David Frum Gets It Completely Wrong

2 comments August 1st, 2007at 11:52am Posted by Eli

Yeah, I know, no-one could have foreseen that…

Maybe you’ve heard about the recent polls showing a huge Democratic advantage among young voters. The latest , conducted by Stanley Greenberg for the Democracy Project, shows (among other dismal tidings) a 19-point party identification lead for Democrats among voters younger than 30.

Young people react with hostility to the Republicans on almost every measure and Republicans and younger voters disagree on almost every major issue of the day. The range of the issue disagreements range from the most prominent issues of the day (Iraq, immigration) to burning social issues (gay marriage, abortion) to fundamental ideological disagreements over the size and scope of government.

Okay, this sounds pretty straightforward so far: Young people hate Republicans because their policies and ideology are appalling. Good for them. But the wily David Frum manages to draw a completely different conclusion.

Read the report in full, however, and you come across an interesting nugget on page 6: White young people continue to favor Republicans by a thin but real margin of 2 points. The Democrats owe their advantage among youth to a huge lead among young African-Americans (78 points) – and a very large lead (43 points) among Hispanics.

In the past, Republicans could win elections despite their unpopularity among ethnic minorities. But with the huge surge of immigration since 1980 – and especially since 2000 – the voting map of the United States has been redrawn in ways inherently deeply unfavorable to the GOP. If Republicans face an inhospitable future after 2008, we will hear much of the dreadful legacy of George W. Bush on social issues, the war, the environment, etc. But Greenberg’s own work makes clear that these issues matter relatively little.


No, the legacy that will damage his party is the legacy of immigration non-enforcement. This has imported a large new community of people who are both economically struggling (and thus open to Democratic arguments) but who lack deep attachment to the American nation (and who are thus immune to the most potent of Republican appeals). It is these voters who will sway elections in future. And thanks to this president’s immigration policies, there are going to be a lot more of them than there might otherwise have been.

Wow. Frum starts out with what is actually a very important observation, and then draws the exact wrong conclusion from it. The Republicans’ problem is not leniency on immigration “enforcement” (it’s unclear whether Frum refers to Republican leniency, or the country’s leniency as a whole, but it doesn’t really matter); quite the opposite. The Republicans’ naked hostility towards immigrants has completely cancelled out their appeal to conservative religous Latinos, and their overall support in the Hispanic community has cratered as a result.

If the Republican party embraced immigrants instead of talking about them as subhuman vermin, stayed away from foolish wars, race-baiting, sexism, homophobia, and pervasive corruption, they could be a majority party for decades to come. On the other hand, they would no longer be the Republican party…

(h/t Nitpicker)

Entry Filed under: Immigration,Media,Politics,Racism,Republicans,Wankers


  • 1. bdr  |  August 1st, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    My favorite republican trick is drive the underclass to below subsistence economic conditions, then deny them basic humane services, and when that underclass agitates for equality, brand them as uncivilized and unworthy of belonging to society.

    Well, it’s not MY favorite republican trick, but you know what I mean.

  • 2. Eli  |  August 1st, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Making themselves disappear would be mine.

Contact Eli



Most Recent Posts




August 2007
« Jul   Sep »

Thinking Blogger

Pittsburgh Webloggers

Site Meter

View My Stats *