Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

11/13/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (

11/13/2012 (2 years 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Politics & Policy

NOT EVEN CLOSE: Obama administration falls short of ending child hunger in the U.S. Watch

Image of A pledge, on the part of U.S. President Barack Obama to eradicate childhood hunger in the United States by 2015, has fallen noticeably short.


A pledge, on the part of U.S. President Barack Obama to eradicate childhood hunger in the United States by 2015, has fallen noticeably short. "Needless to say, the nation is not close to eliminating childhood hunger in this - the target - year," Food Research ... continue reading

Kevin McCarthy quits speaker race amid allegations of affair with Renee Ellmers Watch

Image of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pictured with Renee Ellmers (R-NC)


According to Washington insiders, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is having an affair with Renee Ellmers (R-NC). McCarthy dropped out of the Speaker race, and may have done so because an unknown insider is circulating a surveillance video on Capitol Hill, of him dining with ... continue reading

President Obama faces uphill battle with Pacific Rim trade pact Watch

Image of The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being battered on both sides of the right and the left in the U.S.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President Barack Obama has hailed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the largest free-trade agreement in a generation, as its completions will open new markets for U.S. goods and services. While Obama says the agreement will give "our workers the fair ... continue reading

California Governor Jerry Brown signs 'End of Life Option Act' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the "End of Life Option Act" into law this week. While he remained largely ambiguous about the bill, he came forward with the statement that the "Crux of the matter is whether the state of California should continue to ... continue reading

Trans-Pacific Partnership faces criticism in Congress Watch

Image of Citizen protests the Trans Pacific Partnership (AFP).


The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership has been finalized and will be presented to business leaders by US President Barack Obama. However, Congress has already shown skepticism over the pact. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Twelve countries in the Pacific Rim ... continue reading

#IAmaChristian: Ben Carson honors the Oregon shooting's fallen students Watch

Image of Ben Carson (Facebook).


Nine were shot dead during the recent horrifying shooting at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon where a student claimed the gunman specifically targeted the religious. Following the claim, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson started a social ... continue reading

Supreme Court to render decisions on sensitive topics of abortion, birth control, race Watch

Image of An even more pressing issue to go before the court will be the issue of religious freedom coupled with President Obama's health care reform.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Supreme Court is rolling up its sleeves to render decisions that have long roiled the United States: abortion, birth control, religious freedom, and race. None of the pending decisions is likely to have the same import as the recent decision regarding ... continue reading

False ambassador has been working in government affairs for five months Watch

Image of Brett McGurk (C-Span).


For five months, an Obama administration official falsely presented himself as an official U.S. ambassador.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Brett McGurk, who is a deputy special presidential envoy to the Global Coalition serving under General John Allen, was ... continue reading

Will slow and steady win presidential race? Bernie matches Hillary with far smaller donations Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Longtime - if recently troubled political warhorse Hillary Clinton and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders are currently duking it out for the lead in the Democratic Presidential Race of 2016. Something highly significant has emerged in the contest ... the poor, ... continue reading

Donald Trump meets with 40 religious leaders and prays Watch

Image of Donald Trump meets religious leaders inside the Trump Tower.


Forty religious leaders and pastors met with presidential candidate Donald Trump in his Trump Tower office Monday afternoon. Trump shared a few minutes of prayer with the religious leaders, some of whom are noted televangelists. LOS ANGELES, CA  (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More