Why Conservatives Can’t Win Non-White Votes, Heritage Foundation Edition
UPDATED BELOW (ALREADY!)
After each national election since I can remember, conservatives have wondered aloud why more minorities don’t back them. After all, African American neighborhoods might especially benefit from the strong, self-sufficient economies conservatives promise to deliver. Hispanics often trace their origins back to countries steeped in Catholic culture, and as such might be natural allies for a socially conservative message. The same could be said (and often was, prior to 2001) for citizens whose families came from Muslim countries. These things are all true, as far as they go. So why can’t conservatives make any significant and sustainable headway into non-white voting blocks?
You mind find a clue in this story:
Last year The Heritage Foundation hired Jason Richwine, a recent PhD graduate, to be a senior policy analyst for domestic policy, specifically for immigration issues. It should be noted that when think tanks hire recent PhD grads, they usually do so specifically for that person’s doctoral dissertation. This is especially the case when those recent grads had not previously been associated with other think tanks, as is the case with Richwine. The thesis of Richwine’s dissertation?
The united States needs to stem immigration of Hispanics because Hispanics inherently have lower IQs than white people, and as such will not be able to fully contribute to a robust economy.
I should note in all fairness that Richwine does not advocate barring Hispanics per se. Instead, he proposes having IQ testing results act as barrier to the legal immigration process. The “problems” associated with Hispanic immigration will then correct themselves.
Along with fellow senior policy analyst Robert Rector, Richwine made a splash this past week when he released a study claiming that the proposed immigration reform bill will cost the taxpayers $5.3 trillion dollars.
It should be noted that much of the basis for the study’s findings were apparently based upon the assumptions made in Richwine’s dissertation. [Note: See update below]
I want to note here that although it has long been despised by liberals, The Heritage Foundation is not the John Birch Society. It has long represented the mainstream of conservative America. It worked with both the Reagan and the H. W. Bush administrations; it advised Newt Gingrich on the development of his popular Contract With America. It has publishing partnerships with the Wall Street Journal. The mechanisms that make “Obamacare” work (or not) are largely taken from a the Heritage Foundation’s Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans, published in 1989. It’s Board of Trustees has historically been comprised of men and women who, while fiercely conservative, were hardly loony-fringe players: Margaret Thatcher, Brian Tracy, Kay Coles James, Steve Forbes and William Hume have all served. The Heritage Foundation, in other words, isn’t some crackpot, tin-foil wearing upstart fighting against The Man. The Heritage Foundation is The Man.
If conservatives cannot begin the process of disassociating themselves from people who make serious public policy arguments based the genetic superiority of white people, they’re not going to find their chances of taking the White House in 2016 any better than they were in 2012. They need to clean house. They need to do so soon, and they need to do so mercilessly. If they don’t, then you can bank on this:
On November 8, 2016, we will begin reading yet another endless series of columns and blog posts that wonder why conservative just can’t attract minorities.
UPDATE: Literally minutes after posting this, I received an email from Ken McIntyre asking me to note this statement from Mike Gonzalez, The Heritage Foundation’s VP of Communications:
“This is not a work product of The Heritage Foundation. Its findings in no way reflect the positions of The Heritage Foundation. Nor do the findings affect the conclusions of our study on the cost of amnesty to the U.S. taxpayer.”
That the dissertation was not a work product of THF is obviously true. I am less sure about the claim that it in no way influenced the THF’s recent report; and since I can’t say for sure, I’m willing to take Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. McIntyre at their word.
Also, kudos to them for publicly disassociating themselves from the dissertation (even if they did initially hire the guy). Because of this, I have also removed the snarky picture caption that initially was published with this post.