I see on Twitter that the long-underground journalist Steve Sailer, about whom I’ve written before, has suddenly come into prominence. It turns out a lot of mainstream journalists were reading him all along, just not talking about it publicly. The Sailer theory of US electoral politics is hot currency now. I’ll now write up my take on it.
For a long time, the multicultural and multiethnic United States held together not by some unreplicable magic they found, but because the hegemonic founding population was not really all that multiethnic, and has a lot of individualism and civic responsibility. Yes, the founding population of people from mostly the British isles and Germany were joined by lots of Scandinavians, French, Italians and Jews (from all over Europe), in the big picture those groups are not all that different. They’re all Europeans, or in America, “white”.
They were largely willing and able to deal together for the common good, and secure in their founding culture, able to welcome over time a large number of outsiders: East Asians, Latin Americans, and after a long civil rights struggle, Africans whose ancestors were taken to America as chattel slaves. In repentance for slavery and segregation, there was a widespread tolerance of compensation in the form of affirmative action, and opposition to many apparently unrelated issues (social welfare, voter ID laws, money for public schools) came to be seen as racist. The extreme dysfunction of African-American communities was seen as more of a white responsibility than a black responsibility.
Amnesty for illegal immigrants became a Latino issue and Israel a Jewish issue. I don’t think there’s a big Asian issue (and in fact affirmative action is even worse for Asians than it is for whites). The white majority was large, prospering and confident enough to afford these “ethnic spoils”. Whites, being “responsible for everything” also took the blame for everything. The reason gay marriage apparently took a long time (although it was in fact a very rapid process) to arrive was always “straight conservative white men”, although that group was far from being the most opposed.
Over time the white share of the population dwindled, and the old cultural hegemony eroded. I think two years ago whites stopped being the majority among newborns, and in the near future will stop being the majority among the entire population. With the election of Barack Obama, whose father was Kenyan, things came to a head at least in terms of public discourse: America wasn’t going to be the old America anymore, and whites weren’t going to call the shots anymore.
It has been said that especially older whites weren’t ready to accept that, but I think they really have accepted it. The US has been shifting to identity politics, and whites have started to shift to identity voting. It’s not hard to see the logic of it.
Steve Sailer has been saying for years that the Republicans should really plug into this, and try to grab as a big a share of the white vote as possible, and forget appealing to the other groups. Whites are still the biggest group, and looks like they were the key for Trump’s victory.
The lesson for Europe is that you really can’t push through to the native populations both messages, that “you’re history” and “you’re responsible”. In Sweden the idea is already quite strong that the old Sweden is gone and Swedes have to assimilate into the new Sweden (cf. this ad). If they run with this message, they have to be very careful about ethnic quotas, messages about global responsibility etc. The native population will simply reject those messages, accept that it’s one ethnic group among many and begin to support a “white party”, eg. Sverigedemokraterna which is already one of the major parties by popularity.
The other choice is for the mainstream social democratic parties to reaffirm ethnonationhood and the hegemony of the native population, and in exchange for that receive civic responsibility and tolerance. That way they could stop the nativists. But this sort of thinking is anathema to people who run political parties.
Incidentally, if US politics really realigns over racial lines, don’t expect it to stay whites vs. everyone else. If East Asians (who in America are called “Asians”, unlike in the UK where that word means South Asians) believe they have to choose between the “black party” and the “white party”, they will probably go with the white party. In Europe it really could end up being whites vs. others.
This is sort of the main reason I am wary about deeply multiethnic societies. Lee Kuan Yew, longtime almost dictatorial prime minister of Singapore, said when criticised over his suppression of democratic processes:
The British came here, never gave me democracy, except when they were about to leave. But I cannot run my system based on their rules. I have to amend it to fit my people’s position. In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion. Supposing I’d run their system here, Malays would vote for Muslims, Indians would vote for Indians, Chinese would vote for Chinese. I would have a constant clash in my Parliament which cannot be resolved because the Chinese majority would always overrule them. So I found a formula that changes that…