There is an unspoken doom in a piece from this week’s issue of the New Yorker on the question of whether Texas will turn blue—if demographic change in America means that the Republicans can no longer get their presidential candidates elected. Every week this magazine churns out thousands of words on this subject for upper middle class liberals who want to understand Republicans without actually talking with them, and this piece is little different except for the way it ballets, on its tippy-toes, around one single basic inevitable conclusion:
Munisteri saw how racial politics transformed Texas, which gradually shifted from one party to the other when conservative white Democrats fled to the G.O.P. The exodus began in 1964, the year President Lyndon Johnson, the former Texas senator, passed the Civil Rights Act. “There goes the South for a generation,” he is said to have remarked, as he signed the bill into law.
Ryan Lizza asks: can Republicans appeal to conservative voters who are not white? And here, in this quote, he gives his answer: the Republican party is where all the racists went when the Democrats decided to extend voting rights to people with dark faces. In other words…the answer is…no!
Make no mistake, there are gay conservatives and conservatives of many races who, for whatever
twisted reason, vote for the party of discrimination. They are a minority, but they do exist, and the New Yorker piece focuses on a rising star who happens to be one of them, a man named Ted Cruz who may run for president in 2016 despite having been born in Canada. I’m not sure he can win, however, because the core of his party has been voting more or less the same way since they voted to secede after the election of a certain Abolitionist president fifteen decades ago. And now, naturally, as they have lost the ability to legally impose their racist will on the rest of the nation, some of these same people are trying to secede again.
The question on the minds of some of these Republicans must be, can we use one of these conservatives with dark skin to get Latinos and other races to vote for that very same party which is working day and night, across the country, to throw them all—to paraphrase the outrageous Joe Biden—right back into their shackles?
Zapata had given me a list of thirteen Hispanic Republicans I should watch on Election Day in Texas. Eleven of them lost, including Canseco. Cruz won, but his margin in Texas was the same as Romney’s, suggesting that he had no crossover appeal to Hispanic Democrats.
This case—and also the case of Clarence Thomas, voting hand in hand 91% of the time with Antonin Scalia, also known as The Enemy Of All Mankind—would suggest that no one is being fooled. Republicans can nominate as many different colors as they like, regardless of the trouble they’ll have getting the Dixiecrats and their descendants to vote for them, but that racial shift isn’t going to change the public perception they have worked so hard for the last century to garner for themselves: that of the party for the rich white gentlemen, a class of human beings which is very slowly but surely being demographically bred out of existence.