Republican-free Zones

Christopher Caldwell writes,

Washington, D.C., with its 93-to-4 partisan breakdown, is not that unusual. Hillary Clinton won Cambridge, Massachusetts, by 89 to 6 and San Francisco by 86 to 9. Here, where the future of the country is mapped out, the “rest” of the country has become invisible, indecipherable, foreign.

Pointer from Tyler Cowen.

These statistics, while not surprising, are staggering. Some thoughts:

1. It is easy to understand why the Washington Post is the way it is. It has to satisfy its market.

2. 60 percent is a landslide. 85 percent is a bubble.

3. In the past, the heavy DC vote for the Democrat would have been written off as a reflection of what was twenty years ago a heavily black population. That “excuse” no longer holds.

4. Perhaps much of the “resistance” to the Trump Presidency was inevitable, and it would have erupted with any Republican winner. If you and all of your friends are Democrats, it is hard to credit a Republican with legitimacy. And in the age of social media, it is easy to mobilize demonstrations.

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16 Responses to Republican-free Zones

  1. Handle says:

    Could you explain the ‘bubble’ claim a bit more? Do you expect it to burst?

    The question remains whether open-minded liberals and progressives can be convinced that their monocultural colonization / conquest of certain fields and areas is a bad thing. Regarding the universities, Jonathan Haidt at Heterodox Academy has been trying to present a subtle argument for intellectual and moral diversity based on the ideas he presented in The Righteous Mind.

    That is, instead of trying to attack progressivism directly as a flawed philosophy and ideology, he is avoiding the question and making a more oblique effort at convincing them that having a certain quota of token conservatives around and turning down the temperature on the PC inquisition will help enrich their perspective and sharpen their intellectual axes.

    John Holbo at Crooked Timber has been tearing into Haidt’s argument and, in my opinion, definitively shows it to be internally inconsistent and incoherent. Haidt’s “one clever trick” is reduced to rubble, which furthermore demonstrates critical and fundamental flaws with his thesis from The Righteous Mind and casts serious doubt on the validity of the methodology he has used in his research, or the trust we are asked to place in his interpretation of the results.

    An analogy with economics would be the differences we observe between stated and revealed preferences. A perfectly honest market researcher could simply ask people whether they prefer healthy produce or junk food and publish a result that says that everyone wants kale and turnips. But these people are either lying to the researcher or deluding themselves, because when given the choice, they overwhelmingly decide to indulge in junk food.

    It’s totally reasonable to look at the published result and say, “Common sense and economic insights tell us that you just can’t rely on the responses you get from surveys, even if you get some nifty correlations from a regression analysis. You have to check up on the polls by watching behaviors in real life and testing whether it matches.”

    Haidt has some polls about morals, personality traits, and political ideology, and he has those correlations. But then he takes them seriously when he shouldn’t, and asks us to take them seriously too. But it’s clear that many of his respondents are deluding themselves and giving what are the socially-desirable answers for their ideological subculture.

    • asdf says:

      Intellectual diversity/freedom of speech has been revealed as a mere tactic of the left. Discarded when they want from out of power to in power.

      If the other side is ignorant/evil, there is no reason to give them a hearing. Haidt assumes most people just want to debate because that’s what he wants to do. Most people actually want to do things. Sometimes they don’t even much care what they do, so long as they are on the “winning” side of it.

      The only way to beat leftists is to actually beat them in argument. Freedom of speech is a useless defense.

      The trick leftists came up with is to control “socially acceptable starting assumptions.” Once you control those, its easy to set up logical chains that lead to desired conclusions. Any good argument against leftism eventually flounders against crimestop. So all of your socially acceptable non-leftists sound like morons, they have only incoherent and incomplete arguments at their disposal.

  2. asdf says:

    There is a bubble among the elite, but not necessarily society more generally.

    Amongst white college grads, and especially white college grad men, Republicans and Trump are were still favored over HRC. If you split that by BS versus PhD the split gets even sharper.

    Voting happens across the famous “C” shape. Underclass whites still vote D, its only the WWC above them that have switched over. The elite have become all D, but not your average college grad in the suburbs. High/Low versus middle.

    So you have a situation where urbanite progressives are massively left, and your average suburbanite professional family man is to the right. If HRC could have won average college grads in the Phili suburbs she would have won the election, but she couldn’t.

    The urbanites would lose this battle with the suburbanites, but they rack up the score with minority imports. Hence educated middle class suburbs of a place like Baltimore can vote overwhelmingly R but lose to the minority boosted urban vote bloc. Hartford and Carroll county were overwhelmingly R, and they have high educational and income levels, but they get out voted by Baltimore.

  3. Tom DeMeo says:

    Well, you are citing three of the biggest winners of globalism on planet earth. Are they really saying that the rest of the country is invisible, or are they just worried about being pulled apart limb by limb?

  4. GU says:

    “4. Perhaps much of the “resistance” to the Trump Presidency was inevitable, and it would have erupted with any Republican winner. If you and all of your friends are Democrats, it is hard to credit a Republican with legitimacy. And in the age of social media, it is easy to mobilize demonstrations.”

    There was quite a bit of vitriol and name calling aimed at Romney (including charges of racism, animal cruelty, and armchair psychology about his behavior in prep school).

    I think it’s partly strategic, but it’s a strategy that is attractive to the mainstream left in part due the dehumanization of non-progressives owing to the bubble previously discussed.

    • djf says:

      Don’t forget, Romney was accused of being part of a “war against women” and wanting to outlaw contraception.

  5. Tom DeMeo says:

    This is NOT a case of a bubble. These are legitimate differences of opinion and self interest. What is a problem is there is no significant public pressure to work it out. We accept ever more gerrymandering, and we accept the balkanization of the media. I do not see a single political figure on the horizon who is making any attempt to build a win-win platform, and I’m not sure they would win an election if they did.

  6. Lord says:

    There are no conservative Democrats, no liberal Republicans, and no one feels the need for any, holding the party line is considered more important.

  7. Rich Berger says:

    Subtract the five boroughs of Manhattan and LA county and Trump won the remaining popular vote. Of course, all sorts of objections to be raised to such slicing and dicing, but it does indicate how lop-sided these cities are with Democrats. And I didn’t even have to exclude DC.

    • djf says:

      There are no “five boroughs of Manhattan.” Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of New York City.

    • collin says:

      4. Perhaps much of the “resistance” to the Trump Presidency was inevitable, and it would have erupted with any Republican winner.

      Somewhat true but it would have not been as high. Remember his rallies focused on “Lock Her Up!”, The Wall, bad trade deals and the return of factory jobs. Jeb Bush would have been run of the mill pushbacks (throwing 5 Million off Healthcare stuff which is still big.) or cutting Medicare. The town hall would have loud and proud but the media would have normal leftist positions.

      So if the Democrats are moving to identity minority demographics, then Trump move was WWC identity demographics. I assume the hate for illegal immigration is not just questioning the position of these people in the US but a general dislike for all (legal) immigrants and even most minority populations. Basically Steve Sailer stuff that white people ‘don’t’ like living around so many non-white people. (FYI most neighbors and my kids best friends are Hispanic-Americans.) There is lots of concerning stuff going on here and Trump best react stronger to it.

      Also, the Trump administration is fairly incompetent and his cabinet is not functioning very well as their interest in stabbing each other is concerning. Additionally, his campaign relationship with Russia is not going away. (I still hold it won’t impeach him but damage his Presidency.)

  8. sean says:

    we should all be so lucky to live in such a bubble. i know many very smart conservatives (and consider myself one), yet i know no one who believes trump is either a smart man or a decent man. i do know some old white men who voted for trump because they love cops and hate protesters. t’s a failure of our society as a whole that more than a trivial number of people like this exist.

    there was for sure tons of group think involved in the fact that so few people in these cities voted for trump (had many of them still lived in indiana or alabama they would have voted with their neighbors, so it’s not like voting for clinton proves these people are smart and decent). but it’s crazy to bemoan that there are so few fools and knaves in your city.

  9. JK Brown says:

    Those Republican-free zones represent another problem. Those isolated areas that see it as their right to rule cannot form a constitutional majority. As such, they will redouble their efforts to undermine the Constitution from inside the Agencies, the NGOs and universities. It certainly doesn’t look like they’ve got the awareness to try to put together a majority that is enduring in time and expansive in geography, which is what it takes to take the Electoral College and majorities in the Senate and House, not to mention the plurality of state legislatures.

    This idea of a constitutional majority from a recent Uncommon Knowledge interview is quite interesting:

    “The electoral college is part of the most fundamental idea in the Constitution. The most fundamental idea is this, it answers the most basic question of politics. Who should rule? Who should rule? The Constitution’s answer is this, the Constitutional majority should rule. All right, well what’s that? What’s the Constitutional majority? The Constitution says it’s not just a bare majority of the citizens, as Gallup might register in a poll tomorrow or next week, it’s a more enduring, temporally enduring and geographically dispersed majority than what Gallup picks up on. It’s a majority that can elect … That’s widely enough dispersed so that it can elect a majority of seats to Congress. A body, the whole of which is reelected every two years.


    “It’s a majority that’s large enough to elect a majority of senators. That’s the geographic dispersion. To do that, you have to hold your majority together for four years, because only a third of the Senate is up for reelection any one moment. It’s a majority that can create a majority in the electoral college, so it’s a much-


    Capturing the presidency, yeah. The Constitutional majority is larger in space and more enduring in time than any ordinary majority would be”

    By evidence, the Tea Party didn’t leave DC 8 years ago and die as was so often reported. It seems many working from an idea more than any plan set to work to develop a constitutional majority. It is not a Republican majority, as has been seen they will abandon any one Republican at any time. But it has put people of a certain mind into state legislatures, the House, the Senate.

    I believe, once things settle, it will be seen that Trump’s mastery, contrary to the repeated accusations of racism, sexism, ???-isms, was that he stitched together the middle. He’s not tried to swing hard right like Cruz often did. He’s working the middle and if he keeps it together, it marginalize both the far right and far left as more politicians start working that constituency. The bear will be the party primary systems.

  10. Tom G says:

    NGOs, academia, gov’t bureaucrats, the media, and finally successful big cities.

    These are all Dem bubbles.

    NGOs & non-profit Universities should be subject to “excess income” taxation on their leaders, when making more than twice the median US worker (2 x ~$50k = $100k). Those that want more money should be in the wealth creating profit sector.

    Excess University endowments should be taxed for some student loan relief programs to help then get better jobs and/or start businesses. End the reduction of their debt for going to an NGO or gov’t — their debt should be repaid by them making more money in wealth-creating jobs.

    National vouchers for equal education to all parents of school age kids. Let parents have more choice – including vouchers for homeschooling with annual performance tests that merely need to meet a 20% threshold of the lower of the national average tests or the local school district test results.

    There should be 10 year “public service” (gov’t) term limits — after 10 years of continuing employment, there should be a monthly reduction of 1% of salary (~12%/yr), no further raises nor promotions, no eligibility to get hired by any other agency.

    All Reps should continue attacking the bias in most Dem media, as well as pushing to increase the use of more conservative/ balanced media. Truth really is important — this Dem bubble is now in the process of being popped, and Dem media heads seem to be exploding over it. (Ha ha – pass the popcorn!)

    National mortgage support needs to change from a deduction into a 30% tax credit on the whole house payment, up to a lifetime maximum 10x median wage (~$500k, slowly increasing with the economy; declared annually for the last year). Homeowners need to build up equity thru loan pay downs, not merely from house price increases.
    A 1% national real estate tax on homes bought for over $1 million (~20x median wage) would help encourage some of the bubble dwellers to … dwell outside.

    In general, Trump is not a “no new tax” Rep — so this is a fine time to tax Dem bubbles to pay for prior Obama Dem big gov’t solutions and reduce gov’t deficits, plus a bit of social engineering to encourage the bubble dwellers to get out.

    I don’t think there are any counties where Trump got 85% or more of the votes, tho I haven’t checked closely.

    A country is both the territory AND the people. The electoral college is good about giving both parts a clear voice. [Instead of seceding, CA could split into 2 or more smaller states to get more senators… Reps should oppose this, tho]

  11. What three states delivered Trump the most votes?

    1. Texas
    2. Florida
    3. California

    Yes, despite a 2:1 Clinton victory, California delivered Trump quite a few votes. That vote was overwhelmingly white. 45% of whites in CA voted for Trump, and that’s down from the usual 51%. Trump wasn’t popular among conservatives anywhere, and California’s senate race had two Dems running against each other. Not much reason for GOP voters to come out and vote.

    So Hillary won whites, but not by much. And there aren’t many blacks left in CA. The huge margin was delivered not by progressive whites, but by Asians and Hispanics voting against immigration restriction and generous welfare benefits.

    Trump won the white vote HUGE in Florida, but also won in Clinton states Illinois, New York, and Colorado.

    Little secret: whites in high immigration states aren’t terribly progressive. What happens is that the Asians, blacks, and Hispanics deliver a solid bloc of votes and white progressives run the show. Some A/B/H are progressive, of course. But lots of them aren’t recognizably progressive in that irritating social justice warrior way. They’re not interested in gay marriage and transgender bathrooms.

    Vermont’s a bubble. San Francisco is a city filled with immigrants and a few white folks. The progressives are just really loud.

    “Perhaps much of the “resistance” to the Trump Presidency was inevitable, and it would have erupted with any Republican winner. If you and all of your friends are Democrats, it is hard to credit a Republican with legitimacy. And in the age of social media, it is easy to mobilize demonstrations.”


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