The Right Opinion

Maybe Minorities' Values Need Changing

By Dennis Prager · Nov. 13, 2012

The most widely offered explanation for Mitt Romney's defeat is that the Republican Party is disproportionately composed of – aging – white males.

That is, alas, true.

But the real question is what Republicans should do with this truth.

There are two responses.

The nearly universal response – meaning the response offered by the liberal media and liberal academics (and some Republicans) – is that the Republican Party needs to rethink its positions, moving away from conservatism and toward the political center.

The other response is for conservatives and the Republican Party to embark on a massive campaign to influence, and ultimately change, the values of those groups that voted Democrat.

The Democratic Party, and the left generally, have done a magnificent job in identifying conservative values as white male values. One reason for their success is that they dominate virtually every lever of influence – the high schools and universities, television, newspapers, movies, pop culture and everything else except talk radio. Another is that they really believe that conservative values are nothing more than white male – especially aging white male – values. Remember, leftism has its own trinity – the prism through which it perceives the world – race, gender and class. In this case the race is white; the gender is male; and the class is rich.

As a result of this identification, there is no debate over whether the minorities' (and single women's) values are correct or whether the values of the white males are correct. The left has successfully forestalled any such national discussion by simply reducing conservative values to the dying fulminations of a former ruling class.

In the words of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, “Mitt Romney is the president of white male America.”

This identification seems to be working. But it's intellectually dishonest. Aging white males are as important to the left as they are to the right.

In a recent issue of the New York Review of Books, liberal Harvard professor Benjamin M. Friedman strongly criticized the Tea Party. After citing “surveys showing that Tea Party members are 'predominantly white, male, older, more college-educated and better off economically than typical Americans,'” he noted parenthetically “they sound like, say, readers of The New York Review of Books.”

Come to think of it, these people who make up the tea party also sound like the people who attend classical music concerts, who endow concert halls, museums, hospitals, and universities, and fund left-wing causes (George Soros, for example).

Perhaps when this generation of aging white males dies off, aging women, aging Latino and black males, and young people will become the readers of journals such as the New York Review of Books and endow symphony orchestras.

I suspect not. And if not, the left may come to regret its contempt for this particular group. Without aging white males, I doubt the New York Times would survive. How many young people, females, Hispanics and blacks subscribe to the New York Times?

Obviously the issue for the left isn't aging white males, it is conservatives, whether they are young or old, white or nonwhite, male or female. If female aborigines were conservative, the left would have a problem with female aborigines.

For conservatives, the issue is that for generations now, they have failed to make the case for their values. They haven't even conveyed conservative values to many of their children. And when they have, the university has often succeeded in undoing them.

The only answer to the “demographic” problem, therefore, is to bring women (single women, to be precise), young people, Hispanics, and blacks to conservative values. I wrote a column in September (“It's not Just the Economy, Stupid!”) criticizing the Mitt Romney campaign for only talking about jobs and the economy. President Obama kept saying that this election was about two different visions of America. But like George Herbert Walker Bush, the Romney campaign appeared to disdain “the vision thing.”

Our only hope for America is that every conservative takes upon him or herself the project of learning what American and conservative values are, coming to understand what leftism stands for, and learning how to make the case for those values to women, young people, blacks and Hispanics. That is what my radio show, latest book and Prager University are about. And while I am, happily, hardly alone, there are still far too few of us who understand “the vision thing.” Surely the Republican establishment has not.

We should missionize for the American Trinity (Liberty, In God We Trust, E Pluribus Unum) as least as passionately as the left has missionized for its antithesis – Egalitarianism, Secularism and Multiculturalism. Or we will lose America as we have always known it.



Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

Mac's right as usual. You will never convince the young people that Socialism isn't the answer until it hits them in the wallet. That is for the ones who work. The ones living on the dole are hopeless cases. They will never see the need to work, pay taxes, or take responsibility for the choices they have made,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:55 AM

pete in CA said:

> " and better off economically than typical Americans,'" <
Sounds to me like those are some of the successes we should all strive for.

As for my "white male" values, l try to follow the values of Jesus - a North African black according to some, very possibly Arab considering the area where He was born, lived, and crucified.

The democrat party left my values when they turned their back on our Vietnamese allies and allowed millions of SE Asians to be butchered and murdered in cold blood. The confirmed who they were when they had to take three votes to keep God in their party - and no matter how they called the vote, it was soundly defeated.

Thanks, but I'll stay with MY values and continue to vote as they guide me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Gregory in Yakima said:

Dennis Prager claims the message of the "left" is dishonest. In a Representative Republic the vote goes to whichever side has made the most convincing argument. It might be great to have every claim verified before shooting them into the sky like flaming arrows but that isn't possible.

Emotions always rule the day and Republicans have depended on that for decades. The most persuasive emotion? That's easy: fear is the emotion that moves people most. In this election too many voters were afraid not of the Soviet Union, they are afraid of the Republican Party.

Gone are the empty boasts of creating new paradigms. People in the middle looked at the Republican package and didn't want it or Mitt Romney. It's as simple as that.

Get rid of the racists, the name callers, the lewd fellows of the baser sort and spend time with those you hope to win over. You'll find they're not wanting anything for free, they just want a fair deal. You know, the kind that Harry Truman offered: a fair chance in the United States of America.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

The worst name callers and racists are in the Demoratic party. Also what lewd fellows are you taking about, the artist who put a crucifix in his own urine, Bill Maher, Joe Biden, Al Sharpton, and Martin Bashir. All good Demorats as I recall except maybe the so-called "artist". Clean up your own party before you critizise ours. You have be totallly naive if you think people who vote Demorat don't want anything for free. By the way, explain how the Fair Deal meant for working people to pay for those who don't work.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Gregory in Yakima said:

Pete in California...are you referring to the end of the Vietnam war? If I remember...and I do because I was in the Army from 71-73..Nixon withdrew our forces after failing with his "Secret Plan"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

I noticed you didn't include the Tonkin Gulf incident that escalated the war under Johnson.. It was later learned the whole thing was bogus. Of course, in your mind no Demorat could do anything wrong.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Gregory in Yakima said:

Remember the Alamo, Remember the Maine, Remember Iraq and 9-11...The Alamo is typical. Mercenaries try to steal northern Mexico and we ride to save the "brave defenders of freedom". What a crock.

I suppose you think Iraq was responsible for 9-11 too. By the way, since you're so eager to pin blame on Obama for Benghazi...who was president on 9-11 2001 and why don't you admit those thousands of lives on our country by guys carrying box cutters makes all the other failures small by comparison. I doubt you uttered a single word about those much greater Bush failures.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Capt. Call in New Mexico said:

Maureen Dowd is as dumb as a box of rocks. Two different visions of America? Obama said something true? Will wonders never cease!
Of course it is about two different visions of America -- the vision of death and destruction from the democrats, and, the vision of life and prosperity on the conservative side. The message of the left is as dishonest as the Obama himself. Promising fairness for all, it delivers misery for all; that is misery for all except for the elites, the rulers, Obama and his cronies. They are more equal than everybody else, and thus they deserve more, and take it, too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 1:43 AM