Asymmetrical Information - Megan McArdle

11.08.12

What does Majority-Minority Politics Look Like?

The 21st century melting pot will make current arguments outdated and counterproductive.

Continuing on yesterday's demographic theme, I've seen a fair number of people--including conservatives--arguing that the GOP needs to tack to the right on immigration in order to bring socially conservative latinos into their base.  Since I'm in favor of more immigration, I would welcome that.  But politically, I doubt it's sound strategic advice.  As Heather MacDonald points out, Latino voters do not vote 100%, or even primarily, on immigration.  They are heavy users of government services and generally fairly fiscally liberal.  It seems more likely than not that the GOP would be supporting a drive to make millions of more Democratic voters, at least in the short term.  The GOP strategists may well reckon that they are better off holding the line and letting assimilation bring latinos over onto their side.

Nor do I see the case for tacking left on affirmative action.  I'm agnostic on affirmative action as a policy matter:it's an unjust way of rectifying a deep injustice.  And it's far from clear to me that on net it's good for the students who are admitted.   But that's rather beside the point, because it's a policy for a minority-minority country.  In a nation where minorities are the majority of students, it's just ethnic quotas.  Indeed, that's already somewhat the case; my understanding is that most of the extra spaces that go to black and latino students are taken from Asians, not whites.  

So what should a new Republican politics for a majority-minority nation look like?  I'm not sure.  But I am fairly sure that future GOP platform will not look like current Democratic politics.  And for that matter, neither will the future Democratic policies.