The REAL reason why most White Americans are Conservative
We at black introspection have long argued the point of white racism in this society, to the chagrin of black conservatives and the denials from whites that they are indeed racist. In modern America, white racism has become a taboo and few whites have the courage to admit to others and even themselves, that they are indeed racist. Thus, one has to read between the lines of their rhetoric, which use code words and or makes inference and conclusions which implie an unstated racist premise of black inferiority.
I have stumbled upon some research by Harvard Scholars who were examining why Europe is more generous in its allocation and funding for the poor, than is America. In America, the attack on LIBERALISM and BIG GOVERNMENT is primarily a euphemism or Trojan horse used to attack the interest of black people who are attempting and in need of rising up from over 300 years of racial oppression. Those are not the Harvard Researchers words; they are and have been mine and the opinion of Black Introspection....loooong before such a study was done.
There are numerous issues that supposedly separate conservatives from liberals, however, we should not be fooled into believing that the ones talked about the most are the ones that matter the most to white people. The reason being is that white people have an extreme aversion to talking about race or topics that have profound racial implications behind the scene, because white folks fear being seen or interpreted as racist. One should not underestimate the stigma associated with being seen as a white racist today. It is such a force that whites rarely talk about it openly because the more they talk the more naked they become and the racist imperfections exposed. Thus, they like to remained clothed and hidden to hide these blemishes on their soul.
The attack on Liberalism is most profoundly an attack upon government transfer payments. This is why the conservative motto is “personal responsibility”. What that really means is that they do not want to be held responsible, via their tax dollars, for the problems of the poor, who they see as being the creators of their own poverty by virtue of making poor choices, being irresponsible, lazy and wanting something for nothing. Of course, these stereotype of the poor fall in line with the traditional stereotype of black people in this nation and given that black people are disproportionately poor, it logically follows that whites believe blacks are disproportionately poor choice makers (lack on intelligence), irresponsible and lazy. Hence, they do not want their supposedly hard earned tax dollars going to subsidize inferior peoples.
The role of the black conservative and their promotion as spokesman, by white conservatives, in regards to social issues profoundly affecting blacks, are done primarily as a shield or smoke screen to hide white racism. White conservative racism fights the black masses throught he proxy of the black conservative. These black conservatives then willingly, due to the rewards, perks and promotion they receive from white conservatives, zealously embark upon a campaign to paint the black underclass as the cause of their own problems….to the delight of the white establishment. These same blacks then fiend being taken aback by charges that they are “sell-outs” or “Uncle Toms”…….(whom the cap fits….let them wear it!)
Their conclusions were explained in one word…..RACISM. I need not say more at this point in time….rather I will just simply paste their summary findings. This is PROFOUNDLY true folks. I should help everyone better understand how much RACE matters in politics in America.
Two demographic acids are corroding Continental Europe's welfare states. One is Europe's aging population. The other is the flow of immigrants from soon-to-be new member countries in the European Union and from outside the union.
In our recent book Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference, Edward Glaeser and I discuss why the welfare state is so much more generous in Europe than in the US. One important explanation is the much larger racial heterogeneity to be found in the US relative to the more homogeneous Continental Western Europe.
Consider this: according to the World Value Survey, whereas 60% of Americans believe that the poor are "lazy," only 26% of Europeans hold this belief. Not surprisingly, those who adhere to such beliefs are more averse to redistribution and welfare, and evidence shows that in the US, those who express more "anti-minority" points of view are also more averse to redistribution and more likely to have less sympathy for the poor.
It seems easier for white middle class Americans to consider the poor less worthy of government support if they think of them as different. To put it crudely, but candidly, indifference comes easy if the poor are assumed to be mostly "black." This is more difficult in Norway, where rich and poor are white, often blond and tall.
Much experimental and statistical evidence shows that individuals trust and associate more with others of the same race. Precisely for this reason, political opportunists in the US have long used the race card to discredit welfare and redistribution, from the Jim Crow system that segregated blacks in the South before 1964 to the infamous Reagan-era charge about black "welfare queens" who drive Cadillacs. Right wing white politicians, predisposed against taxes and redistribution, use the race issue to secure the votes of poor whites, who otherwise might vote differently on purely economic grounds.
Even more fundamentally, racial considerations also influence the nature of America's political institutions. Proportional representation, widely adopted in Europe in the first decades of the 20th century, was never embraced by the US because it is a system that would allow black representatives to be elected regularly.
In Europe, however, socialist and communist parties imposed electoral systems based on proportional representation precisely because they open the door to representatives of minorities (the communists and socialists themselves). The few American cities that introduced this system in the Progressive era, between 1910 and 1930, soon abandoned it - or were forced to - in order to stop the election of black representatives. Today the only US city that uses proportional representation is the leftist bastion of Cambridge Massachusetts.
Proportional representation is widely viewed as one factor that promotes the implementation of redistributive policies by providing a political voice to minorities. Cross-country evidence shows that the size of public redistributive spending increases with the degree of proportionality in the electoral system.
There is more. Many redistributive programs in the US are run by the 50 states. States that are more racially heterogeneous have smaller redistributive programs, even controlling for their level of income. Welfare is relatively plentiful in the overwhelmingly white states of the North and Northwest (Oregon and Minnesota, to cite two examples) and in some states in New England (such as Vermont). It is lacking in the racially mixed Southeast and Southwest.
Continental Europe is becoming, and will become, more ethnically mixed as more newcomers from Eastern Europe and the developing world arrive. Xenophobic parties are on the rise across Europe; in some cases, they are in office. Think of Jörg Haider and the late Pym Fortuyn, or, to a lesser extent, Italy's Northern League. It will not be long before even Europe's more respectable conservative parties reach for rhetoric about "foreigners coming here to feast off of our taxes."
Simply put, when middle-class Europeans begin to think that a good portion of the poor are recent immigrants, their ingrained belief in the virtue of the welfare state will begin to waver. Even Europe's leftist intelligentsia now associates crime and urban squalor with immigration. The step from here to lamenting the high taxes spent on welfare for immigrants is a but a short one.
When this happens - and I say "when," not "if" - there are three possible political responses. One is to close borders to poor immigrants, eliminating any correlation between poverty and immigration. The second is to somehow restrict welfare benefits to "natives." The third is to reduce the size of welfare for all because political support for it is declining.
The first strategy is short sighted and the second odious. I hope that the third one will win out, because it would mean relatively open borders, no discrimination, and less government intervention.
Not to worry: the European welfare state will remain more generous than the stingy American one, but it may become more manageable and less intrusive. The fact that this will come about because of ethnic "animosity" is sad and depressing. The silver lining is that the European welfare state does indeed need trimming!
Alberto Alesina is Professor of Economics at Harvard University and the co-author of Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference (Oxford University Press).