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.

Article 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 April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Supreme Court rules affirmative action in Michigan's college admissions is unconstitutional Watch

Image of The ruling focused on a voter-passed proposal that banned the use of race in admissions decisions at public universities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hailed as a milestone in a decades-long discourse, the Supreme Court has upheld a ban on the use of race in admission decisions at Michigan's public universities. Marked by protests in the streets of Ann Arbor and previous Supreme Court rulings, it was noted ... continue reading


Is affrimative action dead? SCOTUS rules on who can decide the issue Watch

Image of A ruling by the Supreme Court allows states to decide on whether they use a race-conscious policy in admitting students to advanced public education.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Supreme Court struck a blow against those seeking to trample on the rights of states, upholding a Michigan voter initiative which banned racial preferences when considering admission into one of the states' public universities, on April 22. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Exxon Mobil must pay the piper: High court rejects appeal on $105 million verdict Watch

Image of MTBE is an oxygen-containing substance that is added to gasoline to promote more complete combustion and reduce air pollution.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They were found guilty way back in 2009 and now must pay for their transgressions. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to overturn a $105 million verdict against Exxon Mobil for contaminating drinking wells in the New York City borough of Queens. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


He just keeps coming and coming! Highest - and longest period of taxation proposed by President Obama Watch

Image of Under Obama's budget proposal, according to the CBO, the budget will never balance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama called for what would be the highest level of sustained taxation ever imposed on the American people. According to the analysis published last week by the Congressional Budget Office, the plan was included in the budget proposal Obama ... continue reading


A new Civil War? Lawmakers meet to discuss taking back federal lands for the states Watch

Image of Lawmakers met in Salt Lake City to discuss how the federal government has been using lands in the Western states.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lawmakers from the Western states gathered in Salt lake City last Friday to discuss what happened on the Bundy ranch in Nevada and to say that it is time for the states, not the federal government, to manage those resources for the good of their people. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


INCOME TAXES? 'If it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt,' Justice Scalia tells students Watch

Image of Justice Scalia told the students that the justices do not give credence to partisan politics, and that he doesn't care which party controls the White House. He stands by a theory of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It came as a most bit of unorthodox advice, from a lawmaker to an audience of impressionable minds. While speaking at the University Of Tennessee College Of Law last week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was asked by a student about his interpretation of ... continue reading


DECLARED INVALID: North Dakota abortion ban overturned by federal judge Watch

Image of North Dakota has passed new abortion restrictions in recent years. Abortion supporters have declared North Dakota's fetal heartbeat law as the most restrictive in the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A North Dakota law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy, has been overturned by a federal judge. The law is "invalid and unconstitutional," according to U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who declared ... continue reading


Evidence of corruption: Newly disclosed emails show Lois Lerner WAS in contact with the DOJ over conservative political groups Watch

Image of The truth is, only I am allowed to lie and dodge questions, not private citizens or their political groups.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Lois Lerner - Eric Holder scandal has hit the fan with the court ordered release of documents which implicate both in breaking the law to persecute and potentially prosecute conservative non-profit organizations. This issue has been the subject of Congressional ... continue reading


Cliven Bundy is a scofflaw, so why are so many people supporting him? Watch

Image of We want these things respected. Our Faith, our Rights, our Liberty. That's why we stand against federal corruption and evil. This is not negotiable.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite the drama which recently unfolded on the Bundy ranch in Nevada, the federal government apparently has a history of using heavy-handed tactics to enforce their will on rural farmers. This is part of the reason why so many people are sympathetic to Bundy, despite ... continue reading


WSJ exposes secret tax Obama has imposed on EVERY HOUSEHOLD in America - and yes, you have to pay! Watch

Image of Government regulation is a stealth tax on the economy costing $1.9 trillion annually.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Wall Street Journal has exposed one of the greatest problems of the Obama administration and how its behavior is hurting the economy. While most would be quick to cry corruption, the reality is far more mundane and at least as dangerous. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... 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, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... 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