It’s no secret the GOP has a problem being seen as the all white party. And contrary to Sean Trende, I think this is a problem for the GOP and for politics in general.
For politics in general I don’t think it’sa good thing to have one party be associated with any race. People should choose which party to belong to because of ideas not because of racial or religious identification. A politics based on that ends in demagogues and race baiting. Yes I know that is incredibly naive of me and you can probably start humming Imagine anytime now but if I can’t be idealist on my own blog where can I?
Back to practical political matters. For the GOP this is also bad. For no other reason than white folks (like yours truly) are not going to be the majority forever in the USA. We are heading fast toward being a minority-majority country. The U.S. Census reported that by 2043 this will happen. Why:
The Census Bureau’s newly released population projections predict that non-Hispanic, white Americans will cease to compose a majority of the population in 2043, two years after the total population exceeds 400 million people.
This highly symbolic shift to a “majority-minority” nation is due in large part to two factors: While the Hispanic population is expect to grow by 75 million people in the next 48 years, the white, non-Hispanic population will decrease—not just as a percentage of the nation, but in total numbers. According to the Census predictions, there will be 19 million fewer people in this category in 2060 than there are today, based on the age of the population and projected rates of reproduction.
So if you keep being seen as just a party for white people you are going to have a problem winning in the future because there simply won’t be enough voters for you. Based on that it would make sense for the GOP and conservatives to do everything possible to make Latinos and African-Americans feel more comfortable with the idea of supporting their candidates and policies.
Now what does this have to do with the movie Copperhead?
Well, Copperhead is a film about people in Upstate New York who during the time of the Civil War didn’t support the North. They wanted an immediate settlement with the Confederates and an end to war. Many Copperheads blamed the war on abolitionists (the crazy people who wanted to end slavery, I know they were horrible). Now if the Copperheads got their way and the war ended in say 1863 than it’s pretty clear slavery would’ve continued in the South. Why else would the Confederates agree to come back the Union?
I am sure the film is entertaining and all. You can make a film or show about people who were WRONG that is also entertaining (anyone ever see Reds or Triumph of the Will?). No, my beef isn’t with the film it’s with how some grassroots conservatives are marketing it.
Redstate.com, which is one of the biggest and most influential conservative political blogs has ads saying the movie is pro-Constitution and direct mail wizard/grassroots conservative icon Richard Viguerie sent out an email saying:
And while Copperhead is about the Civil War, believe me, it will hit close to home for every conservative fighting to preserve our constitution and our American way of life. Because Copperhead is about standing up for faith, for America, and for what’s right, just like you and I are doing today.
How tone deaf do you have to be to say a film about people who opposed Lincoln during the Civil War are “standing up for faith, for America, and for what’s right, just like you and I are doing today?” Do you think African-Americans or Latinos look at a message like that and think “wow, I really want to be around people who think like that?” It is as stupid as if in 1981 there were Democratic or progressive websites running ads or encouraging their supporters to see Reds because that story mirrored their efforts.
Interesting to see if any candidates jump on the Copperhead band wagon or if Rick Santorum (aka the new Robert Evans) makes any anti-Lincoln films.