Monday, July 27, 2009

No, Senator, Life Isn't Fair

[Crossposted from Booman Tribune, where I'm guest-posting this week]

Pobre John McCain. With Sarah Palin back in the headlines, he's getting all nostalgic about what might have been. Rather than blame his failed warmongering ideology and erratic behavior for the drudging he received on Election Day, though, he's whining about brown folk being mean to him!

RAMOS: Are Republicans concerned about upsetting their base if they vote to legalize undocumented immigrants?

MCCAIN: I don’t know…uh…I can’t speak for all Republicans…I know I was out there twice — on the floor of the Senate with Senator Kennedy — trying to pass comprehensive immigration with a path to legalization on it and I was attacked during the campaign for being anti-immigrant. Life isn’t fair.

RAMOS: Talking specifically about that — the last time we spoke was during the campaign. And you know and I know that you only got 31% of the Hispanic vote. Are you disappointed? What went wrong?

MCCAIN: Obviously I’m very disappointed. Millions of dollars of attack ads on your network and across the country in Spanish-language stations attacked me for being anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic, and anti-immigration reform. They succeeded.

Think Progress

Republicans don't want to talk about why their party is becoming whiter and more male dominated. To them, the onus remains on those people to cross the bridge to them, paying no attention to land mines put in the path. This strategery is already failing and will continue to do so if the numbers continue to reflect a more diverse voting population:

According to census data, 66 percent of whites voted in November, down 1 percentage point from 2004. Blacks increased their turnout by 5 points to 65 percent. Hispanics improved turnout by 3 points, and Asians by 3.5 points, each reaching a turnout of nearly 50 percent. In all, minorities made up nearly 1 in 4 voters in 2008, the most diverse electorate ever.

Philly Enquirer

Democrats shouldn't rest easy, however, because a mistake both party establishments make is assuming that communities of color can be pandered to by talk with no walk, or treated like unthinking masses altogether.

The latter is the fatal mistake made by the GOP. They assume that if 95% of black voters and 67% of latino voters pulled the lever for Obama, then it must be because we were showing solidarity for another darkie by default! John McCain blames spanish attack ads for losing the latino vote, which proves (again) that he is out of touch with us:

U.S. online Hispanics are heavier Internet users than the general market. In May 2009 (according to comScore Media Metrix), 68% of U.S, online Hispanics could be found online on the average day, compared to 62% of the general market. Online Hispanics consumed 8% more Page Views, 10% more minutes, and made 18% more visits online than their general market counterparts.

Online Hispanics are younger. One driver of the heaviness of Hispanic Internet usage in the U.S. is the relative age of the population. The median age of the U.S. online Hispanic population was 29.6 in May, compared with 34 for the general market. This is not surprising given the younger skew of the Hispanic population in general; according to census data, fully 61% of Hispanics are under the age of 35, compared to 45% of the non-Hispanic population. Online Hispanics are slightly younger than Hispanics overall, and significantly younger than online users overall. But notably for advertisers, they are younger than the Hispanic audiences generally delivered by offline media.

This post is not really about John McCain, is it? It's about a political establishment that is consumed by maintaining a thick level of insulation from voters' needs. The look of shock on their faces when they see that minorities share many of the same concerns as the wider population is amusing to watch unfold; and you could knock them over with a slight breeze if you told them that they could reach latinos using English-language media.

With a Census looming next year, and data that will undoubtedly show more representation of Latinos, African Americans, and Asians as part of the larger population, life will continue to be unfair to any elected official who supports policies that affect our communities detrimentally; or treat us as uppity when we demand an equal voice at the table.

Just ask Tom Tancredo

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