The steadily shrinking white electorate, Voter ID laws, and the far-right’s “race wars”
Because, as Jim Galloway at the AJC observes, white voter registration is steadily moving downward: “In May of 2008, African-Americans made up 28 percent of active registered voters in Georgia while whites made up 65 percent and “other” race… In May of 2012, African-Americans made up 29.4 percent of active registered voters, whites made up 60.2 percent, and “other” race made up 10.4 percent. So the downward trend in the white share of voters in Georgia has continued.”
So while GOP lawmakers will try to disenfranchise the voters who they assume wouldn’t vote Republican anyway (i.e. non-whites), the rightwing media are working overtime to whip up enough FEAR and ANGER to get the whites who have voted Republican before into the voting booths again — despite how they feel about Mitt Romney. How? By victimizing whites, by insinuating there’s a race-war, by reminding their audience that everyone thinks they’re the “R” word (racist), and by evoking the usual tribal reaction from their base. McKay Coppins at Buzzfeed outlined some of the main players on the far-right last month in his article, “In Conservative Media, A “Race War” Rages“:
- Bill O’Reilly, Fox “News” — With the Norfolk, VA story, using the narrative: Black-on-white violence is spiking — and the mainstream media is trying to cover it up.
- Drudge Report – ”Miami ‘war zone’ during urban weekend;” “Rib fest at Rochester beach turns rowdy;” and “Unruly urban crowd shuts down Nashville water park.”
- Tucker Carlson, Daily Caller – ”I was struck by the immediate, uncloaked assumption by the media that Trayvon Martin was innocent.”
- Rush Limbaugh – ”In Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering.”
- Dan Riehl, Riehl World News, Breitbart News – ”There are special interest groups on the left that exploit reports of white-on-black crime for political gain.”
But as Coppins fairly reports: “Indeed, the irony of the race war narrative’s latest flare-up is that it comes at a time when national crime rates have reached historic lows — including reported hate crimes against whites… What’s more, hate crimes against blacks have continued to outstrip those against whites by about four-to-one: In 2010 alone, there were 2,201 reported. Violent crimes across the spectrum reached a four-decade low in 2010.”
Jobs? Health care reform? Tax cuts for the one percent? Austerity for the rest of us? None of that really matters to low-information voters. Reality and facts, once again, are not part of the narrative that’s written and produced by the American conservative media and performed for the American conservative voter’s entertainment. What gets these people to the voting booth is fear and anger: do you want to be attacked by mobs of ‘rib-eating’ ‘urban’ youths? No? Then you’d better vote for Mitt Romney.
Related: Bill Maher: the problem with racism is Matt Drudge