Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

11/13/2012 (2 years 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 (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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Keith A Fournier: Why I Will Not Give Up On Politics Watch

Image of

By Keith A Fournier

Like many in the United States, I am trying to make sense out of what is happening to this Nation which we love. The temptation, so clearly present in our circles, is to fall into two separate approaches, both of which can lead to error. One is to completely ... continue reading


TIME TO PAY: Uninsured in 2014 will have to pay tax penalty Watch

Image of Take a married couple with $100,000 in income - their bill comes to $797, according to the Tax Policy Center ACA penalty calculator.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is time to pay the piper. If you disregarded signing up for Obamacare in 2014 or failed to make payments - you are going to have to pay a fine. As Americans sit down in coming weeks to compile their tax returns, they will have to contend with Obamacare's ... continue reading


'You have to know who your enemy is' Downplaying and mislabling Islamic extremism is a dangerous path for the U.S. Watch

Image of Islamic extremism is terrorism, it is not simply criminal conduct.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Obama administration refuses to acknowledge the terrorism attacks around the world for what it is, Islamic extremism. This blatant disregard of the real problem can be harmful for the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Secretary of State, John Kerry was ... continue reading


Striking back at the Dems! Koch brothers allocate nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS for 2016 presidential race Watch

Image of David Koch, one of the leaders of a political action network that has the monetary power to spend hundreds of millions on political races.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems the Koch brothers have no plans to ease their political spending habits in 2015, as top officials in the brothers' political network released a budget of $889 million to be spent on the vast political network ahead of the 2016 presidential race. LOS ... continue reading


Turning off spigot: Obama aims to possessively guard oil-rich Alaskan coastline from development Watch

Image of Alaska's coastal plain has been at the center of a fight between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the U.S. for a very long time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just because there's been relief at the corner gas pump doesn't mean that the United States won't need any more oil in the near future - far from it. As such, many are infuriated that U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to designate the vast majority of Alaska's ... continue reading


And the field gets thicker! Rubio joins Bush, Romney, Walker and Christie as 2016 presidential hopeful Watch

Image of Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida may be crafting a campaign team for a potential 2016 bid.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A fifth Republican is making noise that could be interpreted as intent to make a 2016 presidential run. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Florida Senator Marco Rubio is possibly gathering a campaign team, planning out a slew of state visits starting in February, and ... continue reading


Scott Walker enters the 2016 Republican nomination ring with speech attacking Obama's failed policies Watch

Image of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave a speech in Iowa, a move which may put him in the running for the Republican nomination.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may have been the first Republicans to make it clear-though still unofficial-that they intend to run for the Republican nomination in 2016, but ... continue reading


Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney hold summit meeting: Are they plotting election strategy? Watch

Image of There have been stories in a number of outlets that Jeb Bush proposed the meeting weeks ago, in order to thank Mitt Romney for his past party leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are having a summit meeting. The meeting will be in Utah. Speculation swirls about what the meeting will entail. Some GOP party officials hope "the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns ... continue reading


An average of 27 late-term abortions happen every day in the United States; the bill to protect the unborn from this cruel pain was dramatically dropped by the GOP Watch

Image of 10,000 babies are killed each year through late-term abortions.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An estimated 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year through late-term abortions. This averages out to 27.4 abortions taking place 20 weeks or later per day or 1.14 per hour, according to the Congressional Budget Office. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pain ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Pope Francis, Politics, and Catholic Social teaching Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone - Fidelity to the Gospel requires that we be able to prophetically challenge the positions of all political parties, and that our loyalty to Christ and his teaching supersedes our loyalty to any political party, although such loyalties are not per se incompatible with being a Christian.

By Matt C. Abbott

It remains true that the right to life is the most fundamental right and that the duty to defend it is a more urgent priority than other social justice priorities. But to what extent that fact helps or hurts a political party depends upon the party, and his ... 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, Hebrews 10:32-39
32 Remember the great challenge of the sufferings ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40
3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:26-34
26 He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 30th, 2015 Image

St. Aldegunais
January 30: Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or ... 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