Since the ’04 Presidential elections, it seems as if minority voting has climbed upwards. From my experience working the Kerry side of the presidential campaigns, there’s been a significant turn out in the Democratic Party’s base of voters whom are mainly Black. I’d like to say that our efforts of getting out the vote did not go in vain. But with major events taking place within the following years, I would have to say that minority voting as increased ten fold.
Various possible factors are as follows: rapid unemployment, education, immigration, Hurricane Katrina, and Iraq. After the ’04 elections, I went back to my substitute teaching. As an experiment, I asked students about views such as Iraq, abortion, etc. I don’t like generalizing people based by color. Which is why I conducted a simple social experiment. One classroom, I asked students if they were for or against the war. Every student that was for the war were White.
Every student that was against the war were very diverse. But this is nothing new. Also keep in mind, I currently live in the South. The South is pretty much the bible-belt of the United States. But it doesn’t help me explore in depth on minority trends in voting and how they vote. I happen to be Vietnamese, I can definitely understand the trend in Vietnamese voters. My family immigrated to the United States from Vietnam after the end of the Vietnam War with me being born as a second generation Vietnamese-American citizen.
I learned that the much older Vietnamese immigrants tend to vote Republican. Mainly because during that time during the mass immigrations for political asylum and to escape the persecution at the hands of the newly established Communist Regime, the Republicans were the ones who wanted to help the Vietnamese out. From what my mom recalled, back then, the Republicans and Democrats were very nice to each other. And today, both parties are flinging mud at each other.
However, the much younger Vietnamese generation such as myself are tending to vote Democrat. In most cases, Asians including myself tend to put other people’s interests and needs before our own. We’re a society and culture revolved around socialization and helping one another out. I guess that could sum up why we’re leaning towards voting Democrat instead of voting Republican.
The recent 2006 Senate, House, and Governship elections are definite proof of it. We’re taking the initiative on becoming more educated and more well informed on various hot topic issues. Plus the scandals happening within the GOP pretty much helped with the increased voter turn-out let alone the turn out of voters in favor of the Democratic Party.
Currently, the biggest base of the Republican Party are White Anglo-Saxon Protestants or WASPs. But the WASPs that make up the GOPs base are mainly White Conservatives let alone White Conservative Christians. A good number of them tend to have Neo-Conservative or "Radical Conservative" views. Basically, they want to bring us decades back.
A good number of the WCs let alone WCCs are pretty much preducial against people of different cultures and religious preferences. I see that constantly on the news. A good percentage of the GOP’s base preach hatred and that everybody else’s views are wrong. In the past Republicans were for less government control and smaller government. That was called the Ronald Reagan Republican. Those types of Republicans are pretty rare and almost extinct. Most of today’s Republicans are out to force their views and beliefs on everybody else.
Moderate and Independent Republicans are rare or seem to be in hiding from the overwhelming amount of Neo-Conservative Republicans.
That’s going to explain the reason for a huge amount of minority voters voting for the Democrats. The biggest base of the Democratic Party are Black. Latinos and Asians are pretty much swing voters. So they swing either way depending on the candidate.
When you pander to just one "base", you’re going to alienate the others. In which the Republicans did. Which is why they have less of a minority voter turn out in their favor. Ken Melhman the former chariman of the RNC said that the Bush Administration happens to be the most diverse administration out there. Of course it is. But skin color will only take you so far. I’ve talked with many Blacks and from what I’ve learned, they don’t like Condoleeza Rice that much. A good number of Latinos do not like Alberto Gonzales that much either. A good number of Asians don’t like the Asians that are in the Bush Administration at the moment.
It’s good to be diverse. But if the people in power aren’t respected and well-liked in their respective ethnic communities, chances are minority voter turn out won’t be in your favor.
For Latinos, it can swing either way. The anti-Castro Cubans living in Little Havana which is one of the communities in Miami vote Republicans. However, the Cubans that don’t live in Little Havana tend to vote Democrat. Mexicans can either vote Democratic or Republican. Since Republicans are pressing to but a wall on the border, most Mexicans and Mexican-Americans are probably going to vote Democrat. Most Puerto Ricans that I know tend to vote Democrat.
Asides from Blacks, the Jewish community are the other base of the Democratic Party. However, Senator Lieberman is a Neo-Conservative. His religious affiliation is Orthodox Jewish. His faith alone netted him the support from the Jewish community.
The Democratic Party tends to honor a diversity of views which brings the undivided attention from all various ethnic groups. However, the thing we need to focus more on is "class." Class mainly plays a role in the turn-out. When it comes to minorities, the upper-class tend to vote Republican. Middle-class can swing either way. But the Middle-Class is existant yet non-existant at the same time. The lower-class minorities will definitely vote Democrat.
Ethnicity plays a role to a certain extend. But you have to consider all sorts of issues at play such as faith, religious views, class, etc. A Black person isn’t going to vote Democrat just because s/he is Black. Same goes for a Jewish person. A Cuban isn’t going to neccessary vote Republican becauce s/he is Cuban. You have to consider the big picture.
At this moment, the GOP represents a few views while the Democrats represent a plethora of views in today’s country.