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Last weekend on the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, Wade Henderson the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund said the following regarding the presidential election:


I found the interesting statistic to be the Asian American vote. Because the Asian American community doesn’t have the homogeneity, the cohesion that people have talked about. You’re talking about South Asian, Vietnamese and others. The fact that they gave 73% of their vote to the Obama presidency tells you that it really is about policies and not about demographics alone. They are the community that is most likely, it would seem, to align with the Republican party because their economic interests are very much the same.
That same weekend, on Up With Chris Hayes, Mr. Hayes made the following statement:


…almost no one has noticed what to me is the most shocking result, and that’s how the two candidates did with Asian-American voters….Asian-Americans are also, according to the latest census, the fastest growing racial sub category in America. In fact, the census projects that by mid-century they will make up 9% of the country. And as it happens, Asian-Americans are also the nation’s highest earning ethnicity, with median incomes even higher than those of whites.

    So you might have predicted that Mitt Romney would do well with them, since he won among voters making more than $100,000 a year.

    But he did not. He got creamed, losing Asian-American voters 73% to 26%. This is a shocking result not only because just 20 years ago George H.W. Bush carried Asian-Americans comfortably, or because the margin is so wide, but because the entire category of Asian-American is so obviously a construction there’s little reason to suspect members of the group would vote with each other in any discernible pattern…

This was one of the first times I’d heard Asian Americans discussed on a nationally televised program dedicated to politics. As I noted in a previous post, my firm, ChangeLab, pulled the transcripts of seven weekly political commentary programs televised between January 1-June 30 of this year including Face the Nation, Meet the Press, State of the Union, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Fox News Sunday, Up with Chris Hayes, and Melissa Harris-Perry (which wasn’t on for the whole period).

Over the course of that 6 month period, these programs aired 169 episodes. Only one featured discussion of Asian Americans, the May 27, 2012 episode of Melissa Harris-Perry. Other than that, in the entire 6 month period under study, the term “Asian American” was uttered only ten times. And one was a sports reference.

Since then in spite of programs focusing on race and the elections, and even race in America, Asian Americans were simply not part of the discussion.

But then, the election results came in and suddenly, there we were, relevant because we did something surprising enough to get folks’ attentions. Of course, we weren’t allowed to speak for ourselves. Nope, other people spoke about us. The single exception was Up’s inclusion of conservative Romney health policy adviser Avik Roy, who knows just about as much about Asian Americans as anyone who just happens to be Asian American.

I’m going to give folks some slack here and say that inexperience is the reason for the clumsiness. The inexperience, on the other hand, I’m not going to let slide.

In that spirit, here for the virgins are my five guesses as to why Asian Americans voted for Obama:

1) Asian Americans have been cast as perpetual foreigners, even when we are American-born. Given the way that race was used by the GOP to cast Obama as not quite American, even foreign and therefore dangerous or ineligible to be president, I’m guessing Asian Americans saw that their interests lay elsewhere.

2) We aren’t all wealthy. Most Asian Americans are wage earners who don’t benefit much from eradicating inheritance and capital gains taxes. In fact, the median income of Asian Americans is well under the $100,000 a year tipping point after which voters were more likely to support Romney.

3) Some of us, such as Vietnamese, Laotian, and Hmong Americans, are among the poorest people in the country. We are aware of that even if others aren’t. You might arrive at a more useful analysis of us if you didn’t first reference our diversity and then address us as a monolith.

4)As many as 1.5 million Asian immigrants in the U.S. arrived without documentation. When Republicans attack immigrants as “illegals” they are talking about us, too.

5) Asian Americans are people of color. In our own generation or in generations before us, we have benefited from programs such as affirmative action and many of us are one or two generations removed from desperate poverty and even peonage. This is part of our American story and, yes, we do have stories, as in histories, that started before you noticed us.

Of course, those are just guesses. But those guesses are based on actually having talked to and worked with Asian Americans in the context of Asian American communities. I’ve listened to their stories ad fought for their issues. And for that reason, Asian Americans are always on my mind when I hear the terms “American,” and “voters” and “people.” And that makes me more of an expert than just about any of the folk who have a platform on TV to talk about politics. And, those folk, in spite of their ignorance, tell a story about us all the time by simply acting as if we don’t exist.

Originally posted to scotnakagawa on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:32 PM PST.

Also republished by J Town.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Their economic interests AREN'T the same (25+ / 0-)

    even for affluent Asian-Americans, and maybe they're smart enough to recognize that what the GOP is talking about won't much benefit the average successful business owner — unless his business is a billion-dollar private equity company.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:37:42 PM PST

  •  A while back when cuts were being made to (13+ / 0-)

    services for legal immigrants (this was under George W Bush), I remember there was a great deal of concern for elderly Asian immigrants -- seniors who had come over with their younger family members and because of their advanced age had stayed within their own communities speaking their own languages. Since many had not learned English, they had not become citizens and therefore were vulnerable to cuts even though they were legal immigrants.
    I don't know what happened to that issue -- I worked on children's issues and was involved in thinking about the loss of Medicaid and CHIP to immigrant children.
    But I wonder if those cuts happened and if there was some anger in the community at the way these elderly relatives were treated.
    Thanks for the diary. As the mother of a Chinese-American child, I too am often struck by how little political attention is paid to Asian-Americans.

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:44:24 PM PST

    •  I believe the cuts happened and then were reversed (0+ / 0-)

      Medicaide and food stamps were the big ones. CHIP has little affect as everyone is legal. The elderly often live quietly amongst their younger english speaking relatives. Even though they are "different" they are respected and they cook traditional food. The food stamps kept them from being a drag on stretched budgets.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:14:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually, the immigrant exclusion *did* have an (0+ / 0-)

        effect on CHIP and Medicaid -- it led to declines in enrollment for white non-Hispanic and black non-Hispanic children:

        The three states that collected data by racial/ethnic group found that the children losing coverage due to the requirement are overwhelmingly non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks.  Hispanic children have been affected far less.  In Virginia, for example, enrollment has fallen significantly among white and black children since the requirement took effect, while it has climbed among Hispanic children. 
        I remember this from when I was working on the issue in my child advocacy organization -- the unintended consequences of the increasing ID requirements that were intended to root out all the undocumented immigrants who might apply for CHIP (or Medicaid). Turned out they weren't applying anyway (not surprising) and that the documentation requirements on white and black non-Hispanic children meant a lot of them didn't get enrolled. Hispanic citizens are used to having to produce documents to prove their citizenship so it actually affected them less. Ironic that the prejudice against our Latino citizens in this case proved to be of benefit to them...

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:28:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that changed with the Obama administration (0+ / 0-)

          and it's incentives for states to have a greater percentage of eligible children signed up. The higher percent signed up the higher percent the feds covered. They started advertising at the primary school and changing the ways eligibility rules were implemented.

          I can't imagine Hispanic prejudice as most people working in the CHIP program here are Hispanic as are most seemingly receiving insurance. More an issue of reserving things for legal US residents.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:08:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't doubt it got better under Obama. I was (0+ / 0-)

            referring to the initial effect of the new ID requirements under the Bush administration in maybe 2006 or 2007?
            And the prejudice I was talking about was not what you mention, it was the effect of general prejudice -- that Latinos often have to produce their papers in various situations because of prejudice and stereotyping -- so (as expressed in much of the literature) Latino enrollment didn't go down at that time in CHIP because Latino families are used to having the documents they need while most non-Hispanic white & black families have not had to contend with producing proof of citizenship.

            We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

            by Tamar on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:15:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      thanks for your comment. I appreciate the historical perspective. Lots to think about and follow-up on!

  •  The Entire Top 10% Minus the 1% or Really .1% (5+ / 0-)

    have been duped by conservative economics for 40 years. During the 20 year Reagan-Clinton era for example family net worth of the 90th-99th percentiles grew at a rate of total dead stop, flatlined, same as the bottom 90%.

    They have been no smarter than white laborers in imagining they share the interests of the Republican Party.

    If Asian Americans as a whole are stronger economically than Euro Americans, I wonder if better-off Asian Americans reasons aren't receiving the same propaganda their Euro peers are, or are otherwise better able to see through the BS.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:56:21 PM PST

    •  Maybe. The parties call "propaganda" outreach (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Aunt Pat

      and the R's don't reach out to anyone really well. OTOH, OFA and the DNC had lots of outreach commercials on the web and some made it into broadcast here in N. CA.

      I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

      by Jonathan Hoag on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:18:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are a lot of rich IndianAmerican doctors (8+ / 0-)

      Making several hundred grand and living in Texas, like my one uncle. And yet they're some of the most Democratic folks you know.

      The shocking "we're for white Christian males" rhetoric from the Republicans is what alienates us.

      16, Progressive, Indian-American, Phillies Phan. Obama/Om/Chase Utley

      by vidanto on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:58:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for saying that (18+ / 0-)

    You should pitch yourself as an expert for these shows. In all the talk and post-election analysis, no one seems to have noticed that people of color often identify with each other's struggles -- thus, Asian Americans were troubled by the racist attacks on Obama, even though he is not one of them. And I, a black woman, was deeply offended by that ridiculous anti-Asian ad that suggested Asians (Chinese, presumably) were on the verge of taking over America because of all our debt. And all of the anti-China talk in general. But I do hope GOPers remain ignorant so they keep losing.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:58:35 PM PST

  •  The birthers should stand up and take a bow. (20+ / 0-)

    With each reference to "Barry Soetero" they drove a wedge between the GOP and potential Asian American voters. In their ignorance and xenophobia most of them probably didn't realize what they were doing to their own party.

  •  What is truly shocking. (24+ / 0-)

    I disagree completely that it should be shocking that Asian Americans voted for Obama by 73%-26%.  Just as I disagree that it should be any more shocking that 71% of all Hispanics voted for Obama or over 90% of all African Americans did.

    What I find truly shocking is that so many WHITE MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE voted for Rmoney and the GOP.   Their policies were and are written by the wealthy elites, for the wealthy elites to benefit the wealthy elites and ONLY the wealthy elites.  Everyone else frankly should be voting for the Dems.  But yet there are so many voting against their own self interests.  

    The fact that close to 4/5ths of all minorities voted for a guy who has their best interests at heart is not shocking.  It's the fact that so many in the majority voted against that same guy who also has their best interests at heart.  

    IMO racism has a lot to do with it, which is why I think minorities overwhelmingly get it when it comes to Obama and the overt racism he has dealt with.  I think racism is why so many whites have voted against their own self interests.  I also think the GOP has no future on a national level in the near future because of racism.  Minorities will not soon forget the overt racism exhibited these last several years by the GOP but white will be more likely to vote for a Democrat and their own self interests if that Democrat is also white. Without the rapidly growing Asian and Hispanic communities, the GOP  is finished as a national party.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:08:19 PM PST

    •  AMEN (5+ / 0-)

      The fact that Romney got 47% of the vote instead of like 27% overall is disturbing and troubling.  

    •  Really Was Shocking How White Americans Rejected (5+ / 0-)

      Obama and his platform. And the attempt by liberal/progressive Whites to try to paint this rejection as a "Southern" thang , when the majority of Whites in CA, CO, NV, NM, IL, MI, WI, OH, PA, NJ, and MD voted for (R)money, is indicative of the denial by White people of how deep racism remains in the USofA.

      So the GOP is waging War on Women. Really? Then how come 56% of White women voted for (R)money?

      So the GOP is not popular with young people. Really? Then how come (R)money won the 18-29 y.o. White vote 51% - 44%?

      Yet liberal/progressive Whites go on-and-on about how Obama won Women and young people.

      What liberal/progressive Whites have to accept is that this country is still center-right, it's just less White.

      I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

      by OnlyWords on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:18:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well said (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        madhaus, Lawrence

        Nothing could be more clear, except for racism and the other 'phobias (sexism, homophobia etc) the GOP would consist of the 1% only. Racism and hate is the glue which hold their coalition together and has since Nixon/Reagan perfected the GOP "southern strategy".

        I keep seeing our own good dkos pundits write their eulogys of the campaign without even mentioning the main factor of "why Rmoney lost". As you make clear the principle reason Rmoney and five of the last six GOP candidates lost the popular votes is that racism no longer works as a national strategy, period.

        It wasn't because Rmoney ran a bad campaign or the 47% video or anything else but the simple fact that racism no longer works as a national campaign strategy. Pure and simple.

        America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

        by cacamp on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:24:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  it is useful to differentiate betw Southern whites (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and non-Southern whites, in my opinion.  In states where the law REQUIRED that all non-whites be legally treated differently - separate (way underfunded) schools, separate hospitals, back of the bus, separate water fountains and bathrooms, separate churches (and the ministers were as racist as the politicians, even Rev. Billy Graham), no right to vote - In Louisiana the law required that textbooks from white public schools could not be stored in the same warehouse as textbooks from black public schools, etc. - those ingrained cultural norms dating back many generations do still have an effect on voting preferences.  The party "that supports the blacks" will not get their votes, period, regardless of the skin color of the nominee.  

        I think it is useful to study the voting patterns of those white voters separately from white voters from the other states, the states that do not have a history of racial discrimination.   In Alabama and Mississippi, Obama got about 10% of the white vote.  I don't think the white voters of AL and MS are motivated by the same factors as white voters in, for example, Wisconsin, Iowa or Montana.

        I think Southern whites ARE different (at least my extended family is).

        •  Not so much different (0+ / 0-)

          The reality is that there is fluidity among the white people.  A friend I grew up with, parties with and held her head while we were in high school in NJ moved to Georgia.  now she's a fucking racist wingnut loon.  Conversely many southerners move north.  They take their prejudices with them.  I think the culture in the south has something to do with the racism, case in point my friend.  However, I also believe that there is a deep racism in the north as well.  it's just more concealed.  My dad lived in NJ for close to 40 years and the last vote he cast before he passed 4 weeks later was for Democrats, all except one.  He REFUSED to vote for Obama because he couldn't vote for that 'macaco' or 'monkey'.  Sadly his sentiments were shared by many in the Portuguese community in NJ.  Here in CT it's no different.  They use code words like socialism and marxism but it all boils down to racism.  They don't want to see their tax dollars being used by a negro to prop up other negroes.        If you look at the voting breakdowns by race you'll see that Obama underperformed with whites across the whole country.  Of course in the south it was more pronounced but the reality is the whites did not vote for him due to his color.  That's one of the main reasons why I think that the next Dem candidate will overperform Obama so long as that candidate is also white.  The minorities will not soon forget the racism exhibited by the GOP towards themselves and Obama.  The white, many who don't even realize consciously that they're racists or have racist tendencies will be more likely to cross back to the D side.   The deep south will always be tough because of the culture that is so deeply ingrained in many of them and the history of the Democratic Party but many states along the fringes will be alot closer or flip.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:53:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It is mainly a Southern and rural thing, though. (0+ / 0-)

        Obama polled somewhere around break even with whites in all regions except the South, where he was 22 points behind Romney.  Subtract the South and Appalachia and Obama is ahead with whites.

        That being said, yep, racism plays a big role in how many whites across the country make their voting decisions.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:12:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  GOP opposes Asian values (34+ / 0-)

    At least, in my contact with Asian friends(I am another mother of ethnic Chinese child). A party that mocks science, belittles public education and tries to elevate a particular religious view into public life is pretty offensive. Certainly, my Chinese son has heard Republican idiots talk about terror babies and the xenophobia hits him the same way kids teasing him at school hurts.

    George W. Bush: the worst Republican president SO FAR.

    by Chun Yang on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:11:21 PM PST

  •  The biggest Asian American populations (12+ / 0-)

    are in places such as California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Washington... the entire ecosystem most of us grow up in is quite socially liberal, and quite different from the culture of "Red America." And I think most Asians sense the feeling is mutual. The movie "Red Dawn", which features a future horde of North Koreans invading America and spawned a bunch of racist anti-Asian tweets? Apparently the only places where it did well were Louisiana and Texas near military bases.

    Most Asians aren't too religious, or if they are, it's something like Hinduism which isn't embraced by the GOP. Outside of Western Europe, East Asia is probably the world's least religious region.

    Back in 1992, George H.W. Bush won 55 percent of the Asian vote. I think a lot of this is generational. The older generation, particularly but not only the Vietnamese, Taiwanese, South Koreans, was like the Miami Cubans. They went to the U.S. because they were on the far right wing spectrum of their own countries, and when they got here, they stayed the same. This goes all the way back to Henry Luce and his relationship with Chiang Kai Shek and his wife in 1930's. For a long time, to be right-wing to be pro-Asia. Even in the Carter administration, you saw the right-wing Zbigniew Brzezinski wanting to go faster with normalization of relations with China, whereas the left-wing Cyrus Vance preferred strengthening detente with the Soviet Union. All of this changed after the Cold War ended.

    You still see old style conservative Asians, they can spout the conspiracy theories about how the Democratic party is full of socialists, Obama killed Gadhafi 'cause the latter had proof he was a Muslim, that the End of Times will come when X, Y, Z that was spelled out in Revelations occurs (from a Korean evangelical) as good as anyone. But they're a shrinking proportion of the Asian vote. Younger Asians grow up in the same environment as young people of other races in their communities, which tend to be urban areas in blue states. As they assimilate, they vote on domestic issues more and foreign policy less. So they move towards the Dems.

    I would be really interested to see how Asian Americans in Nebraska and Texas voted, I suspect Romney did better among Asians in those places. But alas.

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:39:40 PM PST

  •  Thanks, good job, bro! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, steamed rice, vidanto, Aunt Pat

    I had been meaning to write a diary on this topic, but I was being lazy and don't like writing diaries.

    And now I don't have to!!

  •  For this Asian American at the least (15+ / 0-)

    I have witnessed racism first hand growing up in the Deep Rural South. I want nothing to do with the GOP and their dog whistles, thank you very much.

    But more importantly, Asian Americans are about community. The recognition that we are all in this together, and that shared sacrifice is important. Trying to say "Going it alone without any support from the government is good" will fall on deaf ears because we don't believe it. At all.

  •  Asians as foreigners... (11+ / 0-)

    To add to number one--"Asian Americans have been cast as perpetual foreigners"--one of they ways Republicans tried to "other" Obama was by bringing up he wasn't born in America (or that Hawaii isn't real America).  The second was by pushing the idea that his political agenda was deeply influenced by the time he spent in Indonesia.  Hawaii has a large population of people with Asian ancestory, and Indonesia is in SE Asia.  So, yes, I'm sure a lot of Asian Americans took it personal that Republicans were vilifying Obama at their expense.

  •  Romney said he would start a trade war with China. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anak, elwior, Aunt Pat, crose

    Historically, when Americans feel insecure about their economic future, vicious anti-Asian racism has often been the result.

    Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans by Jean Pfaelzer, University of Delaware

    Excerpt from a New York Times book review:

    “Driven Out” cites records of more than 100 roundups, pogroms, expulsions and ethnic cleansings (to use Pfaelzer’s various terms for these actions) in which white Westerners united to drive the Chinese out of their communities from 1850 to 1906. They used warnings, arson, boycotts and violence to achieve their goal. In many circumstances, labor organizations led the campaigns, casting the Chinese as competitors for jobs and depressors of wages. But middle-class civic leaders often acted in alliance with workers.

    And what motivated the proud participants in these acts of stunning cruelty? Following the influential work of the historian Alexander Saxton, Pfaelzer — a professor of English, East Asian studies and American studies at the University of Delaware — points to the disappointment and disillusion that afflicted many seekers of fortune in the American West, native-born whites and European immigrants alike. When the West defaulted on their high expectations, they directed their frustration at the Chinese. In a more subtle casting of this usual explanation, Pfaelzer portrays it as an act of projection. “Whites saw in Chinese workers precisely what they hated about their own lives: hard and underpaid work, long hours, poor living conditions and a dearth of women.” In other words, white workers made the Chinese their scapegoats because of the similarities, rather than the differences, between them.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:42:57 PM PST

  •  My wife will be an Asian American (9+ / 0-)

    She's from the Philippines and has never been to the US. We met and married in Singapore and still live there...but things aren't going very well here, and I'm guardedly optimistic about a couple of job leads in San Francisco. It's a long way off yet, but there's a decent chance we'll be settling there. And I can't imagine a better place to introduce her to my country, not because she's Asian (though the strong Asian presence there doesn't hurt) but because she's a very free-spirited and openminded person despite - or perhaps because of - coming from a very conservative background. In other words, she's exactly of the mindset that has drawn people to SF for decades now.

    Now, as for her politics, they're a mixed bag. She's more conservative than I am on some issues, notably abortion (which is completely illegal in the Philippines) and sometimes says quasi-jokingly that I am more of a feminist than she is. But she also knows what it's like to belong to a group that the snobs look down on (Filipinos in Singapore are a lot like Mexicans in the US - entirely too many people take one look at you and assume you're a housekeeper), and she is deeply committed to fighting any kind of bigotry or unfairness. So there's no question which party she'll be supporting if and when she gets her citizenship!

    Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

    by RamblinDave on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:43:42 PM PST

  •  Also, every single time Obama said (10+ / 0-)

    "white Americans, black Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans."

    I heard, and no doubt lots of other Asian Americans, we heard that "Asian Americans" clearly EVERY single time loud an clear. Too often it is just "whites and blacks" or "whites and blacks and Latinos."

  •  Pew had a great study (9+ / 0-)

    titled "The Rise of Asian Americans" that they released back in June 2012, and the findings of this study gave some clues as to why Asians overwhelmingly identify as Democrats and support President Obama.

    Pew found that:

    On balance, Asian Americans prefer a big government that provides more services (55%) over a smaller government than provides fewer services (36%). In contrast, the general public prefers a smaller government over a bigger government, by 52% to 39%.
    In other words, Asians are not anti-government fanatics, which the Republicans clearly are.

    Also, on social issues Asians are quite liberal:

    By a ratio of 53% to 35%, Asian Americans say homosexuality should be accepted by society rather than discouraged. And on the issue of abortion, 54% of Asian Americans say it should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% say it should be illegal.
    Republicans are often that the "hard working" and "entrepreneurial" Asians don't identify more as Republican.  Firstly, his highlights the flaw of Republicans' assumptions that hard work and entrepreneurship are exclusively Republican domains.

    But secondly, it represents a complete misunderstanding of Asians generally.  By and large, Asians are pragmatic, not ideological.  Certainly many are ideological (me, for instance) but for the most part Asians don't see government as evil, nor do we see government as the solution to everything either.  Rather we see it as something that is necessary, should do its job well, and thus should be given the appropriate resources it needs to  do its job well.

    And whatever many Asians might feel personally about abortion and homosexuality, for the most part we don't get too worked up about these issues, and certainly not enough to have government and politics but into peoples' personal lives about it.

    Again, I'm speaking very generally here as Asians are a very diverse group, as are all ethnic groups.  But overall tendency of Asians, as captured by Pew's study, is one of pragmatism rather than ideology, of seeing government as something that is not evil, and right now Democrats are overwhelmingly seen as the party of pragmatism and of proactive government.  Republicans by contrast are seen as anti-government fanatics, who on top of everything else also happen to willfully insult Asians on a far more regular and widespread basis than the occasional stray Democrat who does so.  

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:51:30 PM PST

    •  Yes, indeed. And that pragmatism as opposed (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, puakev, Aunt Pat, crose

      to ideology is pretty chrystal clear in the history of China: Never been ruled by a religious group.

      The closest they came was the Taiping Rebellion in 1850-1864. It was a horrific event. The Chinese, especially its leaders, remember that even very well. This is why many Americans just didn't understand why the PRC cracked down so hard on that Falun Gong cult.

      •  Whoa... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        just talked to my dad about this, as I had never heard of the Taiping Rebellion.  He said the rebels thought God's power would stop bullets.  So when they faced the Qing Dynasty's army... yep, massive deaths, as it turns out they weren't actually bulletproof.

        If anyone wonders what the fighting was like in China in the 1860s, The Warlords captured it pretty well.  Jet Li plays a Qing Dynasty-affiliated commander battling some of the Taiping rebels.

      •  And not to mention (0+ / 0-)

        the whole experience with Mao's Communism, which was as fanatic, murderous, and detached from reality as the most fanatic religious group.  That might also be a strong reason why some Chinese aren't so enthralled with ideology.

        “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

        by puakev on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:14:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      puakev, kiwing
      for the most part Asians don't see government as evil, nor do we see government as the solution to everything either.  Rather we see it as something that is necessary, should do its job well, and thus should be given the appropriate resources it needs to  do its job well.
      That should be any sensible person's view on govt., imo.

      That sounds a lot like today's Germans, btw.

      Obama would have won 86% of the vote in Germany, btw.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:36:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The left in this country (0+ / 0-)

        by and large aren't really "left" at all, at least by European standards.

        What I describe above is the standard view of most liberals I encounter here, and Daily Kos is considered to be "far left" by the right and by our esteemed punditry.  You don't see too many people here calling for out and out socialism or government ownership of major industries (health insurance being the lone exception).

        But in America, simply uttering seemingly uncontroversial, common sense pronouncements that government should be adequately resourced to do its job well counts as a revolutionary Marxist call to arms.

        Forty years ago Nixon AG John Mitchell said, "This country is going so far to the right you are not even going to recognize it."  And the last forty years have confirmed Mitchell's remarks.

        “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

        by puakev on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:23:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the thing about us South Asians... (7+ / 0-)

    We value education, a good economy for all, health care, and rule by the people. Those are deep cultural values.

    And they all align solidly Democratic.

    Of the hundreds of South-Asian Americans I know, I believe exactly one is a Republican.

    16, Progressive, Indian-American, Phillies Phan. Obama/Om/Chase Utley

    by vidanto on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:56:21 PM PST

    •  question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Anak, Aunt Pat

      Do you think this differentiates South Asians from Southeast Asian or East Asians in any way?  Or from any sensible people at all in any way?

      Good, sensible, responsible people value education, a good economy for all, health care, and rule of the people.  Those are deep cultural values.

      •  I can't say for sure. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, Anak, Aunt Pat

        I can say for sure about South Asians, hesitate to speak for other Asians as I'm not overly familiar with their culture.

        16, Progressive, Indian-American, Phillies Phan. Obama/Om/Chase Utley

        by vidanto on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:20:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  East Asia strongly values education. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat

        SE Asian, not so much. There are historical reasons for this.

        I don't know about South Asians, but I'd say East Asians value education more than any other place on earth. That is why one of the most important things Obama says--and which falls on totally deaf Republican ears because they don't know anything about the rest of the world--is that we can't afford to let China, India, Brazil, and the rest of the world to overtake us.

        Because with Republicans in charge, those countries will overtake us.

        •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'm from a southeast Asian family. We value education and so do many other southeast Asian families. Be careful about making such stereotypes about Vietnamese, Laotian, Thai, Cambodian, and Burmese people. If you've seen something different, it's not surprising. But remember that social and economic class factors into these things as well as ethnicity.

          •  Bro, I'm Filipino. We don't value (0+ / 0-)

            education like the Chinese do.

            If it is different for the rest of SE Asia, ok, then maybe I was generalizing.

            But no country on earth has valued education in the entire history of mankind as much as China has. That was kinda my point.

            •  Ooops, I meant bro or sis! :) nt (0+ / 0-)
            •  that's unfortunate if that's true about Filipinos (0+ / 0-)

              but I don't believe that it is true about the Southeast Asian community in general in America.  And honestly .. I don't usually think of Filipinos as Southeast Asians.  I think of them more as Asian Pacific Islanders.  Maybe that's incorrect, but there are stark differences between the southeast asian mainland countries and the Philippine Islands.  Maybe the biggest one being not as much of a longstanding history of Chinese domination and influence.

              •  Well, you are wrong. We are SE Asians. (0+ / 0-)
                •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                  Sorry for the mistake.  I can tell you that those of us from mainland southeast asia usually think of the countries from the mainland when thinking of "Southeast Asia."  Filipinos in particular are considered to be unique because of their spanish colonial history and influence, widespread Christianity, and more mixed racial background.

              •  You are the one who sounds like (0+ / 0-)

                you have some sort prejudice against us just because we Filipinos don't have as great a Chinese heritage as, say, the Vietnamese.

                And, judging from your name, I'm guessing that you are Vietnamese.

                Bah! Stop it!

                •  wrong (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not Vietnamese.  My name isn't Vietnamese either.

                    •  I'm an American (0+ / 0-)

                      And an Asian American. And a Southeast Asian. and Laotian American. and Chinese Laotian or Laotian Chinese. Or a Chinese family that settled in Laos.  A family that values education and likes Filipinos. And I'm a guy who doesn't appreciate being accused of prejudice by another person who just said that southeast Asians don't value education.

                      •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                        Whatever, dude. You are wasting my time.



                        •  Dude, seems like you are especially clueless. (0+ / 0-)

                          HRing some one that you are in discussion with is one of the most basic no-no's on DKos.

                          Makes me feel sad for you that you are so pathetic. We Filipinos are not so pathetic and petty as you, whatever you are.

                          Remove your HR right now, or I will write Meteor Blades. I'll give you half an hour.

                          •  Take a deep breath (0+ / 0-)

                            I did give you an HR but then removed it on second thought within a minute.  You're right that it wasn't appropriate. However I did that long before seeing your threat/demand.

                            I would say go ahead and message whoever you want though so that they can see this thread. There is one person who is calling another person pathetic and making generalizations.  And I told you what my ethnic background is , "whatever I am."  I'm sorry if you can't understand.

                          •  What the heck is your problem? (0+ / 0-)

                            You are advising ME to "take a deep breath," when you were the one who rashly HRd me?

                            Again, sounds like you are clueless.

  •  When I was in high school (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, vidanto, randomfacts, Aunt Pat

    in the DC suburbs (Fairfax to be exact) in the early '90s, I had a number of Asian-American friends. Mostly Vietnamese or Korean, and mostly either the first of their families born on the US or they came over as babies. At that age, most kids still identify with their parents' politics - not all, of course, but most - and by and large they were Republicans. If I had to guess, this was probably a reflection of their cultural conservatism - they were mostly old-fashioned families who went to church every Sunday, etc. I haven't been in touch with any of them in twenty years, and I would love to see if any of them still are Republicans. I doubt it.

    (Interestingly, my best friend senior year was Chinese-American and a Democrat. Every rule has an exception and every exception a rule.)

    Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

    by RamblinDave on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:06:40 PM PST

  •  One additional possibility: Asian Americans are (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, randomfacts, Anak, Aunt Pat, nearzoltan

    more likely to live in blue states and big cities.

    I think it's safe to say that there are more Asians in the west coast states, Hawaii and some of the big eastern cities than in the inland and southeast states.  I know that there are areas around the Gulf with large pockets of Vietnamese population, but they seem to be more working class people and thus not really part of the repubs demographic.

    It's a little bit of a chicken-and-egg thing.  Are these places blue(r) because Asian voters tend to go for Dems?  Or are Asian voters influenced by living in a deep blue area?  Probably a bit of both.

  •  my own perspective as an asian american (11+ / 0-)

    1.  The diarist and commenters here are correct that there is no homogenous asian-american community, and I would tend to scoff at any analysis based on stereotypes, whether they be economic, cultural, or whatnot.

    2.  The Republican Party is very unappealing to ALL non-white racial minorities largely because they seem to really revel in their whiteness and hold it up as some kind of virtue.  "Traditional america", "the real america", etc.  They market themselves to white people, they base their strategy on appealing to white people, and what they get is to be the party of white people.  So of course, us non-white people would be turned off by this and go towards the only other viable alternative, the Democratic Party, if we weren't already for other reasons.

    3.  Facts have a liberal bias.  If you're not blinded by white rage/hate/fear or by astounding Randian selfishness and greed, you are probably going to see the facts and vote more liberal than conservative.

    •  In their photo ops, they have tried to stick a (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vidanto, elwior, Anak, Aunt Pat

      black face or two in the background just to look more inclusive.  But I haven't really noticed any efforts to see the crowds with Asian-looking faces.  

    •  Some white groups don't like their racism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      either.  I'd posit that the nativist talk and all the dog-whistling set off a LOT alarm bells for anyone who already has a sense of being an "other," no matter what the skin color.  I'm thinking of the Jews in particular, but I wonder how the Republicans did with other ethnic groups of whites, especially the ones with non-northwestern Europian ancestry or very recent immigration to the US.

  •  Anecdote-All my Asian friends voted Romney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, bepanda

    I actually had a "heated" discussion with one of them last week. It's amazing how easy it is to shut down Fox News talking points but this is the gist of their arguments to me:
    1. Obama is doing too much for poor people
    2. People aren't working hard to deserve rewards
    3. Military buildup is ok because we are protecting ourselves
    4. Planned Parenthood will survive on personal donations and doesn't need federal $
    5. The Medicare issue (which of course was poorly defined by OFA) with drugs means that drugs will cost more
    6. Poor people on welfare and lazy drunks/drug addicts and we shouldn't be giving them our hard earned money

    Mind you this is Tucson, AZ. We all attend the University of Arizona and I'm an African American so they assumed that I voted Obama. Lastly, my friends and I will be in the upper income group as we are all going into medicine/pharmacy/research so this kind of tells you how current Millennials look at things.

    Romney = Nixon without the sweating problem

    by YoungArizonaLiberal on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:22:23 PM PST

    •  Eh, I was a conservative in college too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's easy to fall into that "government is the problem" mindset when you first become politically aware.

      It's an easy answer to everything -- get government out of the way, let private industry do it.

      Later, you learn the world is a little more complicated than Ayn Rand would have you believe.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:35:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Already off the wreck list?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crose, YoungArizonaLiberal

    Disappointed with the Dkos community.

    And for like over a day a diary on some silly English princess was on the wreck list. What a fricking joke.

    •  Even on Kos (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you don't want to get too heavy. I think most Kossacks don't want to be pulled into racial debates at this point and they see diaries like these as racial debates. I chose this diary specifically to be educated on a subject I know little about.

      •  Yeah, but you really think this diary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in particular invited racial debates?!

        I've read plenty of diaries that basically flat-out said that non-blacks are racist. And I am being kind to modify that with "basically"...

        Luckily some who ranted on and on about that were kicked out.

    •  Agree, I'm back here after a brief hiatus (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that diary and the comments advocating for us to institute a monarchy....
      Daily kos meet Daily mail.

      I am tipping and reccing this diary in the hopes that it can reach more eyes.

      Romney = Nixon without the sweating problem

      by YoungArizonaLiberal on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:09:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, if they're educated, they would be Dems. (0+ / 0-)

    Don't Dems usually get most of the graduate-level voters?

    And, if so, why would Asians be different?

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:28:40 PM PST

    •  And they are educated. (0+ / 0-)
      Among America's major racial categories, Asian Americans have the highest educational qualifications. This varies, however, for individual ethnic groups. Dr. C.N. Le, Director of the Asian & Asian American Studies Certificate Program at the University of Massachusetts, writes that although 42% of all Asian American adults have at least a college degree, Vietnamese Americans have a degree attainment rate of only 16% while Laotians and Cambodians only have rates around 5%.[72] According to the US Census Bureau, while the high school graduation rate for Asian Americans is on par with those of other ethnic groups, 48% of Asian Americans have attained at least a bachelor's degree as compared with the national average of 27%, and 29% for non-Hispanic Whites. Indian Americans have some of the highest education rates, with nearly 68% having attained at least a bachelor's degree.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:31:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's half sister is Asian American (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Don't forget that Obama has Asian in his family. His half sister is Asian American. And the GOP has attacked his Asian upbringing many times. I remember Huckarbee accusing him of learning extremism in religious schools in Indonesia at the tender age of ... 5 . Yes, 5 years old.
    Anyone who really makes sense of the GOP must be crazy.

  •  Youth and End of Cold War Politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There are two similarities in Asian-American and Latino/Hispanic voting patterns that partially explain the shift of both groups towards Obama in 2012:

    1. Asian-American votes likely skew young (I haven't actually investigated this).  This is because Asian-Americans in general skew young, and also because many older Asian-Americans are not citizens.    

    2. As randomfacts noted, the historically Republican Vietnamese community isn't reliably Republican anymore.  Just as I was shocked to hear that Obama nearly tied Romney among Cuban-Americans in Florida, I could hardly believe what happened in Westminster, California.  In 2004, Kerry received 35% of the two-party vote, while in 2008, Obama received 43%.  In 2012?  51%.  Same goes for the self-identified Taiwanese in America, to a lesser extent.    

    The heterogeneous Asian-American already community leaned Democratic in 2008, but when the few Republican-leaning constituencies turned away from the GOP in 2012, the rout was on.  I don't see this trend reversing itself as long as the Republican Party continues to act the way it does.    

    •  Wow, Westminster. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dcatalin, Lawrence

      I have cousins who live there.  Politics is something I really don't discuss with them at all, but one is liberal (and now a medical doctor in residency) and the other is pretty apolitical.  That trend is pretty dramatic, but it seems to reflect a shift I've seen in my own family.

      I've mentioned this on the board before, but my dad had been liberal Republican since coming to the U.S. and becoming a citizen.  He even volunteered for Bush in 1992 and Dole in 1996 with the local GOP offices.  But as several others have stated above, we're very pragmatic.  And he saw how the budget deficit turned into a surplus under Bill Clinton, which disabused him of the notion that "tax and spend" liberals were all that bad for the economy.

      And when Dubya defeated McCain in the 2000 primary, that pushed my dad over into tacitly supporting Gore over Bush, because my dad had always viewed Bush as an idiot.  The following disastrous years of the Bush presidency only pushed my dad further and further away from the GOP, from the Iraq War to privatizing Social Security to the horrid response to Katrina, to the point where now when we talk, his usual complaint is about why the Democrats aren't being MORE aggressive in pushing liberal policies and hammering the GOP on TV every chance they get.  :-)

      Still, my dad hasn't officially left the GOP, but there was a reason for that.  Since he would still get GOP mailers on who the party endorsed in primaries, he would vote AGAINST them in the primary and for a weaker/fringe candidate, just to mess with them.  So yeah, he was one of the votes for Orly Taitz in 2010.  :-P  Not because he supported her one iota, but because he wanted them to get CRUSHED in the general election.

      Long story short, I've seen this shift within my own immediate family.  My mom, OTOH, has remained pretty steady as a conservative Democrat over the years.  Both of them, for the most part, listen to me on how to vote for the downballot races and propositions now, though I think she still supported Prop. 8.  :-\

      •  OC (0+ / 0-)

        That's great about your dad.  As long as Republican primaries are closed in CA, we need people like him to hurt the GOP (I hope he votes for moderates in any safe Republican local races).  

        I grew up in nearby Irvine and always just figured Westminster was Republican turf.  Irvine itself has changed, too, as it keeps getting less white and more Asian.    

  •  Asians value education... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    The anti-science, anti-intellectual stance of the R.s must turn off people whose test scores (our current measure of intellegence) outrank every other group in the country.

  •  I see through the Republican strategy (0+ / 0-)

    of conquering by dividing and don't buy into that. I used to do PR, so I easily can dissect and see through Republican PR, framing, messaging and marketing. Their messages are truly offensive and bullying.

    I read a lot of history and science. I understand the need for unions and the EPA/OSHA/FDA and regulation. I see a crying need to deal with climate change by investing in alternative energy before it is too late.

    I reject the claim that the wealthy are the job creators. By definition they are the wealth accumulators, and job creation is hardly the route to accumulating want to minimize the role of labor and labor the wealthy want to offshore like crazy to the detriment of America.

    It's the planet, stupids!

    by tsunami on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:41:21 PM PST

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