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Why demographic shifts spell doom for the GOP (unless it changes)

If demography is destiny then the Republican Party, as currently constituted, faces doom or, as Chris Cillizza puts it in a strong post for the Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog, disaster.

You’ve heard these basic facts before. Republicans do well, generally, among white voters, but badly among blacks, Latinos and Asians. White voters make up a majority of the electorate but it is a shrinking majority that is headed for minority status in the future America that will be “majority minority,” or to put it a little more clearly, a future America in which whites will still be the largest racial group in the country but no longer a majority in the mix with blacks, Latinos, Asians and other smaller racial/ethnic groups.

Cillizza’s post includes a breakdown of the four main racial groups, broken down by age. Whites still make up a majority of the two oldest age groups, baby boomers (now aged 50-68) and the “greatest” generation, now 69 and older. But in all the younger age groups, nonwhites are a growing majority and all those nonwhite groups are overwhelmingly Democratic in their voting behavior. 

Cillizza’s Post post (I did that on purpose) is headlined “The coming Republican disaster in one stunning chart,” and, as you might surmise, a chart is included that breaks down the four major population groups by age.

This doesn’t have to spell doom for Republicans, if they can increase their appeal to nonwhite voters. No duh. But at the moment, that isn’t happening. After winning among white voters but losing (among all voters) the last two presidential elections, and recognizing the trends, the Republican grand poohbahs developed a plan to make their party friendlier to at least the fast-growing Latino population. But, in case you hadn’t noticed, that plan isn’t going well, at least so far this year.

By the way, when the politics of the three biggest nonwhite racial ethnic groups are discussed, the Asian-American vote usually gets the least attention but it has undergone the biggest shift in the recent past. As reflected by a powerful graphic in this analysis, as recently as the 1992 presidential election, the Republican ticket crushed the Democratic ticket, and Republican won the Asian vote in 1996, but by a smaller margin. Starting in 2000, Democrats started carrying this demographic and by wider margins every cycle. In 2012, the margin was Dem 73 percent, Repub 26. This reflects not only the growing surge of the Democratic dominance among nonwhite voters, but also how fast things have been changing.

Comments (73)

  1. Submitted by John Appelen on 04/26/2016 - 01:07 pm.

    So Strange

    I always find it odd that the folks who insist that people not be stereotyped by race seem to do it the most often.

    The reality is that people who have earned money through hard work and self discipline will be more likely to vote Republican, since they will value their personal wealth and want lower taxes so they can spend it or give it away as they choose. And the folks who want the government to arbitrate / control the distribution of wealth in America with no regard to effort / sacrifice will continue to vote for Democrats.

    On the upside, as more non-white individuals become more financially successful… They will shift towards the GOP / Capitalism party and away from the DFL / Social Democracy party. Thank heaven for the pendulum.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/26/2016 - 03:47 pm.

      In other words

      The majority of the rich, whose parents were also well to do (Trump is a good example) aare likely to be Democrats? I think not. Any political party shift will come when the ‘have nots’ become ‘haves’, and decide that they have more to lose than to gain from social change.
      I don’t see large numbers (in terms of proportion) of people of color (Asians are an exception, although there is variability among subpopulations) becoming conservative ‘haves’.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 07:42 am.

        It Depends

        I think a person’s values are set in a large part by what their Parents model and enforce.

        “people who have earned money through hard work and self discipline”

        I think race, wealth level, sex, etc have little to do with someone’s attitudes and beliefs regarding work and money. Some Parents work hard to teach their children about work, self discipline, personal responsibility, money management, etc and some do not.

        You are correct that some wealthy parents may raise their children to be dependent individuals, however I think many of those Parents model effort, fiscal prudence, etc. (ie they grow up like Dad and Mom)

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/26/2016 - 03:49 pm.

      Not so strange

      The *real* reality is that – outside of Kansas – people generally vote for their self-interest, and that self-interest – in a society that worships wealth as devoutly as does ours – usually revolves around metrics as simple as income and material possessions. It’s no mystery that wealthy people want to keep as much of their money as they can. It’s also no mystery that sizable numbers of wealthy people acquired that wealth in a time-honored, if not especially admirable American fashion – they inherited it. Even those that didn’t inherit a family fortune had the benefit and advantage of a society dominated by, and run by, people just like them, and that actively discriminated against people who were NOT just like them.

      As for taxes, I’m inclined to think that Joe Biden’s line from the 2012 campaign is right on the mark: “Paying taxes is patriotic.” The notion of the self-made man or woman in business is a popular but self-serving delusion, since the infrastructure that the wealthy are now reluctant to pay to maintain is the same infrastructure that not only allowed them to acquire their wealth, it *enabled* their wealth, and it was paid for by all the citizens of the society. The desire to minimize one’s obligations to one’s society is much like a desire to minimize one’s obligations to parents and friends who’ve been helpful: it’s pretty normal, but hardly something to encourage or admire. When you were little, your parents probably called it “selfishness,” as did mine. Saying someone is selfish is not intended to be a compliment unless we’re worshipping at the Church of Ayn Rand.

      Moreover, a good argument can be made – Andrew Carnegie, a true believer in capitalism, made just such an argument – that the money a wealthy person acquires does not, in fact, belong to them in the first place. Carnegie would tell you, firmly, thatt they are merely trustees for a portion of the society’s wealth, and they are morally obligated to use that portion of which they are the trustee for the benefit of the society that bestowed that wealth upon them, not for their own personal vanity or indulgence. He suggested that a tax rate for the wealthy of 50% was not unreasonable, and made no mention of loopholes and/or deductions. Carnegie was riffing on the economic notions contained in a very old book to which quite a number of people pay lip service: The Bible.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/26/2016 - 04:12 pm.

      Ain’t that convenient….

      Speaking of stereotyping:

      “people who have earned money through hard work and self discipline will be more likely to vote Republican”


      “folks who want the government to arbitrate / control the distribution of wealth in America with no regard to effort / sacrifice will continue to vote for Democrats”

      Consider these words from a great past Republican:

      “I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.”

      ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/26/2016 - 08:59 pm.

        2 Videos

        Here are 2 documentary videos taken by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter. To me they explain a lot.

        Interesting Dem Voters

        Interesting GOP Voters

        Now I do understand that my summary is simplistic and certain voters will prove it wrong, however overall I think it is on the right track. And most importantly it is not based on race, it is based on attitudes and beliefs.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/27/2016 - 08:59 am.


          Rather than continue down the path of personal suppositions that fit ideological beliefs or entertaining You Tube clips that entertain a lot and explain nothing, we could rely on that old demon: actual facts and numbers. Lets first begin with:

          1. “The reality is that people who have earned money through hard work and self discipline will be more likely to vote Republican, since they will value their personal wealth and want lower taxes so they can spend it or give it away as they choose”

          As NOT evidenced by the top ten states that get more than they give towards the cost of our government:

          New Mexico
          South Dakota
          West Virginia


          2. “And the folks who want the government to arbitrate / control the distribution of wealth in America with no regard to effort / sacrifice will continue to vote for Democrats.”

          And the ten states who get the least return for the tax dollars they give towards the cost of our government:

          New York
          New Hampshire
          New Jersey

          Why are the leading “deadbeat” states almost all Republican and the leading “giver” states almost all Democrat?

          My suppositions on the reasons for these PROVEN FACTS:

          The people from the states on list 2 work harder, are smarter (better educated), see the value of a government that recognizes and acts on inequities and deficiencies through investing in better education and support systems that works toward solving the problems that are creating the inequities and deficiencies in the first place.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 10:00 am.


            I think the answer is:

            1. The folks who want a big National government and weak States decided that it would be so. Therefore Federal Taxes were increased and the monies were given back to States. Often used in such a way to pressure the States to conform. (ie remember the pressure applied to control speed limits, drinking ages, educational policy, etc…) I am pretty sure based on the Pelosi video many people in the “dead beat” States would appreciate lower Federal Taxes and less Federal Intervention if they were given the choice.

            2. The States you list are not only different in politics, but history, location, population density, natural resources, etc. I would be hard pressed to say that “politics” is a primary causal factor for the differences you note.

            It is an interesting concept though. Not sure if the State Level comparison is equal to how the votes of individuals change over time.

            • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/28/2016 - 09:02 am.

              So you’re telling us…

              1. That the status (consuming less federal funds due to superior, universal economic success) of the GOP deadbeat states would be improved if only taxes were cut and they spent less on the items (education, support systems) that caused their problems in the first place? Put another way: “If only we could find away to make Mississippi dumber, all of our problems would be solved”.

              2. Look a little more closely at the two lists. Politics is the single most notable positive correlation within each group (things they have in common) and the single most notable negative correlation between the two groups. MN, CA, NY and DE don’t share geographic ties, history or population density. They do share a blue state history. Likewise on the other side for SD, AL, KY, MO.

              The previous post was intended to get more at the implied notion that red state Republicans are hard working, self made citizens and blue state Democrats are all just looking for a hand out from Uncle Sam. Something that is simply not supported by facts and data: the Blue states take care of themselves and also ship money to red states to bail them out of their troubles.

              As a proud MN taxpayer, I would like to say to Mississippi, New Mexico, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Montana, South Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri: You’re welcome very much and you too could become more self sufficient success stories if only you elected a few more Democrats.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/28/2016 - 12:08 pm.

                Other Causal Factors

                1. I don’t know if it would make things better or worse. If people really wanted the higher taxes/services they would be free to move to the States that offered that. I was just pointing out that the Feds are forcing the money shifts.

                2. Some other possible causal factors: Land Locked vs Good Ports, Yankees vs Confederates, Good Farm Land vs Rugged Land, Older states vs Newer States, Manufacturing States vs Agricultural States, Old European Wealth vs Less Old Wealth….

                Takers: Mississippi, New Mexico, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Montana, South Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri

                Givers: New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Nevada, Illinois. California, Kansas, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware

                Here is some interesting background regarding the Southern states on the list…

    • Submitted by Ben Wilinski on 04/27/2016 - 01:09 pm.

      That is funny.

      First, the fact that non-whites are less likely to vote republican is not sterotyping; it is a fact.

      The republican party promotes lower taxes, yes, but also champions one religion, christianity. Republicans do not believe a woman is capable of making reproductive decisions either.

      Why would a financially successful non-white non-religious woman shift toward republican philosophy?

      If you think ‘the pendulum’ is swinging toward the current republican point of view, you have to be kidding.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 03:17 pm.


        You are correct that past racial voting records are fact. However why they vote the way they do and if it will change is an opinion. I certainly don’t think certain races vote for certain parties because of their race. Otherwise 25% of Hispanics would not vote GOP.

        I think a financially successful non-white non-religious woman may shift toward republican philosophy because she grows to understand:

        – that 12 wk abortions are stopping a human heart and she starts to believe there must be a better answer out there.
        – that she is giving 30+% of her income to the government to spend, rather than having it available for her family to use as they see fit.
        – that there is a lot of waste and government in this country. (ie local, state, fed)
        – 400,000 people are crossing our borders w/o background checks, holding down wages and taking jobs that others legal immigrants should have
        – other

        By the way, apparently 76% of Hispanics are Christian and 55% are Catholic. I always wonder why more of them do not vote for the pro-life party…

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/27/2016 - 04:41 pm.


          “By the way, apparently 76% of Hispanics are Christian and 55% are Catholic. I always wonder why more of them do not vote for the pro-life party…”

          You’re making a number of assumptions here.

          1. Christians are necessarily anti-abortion.

          2. Roman Catholics necessarily agree with the church’s position on abortion.

          3. Accepting those premises for the sake of discussion, this is going to be the predominant factor in deciding how such a person would vote, over other policy issues.

          4. Latinos are willing to overlook the nativist demagoguery that the Republican Party has adopted. Build a wall? You mean, to keep them and people like them out (because they are rapists, murderers, drug dealers, etc.? English-only? Fine, but even a person who is proficient in English may find government information hard to decipher in their second language. Sure, they’re going to vote Republican in droves after all of that.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 05:32 pm.

            Law Breakers

            Are you saying that Hispanics are against a strong border that ensures only legal immigrants with a background check are allowed into the country?

            And against a border that reduces the amount of drug smuggling and human trafficking that takes place currently?

            I guess I think better of them. I believe that legal Hispanic voters value human life, a secure border and the rule of law. However I have been wrong before.

            Now I understand that many Hispanic voters likely have relatives, friends and workers who are here illegally. So voting for the party that wants to grant amnesty to the folks who budged in line makes sense for now. Maybe the GOP should reverse course and take this issue off the table.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/28/2016 - 08:40 am.

              Jaw Breakers

              Typically, arguments like this are made at an enhanced volume and at a fifth above the speaker’s normal pitch. Ever hear the term “dog whistle,” in a political context?

              Latino Americans like all the things you mentioned. However, when those terms are discussed, it is no secret who is being demonized. “Oh, not the good, law abiding ones,” but a person of color with an accent and a Hispanic surname is going to be the one targeted when we are making sure the border is secure, our elections are fraud-free, and our culture remains pure.

              African Americans favor safe streets and effective law enforcement. They also know who is going to be targeted/scapegoated by the “law and order” crowd. African Americans with jobs and careers can feel the eyes turning towards them when a racial demagogue talks about “welfare queens” or “strapping bucks on welfare.”

              “I guess I think better of them.” Meaning, you thought they would think exactly as you do. Darn them for not trying to fit in.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/28/2016 - 12:23 pm.

                Race Again

                Must all the LEFT’s arguments center on Race? I wish more people would listen to Morgan Freeman and maybe then Racism would go away.

                Now I agree that there are some racist people of all colors out there. (ie white, black native American, Hispanic, etc) But focusing on them is doing nothing good for the poor people of all colors who need to be helped and held accountable if they want to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

                • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 04/28/2016 - 12:55 pm.


                  You should acquaint yourself with some of Mr. Freeman’s more recent comments on race, like:

                  “That unrest [in Baltimore] has nothing to do with terrorism at all, except the terrorism we suffer from the police. […] Because of the technology—everybody has a smartphone—now we can see what the police are doing. We can show the world, Look, this is what happened in that situation. So why are so many people dying in police custody? And why are they all black? And why are all the police killing them white? What is that? The police have always said, ‘I feared for my safety.’ Well, now we know. OK. You feared for your safety while a guy was running away from you, right?”


                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/28/2016 - 03:07 pm.

                  Yes, Race Again

                  Yes, it is an uncomfortable subject. Too bad–racism is real, it still is with us, and even if not overt, it still defines much of American life. Covering your ears and pretending you can’t hear it doesn’t make it go away.

                  Incidentally, isn’t it kind of disingenuous for the man who focused on how Hispanics should be voting if they understood what they really believed to roll his eyes about racism?

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/28/2016 - 07:06 pm.


                    I was actually focusing on how practicing Catholics should be voting. They just happened to be Hispanic. Please remember that I am more interested in belief systems than skin color.

                    People trapped in generational poverty share many belief systems and attitudes no matter their skin color. Just as academically focused financially successful people of all colors do.

    • Submitted by Jim Bernstein on 04/27/2016 - 04:58 pm.

      Politcal Party Stereotypes

      The comment about who is more likely to vote Republican and who is more like to vote Democratic is itself a conservative stereotype, or just as accurately in my opinion, a fantasy. The Republican Party has deluded itself into believing that it is the political party that people who are “hard working” and “self disciplined” and “financially successful” will gravitate to. Political movements – or parties – that employ such self-delusions inevitably either move away from them in search of more common ground with voters or they fade into oblivion.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/28/2016 - 08:34 am.

        Control Freaks

        Would you prefer if I refer to GOP voters as Control Freaks…

        The reality is people have 2 choices fiscally:
        1. Pay lower taxes, take more personal responsibility, have freedom to make more personal financial choices, deal with the consequences for better or worse, etc

        2. Pay higher taxes, give responsibility to government bureaucrats, have less money and freedom regarding personal financial choices, rely on government to reduce good and bad consequences

        If you doubt me, consider social security and medicare. The government mandates that every citizen / business pay ~15.5% of your compensation into the government bucket. The government then decides how the money will be invested, when and who can receive what benefits, etc.

        The question is are you happy giving up control of that 15.5%, or do you think you could manage and use it better?

        By the way, health and human services is similar. About 1/6th of the taxes paid go to help the needy. Think of it as mandatory United Way giving. Do you prefer the government determining how much charitable giving you want to do, determining where it goes and who gets how much.

        • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 04/28/2016 - 09:46 am.

          It’s not that simple

          The choices aren’t binary. Our economy can’t be boiled down into a series of pithy anecdotes. What edited videos show people saying doesn’t necessarily reflect reality.

          And refusing to deal with complexity isn’t a virtue.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/28/2016 - 10:34 am.


            Now you do realize that the videos were edited by a Liberal individual for a Liberal talk show. They may be a small portion of reality, but they surely do represent that reality. I love the Mississippi one because it reminds me of rural MN…

            I agree that this is not black and white, there will be citizens who vote the way they do for many varied reasons. I am only discussing one aspect of a decision.

            The reality though is that there is a group of people who are fine delegating their personal authority and responsibilities to the politicians and bureaucrats. “Let’s raise taxes and let the government take care of it.”

            Just like hiring a moving company, it is likely you will pay more for the convenience, have less control and it will not be done with as much care as if you did it yourself.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/28/2016 - 10:52 am.

          Not Control Freaks…

          More a lack of any ability to display empathy:



          the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

          Viewed by most in the GOP as a weakness, it is actually a key characteristic of success. It simply implies a heightened ability to put yourself in the shoes of your friends, neighbors, co-workers, adversaries and enemies. An example (not to change the subject) Saddam Hussein had 3 major concerns:

          #1: A neighbor in Iran that he shared a violent past with and always was on the verge of the next war.
          #2: Internal sectarian strife that was always at the boiling point.
          #3: A lingering feud with the US over the licking he took in the first Gulf War.

          In that order. And how did he deal with his concerns? Imply to Iran that he had loads of chemical and possible nuclear weapons and you better not mess with him. Next, brutal repression of any and all internal dissent and, as for his last concern, US relations? Hey, the first two kept him so busy he had little time for #3. Due to our lack of empathy, we went to war over weapons of mass destruction that did not exist and brutal oppression that we ignore in countless other locations around the world. Empathy (knowing Hussein’s motivations) would have saved us 3 trillion dollars and thousands of lives.

          And now, back to the subject at hand: Two weeks ago I cheerfully wrote a check to the US government that was several times more than I could have imagined even earning as a newly graduated teacher in the 1970’s. What’s the key to contentment with paying taxes? Empathy. Growing up in single parent household with a Social Security survivor benefit, spending a few years as a public school teacher enables me to understand that the 40% or so that I send back to the government these days enables far more good than bad and, despite what our politicians tell us, “these are the good old days” as much as anytime in our last 100 years.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/28/2016 - 12:49 pm.

            Problems and Solutions

            The reality is that 2 parties can be equally empathetic regarding a persons situation and truly believe in 2 different ways to resolve it.

            From my perspective Democrats like to write pretty much “string free” checks with the Tax payers money. The issue I have with that is it leaves the recipient with pretty much no incentive to change, grow, improve, etc. And the bureaucrat writing the checks has little motivation to get the individual off the dole. In fact, they get more funding and personnel if they have more recipients. In essence, we are buying fish continually for generation after generation.

            Where as the GOP folks would prefer to use charity where some strings are often attached. Often the recipients have to agree to an improvement plan and the administrator is motivated to improve the recipients circumstances and get them off the program. More of the “teach folks to fish” mentality.

            Now I know the GOP method is harder for the recipient initially, but I whole heartedly believe it is kinder in the long run. Can you even imagine having to rely on the government for fish decade after decade? That is so cruel.

            • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/28/2016 - 03:47 pm.


              We can count on you to support Governor Dayton’s Pre K education initiatives?

              In reality, the cheapest, short-term solution to poverty is just hand ’em a check and hope they go away. I agree, to fix the problem, it is teaching them how to fish. For a welfare mother this is telling her the check does have lots of sticks and carrots including mandatory practical job training (maybe 18 months??), day care for your kids, basic medical insurance and placement in gainful work when you are done with your training. And if you don’t find that gainful employment, you will find yourself in a state sponsored work program until you can find gainful employment elsewhere. Tough love baby, no one sits home on the dole! I’m all for it and the right will never agree to it. Kind of like giving someone a box of Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks or taking them down to Gander Mountain for teaching and outfitting them to competently catch fish.The fish sticks are just too short term cheap compared to the alternative….

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/28/2016 - 07:16 pm.


                I actually am 100% aligned with what you said except that I believe it is the GOP who support strong carrots and sticks. The typical liberal view here is that people are entitled to food, housing, healthcare, children, etc no matter their life choices… I am often vilified for being judgmental and looking down on the poor for stating just what you did. So beware.

                As for Dayton’s plan… Nope. I am not for giving the public school unions even more money and power until they make some serious changes. However I am a huge fan of pre k vouchers for low income households.

                • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/29/2016 - 08:43 am.


                  I do not doubt what you just said; but, you do realize you just endorsed universal healthcare for low income folks, state subsidized day care for their kids and a socialist, state run, jobs program where some of the workers will likely never find their way out or make much of a contribution. You, my friend, are carrot rich today. With the stick being “you’re not sitting home watching Dr. Phil and The Days of Our Lives”. I think you will have a harder time getting Kurt Daudt on board than Mark Dayton.

                  And as a former member of the all powerful MEA, all I can say is as the youths used to say: ROFLMFAO. We were the original dead end kids, getting beat every negotiation, year after year. It was the Civics teacher, the Biology teacher and a Math teacher against the best labor lawyer in town, a seasoned agri-business man from the school board and a very experience and capable superintendent. Our team would always come back to the teachers and tell us “the money was just not there, we did get a few concessions on benefits”. This is the process in all districts, large and small: local bargaining between management and labor.

                  Where is the evil?

                  I know you will tell me it is when they take a small percentage of union dues and roll them up into large political action activities. These teachers earn a living fair and square. They are members of a democratically ruled union and how they apply union dollars to further their political interests is no different than what the Koch Bros. or George Soros do to further their interests.

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/29/2016 - 06:32 pm.


                    Personally I think I only endorsed vouchers for early education for poor households. Not sure regarding the rest.

                    Fastest way to answer regarding your ED MN comments. Search MinnPost for articles by Lynnell Mickelsen or Beth Hawkins, and read the hundreds of comments regarding how to improve K-12 Education. By the way, I am fine with voluntarily given dues being given to support friendly candidates.

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 04/28/2016 - 07:59 am.

      I find your analysis odd

      John, you wrote: “I always find it odd that the folks who insist that people not be stereotyped by race seem to do it the most often.”

      Really? Please tell me how reporting the well-documented fact that people of color tend to vote for Democrats is “stereotyping.”

      If I were to state the obvious truth that the majority of NBA players are black, am I guilty of stereotyping?

      Please dispose of that particular straw man attack, okay?

      You also wrote: “The reality is that people who have earned money through hard work and self discipline will be more likely to vote Republican …”

      I know a few people who work more than 40 hours a week, but at a very low-paying job, and often more than one job. I would categorize them as earning their money “through hard work and self discipline” — but I don’t see them as more likely to vote Republican.

      My point here is that you are guilty of stereotyping, or at least a very distorted view of reality, when you assume that “hard work and self discipline” automatically means increased wealth, when in reality this is not so for the vast majority of workers in the current economic system.

      And wile you are at it, please also dispose of your other straw man, namely that Democrats are all about controlling the distribution of wealth with no regard to effort.

      This tired meme is so wrong on so many levels, but as an obvious rebuttal, consider that when Democrats advocate for an increased minimum wage, please remember that they are talking about employed people, not welfare loafers, okay?

  2. Submitted by Tim Milner on 04/26/2016 - 02:03 pm.

    It is really quite simple

    in that the GOP simply needs to fix its current distorted view on immigration and revert to the more realistic position championed by George W Bush prior to 911.

    We are a nation of immigrants and for many years the Republicans understood this. But post 911, the far right of the party has control and has positioned the party outside the main stream.

    The facts are that we do indeed have many, many entry level jobs in the US that are not being filled by US born citizens. These jobs would be filled by Mexican immigrants (or from other countries) and would result in sufficient taxes to cover the immigrants expenses. It would be wiser to have a path in, with abilities to background check, than force it underground – which is where it is right now.

    But as soon as such a plan was proposed by Rubio – he lost his steam with the hard liners in the party. It became clear to me that no one with a reasonable immigration plan could ever get the nomination.

    So, at some point, the Republicans are going to face the issue – either adopt a reasonable immigration policy or start losing elections. Because their hardline stance is not making a welcome place for the next generation of Americans.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/26/2016 - 03:55 pm.

      Hard Line Stance

      If you are standing in line at a movie theater that has 500 seats. 50 people walk past you and budge in line in front of you, thereby pushing you to the point in line that you are not able to see the movie. The theater management sees what happens , refuses to sell tickets to the budgers and let’s you buy tickets. Is this a “hard line stance” in your view or is it “fair”?

      If you want to let in more legal immigrants who are willing to apply, stand in line, go through back ground checks, etc… Sounds great !!! I’m all for legal immigration, it can help keep wages globally competitive.

      If you want to give citizenship to “budgers” who bypassed the legal process, avoided back ground checks and jumped in front of law abiding immigrants… Then I disagree. I think they should go to the back of the line…

      By the way, on a related note apparently ~400,000 people illegally entered the country and ~400,000 left… Therefore net illegal immigration was about ZERO. Now this is good news until you think that many of ~400,000 people entered the country with NO Background check… It is kind of amazing that we have not had more terrorist incidence since our border is apparently pretty easy to violate.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 04/26/2016 - 05:24 pm.

        That’s assuming . . . .

        That’s assuming it’s a movie people want to see.

        Apparently we have many entry level jobs in this country that American citizens seem no longer willing to do but that folks who did not legally immigrate are perfectly willing to take on. I don’t consider that to be a good situation, but the reality of it does not align well with your “movie line” analogy.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/26/2016 - 08:51 pm.

          Supply and Demand

          Apparently there is quite a line of folks who dream of moving to the USA.Folks here keep forgetting that the USA is one of the best “movies” on the planet. We are incredibly fortunate, even with our few minor differences of opinion.

          If the ~11,000,000 illegal workers were deported, what do you think would happen to the wages of all those undesirable positions? I mean some of the positions may be automated, however many of them will see a significant wage increase. Could that finally coax the low motivated to do that kind of work?

          By the way, I met a nice young man from Ethiopia the other day. He had lived for a few years in Sioux City working at a meat plant, and he had moved to the Twin Cities to be near his father. I met him while taking a taxi from the airport. My biggest fear is that hard workers like him will decide gov’t programs are easier and pay more.

          • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/27/2016 - 10:51 am.


            If businesses can’t find low wage workers in the United States, they’ll (and they have) outsource the jobs rather than raising wages.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 11:11 am.

              You know my view…

              As long as American Consumers are happy saving money or being trendy with Made in China, Made in Korea, Made in Taiwan, Made in Germany, Made in Japan, etc stickers on their products… We have no one to blame but ourselves for jobs being shipped overseas.

              I wonder what percent of Americans even consider “amount of domestic content” in their purchasing criteria…

            • Submitted by Anthony Walsh on 05/03/2016 - 09:08 am.

              That was the plan

              “If businesses can’t find low wage workers in the United States, they’ll (and they have) outsource the jobs rather than raising wages.”

              …Which is why “free” trade is necessary.

              It’s not an accident that so few of us know what the TPP is, either.

              The business community doesn’t want currency manipulation or anything like that made fair – they profit from it.

              All of which makes John’s beloved cheap goods possible.

  3. Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/26/2016 - 02:09 pm.

    Not so strange

    A lot of people vote for Democrats because they understand that Democratic policies are much better for economic growth, and look past your false stereotypes. The places that drive economic growth vote Democratic, and the places most dependent on the government vote Republican. Just look at the Minnesota map.

    As far as voting by race, when one party is openly racist, it shouldn’t be a surprise that those affected vote for the other party. California wasn’t reliably Democratic until Republican governor Pete Wilson went full-on racist. Donald Trump is doing the same thing now. He is killing the Republicans for generations to come.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/26/2016 - 03:15 pm.

    I will not mourn

    …the demise of the current iteration of the Republican Party. If the best the party can muster 150 years after Lincoln is Donald Trump, we’re all much better off if it’s consigned to the trash heap of history.

    That said, as a former moderate Republican, I continue to hope for a revival of some sort of socially-progressive, fiscally prudent (not knee-jerk “conservative,” but not eager to take on debt) group with candidates of some intelligence, wit, and compassion for those less fortunate. The current version of the party displays none of those characteristics, but does have many members – too many – who are reminiscent of an American Taliban when it comes to both theocracy and intolerance of other views / races / socioeconomic classes.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/26/2016 - 03:52 pm.

      Unwillingness to take on public debt

      when the government can borrow money at 1% or less is not fiscal prudence.
      Now exactly the time when the government should be acquiring cheap debt to finance the rebuilding of our infrastructure, whose current state is a drag on the economy.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 10:07 am.

        A Different Perspective

        These folks think we are taking on A LOT of RISK. The reality is that US National Debt is not a long term fixed rate mortgage… It is more like an adjustable rate mortgage.

        Things could get really bumpy going forward…

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/27/2016 - 03:34 pm.

          Pete Petereson

          At least based on his (less than unbiased) projections.
          BTW — some of those “CBO” projections were based on numbers given to them by Congress (tht’s the way the Congressional Budget Office works). So those ‘projections’ are really the opinions of the party that controls Congress at the moment.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 05:37 pm.

            Yeah, I just grab one that seemed related. However the point remains.

            The US gov’t will work hard to keep interest rates very low, or we may be overwhelmed by our debt service burden. Unfortunately low interest rates are often bad for folks on fixed incomes who usually rely on bonds and other interest related investments.

  5. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/27/2016 - 10:08 am.

    It’s not racial, it’s cultural

    This from The Guardian:
    “Working America, the political organizing arm of AFL-CIO, wanted to find out whether Trump’s “rightwing” message appealed to workers outside Cleveland and Pittsburgh. After interviewing about 1,689 working-class Americans living in households earning less than $75,000, they found out that Trump was in fact the favored candidate.

    Of the 800 voters who had decided on a candidate at the time of the interview, about 300 favored Trump. Combined, the two Democratic candidates appealed to fewer workers – 174 chose Clinton and 95 chose Sanders.”

    The only people in this society who vote based on race are those who are encouraged to do so by race-hustlers like Hillary Clinton. When the non-white person looks at the debate stage and sees two hispanic attorneys, a black doctor and a female CEO competing for the republican nomination, they begin to see that maybe there’s more to politics than voting for someone who happens to look like you or who promises to give you things because of your race.

    It’s also generational. I voted democrat until I was 30. But by then I was married with kids, a mortgage and a tax bill that made it hard to stretch my paycheck to cover our expenses.

    Older people, regardless of race, share life experiences and traditional values that only come with raising kids, paying a mortgage, paying taxes, and otherwise being on the planet for a while. All of my non-white friends (both Sioux and Chippewa Indians and black people), of my age group, all of whom grew up poor, vote republican.

    Eventually, everyone evolves. Well, maybe not everyone.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 12:46 pm.


      I was wondering where this old saying fit in… Seems good here.

      “If a person is not a liberal when he is twenty, he has no heart; if he is not a conservative when he is forty, he has no head.’”

      My daughters are starting out pretty Liberal… However they seem to be shifting somewhat as life is teaching them about taxes, withholding and a smaller paycheck. 🙂

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 04/27/2016 - 01:32 pm.

        And then there are those of us

        Who look on in befuddlement at those who upon reaching a certain age, forget the vast good fortune that bestowed upon them a happy, successful life, and instead claim sole responsibility for their successes. I come from a rural, rather backwater upbringing. Seeing the foolish stereotypes and backwards economic dogma of my youthful experience laid to waste by the actual realities of the world has done nothing but make me more liberal as I age. It seems some folks wear blinders more tightly than others. Or perhaps they care less about appealing to others socially and professionally as the opportunity to isolate themselves within a cocoon of insular self interest presents itself. Some folks it also seems, handle success better than others.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 03:27 pm.


          Many of us understand that charity is much more effective than big government when it comes to helping people really improve their lives.

          Please remember that Gates, Buffet, Soros, etc all set up charities instead handing their money over to the government. These very very smart successful people understand reality.

          Someone here mentioned Carnegie….
          “Pioneering American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie once set the standard for giving back: “No man can become rich without himself enriching others,” he said. “The man who dies rich dies disgraced.” ” Please note that he did not say “give it to the government to squander”

          • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/27/2016 - 03:39 pm.

            And how much do Gates, Buffet, Soros et al

            spend on charity (and their resultant tax breaks mean that WE are really spending it)
            compared to Federal, State and Municipal government social support spending?

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 05:18 pm.

              Please feel free to spend $10,000 to save $3,000+ in taxes every year. The folks benefitting from those charities will greatly appreciate your generosity. However yes it means you will be out an additional $7,000 per year. By the way, our tax code is written to encourage people to hand out that $10,000 as often as possible. That way the needy get more assistance, and the donors get the joy of giving/helping. Unfortunately more citizens do not take the deal.

              • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/28/2016 - 09:35 am.

                You’re dodging the question

                How much money does private charity amount to compared to government social services?

                • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/28/2016 - 10:20 am.

                  Better Question

                  Why do wealthy people give to charity at all?

                  If roughly 1/6th of taxes go to health and human services (ie charity), approximately 16% of the total gov’t budget. And the income tax payers pay most of the bill. It seems a normal citizen can easily rationalize stopping tithing… Or caring for others…

                  My point is that citizens may give more to charity if government had not been given the mandate and the need was more serious. For better or worse, government involvement gives many people the freedom to rationalize that “they are already giving” so why do more.

                  To answer your question.

                  It would be interesting to see how much less expensive and better this could be done if government was not involved, and if families and local communities were given the responsibility to care for their own.

          • Submitted by Matt Haas on 04/27/2016 - 04:56 pm.

            Please do tell

            Name a societal level economic and or social ill eliminated by charity. Charity is wonderful for its purpose, targeted relief for specific problems. It can never be the panacea that conservatives wish it to be, due to the fact that too many competing interests are after the same dollar. Societal level problems require societal level solutions, not well intended half measures from a nonprofit community unequipped to address that level of need.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 09:11 pm.

              I am Unsure

              I may agree with Medicaid, however I don’t think charity could have done any worse than the government intervention…


              • Submitted by Matt Haas on 04/28/2016 - 01:24 pm.


                There’s a reason for the term “poorhouse.” There’s also a reason we collectively decided to move away from charity and family resources to deal with care for the aged, we couldn’t afford not to. You live in a world which has never seen the way things used to be, a world that is, on average, utterly ignorant of its own history. It’s reflected in nearly all aspects of life and only grows more obvious with each passing year. Would that folks pause to speak with even one person who actually experienced the past before the sweeping victories of the New Deal and Great Society, perhaps minds might change, but as fewer and fewer remain (at least those who were in a position to understand the implications, sorry boomers) that opportunity will soon pass.

                • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/29/2016 - 07:44 am.


                  “collectively decided to move away from charity and family resources to deal with care for the aged, we couldn’t afford not to.”

                  It is interesting comparing families here to families in Asia. Over there it is more likely to have grand parents, parents and children living together. Whereas here we seem to have outsourced child raising of our young and elder care to the government in many cases. Maybe it is our self centered independent American way…

                  Maybe this is part of why there are so many single parent households out there. I mean why would anyone choose to deal with their Parents or a Spouse, and their expectations of us, when Uncle Sam is out there handing out checks without judgment, advice or expectations? Why would we choose to help care for Mom or Dad in their old age when there are government funded nursing homes available?

                  I agree whole heartedly that we collectively decided to move away from charity and family resources to resolve many personal and family issues. Unfortunately it came with a big price tag for our society and some terrible consequences for our most vulnerable children. On the upside is very convenient and let’s us delegate some of those family responsibilities elsewhere…

                  • Submitted by Matt Haas on 04/29/2016 - 11:28 am.

                    As always punishment

                    It’s really the only card conservatism knows how to play isn’t it. Couldn’t afford to save for retirement? Starve, or bankrupt your children. Can afford health insurance? Die, or bankrupt your entire lineage. Want to give your kids an education? Better have the funds or else. The problem with your entire mindset was never that it didn’t, or could still today, work for SOME people. It’s that it would be disastrous for MOST people. If you’d like an example, let me suggest ME. My mother’s father died 6 months after I was born. She and my father were 20 something’s, married young with my seven year old sister already around. They had just begun to get their heads above water, with my mom having just landed the job she’d hold until last year, and my Dad getting through tech school. My grandmother was a lovely lady, but being rendered deaf at a young age by scarlet fever had never gotten advanced education, being considered too disabled by the general consensus of the times. She was completely dependent upon my grandfather, unable even to drive. As she aged her diabetes consumed ever more of her budget. Did I mention my mother’s sibling were still in highschool at the time? Under your worldview, responsibility for my grandmother and her minor children should have been assumed by my parents, which would have cost them two homes, as well as any hope to save for their own future. It would have cost my aunt and uncle the college degrees they both earned later and the success they enabled. It would have cost my sister and I ours as well, and likely cost my younger brother his chance to be born. What prevented all of this, not charity, we come from poor families in a poor town, in a poor county, in a backwater state. There was no one else not to busy trying to survive themselves,to assist us. Social security, Medicaid, and later Medicare SAVED my mother’s family, and by extension saved me the success I have enjoyed in my life. Spare me the condescension about caring for my elders, we have, by enabling programs to ensure they have what they need even if we can’t provide it.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 05/02/2016 - 04:38 pm.


                      Giving welfare is a gift to and/or an investment in a citizen/family from the tax payers in society. Placing conditions on it is not necessarily a punishment. Especially if the requirements are written in such a way to pressure the recipient to improve their capabilities, education, maturity, independence, parenting, etc.

                      If 9 students do not get a “scholarship with several performance conditions” and 1 does. Are the 9 being “punished”? Or is the 1 getting a gift/investment that they should be thankful for and willing to work hard to capitalize on..

                    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 05/03/2016 - 10:54 am.

                      Gifts vs duty

                      What you call a gift I call a civic responsibility. We as citizens enjoy the benefits of a civil and humane society. Our chosen economic system will by its nature produce individuals that do not share in this success. (In greater or lesser proportion depending on how purely we choose to rely upon its core tenets)To ensure the continued viability of our civil and humane society these individuals must be provided with aid and a reason to abide by the “rules” of civilization which prevent us from descending into anarchic chaos. It’s really no more complex than that. The only “gift” being given is to ourselves, the successful, that we might continue to enjoy the rewards the accident of our birth provide.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 05/03/2016 - 12:04 pm.

                      Moral Obligation

                      Why we give the gift and make the investment is one thing. You are correct that there is a moral obligation and some very practical reasons. However it is still a gift to the recipient.

                      They have done nothing to earn the money, services, etc. Except as you note, they were lucky enough to be born or currently live within the boundaries of a country who honors the moral obligation to care for the poor.

                      Now what is the moral obligation of the recipient to the society who gives them this huge gift and opportunity? Should they feel obligated to improve their capabilities and get off the programs, or should they get comfortable and demand more generation after generation?

                      Should society give indefinitely? Or should we demand results in exchange for our investment?

                    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 05/03/2016 - 01:36 pm.

                      It seems

                      You have some misunderstanding regarding the concept of a “gift”. Generally speaking, if one is expecting recompense for an action, that action is NOT gift giving. Then again, given the title the off referred blog you run, such confusion is to be expected. As to your greater point, no one is appointed care giver or parent to any other by the act of paying their alotted tax. Why such action empowers some folks to feel as though they have such rights is a puzzle I’ve yet to decipher. Particularly considering most such folks are also exceedingly fond of telling other folks to mind their business with regards to how their own money is earned and spent, and how their lives should be conducted with regards to interpersonal relations (or lack thereof).

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 05/03/2016 - 03:07 pm.

                      Gift / Investment

                      I have been clear about calling it a gift / investment. I have also compared it to a scholarship. You are correct that if it was a true ideal gift, no strings would be attached. And as you implied, it may even be thought of as a payment from society “to ensure the continued viability of our civil and humane society these individuals must be provided with aid and a reason to abide by the “rules” of civilization which prevent us from descending into anarchic chaos.”

                      Please remember that the money being received and spent is not the welfare recipient’s money. It is society’s money that has been taken from other tax payers and is being used by the recipient to reduce the negative consequences of their situation and hopefully help them improve their circumstances.

                      Now our money is our money, the government may increase the tax rate and use it to fund government activities. However the money the welfare recipient receives is subject to the generosity of our society and the laws we choose to pass, especially if it is a payment…

                      My question is not meant to be cruel, judgmental or controlling. We know without a doubt that hard working educated couples with ~2 children are much better off than other households. How can we adjust these investment and the rules to help promote these recipes for success within the group of welfare recipients?

                    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 05/03/2016 - 03:34 pm.

                      You can’t

                      Because by doing so you automatically tip the scales in favor of only those who fit in your box. In essence you amplify the effects of an economic system that picks winners and losers by picking more winners and losers. At some point you have to get your head around the fact that some folks just won’t do what you’d like, no matter what you attempt. Then you need to accept that this is not a personal affront to you or anyone else, pay the toll to keep them out of trouble, and move on with your life. Would it be nice if all who received help succeed, sure, is it the end of the world if they don’t, no. Most will, just as most will not play the system to personal gain. The constant obsession over the few who won’t follow the rules set out by those who deem themselves arbiters of societal conformity is far more destructive than any amount of social spending could ever be.

                  • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 04/29/2016 - 12:45 pm.

                    Asian anecdotes are not facts

                    FACT: Japan spends more (as a % of GDP) on social welfare than the U.S., and nearly 2x what we do on the care of the elderly. (Yet their elderly poverty rate is the same as ours. Maybe Social Security and Medicare ain’t so bad, after all.)

                    FACT: South Korea spends less as a% of GDP, but nearly half of their seniors live below the poverty line, more that 2x the rate here in the U.S.

                    (All figures, OECD 2011)

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/28/2016 - 02:20 pm.

        Age does not necessarily

        impart wisdom, nor does conservatism equate to wisdom. Actually, the migration toward conservatism (at least the type of conservatism embraced by the GOP) as one ages is more related to the inability to remain mentally flexible. It’s not uncommon, but it’s not necessarily a virtue.

        In any case, if you just look at the age demographic shift (and ignore the racial shift, which seems to agitate you more than it should), it doesn’t look like the oldsters will retain power much longer. The pendulum doesn’t swing back if the clock is tipped.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/28/2016 - 07:38 pm.


          One of my favorite sayings that was taught to me by an Adult Psych Professor was “Not All Old People Are Wise”… So I whole heartedly agree with you.

          Usually I find that people on the Right and Left stop reading news sources and opinions that vary too much from their own. Or they spend time scoffing at them and picking them apart rather than finding nuggets of wisdom in them… That was one of the reasons I started Give2Attain and participate actively here.

          And yes I will ignore the racial shift… Because I do not believe that the color of one’s skin is a strong causal factor of how one chooses to vote. I work with people from many races and countries, and I would never pre-judge how they will vote based on their RACE…

          Only time will tell if the pendulum keeps going back and forth, or if it swings so far to the Left that it tips over the clock. Remember that government only controlled ~10% of our economy in 1900 and now it controls ~36%… Not sure where it will stabilize..

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/27/2016 - 11:42 am.

    Race isn’t the only prolblem

    Republican do “better” among white Americans but they don’t ALL the white votes, they get roughly 9% more (49% compared to 40% for democrats). Meanwhile white American’s are walking away from core republican hot buttons like abortion, anti-gay, anti-women, etc. etc. White Americans are become more socially liberal and frustrated with republican zero-sum reasoning. All liberals really have to do is be liberal and start putting liberal solutions on the table. Instead we have a democratic party establishment that typically pushes back when it’s time to put liberal initiatives on the table.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 04/27/2016 - 05:43 pm.

      One word… Trump…

      Please note that the Republicans are saying no to Cruz, the Religious Conservative. It seems the GOP voters agree with you. It will be interesting to see how the party elite and the far Religious Right adjust.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/28/2016 - 08:52 am.

        One word?

        Dude, the GOP isn’t embracing Trump, they’ve trying to run him out of town albeit unsuccessfully ever since he announced his candidacy. His voter base is even smaller than the general republican voter base, which is something like 24% of the voting population.

        It’s not all about Trump though, NONE of the 17 candidates republicans trotted out thus far were viable presidential candidates for a variety of reasons. Remember when republicans bragged about having sooooo many good candidates to choose from? Yeah, that was funny.

  7. Submitted by John Appelen on 05/03/2016 - 05:40 pm.

    Paying the Toll

    Matt, This is a fascinating concept.

    “At some point you have to get your head around the fact that some folks just won’t do what you’d like, no matter what you attempt. Then you need to accept that this is not a personal affront to you or anyone else, pay the toll to keep them out of trouble, and move on with your life.

    And I may agree with you if these folks did not have children who often follow in their parent’s foot steps. What you are advocating dooms these individuals and their children to generational poverty and hopelessness. I am not ready to give up on the unlucky kids yet, I have faith that their Parents and they can learn the beliefs, behaviors and skills necessary to escape that vicious cycle given the correct balance of carrots and sticks….

    “Generational poverty occurs in families where at least two generations have been born into poverty. Families living in this type of poverty are not equipped with the tools to move out of their situations.”

  8. Submitted by John Appelen on 05/03/2016 - 05:59 pm.


    “Would it be nice if all who received help succeed, sure, is it the end of the world if they don’t, no. Most will, just as most will not play the system to personal gain.”

    What is your rationale for these statements?

    Given these statistics and the fact that half the kids in Mpls are not academically capable, single parent households are way up, we are paying out almost $1 Trillion per year in tolls and the poverty rate is not going down.

    And the reality that there are many people of all income levels who are fine with committing fraud or changing their life styles to get compensated. In the last 2 years my family has been the victim of check and credit card fraud. What makes you think people are above doing the same to the government? Just curious…

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