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The New Political Math

Shortly after I entered high school, mandatory busing brought students from the inner city out to the white haven of Woodland Hills. The lunch area was voluntarily segregated, black students in one corner set off from the milling WASPs and JAPs.

Busing was an attempt to address the social divide created by white flight from the city out to the Los Angeles suburbs. When my parents sold the family home in the ’90s, it was part of a progression that ceded the Valley to a growing Hispanic population as the Caucasians headed up the freeways to Camarillo, Palmdale, and Santa Clara.

In some part this was driven by real estate values: owners that once saw their houses as homes began to consider them to be assets, avoiding maintenance under the assumption that they could always trade up against their growing equity. Neighborhood blight was their legacy, allowing hard-working minorities in the trades the opportunity to profit from their sweat equity.

But a significant factor, visible in resegregation all across the country, was the desire to live among “those like us.”

Of course, part of being “like us” is making money without getting our hands dirty. This pulls minorities in to do that work. Rural communities in Georgia find that they have to make room for the people that clean their chicken coops. They may still be dominated by the Caucasians that retire to attend the Evangelical mega-church, but there’s nobody waiting in the wings to replace them. Sooner or later, the population will tilt to homogeneity.

In California, the end game has been apparent for twenty years. Having no other haven in the state, the majority fled out of the state to Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and further. What has been unnoticed is the electoral calculus of that movement.

Remember, these are the people most committed to maintaining white hegemony. In fleeing to low population states, they are assisted in that aim by electoral math: each of the 15 million voters in California elects two senators, just as each of the 500,000 voters in Montana. In terms of senatorial power, each voter in Montana has 30 times as much power as a voter in California. In the electoral college, each voter in Montana has 3 times as much power as a voter in California.

So this explains why the Republicans are ceding the House of Representatives to the Democrats in the midterm elections. In the House, every voter has equal power, and the will of the majority will rule. The Republicans will continue to cater to the ethno-nationalists to maintain control of the Senate. With control of both the Senate and the White House, they can continue to stuff the Judiciary with economic and religious conservatives.

I can’t imagine that the Founders envisaged this reality. Mass migration in their age brought social dislocation that disrupted political cohesion. In our age, communications and transportation infrastructure sustain political cohesion, an opportunity that the ethno-nationalists are exploiting to their advantage.

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