamed of yourselves. That’s worse than Bush’s torture policy, and I’ll say so to your face when I meet you. (Conservatives too, but at least they have a religious reason.)

    scott, i always respect your gut for saying the truth.
    i hope you run for president someday.

  48. Gravatar of ChargerCarl ChargerCarl
    7. November 2012 at 13:21

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/11/latino_vote_2012_opposition_to_immigration_doesn_t_explain_romney_s_crushing.html

  49. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    7. November 2012 at 13:24

    W. Peden:

    “So if reason is open to argument, and those not open argument are those who don’t reason, then you’re saying those who don’t reason are those who don’t reason.”

    Yes. Definitions have this property: if you define cheese as ‘the curd of milk separated from the whey and prepared in many ways as a food’ and the curd of milk separated from the whey and prepared in many ways as a food is cheese, then cheese is cheese. Which is true.

    Actually what you said seemed to be circular logic. I know definitions don’t work that way. The curd of milk separated from the whey is cheese, yes, but if you just got through explaining to them what cheese is, and then they wanted to know what your explanation is about, then going back to “cheese” would be circular logic.

    It’s not a circular definition of ‘reason’, because ‘openess to argument’ is definable without the use of the word ‘reason’. Dictionary.reference.com defines ‘open-minded’ as-

    “1. having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments.

    2. unprejudiced; unbigoted; impartial.”

    That’s all fine and good. But you originally did not abstain from using reason to explain reason.

    “Good thing, because I am very resistant to listening to alternative points of view on things like theft, rape and murder.”

    No you’re not. Otherwise, you wouldn’t spend so much time debating with statists.

    I guess I used the wrong word. I meant I am resistent to “seriously considering” alternative points of view on those things. By listening, I don’t mean merely hearing, or reading. I mean open to the possibility of them having merit in some way.

    “Yes, agreed….but mistakes were made, and the hole in the founder’s theory on government was torn open like the eye of goatse.”

    Certainly. The United States has never been a “perfect union”.

    Please note that those who criticize anything, even sacred documents, should not be assumed to be advocating, nor assumed as believing their own preferred system to be, a “perfect” solution.

    “So one being open to argument seems to mean one is willing to think about an argument and consider it, if only for a short time.”

    As Aristotle put it, “The mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it.”

    Good quote. But I am sure Aristotle did not intend to convey the impression that said educated mind has to entertain the same idea over and over and over again, as if he is not able to be so educated so as to make up his mind once and for all.

    Someone who is open to argument can examine the logic of an argument, consider the truth of its premises, separate the argument from the arguer, and then accept or reject it based on its merits. Some famous logical fallacies (like argumentum ad hominem, petitio principii and argumentum baculum) are fallacious because they close down one’s mind to argument.

    Good list. I should like to note that market monetarism ultimately rests on argumentum baculum. Without “the stick”, it can’t even exist.

    Of course, it may take a while to get to that level of discourse, since many outer layers of fluff surround the stick, many of them seemingly plausible and reasonable, but every time I attempt to address those inner layers, and the core, I am lambasted with “I hate ideologues” argumentum ad hominems. I guess it makes sense, because argumentum baculum is a foundation based on hate.

    It’s worth repeating: open-mindedness has nothing instrinsically to do with moderation, centrism, compromise, acceptance or even tolerance. A moderate, centrist or compromising position on murder is not a requirement of being open-minded. Similarly, when one encounters a foreign culture with different views, one can be open-minded in one’s studies of their ways and their merits, and then decide to not accept them as good. One might decide that the forign practices are intolerable e.g. not tolerating the practices of the Thuggees because they were non-Western would be close-minded, but not tolerating them because they were incompatible with a free and orderly society would be correct.

    I think one has to be a priori armed, so to speak, before going into such intellectual battles. I don’t think it’s even possible to go into a foreign territory, and ONLY carry a “I don’t know for sure” attitude and then come out of it with a conclusion that is itself well-founded. It is likely that one’s conclusion would itself be flawed, precisely because one did not correctly understood what one observed since they went in totally unarmed.

    It is like travelling into deep space, but without any spacecraft that can give you a readout of what it is you are coming into contact with.

    When I hear “Be open minded!”, all too often I am being asked to leave my spacecraft at home, because it is allegedly detracting from my ability to understand what I am coming into contact with. “Oh just put aside your craft for a second, and try to understand what you are experiencing through my words”.

    Uh no, sorry, can’t do that. Everything goes through a filter, that I hope I have correctly constructed prior the discussions I experience.

  50. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    7. November 2012 at 13:25

    Doc Merlin:

    It always happens. When libertarian policies are enacted in democratic areas, that area prospers far more than the surrounding areas. Anti-libertarian people move there in huge numbers and then vote against those ideas. It then becomes more anti-libertarian than it was libertarian before-hand.

    Look at California. It used to be a haven of libertarianish-ness.

    It’s not a law of the universe.

    It is based on choice.

    At most, you can say that heretofore, people have chosen in such and such a pattern. You can’t extrapolate that to the future such that liberty will always and forever be squashed wherever it arises.

  51. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    7. November 2012 at 13:42

    Doc Merlin,

    It reminds me of that part of town where the old werehouses have been converted into discos. Some funky retail and a few restaurants follow. A few “hipsters” move in. Soon enough the nieghborhood gentrifies and the new residents complain of the noise and organize to kick out the disco.

  52. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    7. November 2012 at 13:44

    MF,

    I think I misunderstood the thrust of your original question, so I tried to present cases where the use of ‘reason’ and ‘openeness to argument’ corresponded.

    “I guess I used the wrong word. I meant I am resistent to “seriously considering” alternative points of view on those things. By listening, I don’t mean merely hearing, or reading. I mean open to the possibility of them having merit in some way.”

    Sure, that’s still being open-minded: I am open to arguments that 1 + 1 = 3, but I don’t take arguments for that proposition seriously. There’s no epistemic requirement to take all arguments equally seriously.

    “Good quote. But I am sure Aristotle did not intend to convey the impression that said educated mind has to entertain the same idea over and over and over again, as if he is not able to be so educated so as to make up his mind once and for all.”

    Yes: there’s a time for arguing and there’s a time for not arguing. In a deliberative democracy, the intellectual ability to which Aristotle refers is important because the system is premised on rational debate.

    “Everything goes through a filter, that I hope I have correctly constructed prior the discussions I experience.”

    Here’s a crucial question in the philosophy of economics IMO: is that filter itself subject to revisions? Or are there infallible a prori systems that are also practically useful, other than mathematics and formal logic? (There are systems based on induibitable propositions, but that P cannot be doubted does not imply than P is true.)

  53. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    7. November 2012 at 14:23

    W. Peden:

    Sure, that’s still being open-minded: I am open to arguments that 1 + 1 = 3, but I don’t take arguments for that proposition seriously. There’s no epistemic requirement to take all arguments equally seriously.

    Damn Wittgenstein again.

    I agree with what you are saying. What you call “seriously” entertain, I call “being open minded to”. When you say you wouldn’t take seriously an argument that 1+1=3, I think of that as you (rightfully) not being open minded to it.

    Yes: there’s a time for arguing and there’s a time for not arguing. In a deliberative democracy, the intellectual ability to which Aristotle refers is important because the system is premised on rational debate.

    Too bad democratic choices have to be made every 4 years, despite the fact that important debates may take longer, or overlap the voting dates. That’s the problem with statism. It is based on arbitrary rules that prevent rational debates from being completed, for once a vote is held, the social environment and political circumstances change, which often leads to changed debates.

    I think that arguing and not arguing should always happen. What I mean is, I don’t think it is healthy that debates stop on voting days, nor that debates should begin again the day after.

    Here’s a crucial question in the philosophy of economics IMO: is that filter itself subject to revisions? Or are there infallible a prori systems that are also practically useful, other than mathematics and formal logic?

    I think there exists fallible filters and fallible minds, but I also think that there exists a “true” a priori epistemology for “humanity”, discernible by sufficient self-reflective and empirical experiences, such that once learned, become “infallible” in the sense of no longer needing revision since it is absolutely true.

    Here’s another question: Suppose there does exist such a “human” epistemology, as Kant and Mises and some other rationalists hold. Would that rule out the existence of UNIQUE epistemologies, for each individual, such that there is knowledge about reality, internal or external, that cannot be discovered using any class based “human” epistemology?

    In other words, is there something about me and/or about external reality, that no epistemology grounded in something common between you and I and every other human, but rather only by a unique epistemology that is “in” only me, can enable me to learn?

    Similarly, is there something about you and/or external reality, that can only be discovered by an epistemology unique to you?

    If so, what would the implications of that be? Imagine that every individual in the world, from the most elite to the most downtrodden, each have a unique key to a unique door that only they can open.

    (There are systems based on induibitable propositions, but that P cannot be doubted does not imply than P is true.)

    Fun self-reflective question: Is THAT proposition you just made a true proposition?

  54. Gravatar of Tomasz Wegrzanowski Tomasz Wegrzanowski
    7. November 2012 at 18:19

    “PPS. Talk about polarization! Romney one 24 states, but only one by a less than 8% margin.”

    This is probably more about electoral college than polarization. If electoral system was sane, there would be ton of campaigning in all states, and presumably active campaigning by both candidates would reduce polarization.

  55. Gravatar of John Thacker John Thacker
    7. November 2012 at 23:32

    By contrast, Pat McCrory (R) did very well running for an open governor’s seat in NC. (He lost 4 years ago to the unpopular Bev Purdue, who chose not to run again.) He ran 11 points ahead of Romney in the state, but he did so while running almost exactly the same among white votes (+2, 70% vs. 68%.) The difference was that he was +9 among blacks (13% vs. 4%), +15 among Hispanics (46% vs. 31%) and +8 among “Other” (51% vs. 43%) according to the exit polls. He also performed the same among the 65+ set as Romney, but had a large swing at the lower age brackets in his favor compared to Romney.

    He ran as a conservative reform candidate appealing to moderates, much in the mold of Mitch Daniels.

    I think it obvious that the GOP should learn from him if they wish to stay relevant.

  56. Gravatar of dBonar dBonar
    8. November 2012 at 06:24

    W Peden> “dBonar,

    Ironically, the tribalisation of American politics is itself an issue which tends to be tribalised by both sides: “It’s all the liberals/conservatives fault!”

    I agree. That’s what bugs me about it. People moaning about the problems of zero-sum, highly partisan politics followed up by explaining how it is obviously all the manipulation by the other guys elites & blind ignorance and/or greediness in the other guys rank and file.

  57. Gravatar of sourcreamus sourcreamus
    8. November 2012 at 10:24

    The tribalisation of politics is why those who say that the GOP needs to change its immigrations stance to stay competitive are exactly wrong. You can not reason someone out of being Hispanic by changing your position on immigration issues. However, if you do change it you will import a massize new consort of voters who will vote for the other party.

  58. Gravatar of John Thacker John Thacker
    8. November 2012 at 13:22

    You can not reason someone out of being Hispanic by changing your position on immigration issues.

    You can, however, reason Hispanics out of their current political beliefs. Certainly Fortuno demonstrated that, as did say Pat McCrory in NC.

  59. Gravatar of Jeffrey S. Jeffrey S.
    8. November 2012 at 14:08

    Amen to Brendan who commented yesterday at 11:33. You nailed it and here is Heather MacDonald:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/332916/why-hispanics-dont-vote-republicans-heather-mac-donald#

    and Vox Day:

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2012/11/breakdown.html

    with some follow up.

    W. Peden,

    I know Scott is a libertarian and a social squish, but I like him anyway and generally don’t bother to criticize his foolish moral positions. However, when I come across something this stupid, one needs to take note:

    The language of “moral values” and “Christian values” is poisonous, partly for the same reasons given above, but also because you can openly debate “moral beliefs” or “Christian beliefs”, but ‘values’ (in the Nietzschean sense the Christian right uses the term) are private and non-negotiable.

    Right — we can’t debate moral beliefs. So you think it’s O.K. to molest little kids, hey man, who am I to challenge your “private and non-negotiable” belief system. I can’t impose my beliefs on you and you have your needs so do what you have to do man…

  60. Gravatar of Jeffrey S. Jeffrey S.
    8. November 2012 at 14:15

    W. Peden,

    Obviously I meant to say “values” in the above. But quite frankly, just how you are trying to distinguish between “beliefs” and “values” is unclear to me.

  61. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    8. November 2012 at 18:29

    vHannity says Latinos…

    …Sean Hannity Flips On Immigration Reform, Now Supports Pathway To Citizenship…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/sean-hannity-immigration-pathway-to-citizenship_n_2096255.html

  62. Gravatar of Dan Kervick Dan Kervick
    8. November 2012 at 20:47

    Look, all of you obtuse BOYS seem to have missed the bleeping obvious about what happened up here in New Hampshire, and will continue to happen to the GOP elsewhere if they continue on their current course. New Hampshire now has a female governor, two female US senators and two female US House reps. (We only have two congressional districts.) The GOP has gone to war against women, and the Empire of Women – and men like me who prefer most women candidates to the gang of knuckle-dragging, dumbass, Tea-raging white boys the Republicans keep puking up – struck back big time. If the GOP wants to continue fighting its dead-ender Alamo battle in defense of the last flickering flames of white male patriarchy, they can be my guest. But New Hampshire is the future they will inherit.

  63. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    9. November 2012 at 09:37

    Sorry for all the typos everyone, I was rushed after the election.

    Saturos, Obama winning several by close margins doesn’t mean there is no polarization, just that it favors the Dems. There is a still a big gap, with only North Carolina lying within the gap.

    Stan Greer, The other high income states have even HIGHER costs of living.

    David S. The data shows you are wrong. I recall that the bottom 20% in New Hampshire are the most affluent bottom 20% in America.

  64. Gravatar of Joe Eagar Joe Eagar
    12. November 2012 at 21:07

    Mr. Sumner, the minority argument is not a silly reactionary refrain we use to excuse governance failures. Ethnic states do very well with democracy, mostly because ethnic homogeneity increases the level of social trust and the propensity to cooperate among special interest groups (like labor and business in Sweden).

    Of course this comes at the cost of a higher propensity towards ethnic nationalism and nativism among the populations of ethnic states. It also violates free enterprise principles. However, this doesn’t lessen the fact that ethnic states tend to produce both a higher and a more equal standard of living than diverse ones.

    Rather than avoiding the issue, it’s best to join the policy quest to solve it. After all, the world’s two largest democracies, India and the U.S., are diverse states, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. And of course, those of us who like free enterprise like to dream of human beings trading with each other in freedom and peace, without civil wars breaking out every time the ethnic mix of a given geographic region changes.

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