A little over a week ago, rising Republican star Blake Masters dared to say what so much of the Republican base knows is obvious, but so few of their leaders are willing to say: That a major reason for the Biden administration’s ineffectiveness is its devout belief in hiring based on race, sex, and “LGBTQ+” status rather than ability.
Finally a compelling explanation for why our economy is doing so well https://t.co/Ub2CeiyjCs
— Blake Masters (@bgmasters) August 29, 2022
Liberal press outlets immediately recoiled in horror, but Masters doubled down the following day with a declaration of war on the “affirmative action regime.”
— Blake Masters (@bgmasters) August 29, 2022
Much like when Trump said the obvious-but-unthinkable about America’s border and its foreign wars, Masters’ statements about affirmative action earned a huge amount of free media from the left.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 31, 2022
No doubt there are many Republican consultants and so-called “experts” pooh-poohing Masters for going “off-message” and taking aim at such a loaded topic. Doesn’t he realize it’s better to just focus mindlessly on the economy, stupid? Why talk about sweeping issues of critical importance to the American way of life when he could just fuss about higher gas prices and baby formula shortages?
If these consultants exist, they are wrong. Masters’ attack on affirmative is entirely merited and long-overdue. And more to the point, the entire Republican Party should be following Masters into a full-scale war against affirmative action, everywhere in American life.
They greatest reason they should do this is on moral grounds. Treating people as members of demographic categories rather than as individuals is evil. The ever-widening use of affirmative action, coupled with anti-white and anti-male discrimination, is an affront to human dignity.
The second reason all Republicans should take on affirmative action is because it’s enormously destructive to America. As Masters’ tweet and video make plain, affirmative action is about far more than just college admissions slots or entry-level jobs. Affirmative action has become an elaborate patronage system touching every part of American life. The President picks his VP and Supreme Court nominees using affirmative action. Companies appoint board members based on affirmative action. Government contracts are awarded based on race and sex rather than ability. Police and prosecutors are openly pressured to enforce the law less harshly on blacks than on whites.
Any governing system that treats race as a priority rather than trying to ignore it entirely is asking for disaster. America tried to make “racial equity” a priority for law enforcement, and what it got was thousands of deaths from an explosion in murders and car crashes. In 2008, a push to hand out mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them caused the largest financial crisis in living memory. Now, at the Biden Administration’s urging, banks are making the exact same mistake, for explicitly racial reasons.
Republican politicians should fight against all this purely on the grounds of national wellbeing, even if doing so were deeply unpopular.
But as it happens, it’s not unpopular. In fact, fighting affirmative action is one of the most popular things a Republican politician can do, yet almost none of them choose to do so.
The persistent Republican failure to wage proud, open warfare against affirmative action isn’t just a moral indictment of the party. It’s a political indictment as well, the equivalent of leaving a thousand-dollar bill lying on the sidewalk year after year after year.
Poll after poll shows that the public isn’t just uneasy about affirmative action; it loathes it. In 2019, Pew asked Americans whether jobs and promotions should consider race as a factor, or only a person’s qualifications; 74 percent said qualifications alone was the better choice. A Pew poll from last March found an identical percentage of Americans think race should receive no consideration in college admissions, while 82 percent said the same of gender.
Even 62 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of blacks said race shouldn’t be considered in admissions. Put another way, blacks support racially-neutral college admissions more than they support Black Lives Matter.
Getting that kind of margin in the rightward direction is nearly impossible for any other question. The share of the public that supports racially-biased college admissions is even lower than the share that wants to take guns away from police.
When affirmative action goes on the ballot openly, it gets crushed, decisively.
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 2o9, the California Civil Rights Initiative. The measure amended the state constitution to bar any California government body from considering race, sex, or ethnicity in hiring employees, awarding contracts, or admitting students to state schools. Despite massive institutional opposition, Prop 209 passed by nine points. In that same election, Bill Clinton carried California with 51 percent of the vote, beating the combined vote of Bob Dole and Ross Perot by nearly six points.
Twenty-four years later, California voters revisited the issue of affirmative action. A lot had changed in the state in that span. The state went from about fifty percent white to barely 35 percent, while Hispanics became the single largest demographic group. The state’s politics went from purple to deep blue.
In the 2020 election, California voted for Joe Biden over Donald Trump by 29 points and more than five million votes. In that same election, that same group of voters were asked to repeal Prop 209, and allow the state to discriminate based on race in its schools and contracts.
The result? Prop 16 failed 57-43 — a bigger margin than Prop 209 had passed by two decades before.
That outcome has repeated itself over and over, all across the country, in states purple, blue, or red. In fact, even the margin remains virtually identical every time.
In 2006, shortly after the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action at the University of Michigan’s law school, the state’s voters considered Proposal 2, a ban on affirmative action in public schools and at all levels of government. Two years before, Michigan voted for John Kerry by 4 points over George Bush. Two years later, they would give Barack Obama 57 percent of the vote. But Proposal 2 outperformed even Obama, passing 58-42 in a midterm year where Republican were destroyed.
In Washington state, 1998’s Initiative 200 banned affirmative action by a 58-42 margin. Twenty-one years later, the state’s ultraliberal legislature tried to re-legalize it, leading to another public vote. The campaign to legalize racial discrimination in the state was backed by every major newspaper, the NAACP, the ACLU, Microsoft, and even the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. The effort to keep the ban, meanwhile, had almost zero institutional support; the fourth-largest donor to the anti-AA campaign was Chinese takeout restaurant Sizzling Pot King (Four stars on Yelp!). But the Pot King won, as voters shot down their state legislature and kept the ban.
In 2008, Nebraska’s Initiative 424 banned affirmative action with 58.5% of the vote, several points higher than the share of the state that voted for John McCain over Barack Obama. Four years later, Oklahoma voters banned affirmative action 59-41 with State Question 759.
And in Masters’ own state, Arizona, the public voted in 2010 on Prop 107, a statewide affirmative action ban. It passed by 19 points.
Only once has a state failed to pass an affirmative action ban when the question was put directly to voters. In 2008, Colorado narrowly rejected a ban, 51-49, in an election where Democrats won the state by nine points.
All of this is happening despite relentless propaganda in favor of “diversity” and racial preferences of one form or another. Almost no public voices have been willing to firmly and repeatedly point out the gross absurdities that affirmative action creates. Americans still hear breaking news about Emmett Till (died 67 years ago) and the Tulsa riot (101 years ago), yet almost none of them have heard of L.A.’s MLK General Hospital. “Killer King,” as it became known, systematically favored blacks for hiring and promotions, and eventually the hospital became so deadly to its patients that it lost federal funding and shut down. Even fewer people know the story of Patrick Chavis, once the poster boy for affirmative action’s “success”:
Seven years ago, Chavis became the toast of the media elite and the racial preference crowd when he was profiled lavishly by New York Times magazine writer Nicholas Lemann. Chavis, who made the cover of the magazine, was a black physician admitted to the University of California-Davis medical school under a special racial-preference quota.
Three months later, Jane Fonda’s ex-husband, left-wing California politico Tom Hayden, heaped praise on Chavis in defense of affirmative action. “Bakke’s scores were higher,” Hayden wrote in an The Nation, “but who made the most of his medical school education? From whom did California taxpayers benefit more?” Sen. Ted Kennedy picked up the banner later, calling Chavis “a perfect example” of the need for lowering admissions standards in the name of racial diversity. The doctor, Kennedy crowed, was “making a difference in the lives of scores of poor families.”
What The New York Times never got around to reporting … is that the “difference” Chavis made in the lives of several young black women involved gruesome pain — and death — as a result of botched “body sculpting” operations at his clinic. … Tammaria Cotton bled to death and suffered full cardiac arrest after Chavis performed fly-by-night liposuction on her and then disappeared.
In 1997, the Medical Board of California suspended Chavis’ license, warning of his “inability to perform some of the most basic duties required of a physician.”
Imagine what might be achieved by politicians with the moral courage to call out, condemn and then end once and for all the everyday atrocities and disasters forced on the American people every day by the affirmative action cartel?
There are many parts of a patriotic platform that are worth advancing, but not that popular. The public is, at best, deeply conflicted about the ongoing transgender mania among children. Less than forty percent of voters want cuts to immigration levels. Anti-gun propaganda seems to be slowly winning ground with the public. Most Americans want most abortions to be legal most of the time. The least Republicans can do is also stand up and fight on issues that are important and where public opinion strongly favors their side.
All that is missing is the courage to fight. Blake Masters has show he has it. It’s time for the rest of the party to join him.