Vice-president elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us at Hamilton: An American Musical. We really do.
[According to the Census Bureau projection, by 2060 African American share of population will increase from 12.2% to 14.3%. Big loser: non-Hispanic whites drop from 62.2% to 43.6%. Big mover: Hispanic share increases from 17.4% to 28.6% of total US population. That's a 65% increase.
The African American political problem is that its contribution to the Democratic Party is pretty much maxed out. 80% of African Americans already identify as Democrats according to Pew, which now translates into 22% of Democratic affiliation. Currently, African Americans are the second largest bloc after non-Hispanic whites (60%) but that looks likely to change.
Hispanics are 3rd in the Democratic Party at 13% and have two potential upsides. The first is straight demographic growth would lead to Hispanics pulling even with African Americans as the second largest bloc if the current breakdown of Democrats was simply reweighted to take in account national demographic growth. Secondly, there are a lot of Hispanic independents out there (16% of "independents" are Hispanics, compared to 8% of African Americans) and only 56% of Hispanics currently identify with the Democratic Party.
The sizable bloc of Hispanics outside the Democratic Party once gave hope to GOP strategists, but thanks to Trump it looks like the chances of luring a decisive number of Hispanics into the Republican Party are slim for the time being. It would seem more likely Hispanics will be more inclined to join the Democratic Party, and this trend could become a self-reinforcing cycle as Hispanics become the second-largest group in the Democratic Party and it becomes identified as the home of Hispanic political clout.
Bottom line is, by 2060 there will be 60 million African Americans and 120 million Hispanics. If the Democrats get 100% of African Americans to vote, up from 80%, that increases the vote bank by 12 million votes and that's it. If it boosts Hispanic affiliation from 56% to 66%, that's 12 million votes right there. Every additional % point: another 1.2 million votes.
Because of the lure of the growing Hispanic bloc and the inevitable need to cater to it in the matter of policy and appointments, African Americans face the threat of re-assuming the status of "the bloc that the Democrats take for granted", with the aggravating factor of "it's not even going to be the second largest bloc in a few years." 2016 was, if not the last, one of the last chances that the African American bloc had to show it could be a king/queenmaker in the Democratic Party, and it came up short.
Specifically, the "intersectional" narrative--one in which African American women called on white women and other groups suffering under white male patriarchy to recognize their shared oppression and make common cause (and thereby compensate for the trends marginalizing African American clout)--didn't pan out.
Now the DNC is looking at Plan B--reaching out to conservative whites--by which I mean globalization-averse whites with an economic-nationalist tilt-- via Sanders and, I would guess, planning its Hispanic outreach--and this accounts, I think, for the special level of desperate fury I see from POC activists on my Twitter timeline. CH 11-20-16]
[Unsurprisingly, black votes for Hillary Clinton dropped off both in absolute and percentage terms from the record-breaking turnout for Barack Obama. Compared to Obama in 2012, Clinton in 2016 saw a drop of 2% among women and a drop of 7% for black men. Back of the envelope, if one assumes 16 million African Americans voted and take the 2% drop among women as baseline for a Democratic candidate who was not Obama, black male turnout dropped an additional 5%. That amounts to roughly 400,000 votes that Secretary Clinton lost among black males, whether to Trump's superior appeal (among black voters Trump did best among college educated males, winning 16% of their votes), generic misogyny or to more specific dissatisfaction with how the Clinton campaign targeted them. In the state of Florida, Clinton lost by 20,000 votes; less than the lost black male vote which I roughed out at about 36,000. The "missing black men" could have been decisive in Michigan and Wisconsin, I think, but not Pennsylvania or Ohio. The Clinton electoral campaign failed in multiple dimensions but I imagine that within the Democratic Party the shortcomings of the POC activists in delivering their votes did not go unnoticed. CH 11-2-16]
Reading the Chernow biography and Hamilton’s own writings, it is hard not to have a deep admiration for Hamilton (Chernow, by the way, collects a nice royalty from the musical). Way back in 2013, I saw Hamilton as the sophisticated urban/internationalist counterpoint to the pastoral/racist/secessionist stylings of Thomas Jefferson.
Trump is a carny barker—the Wizard of Oz was a displaced carny barker, by the way—whose grift happens to run counter to current elite priorities.
So he’s the target of the full measure of exaggerated spittle in defense of globalized economic and security policies that support the economic interests of the elite, and attacks exhibiting a thoroughgoing disdain for non-expert/non-elite rule. Remarkable to me, at least, because following the wisdom of elites has been a barely contained disaster for the last two decades…and apparently nobody wants to talk about that.
Actually, quite the achievement by President Obama, whose disciplined, cerebral demeanor and heroic efforts in keeping the wheels on the neoliberal sh*twagon did a lot to help claim the mantle of responsible and respectable minority for African Americans, while nudging freaked-out conservative whites out of the "value voter" political sweet spot and into the zone of "bigoted, gun-hugging bitters."
The revolutionary elite retained its affection for independence and local impunity after the British were gone, and simply transferred it to the hapless and impotent post-1776 US confederation.
During the War of 1812, Federalists organized the Hartford Convention to advance their pro-British/anti-embargo/pro-manufacturing interests and priorities against the policy of the central government. Their activities carried the faint but undeniable whiff of secession. The governor of Massachusetts even dispatched an emissary to discuss a separate peace with Great Britain. This treasonous exercise never caught on, as the war ended rather abruptly and favorably for the United States,and to the considerable discomfiture of the northerners.