New GOP coalition is ‘multiethnic, multiracial … and it’s conservative’

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The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. is illuminated during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 (RNC video screenshot)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

By Kevin Roberts
Real Clear Politics

Democrats are scrambling to explain away the inroads Republicans have made with minorities, as evidenced in the November election results. Instead of listening to the concerns of the Black and Hispanic voters who voted for President Trump — after years of being assured that Trump is one of the “most racist presidents” in history — Democrats are instead blaming them.

“Some Democrats argue that the support for Mr. Trump is an example of machismo culture, venerating traditional gender roles and a kind of hyper-masculinity,” the New York Times reported. But Axios admitted, “The media (and many Democrats) are fairly clueless about the needs, wants and trends of Hispanic voters. Top Latinos warned about overlooking and misreading the fastest-growing population in America — but most didn’t listen.”

The same is true of Black voters (Trump gained 4 more percentage points of the Black vote over his 2016 numbers), yet progressives such as Chauncey DeVega at Salon still insist that white supremacy “now controls the Republican Party.”

Here’s what they’re missing: A new coalition is taking shape. It’s multiethnic, multiracial — and it’s conservative. It rejects the regimentation of identity politics, and even rejects the attendant language (just 3% of Hispanics use the term “Latinx,” for example). It’s working class and it’s growing.

The new coalition rejects the premise of the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” the grand critique of America, which says the U.S. is fundamentally racist and a real-life dystopia. They know better. It’s the country they or their parents or their grandparents came to, and in many cases, fled to. The America they experience is one of opportunity and freedom.

The left tells them the past was unbearable, yet plans to ensure that the future will be worse. Minority-owned small businesses were hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic lockdowns, but the incoming Biden administration hints at more of the same. Working from home is a privilege that Blacks and Hispanics are far less likely to enjoy.

They also reject any Green New Deal. In 2018, California lawyers filed a massive civil rights lawsuit claiming that the Golden State’s climate policies disproportionately punish the poor, especially Blacks and Hispanics. “California’s climate policies guarantee that housing, transportation and electricity prices will continue to rise,” the lawsuit says, “while ‘gateway’ jobs to the middle class for those without college degrees, such as manufacturing and logistics, will continue to locate in other states.”

Democrats pledge to make California a model for the nation.

More than anything, the new coalition has come together over jobs. They see Republican policies as more likely to result in job creation, and Democratic policies as less likely to. They know this because they’ve seen it.

“During each of the [first] three years of Trump/Pence, about 380,000 Blacks climbed their way out of poverty, compared to only 80,000 for the Obama/Biden era,” a University of Colorado study found. “More than a half-million Hispanics moved up the economic ladder past the poverty line in each of the three years of Trump/Pence, compared to only 150,000 for the Obama/Biden era.”

We shouldn’t leave out Asian Americans, who also moved in greater numbers to the R camp. There’s evidence that affirmative action is behind much of that movement; the Trump administration has backed a lawsuit brought by Asian Americans against Harvard’s affirmative action policies. Again, it’s all about opportunity.

Of course, the prevailing narrative is that the GOP of the future is the man-cave of the aging white male in decline. The truth, however, is that Republicans on Nov. 3 lost ground with white men, while gaining greater support from white women and minorities.

For years, the left has divided America along the lines of race and gender, and attempted bring together these camps into a working-class, multiethnic coalition. They have succeeded.

It’s just that the working-class, multiethnic coalition votes Republican.

Kevin Roberts is the executive director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]


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