Much of what happened in the recent US presidential election – ethnic minorities swinging the vote, the continuing lack of White consciousness and growing apathy – is perfectly understandable and fits well within what we already know. But there was also something that didn’t quite make sense, namely the surprisingly high Asiatic vote for Obama. Although this is not a new trend, at this election it hit new heights with a higher percentage of Asians (73%) voting for Obama than Hispanics (71%). This is surprising because in the great post-racial utopia that America is supposed to be, Asians sound like typical Republicans:
"Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success, according to a comprehensive new nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center."
The Rise of Asian Americans Pew Social and Demographic Trends
So, how can we explain this enormous anomaly?
People and the identity groups they belong to are motivated to vote for both positive and negative reasons. Positive voting is an expression of an attraction, while negative voting is an expression of repulsion. For example, Black voters are clearly attracted to policies of higher public spending, greater welfare, and the redistribution of wealth, even though Obama’s track record in these areas has not been very impressive. But they also had negative reasons for voting for Obama. They are clearly repulsed by the implicit Whiteness of the Republican Party and the White America that it still unwittingly represents. There are historical and mythical reasons for Blacks to feel this way, namely slavery and the myths that Blacks were (1) taken from the “paradise of Africa,” (2) were the only victims of slavery, (3) were enslaved solely by Whites, (4) were treated much worse than any other group ever in history, and (5) deserve limitless affirmative action to make amends for this ancestral experience.
Two other important groups also voted mainly for Obama and by roughly equal percentages – Jews (70%) and Hispanics (71%) – but interestingly the main motivations for each group seem quite distinct. As a lower-than-average income group, Hispanics were motivated by some of the same positive pull factors that motivated Black voters, but lacked strong negative push factors. Despite the existence of a radicalized minority of Hispanics who hate or are paid to hate White America, most Hispanics lack a strong animus against White America.
Like Asians, Jewish voters, as a higher income group, should be natural Republicans, but negative feelings about a country dominated by White Christians – partly based on their imported ancestral experience from Europe – leads them to vote for the candidate who best represents a multiracial America in which their group strategies can be more effective and less noticed.
So far these ethnic voting patterns are all very easy to understand. A strong positive and negative reason leads to a percentage in excess of 90%, while either a strong positive or strong negative reason leads to a percentage of around 70%. But when we look at Asians – a group that includes Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Indians, and Filipinos – this schemata no longer makes sense. In economic terms, Asians should be natural Republicans. They have little to gain and much to lose from Obama’s taxist, welfarist, and deficitist leanings. Also, unlike Blacks and Jews who have historical and mythic reasons for fearing or hating a majority White Christian America, Asians in general have no special deep animosity towards White America. They might prefer their own kind to Whites, but this is quite a different thing from hating White America and wishing to see it replaced by a chaotic multiracial state. In broad terms, they neither have a strong positive nor strong negative reason for voting for Obama.
This constitutes a major anomaly and is something that cries out to be explained not just by race realists. Accordingly Pew Social and Demographic Trends comes up with some deceptively plausible factors:
"Compared with the general public, Asian Americans are more likely to support an activist government…On balance, Asian Americans prefer a big government that provides more services (55%) over a smaller government than provides fewer services (36%)…By a ratio of 53% to 35%, Asian Americans say homosexuality should be accepted by society rather than discouraged. And on the issue of abortion, 54% of Asian Americans say it should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% say it should be illegal."
A telephone survey by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund of 800 Asian American voters in 50 states conducted on the weekend (Nov. 2 to 4), also takes an issue-based approach to explaining the anomaly:
"The vast majority of Asian American voters (58%) said that fixing the economy and creating more jobs was the most important issue that politicians should address. Health care and education reform were each cited by 20% of Asian American voters as the most important issue, followed by civil rights/immigration issues (13%)… Health care. 60% of Asian American voters supported the federal government's role in ensuring access to health insurance, compared to 23% who believe that people should secure their own health insurance…Budget deficit. To address the national budget deficit, 45% of Asian Americans supported a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, with 26% stating that taxes on the wealthy should be increased. Only 14% of Asian Americans supported spending cuts alone to reduce the deficit….Immigration reform. 57% of Asian American voters supported comprehensive immigration reform, with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the United States."
Examined more closely, the Asian paradox seems to consist of affluent, hard-working family-oriented Asians basically espousing the views of SWPLs. Some might speculate that this is simply a reflection of their collective mentality and their Buddhist or Confucian culture, in other words, that unlike "essentially selfish and inherently racist" Republican Christians they are generally just "better people." This is certainly the kind of explanation that the liberal media and Asians themselves would find attractive. But a lot of this data is rather tenuous and tends to show essentially mainstream feelgoodism rather than hard liberal attitudes. For example, when Proposition 8, the amendment to the California Constitution stating that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," was voted on, Asians voted overwhelmingly in favour of it, so notions like this must be taken with a pinch of salt.
The fact that Asians voted for not recognizing gay marriage is also the best piece of evidence for those who believe the thesis that Asians simply vote as part of an anti-White coalition, in lock-step with Blacks, Jews, and Hispanics, as it shows their independence from a general White "progressive" mindset and is an assertion of traditional Asian values.
Some of this may be true, but because Asians lack strong reasons to hate White America and because the Republican Party is anything but a pro-White party, an alternative and additional explanation for Asian voting patterns is needed. I believe a major part of the mystery can be explained by focusing on the essential racial differences in character between Whites and Asians.
One of the chief characteristics of people of Northern European origin is an abundance of "alpha types." It has been speculated that our attempts to deal with this has been the foundation of our democratic tendencies, and something which has driven our overachievement in so many fields. It is also the reason why we love to squabble among ourselves, even when the enemy is at the gates. Asians, by contrast, tend to be a bit more beta, a bit more follower, and a lot less leader, which means that they can create stable but often stagnant hierarchical societies. These contrasting patterns seem strongly encoded in the differing histories of Northern Europeans and Asians.
A common explanation given as to why Asians vote against the Republican Party is resentment over petty racism and stereotypes. In other words, it is speculated that just like Jews and Blacks, Asians also have a strong animus against White America, but one that isn't based on slavery, lynchings, and centuries of anti-Semitism in Europe, but rather on "micro-aggressions." But the reality is that Asians are very favourably disposed to White America in terms of culture and social association. Intermarriage rates between Asians and Whites are higher than between other racial groups and there are many other affinities. Indeed, rather than racial animosity or incompatibility, it is the ease with which Asians can associate with certain types or Whites that is the real basis of their voting habits.
One of the keys elements of the Asian mind that I have become aware after many years living in Japan is its suggestibility and deference to what it sees as the dominant view. In my experience this has usually been my view. This is often based on politeness, a non-confrontational attitude, and a desire to please. One formulation of this characteristic is high self-monitoring behaviour.
The Wikipedia entry reads as follows:
"People who closely monitor themselves are categorized as high self-monitors and often behave in a manner that is highly responsive to social cues and their situational context. High self-monitors can be thought of as social pragmatists who project images in an attempt to impress others and receive positive feedback. Conversely, low self-monitors do not participate, to the same degree, in expressive control and do not share similar concern for situational appropriateness. Low self-monitors tend to exhibit expressive controls congruent with their own internal states; i.e. beliefs, attitudes, and dispositions regardless of social circumstance. Low self-monitors are often less observant of social context and consider expressing a self-presentation dissimilar from their internal states as a falsehood and undesirable."
Just reading this immediately evokes some of the well-established racial types – the timid or amenable Asian guy, keen to be liked or at least not to offend, the overly opinionated White or Jewish guy, and perhaps the cocky or demonstrative Black. This is also the origin of the notion of the inscrutable, two-faced Oriental. Voting patterns, however, suggest that it runs deeper than simply saying what you think the other person wants to hear. There is also a fair degree of psychological internalization.
In Japanese culture, such a phenomenon is widely recognized. It is referred to as seken, and described as the internalization of society's gaze. In his liberal-slanted Japanese Higher Education as Myth, Brian J. McVeigh, an academic teaching in Japan, writes about his students views of seken (世間).
"In the words of one student, seken is 'the world of invisible strangers,' and according to another, 'seken is invisible, but it governs people.' For many, seken is associated with being carefully watched in schools and companies, avoidance of bad behavior, rumors and gossip, and “common sense” (Joshiki, which carries strong moral overtones about knowledge required for appropriate behaviour). Some students spoke to me of the 'strictness of seken.' One noted that seken 'makes me think ‘I wonder how other people think about me?' Some young women associated seken with being pressured to get married. Others linked it to being 'Japanese': 'we Japanese don’t have individual identity' because of seken. In the words of one student, seken means 'being concerned with what people think about you and what you think about yourself.'
If seken can make young women get married, then it should be able to persuade at least some "natural Republicans" to throw the switch for Obama.
The next part of the puzzle is that Asians live in predominantly Democrat areas and that most of the non-Asians they interact with are overwhelmingly Democrat. If we accept that Asians have a "follower mentality," characterized by high self-monitoring behaviour and the internalization of views deemed appropriate, then it seems logical to suppose that their associations with others have a significant impact on their political behaviour, and that this is something that the individualistic ethos of American political commentary would be unlikely to pick up on or emphasize.
Of course, all people are to some extent influenced by those they associate with, but clearly this tendency is much more enhanced in the case of high self-monitors and therefore Asians. But is there any poll evidence that would support this thesis? Yes, if we start to look at Asians not as a monolithic group but as a diverse constituency made up of distinct racial and ethnic groups and groups that differ in their degree of assimilation to the non-Asians around them. Pew Social and Demographic Trends reveals that Asians overall identify 50% as Democrats, 28% as Republicans. Interestingly, the least Democrat Asian ethnic groups are the least affluent: Filipinos (Republicans 40%, Democrats 43%) and Vietnamese (Republicans 35%, Democrats 36%).
In the case of Asians, affluence usually means greater interaction with non-Asians. This is especially true in the case of Indians, many of whom work in the computer and software industries and who have superior English language skills. Not surprisingly this group identifies 65% as Democrat and 18% as Republican.
Also, on the typical liberal issue of "immigration reform" with an amnesty for illegals, an interesting difference emerges among Asian Americans according to their length of association with America. Overall 57% of Asians supported comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for illegals, but this support was counterintuitively higher among U.S.-born Asian American citizens (73%) than among foreign-born Asian American citizens (50%). Logically, you might suppose that foreign-born Asian Americans, with greater links to their home countries, including relatives either illegally in America or wishing to emigrate to America, would support this policy more strongly than those whose families had been established in America for several generations. Yet, the opposite is the case.
This supports the thesis that Asian voting behaviour is strongly influenced by the degree to which Asians are exposed to the political views of non-Asians they interact with. U.S.-born Asian Americans are more exposed to these influences than foreign-born Asian Americans, who are more likely to have language barriers and live in more isolated immigrant communities. What this means is that U.S.-born Asian Americans have clearly had time to take on the liberal hue of those around them - although Proposition 8 suggests that they are not quite ready to go the whole hog on gay marriage (possibly because of a masculinity inferiority complex).
While anti-White feeling can always be found in Asian voting behaviour for those who want to find it, the lifestyle choices – i.e. schools, socialization, residence areas – of Asians show that they actually dislike Blacks and Hispanics a lot more. The best explanation for the anomaly of Asian voting patterns can be found by focusing on key differences in character and behaviour between Asians and non-Asians. Surrounded by the domineering egalitarianism of White and Jewish liberals, and with a background chorus of Black and Hispanic special interest demands, the polite Asian "follower" mentality is susceptible to being sidetracked from expressing its true political nature.