The day after the 2012 presidential election, won narrowly by the Democratic Party’s candidate, notable Republican punditry was absorbed in playing the race card (a card they had resented when played by Democrats), this time using the more acceptable term “demographic change,” noting that the white population is not what it once was, with increases in the “Hispanic” vote, the “African-American” vote, and the “Asian” vote. Hands were wrung that Romney did not choose Marco Rubio as his vice-presidential pick, assuming that more Republican “Hispanics” might have made the difference in a very close race. (See these blogs that directly address the notion of the “Hispanic vote”: http://clarespark.com/2012/06/21/the-hispanic-vote/, http://clarespark.com/2012/02/09/glee-goes-la-raza/. )
The YDS website has been devoted to charting the overt and subterranean notions that “race” is a scientifically valid way to sort out populations. Perhaps the majority of my blogs are devoted to exposing the socially constructed character of “race.” Why this emphasis of mine? Because the continual use of “race” not only is a mystification of class and gender (categories that are real), but it is an alarming echo of Hitler’s major difference from the rival fascisms in the interwar period: “Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Führer!” Neither Mussolini’s corporative state nor Franco’s clerical Fascism was völkisch.
Multiculturalism, the dominant ideology in progressive reformism, with its purported “inclusiveness,” operates on the same racialist assumptions as the more overtly völkisch Hitler approach. If you read the multiculturalists, you will see that “there is no truth,” nor any possibility for communication between races or ethnicities, for all knowledge is “local.” Even hip postmodernists hold to this wacky “historicist” viewpoint and warn us about “the pastness of the past,” the terra incognita where none dares venture. (See http://clarespark.com/2012/10/14/reality-and-the-left/.)
How to explain Rightists who pick up or dismiss “the race card” when deemed useful to their cause? Is it a paleo-conservative tic of the Patrick Buchanan type, or is it an uneducated copycat response to New Deal initiatives that dismissed “scientific history” for “cultural history”? (See http://clarespark.com/2011/06/16/the-antiquated-melting-pot/. )
In my view, such racialist policy recommendations abandon the examination of economic causes for voter choice. The “economic determinists” are viewed as either Marxists or as supply siders putting too much emphasis on free markets and education in economics. Indeed, they are seen, perversely, as Jewish troublemakers, agents perhaps of miscegenation and godless materialism.
It will be a Herculean cleanup to return us to a more rational politics.