Monday, October 25, 2010

It's actually not all about the economy, stupid--even now

My response to Paul Krugman's current editorial in the NYTimes, blaming the coming Democratic Party bloodbath on inadequate economic policy:

To an economist, everything is economics. But it ain't. I agree with Krugman's economic analysis, but he's missing the sociology of this election. The Democratic Party has morphed from the party of the working stiff to the party of the minority and public employee unions, which themselves employ disproportionate numbers of minorities.

What follows from that is support for a social agenda a majority of Americans oppose: support for illegal immigration--despite an actually good record of enforcement--support for the Mexicaniztion of the American Southwest--support for polylingual ballots--opposition to the English language (I'm describing the emotional reality of these things, mind you)--support for secular people like me who have no use for religion--support for homosexuals, including in the military.

I'm not saying all these supports are bad or good. I'm saying they add up to a zeitgeist that Joe Lunchbook sees as being against HIM.

And the Democratic leadership hasn't done much to counter this impression.

And the many millions being spent by secretive agents of the Billionaire's Club pushes putatively economic message, but if you look at the atmospherics of their ad blitz it's about tribe: if you're a white American who isn't a liberal, they want you to think the Republican tribe--it ceased being a political party in the 1970s--is your tribe, and the Democratic Party is the enemy tribe, to be opposed across the board.

That's what's really going on. I believe Professor Krugman is suffering from a corollary of confirmation bias--in this case, the belief that your academic speciality is at the heart of the politics that's going on.

It's not. People talk about it because they can't or wont' speak the tribality they're feeling. But that's like asking a guy why he bought a ticket me yellow Beemer convertible and he talks about resale value and reliability, not that he got it because he thinks it's a chick magnet.

As Gregory House said, "People always lie." Including to themselves.

So if the Democratic Party wants America back, it's going to have to make some terrifically hard decisions about what it wants to accomplish, and whether adopting a race/ethnic/culturally blind platform isn't the best choice today, even if its political correctness was correct back in the 1960s when blacks were murdered for voting across the South. It's not sunshine and flowers today...but the Democratic Party won't be able to do squat for minorities if it's out of office, will it?

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