Demographics or Ideology?


Over at the Red Elephant on YouTube, he’s making a prediction that Texas will become blue and stay blue after 2020.

What he’s saying is basically that since Hispanics and blacks vote overwhelmingly for democrats, and whites only marginally vote republican, that since the Hispanic population is increasing, Texas will vote democrat for the foreseeable future.

His suggestion seems to be to convince more white voters to vote republican, since blacks and Hispanics are never going to change how they vote.

That’s a pretty terrible suggestion, and it doesn’t leave much hope. Unless whites vote 90% republican, it’s still not going to be enough.

He also commented that illegal voting doesn’t really matter, and when democrats are winning by large enough margins no one will even think to look at voter fraud as it won’t make a difference if you found 10% of the votes were fraud or whatnot.

I wonder if he’d feel the same if Hispanics voted 70% republican and 30% democrat. Or would he say we need to import more Hispanics into Texas?

The reality is that the way our country is set up, we don’t get to control how populations move within our country. We can control who we allow into our country, and over the past 50+ years we have allowed large numbers of Hispanics into our country, but we can’t control people once they get into our country, legally.

Now, this is the key area where I disagree. While I admit that there is a voting habit for people based on their skin color, I say that is true only because there is a correlation between ideology and skin color and other demographic measures.

When you find a correlation in science, you have to ask if there is causation. Logically speaking, if A and B are correlated, there are several possible reasons for this:

  • A causes B or B causes A.
  • A and B are really the same thing.
  • There is a third thing, C, that causes A and B.
  • You just got really unlucky and found correlation where none really exists.

It’s absurd to think that changing your ideology can change your skin color, because skin color isn’t really something that changes. Nor can you change your heritage. We can look at other demographic variables as well such as age or sex, and we know that those aren’t something that are caused by ideology either. Economic status might be, but definitely the  idea that demographics aside from life choices are determined by ideology is just absurd.

It’s reasonable, at least at first glance, that demographics determines ideology, but we must consider that there is a third cause or that we are just unlucky. I think we can rule out unluckiness as we have collected this data in so many different ways and in so many different times and it is remarkably consistent.

What could be the third cause? I think the answer is that ideology and demographics (in terms of race or ethnicity) are determined by your parents. By and large, you’re not going to change your ideology much from what your parents raised you with.

That’s not to say it won’t change. After all, Christians are famous for converting people to their faith, and the history of Christianity is a history of entire civilizations changing their ideology. No one worships Jupiter in Rome anymore, after all, and it’s not because the barbarians stopped the practice.

The direction of nature is clear: Over time, populations grow weak and lazy, and begin choosing greedy leaders and corrupt their own country. Everyone knows this. The Chinese have a saying: “Head of a dragon, tail of a snake”. One interpretation of that saying is that things which start out great (like the American Revolution) end up being undesirable.

The problem is that in today’s world, nature isn’t the only factor at work. We have seen in history periods of time where entire populations have shifted to the right. It happened here in the US, several times. It’s happening in Brazil as we speak. It’s happened in England several times.

While we don’t know how to control shifts in ideology, and we barely understand why it happens, the truth is that no matter what your skin color or ethnic heritage, you are human and you are prone to change your behavior, oftentimes due to environmental pressure but sometimes out of your own free will.

When I pray at night and in the morning, I’m not just asking that God exerts his influence on the world: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” I’m praying to know what I should be doing to bring that change about, and to recognize it when it is happening.

Right now, President Trump is the best we’ve got. He’s not very good (and I’m not talking about what democrats point out as flaws) but he’s good enough. Maybe one day we’ll have our Julius Caesar, our Caesar Augustus, our Constantine or Charlemagne, or Henry V or whatnot. Maybe some day we’ll be graced with our own David and Solomon. Maybe President Trump is it and I just need a little more patience. Maybe one day we’ll be thrust into civil war again where we have to sort through who to kill and who to spare and re-think what it is to be American all over again. Maybe disease will rip through our country as it did through the Aztec empire, or maybe our crops will fail and we’ll have massive famine. I don’t know, but I do know that we have our President Trump right now, and we have a lot of work to do to shore up our republic, with the anticipation that things won’t get better but the hope that maybe they will.

As it is, I wouldn’t write off the Hispanic or black voting bloc. Ideology isn’t determined by skin color or ethnicity, and we know from history that it isn’t inherited either. Keep doing what is right, things will go as well as they can. That’s all we can do.

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