Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

11/13/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Demographics and history have changed, the future isn't what it used to be.

It's a bad time to be a rich white conservative leaning male with political aspirations. This is because the era of rich white male dominated politics is over. Yes, it is about race, it's also about a long-running historical narrative, a backlash spanning generations, and the changing demographics of American society. Mitt Romney's failed campaign is one for the textbooks, for this very reason.

Mitt Romney was one election too late.

Mitt Romney was one election too late.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/13/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obama, Romney, election, 2012, history, postmodernism


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most older Americans learned a history of America that lionized wealthy and talented white males of European ancestry. Christopher Columbus courageously "discovered" America. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson forged a nation out of 13 disparate colonies. Later, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, and the "wild west," in almost in spite of Indians and Mexicans, was "won."

In more recent times, some accounts seem to almost imply that white men saved the world from the Nazis, the Communists, and walked on the moon in the process.

Perhaps to some, it seemed only fitting then, that white men should govern. After all, look at all the good they have done.

So what's the problem? The problem is that such a narrow narrative is not only inaccurate, it is infected by racism. And racism, rightly so, doesn't wash so well in America anymore.

Beginning as early as the 1950's, questions began to be raised, making inroads into correcting this narrative. Some of this began in the university lecture halls, other inroads were acheived by the Church - which properly opposes all racism and discrimination as sin. The questions began to help to paint a new narrative which is slowly diffusing throughout society.
 
In the 1960's, advances in civil rights for blacks and women raised our national awareness that white men were not the only people entitled to a voice in American politics.Fortunately, the brave story of Black Americans throughout the history of the United States also began to be told. In the 1970's and 80's, women and Latinos made their gains and their unique contribution began to be properly acknowledged. By the mid 1990's, America's historical narrative had changed. We viewed our story differently.

It may come as a surprise to some, but not all history is a set-in-stone changeless narrative. Historical narrative changes all the time. It is often relative, sometimes speculative and often biased by the lens through which it is viewed. 

For example, to some, Christopher Columbus was nothing more than an intrepid fool who thought the Earth was 25 percent smaller than it really was. He was "lucky" to stumble into (not discover) a continent well-populated with some 100 million human beings. Of course, this also constitutes a narrative - and one which many others strongly oppose, Catholic Americans are included among them.

Washington and Jefferson were brilliant statesmen - who also built some of their fortunes and careers on the backs of slave labor. Lincoln didn't end up actually freeing the slaves, his Emancipation Proclamation freed none. It only applied to those places in rebellion and the Confederacy wasn't going to listen to him. Slavery remained perfectly legal in the North until after the conclusion of the Civil War.

If the west was wild, it may have actually been the white man who made it so. Native Americans (not "Indians") settled and managed the land well enough, farming and ranching in their own way, sustaining their own culture. When the white man came, it was to add slave states to the Union, particularly in Texas. Perhaps, America actually invaded Mexico for a cause no more noble than greed.

In subsequent years, the history books tell us that minorities and women did much to shape our national story by fighting in all our wars, working at every level of society, and improving things for everyone. Today, the narrative of our national history rightly includes much more than the rich, white, old men who contributed to it. It is increasingly and properly presented as a patchwork quilt where every demographic has added something precious to our Republic.

This makes a difference. The American story that our young are now learning isn't exactly the same one that their parents and grandparents studied. More importantly, our schools are no longer mainly made up of rows of white children. In states like California, whites are now the minority, making up less than 50 percent of the total population.

Already, these children are graduating from school, and voting. And the trend will only continue.The 2012 election cycle represents the first time in history that our demographics may have changed enough to shift the outcome of a presidential election.

Some opponents and critics of Romney's campaign are asserting that it failed because it followed an old, outmoded model -  one that appealed to wealthy, white males above everyone else. Some actually contend that this has been the traditional campaign model since America was established as a nation.

Yet,the problems can flow both ways. Some now claim that many local political races have been closed to white men for a long time because demographics have changed so much in many neighborhoods, towns, and even large cities, that a reverse exclusion may be arising.

This should all lead to serious national discussion as we move forward. 

The election of Barack Obama should have been a wake up call to some in the old Republican establishment that their political analysis of the past was dated. American voters have no problem electing a member of a racial minority. Obama broke the race barrier in politics, and now that the barrier is broken, nothing will be the same ever again in presidential politics. Yet, according to some who are evaluating the election results, despite the handwriting on the wall, Romney's campaign forged ahead in a traditional fashion.

Meanwhile, Obama's campaign took to the ground, organizing millions of voters at the grassroots level. Race was an issue - often because they made it one. In Florida, Obama supporters specifically targeted Latinos for voter registration drives. And vote they did, handing the state to Obama.

Meanwhile, critics maintain that Romney expected a win based on old-model predictions that did not weight race heavily enough. Romney bet on politically self identified independents instead of reaching out to minorities. These critics charge that few in his camp thought minorities could outvote such independents. If that is true, then they were wrong. Despite winning independents by a wide margin, Obama's supporters in minority communities outweighed their influence. 

The Republican Party establishment has been taught a hard lesson. No longer will it work to nominate one of the "good ole boys". No longer should they expect an easy win backed with millions in campaign cash. Candidates on both sides have to seek to distance themselves from any old narrative of history which fails to see the full picture - and adapt to the proper understanding of a Nation which has a proud heritage for all.

The next candidate who wins the White House or any national elective office might be a woman, or a member of a minority, or both. They may be either politically "liberal" or politically "conservative" - or a combination as the labels continue to lose their meaning. However, it is becoming less and less likely that the candidate will be a well-to-do white male. This is not the product of some insidious engineering designed to punish the white man for his history of sins. Rather, it is merely the reality of the  changing social fabric of our nation.

It's been changing for generations, so perhaps the real surprise is that anyone was surprised at all. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

CLOTHES HORSE: Wasserman Schultz losing confidence among Democrats Watch

Image of Stylish  Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman has alienated members of her own party by reportedly demanding that the party pick up the tab for her wardrobe!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two "faux pas" have alienated Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz from her party. Her criticism of the White House's handling of the border crisis and comparing tea party members to abusive husbands have alienated her constituency at ... continue reading


Supreme Court justice Sotomayor warns about drones encroaching on American way of life Watch

Image of Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that she's particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unmanned surveillance planes called drones pose a threat to the privacy of American citizens, warns Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. Speaking to students at Oklahoma City University's law school, Sotomayor says that frightening changes in technology ... continue reading


Obama says Islamic State 'is not Islamic' - what are they, then? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama vowed to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq and Syria, He intends to do so with airstrikes and a minimal military presence on the ground. The president also declared that the Islamic State terrorists "are not Islamic." ... continue reading


Obama vows to attack Islamic State militants 'wherever they exist' Watch

Image of There has been some progress made against the group. After more than 150 U.S. airstrikes in Iraq in the past month, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have halted the Islamic State advance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama has vowed to attack Islamic State militants "wherever they exist." Obama will be sending a limited U.S. military presence of 475 personnel. The president also declared that the United States will act in concert with a broad coalition ... continue reading


Opinion: We Need a Blue Collar Conservative like Rick Santorum in the 2016 Presidential Campaign Watch

Image of Rick Santorum is not an establishment candidate. He threatens establishment leaders in both major political parties. he has always played the role of the underdog and been counted out by the many self professed experts. That is one of the greatest assets he would bring to the 2016 Presidential campaign. He has the potential to draw voters from across party lines and help to forge a new governing coalition which can resuscitate the American dream and set us on a course to brighter future. I sincerely hope he runs.

By Keith A. Fournier

Rick Santorum is a statesman in an age of salesmen - and women. He is a man with a chest.  I will be watching his movements over the next few months. If he decides to run, and I hope he does, he will bring along with him into his presidential campaign a ... continue reading


Pelosi favors sweeping regulations to save net neutrality and ban Internet 'fast lanes' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an unpopular stand for many Republicans, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she wants to give federal regulators sweeping new powers over Internet access. It's a necessity in order to save net neutrality and protect Internet users, she says. ... continue reading


READY TO STRIKE: President Obama prepared to use airstrikes in Syria Watch

Image of President Obama believes he needs formal congressional approval to take that action, according to people who have spoken with the president recently.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

From admitting that he had no policy in regards to Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama is now ready for some clear decisive action. The president says that he is prepared to use U.S. military airstrikes in Syria in order to defeat the militant jihadist group ... continue reading


Real cost of Obamacare - 350,000 jobs loss and premium hikes for small businesses Watch

Image of Individual year-round employees at businesses with 50 to 99 workers lost $935 annually, while those at firms with 20 to 49 workers are out an average of $827.50 per person in take-home pay.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a new analysis of the effects of the health-care reform law, Obamacare has taken a toll on small businesses. According to a new study, there have been millions of dollars in reduced pay and hundreds of thousands fewer jobs. In short - many ... continue reading


More emails 'lost' connected to Lois Lerner case Watch

Image of IRS teacher Lois Lerner, who was placed on leave and has since retired, has emerged as the key figure in congressional investigations.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the most recent development, the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS says it has lost emails from five more employees' part of congressional probes into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Team Clinton turns on Obama! Foreign policy in new book dismissed as 'feckless' Watch

Image of A scathing new book from a member of Team Clinton takes President Obama to task for an unfocused foreign policy.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The honeymoon appears over between top U.S. Democratic alliances, the Clintons and the Obama administration. A member of the Clinton kitchen cabinet is out with a new book that slams U.S. policy as "muddled, irresolute, and even feckless." Doug Schoen's takes ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:12-20
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 17:1, 6-7, 8, 15
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen, Yahweh, to an upright ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:1-3
1 Now it happened that after this he made his way ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 19th, 2014 Image

St. Januarius
September 19: St. Januarius was born in Italy and was bishop of Benevento ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter