An early open line: Plus the Southern GOP's 'dream world' | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, July 12, 2015

An early open line: Plus the Southern GOP's 'dream world'

Posted By on Sun, Jul 12, 2015 at 3:23 PM

click to enlarge LOST CAUSE: Howell Raines is sure that sentiment such as this is doomed by demographics in Dixie. Let us hope.
  • LOST CAUSE: Howell Raines is sure that sentiment such as this is doomed by demographics in Dixie. Let us hope.
I'm calling it quits early with this open line And for your reading pleasure:

* THE DREAM WORLD OF THE SOUTHERN REPUBLICANS: Former New York Times editor Howell Raines, a son of Alabama, pops up in the op-ed pages of the Times today to write about a familiar topic, the demographic changes that he thinks means even an end in Dixie to angry white male political hegemony. Between growth of minority — black, Latino and Asian — populations and the currently dominant Republican Party's disdain for their political outlook and that of younger voters disinterested in culture favorites (bashing gays, restricting women's rights), he predicts the purpling of Texas, Georgia and North Carolina in fairly short order.

I wIsh I were so optimistic. Of course, I live in Arkansas, where relatively small minority percentages and I think a stronger fondness, thanks to church dominance in many areas, likely dictate that we'll be the caboose even if a new political train does arrive in the South. Even Raines doesn't see a tidal wave of change.

For the time being, however, a traveler through the South can’t help but notice that its affluent, suburban whites remain myopic about the obvious signs, like the multiracial families to be seen among Walmart shoppers on any given day in any shopping mall.

Houston and Dallas are among the 11 American cities with the largest Hispanic populations. Vibrant Vietnamese communities are all along the Gulf Coast. Major cities have Spanish-language advertising, and have or soon will have sleek Latino-oriented shopping centers, like the new one on the fashionable southern side of Birmingham. The Asian presence in the medical, academic and business communities is substantial and growing, perhaps most notably in Baton Rouge, where Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana and presidential candidate (who is Asian-American, like Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina), works.

Judging from the laws they are passing, Southern Republicans seem untroubled by Mitt Romney’s 17 percent of the minority vote in the last presidential election. It seems an overstatement to say that Southern Republicans are in outright denial about the fact that whites will be a minority in America around 2043. It does seem fair to say that the national Republican Party is underreacting, and Southern Republicans seem to be especially resistant to appealing to their minority neighbors.

Josh Marshall notes that Republican primary voters dictate that candidates continue their isolating statements (immigration by Trump, the House Confederate flag trickery) to pander to them.

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