Tue | Jul 17, 2018

America’s new political reality will determine 2016 elections

Published:Sunday | May 8, 2016 | 12:00 AM

He writes, "Most campaigns don't direct their resources to turning out large numbers of people of colour, and instead choose to try to persuade the moderate-to-conservative whites they consider "likely" votes." He later adds, "The demonstrably reliable support of votes of colour is regularly neglected in campaign priorities, plans, and resource allocation."

Phillip's data supports his position. We learn that "each day, the size of the US population increases by more than 8,000 people, and nearly 90 per cent of that growth consists of people of colour." And from the wide spectrum of the new majority that include Asian, African, Afro-American, Arab American, Native American, and Caribbean voters, we read that Latinos (the majority of whom identify themselves as democrats) could emerge as the most politically influential. "The Latino political wave is coming," Phillips revels. "As of 2013, 23 million Latinos were eligible to vote, but 12 million of then did not cast ballots in the 2012 election ... . [and] in addition to those eligible to vote, 800,000 Latino children will turn 18 every year between now and 2028." He puts this figure into perspective: "An additional little-noticed pool of potential new Latino voters can be found among the ranks of Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) who are eligible for naturalisation, but who have not applied for citizenship. It is estimated that nearly five million Latinos fall in this category, and were they to become citizens that would swell the ranks of Latino eligible voters to more than 28 million, 13 per cent of all eligible voters."

This augurs well for democrats in 2016, according to Phillips, who uses his platform to tout Obama apologetics 101. His plaudits are telling even bordering on sycophancy. He credits the incumbent president with salvaging a nation that was doubled over, literally weighed down by an ominous economy and an uncomely image on the world stage. Phillips has no concern for America's slumping role as the world's preeminent superpower; is dismissive that terrorism has soared under US reactive foreign policy; and more important, never admits that the economic standing of blacks has worsened under Obama as argued in many editorials, including Larry Elder's "Under Obama, Blacks are worse off - Far Worse" - Townhall.com, July 23, 2015).

Phillips prefers to wear blinders as he leads the charge toward future electoral victories thanks to an ever burgeoning immigration class. But first, he must justify his impassioned plea to 'freeze out' the conservative voice. And what better way than to appeal to history and America's sordid past. Land theft, slavery, and gross violations against brown peoples are served up in its rawest form.

"America's fixation with white people at its most clear, explicit, unapologetic, and uninterrupted, can be found in the history of the country's immigration policy," Phillips pens. He can hardly temper his high expectations with the following: "In a country that ended legalised racial discrimination only in 1964 - three years after Obama was born - nearly half the president's voters (45 per cent) in 2012 were people of colour. The rejected stone has become the cornerstone of the new order."

His message is less than subtle: Social and economic justices are indictable actions purveyed by today's conservatives. But we are not told that throughout history, the entire political system was a clear and present danger to American blacks. In fact, the history of the Democratic Party was rooted in slavery. And centuries after manumission, it was a Democratic president who signed a crime bill that sealed the fate of a generation of black men. But if left unattended, we find ourselves swayed by Phillips' rhetoric and spin.

Phillips is correct in stating that there is a new demographic dynamic that has and will continue to change American politics. Unfortunately, its implications are not necessarily fortuitous. Phillips' just society - a liberal rainbow of every strip - a coalition of minorities (the new majority), and progressive whites seizing power through the power of the vote could well threaten economic stability. Conservative politics, erroneously equated with "un-American" values will be buried under the weight of liberalism and fiscal recklessness. Phillips' quixotic vision of a new America is dangerous and should be resisted with a rigorous academic response. With trillions of dollars in debt, an ever-ballooning budget, and an entitlement culture promoted by democrats, America faces an uncertain future. And to the millions now in Phillips' new demographic fold, they should be reminded of the oftentimes quoted dictum: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

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