White men can’t be progressive?

Matt Yglesias says, White Men Are Not Very Progressive:

I would say that another message is that progressive politics is badly disadvantaged by a situation in which the overwhelming majorities of political leaders and prominent media figures are white men. There are plenty of white men with progressive views, but in general the majority of white men are not progressive and the majority of progressives are not white men. Drawing from the relatively small pool of white male progressives means drawing from a shallow talent pool.

This is not really right. From the GSS:

White non-Hispanic Men
All Bachelor’s degree Grad school degree Smart (WORDSUM 8-10), graduate degree

Extremely Lib 2.7 3.2 4 1.5
Liberal 9 11 16.2 17.4
Slightly Lib 10.4 12.9 14.4 19
Moderate 35.9 24.5 23.8 27.5
Slightly Cons 17.2 21.4 17.1 16.3
Conservative 20.5 22.9 20.9 16.7
Extremely Cons 4.4 4.1 3.6 1.6

Here’s a chart which makes the issue clear:


If Matt wants less educated candidates who have small vocabularies, then his concern is warranted. Otherwise, liberals have no problem at the commanding heights of education & intelligence. In fact, from what I have read and heard the Democratic electorate is often said to place more of a premium on educational and intellectual qualifications, or at least the appearance, than the Republican electorate.

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9 Responses to White men can’t be progressive?

  1. chrisirwindavis says:

    Even here in Texas, most of the “conservative” white males I know tend toward Libertarian more than Republican. But those who are right-of-center in my social circle tend to be secular conservatives who are embarrassed by candidates like Sarah Palin.

  2. Polichinello says:

    The disadvantage is more electoral than intellectual.

    What I’m curious about is the numbers for married women. A few years ago, they also broke to the right.

  3. Particle says:

    “If you wish to converse with me define your terms.” -Voltaire

    What is “progressive”?

    An increasingly powerful central/federal government that dictates the way people live their lives hardly sounds progressive to me. It is in fact regressive.

    How about less government with less power over people’s lives, an idea expounded by a group of white men two and a quarter centuries ago. Now that was progressive, and ironically still is.

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” -Inigo Montoya

  4. mike says:

    Is there any set of ideological shock troops who are as openly hostile to any demographic group as “progressives” are to white men? What’s amazing is that any white men sign on to this ideology at all. It just proves that white men in the 21st century are the biggest bunch of suckers that ever existed.

  5. Charlemagne says:

    Educated white (or brown or black or whatever) people don’t fall prey to identity politics. Blacks have been taken for granted by Democrats since the 60’s. Now it is time for uneducated whites to follow suit with the GOP.

    Playing to the base with “real”, “genuine” characters like Palin and Huckabee might be comfort food to many white males, but it’ll alienate anyone who cares about good governance. No matter how bad the Democrats are, the GOP will remain the worse option with antics like that.

    And if whites circle the wagons and declare themselves under attack, then their journey to becoming just another whiny ethnic group will be complete.

  6. Phil says:

    I think mike betrays the reality of the conservative movement. It is white men in fact who wage class warfare against the rest of America. White men have dominated our society since its inception, and they feel the threat to their privilege.

    The right in this country has been incredibly talented at creating an intellectual rationale for their interest group politics. My hat goes off to them. The reality however is that when given a choice between their principles and their self-interest, self-interest wins out every time.

    chrisirwindavis, how do those Texas libertarians feel about drug use, other people’s sexual activity (hetero or homosexual), and other forms of social libertarianism? How many just don’t like paying taxes, and excuse it by claiming the libertarian label?

    Mike, stop playing the victim. You were born on third base and you think you hit a triple.

    Fortunately, history and demographics are not on your side. We have been steadily moving toward the equality of all people. And within another 30 years or so, whites will be a minority in this country. I guess this scares you.

  7. gene says:

    As soon as any buffoon chooses the “they are openly hostile to the Left/Right” plea and attaches value to the statement, the world can know that this buffoon will offer nothing of substance to the conversation.

    Statistics are funny. If you adjust the above graph with a weighted value for either 1) married/not, or 2) Income, race comes in third.

    Now the meat of the question becomes a chicken or egg issue.

  8. mnuez says:

    Charlemagne and Phyllis have it quite wrong. White men need to circle the wagons and declare all-out-fuckin-war immediately and before it’s too late.

    The few white males who happen to run this country and have set peasant against peasant so as to be able to continue to reap the rewards of having no strong natural enemies coming for their necks do not represent the majority of white males in this country.

    The vast majority of white males in this country are people who:

    – Not only want to close the borders but want to send back immediately 99% of the immigrants who came within the past five years.

    – Do not believe that a calvinistically-innate, exclusively-homosexual, environmentally-irrelevant gene exists and do not want homosexuality to be anything more than the naturally repugnant thought it is to most lifeforms.

    – Do not want it to be legal to establish call-centers overseas.

    – Do not want to be harangued about how backwards they are for being afraid of that sickly violent genus known as “young black male”.

    – Do not want to be passed over for jobs or certification opportunities (usually called “educational opportunities”) by people less qualified than themselves simply because those people were not born with the white-male Mark of Cain on their persons.

    – Want to be left the hell alone by pretty much anyone who would deign to evangelize them, be they marketers with gaudy billboards, traveling moralists, or courts and police forces based out of anywhere more than 20 miles away from where they lay their heads at night.

    It should be noted by the way that these “white male” values are actually rather universal values that most human beings anywhere would prefer. In the USA of 2009 however that isn’t the case simply because other groups have privileges that they don’t want to give up. Were the tables turned however and THEY be the ones populating the countryside and having built up this country – and indeed this very civilization – they would feel quite the same way that the consistently reviled and mocked “white christian male” feels.

    On a personal note, as a child of Jews, I’m a tad nervous about any white christian male resurgence. Jews are an easily identifiable group of people and a great many of them happen to have been wildly successful at obtaining the higher ranks of influence, including media, capital and political power and – like most everyone else at those privileged controls – those individuals have often acted in a way that would tend to piss off the peasantry. Thus, though I myself am not one of those giants at the controls, I can’t quite expect the simple-minded folk to notice that and vaguely wonder whether I’ll be invited to their victory celebrations and, if so, in precisely what capacity.

    Nevertheless, as a matter of right, it’s high time for the rank and file of white christian males to strike back at the culture of victim-worship that regards every other class of human being as having been victims of their own evil selves.

    Phyllis is the smug enemy of you, your children, your nephews, and the future of your line and your community. He’s smug because he’s winning and he’s so very confident of victory that he feels no need for even the slightest hint of a surprise attack. He’s enjoying the spectacle of your children being further down the totem pole than your parents were. He’s the smug enemy so in control of the prevailing morality that it seems almost hitlerian to oppose his court-imposed theft of your children’s happy place in the world. Bear in mind though that while YOUR kids are being relegated to the disapproving pages of history, HIS kids will inherit the land and live quite nicely in the comfy positions of power. Regardless of his color.

    “Fight the power” is still the right slogan. Just know damn well who the power is. And it isn’t Reverend Bob over the country church house. It’s Phyllis.

  9. mike says:


    Were you trying to prove my point, or did you just do it by accident?

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