Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Dan Primack and Russell Contreras at Axios survey the ways in which the anti-Semitic, white supremacist “replacement theory” is being mainstreamed in the Republican Party.
I pointed out in April that Tucker Carlson’s “White Power Hour” on Fox (Joy Reid’s term) is full of contradictions on replacement theory, and that Carlson’s immigrant Catholic Italian ancestor could have been lynched once upon a time by English racists angry that he was trying to replace them.
Dan Patrick is the truly odious Lt. Governor of Texas, a former right wing shock jock who has turned his adolescent and racist radio schtick into public policy. He sort of promised us he would die of COVID so that his grandchildren would not have to wear masks or socially distance, but he reneged on that pledge as he has on so many others. The Lt. Governor is the real power in Texas, not the governor, and so Patrick is behind some of Texas’ most reactionary policies. He has now also gone in for replacement theory, like the Nazis in Charlottesville, who chanted “Jews will not replace us.” They were referring to the malicious lie that Jewish business people push for immigration to get cheap brown and black workers that can replace higher-salaried whites.
Actually, our current immigration laws were passed by a largely WASP Congress in 1965 and signed off on by a Christian president, Lyndon Johnson.
Patrick, born in Baltimore, is in part of immigrant German ancestry and changed his name from Dan Goeb. I am also in part of immigrant German ancestry, but we declined to pretend to be English. Plus we’re still hoping in vain for royalties on that slaw we invented.
Patrick told Laura Ingraham, the second nuttiest person on TV, according to the Houston Chronicle,
- “Let me tell you something, Laura, and everyone watching,” Patrick said. “A revolution has begun. A silent revolution by the Democrat party and Joe Biden to take control of this country.”
Patrick called on red states to petition President Joe Biden for “protection from invasion” and intoned direly about immigrant families coming to America and having children who grow up to vote for Democrats.
“Laura when I say a revolution has begun…they are allowing this year, probably two million — that’s who we apprehend and maybe another million — into this country. In at least 18 years, even if they all don’t become citizens and before then and can vote…In 18 years, if every one of them has two or three children, you’re talking about millions and millions and millions of new voters. And they will thank the Democrats and Biden for bringing them here. Who do you think they’re gonna vote for?
“This is trying to take over our country without firing a shot.”
So here are all the falsehoods in Gruppenführer Patrick’s screed.
1. In most years, a little over 1 million immigrants come into the United States.
2. The birth rate of immigrants is 2.0, i.e. it is at replacement, and is only slightly more than native-born Americans. In recent years fertility among immigrants has fallen faster than that among people born here.
So just to underline this, in 18 years if immigration laws and trends remain the same, we can expect 18 million more immigrants in a country of 345 million or so. They won’t have three children they will have two, just replacing themselves, and the children won’t be of voting age for the most part.
3. Only 45% are likely to be naturalized US citizens, so that is only 8.1 million new voters. They will be 2.3% of the population and spread all over the country.
4. On average, about 20% of recent immigrants in the U.S. vote Republican. About 30% say they have no political leanings. The rest, about 50% do vote Democratic.
So of the 8.1 million new voters among immigrants, 1.6 million will vote for Dan Patrick and his like, and we have no idea how another 2.5 million or so of them will vote, if they vote at all.
So we are down to about 4 million new Democratic Party voters in a country of 345 million, spread all around the country. It is highly unlikely that they would affect any but the very tightest races. And it is just as likely that the immigrant Republicans, depending on where they settle, could become a swing vote for that party.
5. 20% of immigrants are white.
So of the 8.1 million new voters, 1.6 million will actually be white people, the sort Patrick likes.
It is good for the US to grow the population somewhat, since a falling population presents economic challenges (who is going to pay into social security?) It is also good for the US to become more diverse ethnically, since it has been proven that a diverse workplace is better at problem-solving.
In any case, we have gone from Patrick’s image of being swamped by millions and millions of new immigrant voters, all black and brown or Asian, and all Democrats, replacing white people, to a mere 8.1 million new voters over 18 years, a fifth of them white and a fifth of them surely Republicans, with another 30 percent unknown as to affiliation.
If Patrick’s problem is that he thinks minorities vote Democratic, that is his own fault. Lots of Asians and Hispanics tilted Republican 20 years ago. George W. Bush got 40% of the Hispanic vote. It was the turn of the Republican Party to strident white nationalism that chased them into the arms of the Democrats. American Nazis desperately need to be replaced with humane people.