Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Coalition Politics and the Respect Gap

 

handshake-respectEconomist Bryan Caplan sought to explain why so few Asian Americans support the Republican Party, despite their seemingly aligned philosophies. Asians would seem to be natural Republicans, as they tend to be highly entrepreneurial and have socially conservative traits, including low rates of single motherhood (lower than whites, actually). Yet, despite this, Asians vote for Democrats in higher proportions than even Latinos.

In an earlier most, Caplan looked to the 2012 Presidential Election for examples of what he calls “the Respect Motive.” In that election, Romney won the following demographics: whites, people with income > $50k, whites under 30, white women, and independents. Meanwhile President Obama won majorities of: non-whites, people with income < $50k, non-whites under 30, and non-white women. Caplan observes:

In terms of objective material well-being, it’s unclear whether Romney or Obama would be better for any of these groups. In terms of respect, though, the difference seems pretty obvious. At least to me.

This doesn’t mean that Romney is racist, or that Obama hates the rich. My claim, rather, is simply that Romney doesn’t respect non-whites as much as Obama does, and Obama doesn’t respect the rich as much as Romney does.

Caplan’s answer is that party support has to do foremost with the perception of respect coming from that party. Because Democrats are perceived as having a higher respect for minorities — despite what one might think about the authenticity of that respect — minorities tend to support the Democratic party.

How can we apply this to the current election? What I believe happened is the white working class has been disrespected by both parties for some time. They’ve been running on the inertia of what was built up during the Reagan years, but that reservoir has finally run dry. They couldn’t switch parties because the Democrats are even worse than the GOP, but they were able to commandeer the Republican Party using a man with perfect name recognition, a divided field, and a nomination process designed to elevate a plurality candidate.

And now — like the proverbial dog who caught the car — they’re trying to figure out what to do with it. So far, that has manifested itself as anger: Anger at the system, anger at their lack of respect, anger at the Left, anger at Hillary Clinton, and anger at the people who previously occupied the same party. Unfortunately for them, anger does not a governing coalition make. What they have yet to show is respect for anyone who doesn’t already agree with them.

The unfortunate reality of politics is that you must convince people you don’t respect that you respect them; that’s how elections are won. Just as the old Republican Party struggled to gain support from Latinos (because of the obvious lack of respect for them within the party), and Asians (because the Democratic party is the party that respects minorities), the new Republican Party hasn’t shown respect for much more than half of the electorate, and even many of their former allies now find themselves on the out in the cold.

Until this changes — and it might already be too late — the new Republican party stands little chance in November.

There are 31 comments.

  1. Mate De Coolidge

    The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    • #1
    • August 8, 2016, at 9:45 AM PST
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  2. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H Post author

    Mate De:The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    Semantics. Pandering comes off as respect. It wins elections.

    • #2
    • August 8, 2016, at 9:55 AM PST
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  3. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Mate De:The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    Yep, and with the media & education on their side crafting, disseminating, and upholding the false narrative that right=evil we will always swim up stream on this.

    • #3
    • August 8, 2016, at 9:55 AM PST
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  4. Mate De Coolidge

    Mike H:

    Mate De:The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    Semantics. Pandering comes off as respect. It wins elections.

    But it’s a fallacy, me telling you what you want to hear to get your vote isn’t me respecting you at all. If anything it is disrespectful, because it is obvious The Democrats have no intention of doing anything that doesn’t advance their own power at the expense of the population they pander too. I suppose you are suggesting that Republicans pander to these groups the same way Democrats do?

    • #4
    • August 8, 2016, at 10:01 AM PST
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  5. Mate De Coolidge

    The King Prawn:

    Mate De:The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    Yep, and with the media & education on their side crafting, disseminating, and upholding the false narrative that right=evil we will always swim up stream on this.

    Yes, it is hard to compete with Santa Claus.

    • #5
    • August 8, 2016, at 10:02 AM PST
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  6. Could Be Anyone Member

    Mike H: Now they own the party, and like the proverbial dog who has caught the car, must figure out what they are going to do with it. So far, that has manifested itself as anger. Anger at the system, anger at their lack of respect, anger at the Left, especially Hilary, and anger at the people who previously occupied the same party. Unfortunately for them, anger does not a governing coalition make. What they have not shown is respect for anyone who doesn’t already agree with them.

    I think this is to a degree very poignant. The plurality coalition that brought forth trump assumed that winning the nomination automatically brought respect from Republicans (trump epitomized such a statement with something close to “I am the nominee so I am the party leader and they will have to support me”).

    The issue is that in other cases where weak candidates won the nomination of recent yore I cannot think of substantially better alternatives having run (and I mean that in both towards holding principle and political capital).

    So this coalition which got their man nominated were thus shocked probably to a degree when they were not automatically hailed as new leaders and there is good reason for that.

    A party has varying factions and they fight over policy and the like and usually form together during the general.

    But they do that because they don’t think of the other factions as inherently enemies but competing men of a similar school of thought and usually made concessions to their fellow factions through various means. trump’s coalition has thus far been animated by anger and rage against all opponents (which means all other factions that forwarded candidates, so all of them) and has offered nothing for the varying factions in the GOP.

    trump has no respect for others and especially so for those that lost because he doesn’t care for losers (from POWs to cripples).

    But as to the concept of respect I don’t think its exactly respect so much as it is about caring for people. I know that sounds reminiscent of “compassionate conservatism” but I am referring to popular perception. In 2012 exit polling showed Romney dominating Obama in literally every category but “which candidate cares about you?” .

    Obviously media bias has its role to play but how trump and his coalition hold themselves in public shows more disdain than care for other people (aside from his own coalition) and that is probably why he is doing so poorly in the polls. Caring is usually seen as a predicate to doing good and that is a popular perception of public office.

    • #6
    • August 8, 2016, at 10:14 AM PST
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  7. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H Post author

    Mate De:

    Mike H:

    Mate De:The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    Semantics. Pandering comes off as respect. It wins elections.

    But it’s a fallacy, me telling you what you want to hear to get your vote isn’t me respecting you at all. If anything it is disrespectful, because it is obvious The Democrats have no intention of doing anything that doesn’t advance their own power at the expense of the population they pander too. I suppose you are suggesting that Republicans pander to these groups the same way Democrats do?

    I would suggest the Republicans show genuine respect (or at least stop the active disrespect) and do it for the extended period of time it takes to build.

    When you dismiss whole groups of people by saying they are succumbing to pandering, how do you expect to earn their support?

    • #7
    • August 8, 2016, at 10:18 AM PST
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  8. Mate De Coolidge

    Mike H:

    Mate De:

    Mike H:

    Mate De:The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    Semantics. Pandering comes off as respect. It wins elections.

    But it’s a fallacy, me telling you what you want to hear to get your vote isn’t me respecting you at all. If anything it is disrespectful, because it is obvious The Democrats have no intention of doing anything that doesn’t advance their own power at the expense of the population they pander too. I suppose you are suggesting that Republicans pander to these groups the same way Democrats do?

    I would suggest the Republicans show genuine respect (or at least stop the active disrespect) and do it for the extended period of time it take to build.

    When you dismiss whole groups of people by saying they are succumbing to pandering, how do you expect to earn their support?

    What else am I to conclude when I hear democrats blatent pandering to specific groups and then win those groups voting blocks in elections other than they succome to pandering?

    I think it better to go to these groups and make the case for freedom, explain to them how leftist polices hurt them not as women, or blacks or Asians etcc but as Americans. Any attempt to appeal through identity politics is a will fail for any conservative. It is better to appeal to people as people not identity groups.

    • #8
    • August 8, 2016, at 10:26 AM PST
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  9. tigerlily Member

    I question Caplan’s breakdown of Romney vs Obama voters with regard to white women and non-white women – these two are simply subsets of the white & non-white groups. My understanding is that the voting gap among women is married vs unmarried with the married leaning strong toward the Republican and the unmarried leaning strong toward the Democrat. And I think that gap between married & unmarried women is driven by all the stuff (Democrats would call it support) Democrats want to provide.

    • #9
    • August 8, 2016, at 11:52 AM PST
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  10. Gary McVey Contributor

    In California, the GOP did pretty well with Asians until roughly 20-25 years ago. There’s no settled reason for it, but a couple of partial explanations make some sense to me. Since the 80s, the GOP has crafted an image as the natural home of Christian conservatives, but relatively few Asians are Christians. In this case, the GOP has made itself the interest group party.

    When Governor Pete Wilson came out against illegal immigration and bilingual education, he didn’t pair it with a commitment to legal immigrants, of which the Asians had plenty, nor did the state do much about the Asians most conservative issue: ending affirmative action for college admission. The California GOP does stuff like hold fundraisers at swanky country clubs, and gives out cowboy hats to top dollar donors; stuff like this leaves a lot of people indifferent.

    • #10
    • August 8, 2016, at 12:13 PM PST
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  11. iDad Inactive

    Mike H:

    Mate De:The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    Semantics. Pandering comes off as respect. It wins elections.

    Then change the title of the post to Coalition Politics and the Fake Respect/Pandering Gap.

    • #11
    • August 8, 2016, at 12:25 PM PST
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  12. Bob Wainwright Member

    I suspect that the importance that respect has in our politics is itself a consequence of the ethnic balkanization of our society. When everyone was from the same general cultural or ethnic background, this kind of respect wouldn’t have been such a concern for voters. So to the extent that respect does play such an important role now, it’s a sign that conservatives don’t have much of a chance. Conservatives are not natural racial and ethnic panderers.

    • #12
    • August 9, 2016, at 6:05 AM PST
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  13. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    I’m not so sure about the first sentence here, but the rest of it is trenchant:

    When the typical Republican see women in saris or statues of Ganesha, or hears about arranged marriages and great Indian restaurants, they react less positively than the typical Democrat does.

    If Republicans object, “I respect Indians just as much as I respect anybody else,” they’re only proving my point. It’s a classic case of damning with faint praise. When a Democrat truthfully says, “I respect veterans just as much as I respect anybody else,” he is forfeiting the votes of veterans by failing to show respect. You win people over by credibly showing that you think they’re better than other people… though in politics as in Lake Wobegon, it’s OK for politicians to tell most people that they’re better than most people.

    • #13
    • August 9, 2016, at 6:22 AM PST
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  14. Spin Coolidge

    Mike H:

    Mate De:The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    Semantics. Pandering comes off as respect. It wins elections.

    While I was reading the post I was thinking to myself “In what ways do republicans disrespect racial minorities? In ways have the parties disrespected working class whites?”

    Then it hit me when Mate De posted her comment: they disrespect them by not specifically targeting them with their message. “Hey, you, Angry White Man! Yeah you! There’s something in here for you, too!”

    I guess what you are implying is that the only way to win elections is to promise stuff to people. I guess, also, that this is something we’ve always known.

    • #14
    • August 9, 2016, at 6:26 AM PST
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  15. Spin Coolidge

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: trenchant

    Ricochet is always making me look up words. How about a Double-Tap Dictionary like Kindle has, huh?

    • #15
    • August 9, 2016, at 6:28 AM PST
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  16. I Walton Member

    Too clever by half. Their permanent approach is divide and conquer, take positions of leverage however you can, milk them, enrich important people, including key people in urban machines and unions as well as senior management, use the instruments of government in whatever way works to weaken opposition and strengthen and enrich important supporters. Promote hate and division, not to mention dependency, destroy even minor dissent, impoverish the Kulaks, separate professional management from owners, co-opt the former, erode the civilizational glue that holds us together, and milk it all wherever, when and however you can. That kind of left wing opportunism was called Fascism last century. Obama and Hillary use a stripped down by the numbers version in Alinsky, but it’s fascism to the core. We destroyed it by unconditional war. There may be no other approach, we don’t really know, but treating it as if the Democrat party was a normal American party that disagrees on policy that just needs to be approached with better messaging, is akin to Chamberlain’s approach to Nazism. Creeping totalitarianism in America will be kinder gentler, staler, blander, more deadening, more bureaucratic, less creative, more corrupt, less uniform, more materialistic but more unshakably permanent.

    • #16
    • August 9, 2016, at 6:52 AM PST
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  17. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H Post author

    Spin:

    Mike H:

    Mate De:The Democrats aren’t about respecting anyone, they are about pandering.

    Semantics. Pandering comes off as respect. It wins elections.

    While I was reading the post I was thinking to myself “In what ways do republicans disrespect racial minorities? In ways have the parties disrespected working class whites?”

    Then it hit me when Mate De posted her comment: they disrespect them by not specifically targeting them with their message. “Hey, you, Angry White Man! Yeah you! There’s something in here for you, too!”

    I guess what you are implying is that the only way to win elections is to promise stuff to people. I guess, also, that this is something we’ve always known.

    I don’t think that has to be true. At the risk of invalidating my previous comment, I think the problem is vocal constituencies that are allowed to thrive in the Republican party. Conservative Latinos and Asians might be natural Republicans, but when half the party complains about immigration in general, even if people are not specifically complaining about the good ones, the “natural” immigrant Republicans still identify as immigrants and can’t avoid getting offended by the rhetoric.

    • #17
    • August 9, 2016, at 7:13 AM PST
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  18. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H Post author

    Spin:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: trenchant

    Ricochet is always making me look up words. How about a Double-Tap Dictionary like Kindle has, huh?

    Right click in Chrome works for me.

    • #18
    • August 9, 2016, at 7:15 AM PST
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  19. Barkha Herman Member

    I’ll share the experiences of two Asian young men.

    My nephew immigrated to the U.S. from India to get a Masters in IT, worked hard, ans is now applying for jobs. He knows that a Democratic presidency will mean better prospects of green card for him, while the rhetoric coming from the right, real or perceived, is not a big help. He went to school in Texas, so he *should* lean right, correct? I helped him ease his views on guns; however his views on jobs will have to be based on his experiences.

    Another young man, a friend of my son, also Indian, born and raised in the U.S. in a *very* Democratic family, is just graduating Magna Cum Laude (of course), has just realized that he is not a socialist. He is angry with himself for falling for Democratic promises in the past (when he was a vocal Obama supporter). I think he plans on voting for Trump just to upset his parents; but is largely a libertarian.

    • #19
    • August 9, 2016, at 7:22 AM PST
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  20. Guruforhire Member

    Barkha Herman: Another young man, a friend of my son, also Indian, born and raised in the U.S. in a *very* Democratic family, is just graduating Magna Cum Laude (of course), has just realized that he is not a socialist. He is angry with himself for falling for Democratic promises in the past (when he was a vocal Obama supporter). I think he plans on voting for Trump just to upset his parents; but is largely a libertarian.

    Most ‘murican thing ev-ar.

    • #20
    • August 9, 2016, at 7:29 AM PST
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  21. Mate De Coolidge

    I reject the premise that immigrants are “natural conservatives” You would think most would be as many are entrepreneurs, and have socially conservative values, but many come from places with big centralized government and are attracted to the Democrats rhetoric of what the government will do for them. Plus we do not teach conservatism, we do not teach new immigrants why the US’s constitutional values of limited government is better for them and has allowed for a society and economy to be one that attracted them to leave their homeland to come to for a better life. Why turn the US into the same kind of place that you left? It takes time to teach conservatism as I don’t think it is the natural way people think, most people want security over freedom but it has to be explained to them why the Apple Store is better than the DMV, why Uber is better than the taxi medallion cartel, why doing for yourself is better than expecting the government to take care of it.

    • #21
    • August 9, 2016, at 7:46 AM PST
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  22. I Walton Member

    “When virtue loses all her loveliness” — some reflections on Capitalism and “the free society”
    Irving Kristol
    The Public Interest, Fall 1970

    A better take on the folks who disrespect us. And scary.

    • #22
    • August 9, 2016, at 8:41 AM PST
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  23. Z in MT Inactive

    I would largely agree that the GOP does a poor job engaging with minority groups. In particular, the GOP has all but given up on urban areas. The apparent strength of the GOP in the House is due to giving up on urban districts where the Republicans (if they are on the ballot at all), only garner 10 – 20% of the vote and consistently winning in a majority of districts with 55% of the vote.

    • #23
    • August 9, 2016, at 9:40 AM PST
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  24. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Mike H:And now — like the proverbial dog who caught the car — they’re trying to figure out what to do with it. So far, that has manifested itself as anger: Anger at the system, anger at their lack of respect, anger at the Left, anger at Hillary Clinton, and anger at the people who previously occupied the same party. Unfortunately for them, anger does not a governing coalition make. What they have yet to show is respect for anyone who doesn’t already agree with them.

    I think so, yes. Jonah Goldberg argued a few weeks ago — I think on one of the podcasts — that Trump keeps trying to re-win his base rather than reach out to others.

    If Trump is going to win, he’s going to have to figure out how to appeal to lots of people without alienating his base. So, far, little interest it seems.

    • #24
    • August 9, 2016, at 9:47 AM PST
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  25. Ansonia Member

    O.K., so this isn’t about a deficit of respect. It’s about a deficit of perceived respect. But if Democrats are doing a better job of being perceived as respectful and empathetic, then they must also be doing a better job of paying attention to the actions and reactions of the people they target to win over.

    • #25
    • August 9, 2016, at 10:04 AM PST
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  26. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H Post author

    Mate De:I reject the premise that immigrants are “natural conservatives” You would think most would be as many are entrepreneurs, and have socially conservative values, but many come from places with big centralized government and are attracted to the Democrats rhetoric of what the government will do for them.

    Democrats are far more conservative than most of the international community. The right leaning consensus parties tend to be right around the center of the Democrats, so it’s not too surprising that the Republicans are seen as uncomfortably far for many immigrants. But most immigrants aren’t even politically involved. It’s the children of immigrants who are important to target. Descendants of immigrants tend to vote like their native peers within a generation or two, so the opinion of the group as a whole matters more than winning over new immigrants.

    • #26
    • August 9, 2016, at 10:42 AM PST
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  27. Mate De Coolidge

    Mike H:

     Descendants of immigrants tend to vote like their native peers within a generation or two, so the opinion of the group as a whole matters more than winning over new immigrants.

    I know that this is the case, but it is a weird phenomenon. The children of certain ethnicities that came in the latter half of the 20th century tend to vote a certain way, . But this isn’t the case of all ethnicities such as I don’t think there is a block vote of people of Polish or Italian decent but there are block votes of people who are Jewish or Asian. The black vote is unique and should be separated from other ethnic groups, although I find it interesting that recent immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa do tend to fall in line with the majority of American Blacks.

    Is ethnic block voting with the children of immigrants an indication of the breakdown of the assimilation process of new immigrants? Because we don’t see this with immigrant groups who came previously.

    • #27
    • August 9, 2016, at 10:54 AM PST
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  28. Snirtler Member

    @Mate De & @Mike H

    I’ll admit to some consternation reading Mate De’s comment in #21.

    The right is unlikely to endear itself to Asian-Americans with rhetoric emphasizing their foreignness and outsider status–no-good immigrants attracted to government handouts and without any appreciation for limited government.

    I won’t deny there’s reality behind the rhetoric. A 2012 Pew study found, “On balance, Asian Americans prefer a big government that provides more services (55%) over a smaller government than provides fewer services (36%).”

    But I agree with Mike’s larger point about how some rhetoric on the right or from the GOP–at times querulous, exclusionary, or offensive–is a turn off. It does the right no good to rub Asian Americans’ noses in that they come from societies with authoritarian inclinations or whose histories have been marked by little regard for equality under the rule of law.

    Here’s a tidbit of (sorta underwhelming) data from a UC Riverside survey of Asian-Americans supporting the impression that such rhetoric can backfire. They were asked, “If a political candidate expressed strongly anti-immigrant views, but you agreed with him or her on other issues, would you still vote for that candidate, or would you vote for someone else?”

    The result was “41% of registered Asian American voters indicated that they would vote for someone else, while 37% said they would stick with their candidate, and 22% said they didn’t know.”

    • #28
    • August 9, 2016, at 1:22 PM PST
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  29. Doctor Robert Member

    I am mystified.
    What did Romney, one of the most affable, big-spirited, generous and easy-going pols of our generation, say or do to “disrespect” Asians?

    I’m half Asian myself. I run my own business and waaaaay prefer small government. I found him to be a very sympathetic candidate.

    All of this navel scratching costs us votes.

    • #29
    • August 9, 2016, at 1:31 PM PST
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  30. Ansonia Member

    Re: 29

    Doctor Robert,

    I remember hearing Romney said something about the “self deportation” of Mexicans. If he did say this, I’m sure the remark, taken in context, would not have been offensive or as offensive. But, far more than the right, the left is alert to opportunities to present the remarks of candidates out of context in order to make those candidates look xenophobic, racist, sexist, or like demagogues. It’s one of the methods they use, more often and much more effectively than the right uses it, to keep people too distracted to evaluate certain arguments and proposals, and to keep candidates they oppose sidetracked defending themselves or subdued by fear of saying something the wrong way.

    • #30
    • August 10, 2016, at 3:38 AM PST
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