Diary

Affirmative Action and the voting patterns of Asian and Jewish Americans

From The Economist, via Robert Stacy McCain:

The model minority is losing patience

Asian-Americans are the United States’ most successful minority, but they are complaining ever more vigorously about discrimination, especially in academia

Oct 3rd 2015 | From the print edition

Michael Wang, a young Californian, came second in his class of 1,002 students; his ACT score was 36, the maximum possible; he sang at Barack Obama’s inauguration; he got third place in a national piano contest; he was in the top 150 of a national maths competition; he was in several national debating-competition finals. But when it came to his university application he faced a serious disappointment for the first time in his glittering career. He was rejected by six of the seven Ivy League colleges to which he applied.

“I saw people less qualified than me get better offers,” says Mr Wang. “At first I was just angry. Then I decided to turn that anger to productive use.” He wrote to the universities concerned. “I asked: what more could I have done to get into your college? Was it based on race, or what was it based on?” He got vague responses—or none. So he complained to the Department of Education. Nothing came of it. “The department said they needed a smoking gun.”

In May this year Mr Wang joined a group of 64 Asian-American organisations that made a joint complaint to the Department of Education against Harvard, alleging racial discrimination. That follows a lawsuit filed last year against Harvard and the University of North Carolina by a group of Asian-American students making similar charges. The department rejected the claim in July, but another two complaints have since been filed by Asian-Americans, one against Harvard and one against nine other universities.

On October 3rd 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act into law, sweeping away a system that favoured white Europeans over other races. One of its main consequences was the beginning of mass immigration to America from Asia. By most indicators, these incomers have done better than any other ethnic minority group. Indeed, they have long been described as the “model minority”: prosperous, well-educated and quiescent. But there are problems, as a result of which they are becoming somewhat less quiescent than they once were.

There’s more at the original.

Asian-Americans and American Jews will give a large majority of their votes to the party which supports Affirmative Action and the discrimination which says that there just can’t be so many of them in colleges; it truly is mind-boggling that these groups would vote against their own, and their children’s own, interests. One more sentence from The Economist:

(O)n average Asian-Americans are unusually well educated, prosperous, married, satisfied with their lot and willing to believe in the American dream: 69% of Asians, compared with 58% of the general public, think that “most people who want to get ahead can make it if they are willing to work hard.”

I can think of no statement which more embodies the basis of Republican Party thought and ideology; that is exactly what Republicans in general say. Asian-Americans have done precisely what we say should be done: study and work hard in school, get a good education, seek a good career, and work hard in that career, and you will prosper in America.

More, it is the polar opposite of what the Democratic Party believe: Democratic policies are based on the notion that most people cannot make it on their own, regardless of how hard they try, and that special accommodations and considerations must be given to people based on their race and ethnicity and sex. When Mr Wang proved that he was willing to work hard, at least in high school, Harvard and five other Ivy League colleges said, oops, sorry, but working hard and succeeding won’t get you into our hallowed halls! That is what the left believe, and that is what the left preach, and that is why the left would exclude Mr Wang, because he might not be white, might not be the beneficiary of “white privilege,” but he’s not the right minority. From Mr McCain’s article:

Creating what liberals consider “diversity” on top-tier university campuses — including leading state universities like the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia — requires not only blatant favoritism toward black and Hispanic students, but also discrimination against groups like Asian-Americans and Jews whose superior academic achievement means there are “too many” of them at the most prestigious schools. If standardized test scores and GPA were the basis admission, there would be far more Chinese and Jewish kids at Harvard and MIT, but this would not fit liberals’ notion of “diversity.” There are many harmful consequence of the unofficial quotas at these schools, not the least of which is the resentments created among bright young people (and their parents) who realize how the playing field is being deliberately tilted in the name of “social justice.”

It has to be asked: why on God’s earth do American Jews and Asian-Americans give such a large percentage of their votes to the party which champions the very policies which discriminate against them? Jewish voters are slowly, very slowly, moving toward the GOP, but, overall, they still vote heavily Democratic. Asian-Americans, on the other hand, used to vote heavily Republican, but are now strongly Democratic.

Republicans have to make a stronger effort to pursue Jewish and Asian-American voters. Their economic cultures, of studying seriously, of doing well in school, and of working hard and being responsible is exactly what the GOP says everyone can do and should do; we need to point out Asians and Jews in the United States as success stories of which we are all proud, and as examples for what everyone can do, if only people will try.

Further, we need to point out what the Democrats’ policies are: to tax their success more highly, and deny them the fruits of their success based on nothing more than their ethnicity. There is absolutely no reason that any Asian or Jewish American should ever vote Democratic, yet Republicans are not telling them that, and have not been making any serious efforts to seek out those votes.

We have to do better.
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Published in slightly different form in The First Street Journal.