Why The Conservative Coalition Cannot Hold
by Chris Bowers, Sun May 21, 2006 at 11:23:57 AM EDT
The poll findings indicate that Republicans are likely to have a hard time replicating Bush's 2004 performance among Latino voters. According to 2004 exit polls, Bush received the backing of 40 percent of Hispanic voters, up from 34 percent in 2000. Other studies have put the 2004 figure somewhat lower, although there is general agreement that Bush made statistically significant gains from 2000 to 2004. The fundamental problems Republicans face in trying to court any minority group arises from the conservative takeover of the Republican Party. Along with looking to the future for the ideal of society versus looking to the past, perhaps the ultimate difference between conservatism and progressivism is a belief in a closed society with a singular cultural identity versus a belief in an open society with multiple cultures. Absolutist identity versus pluralistic identity. As Republicans do everything they can to placate their white, conservative, church-going Christian base, their self-declared battle of civilizations will continue to alienate minority groups and dissolve whatever gains they made among such groups in 2002 and 2004. Long-term, that is a recipe for electoral disaster in a country that is rapidly growing less Christian and less white. It is in this sense that a conservative-dominated coalition in America can never hold as a long-term natural governing coalition. Short of ending our democracy, it is impossible to wage a successful, long-term identity war in a country that is predicated upon cultural change and permanent diversification.