Peter Brimelow writes: it's kind of arresting to have Jude Wanniski accuse you of going "over the edge"! When I first met Wanniski in 1978, he was in full marginal-tax-rate-cut evangelical mode. You went through three phases with him. First, you were impressed by his ability to link high marginal tax rates to so many ills. Second, you began to suspect he'd claim it was a cure for the common cold. Thirdly, you'd reflect that maybe it takes a monomaniac to change public debate. And Jude has changed public debate. The immigration issue needs someone like him.
VDARE's election analyses have generated a lot of responses. So let me dip back into my mailbag.
In response to my article, "GOP Future Depends on Winning More of the White Vote", in which I suggested that Bush could have carried more union voters by attacking the AFL-CIO's call for another amnesty for illegal immigrants, Supply side economist Jude Wanniski wrote Peter Brimelow:
If Bush had followed your advice, he would have gotten the same percentage of the electorate as Pat Buchanan did when he did exactly what you suggest here. You've gone over the edge here, Peter.
Let's look at the numbers. Bush outreached like crazy, yet lost votes among blacks and Asians (relative to Dole!), and didn't get back to Reagan levels among Hispanics. He got a grand total of 8% of his votes from minorities. Whoop-de-doo. The assumption that a Republican candidate couldn't win 57% of the white vote seems amazingly defeatist.
The concept that running against illegal immigration is a vote-loser is a curious delusion of the Bush 2000 campaign. Recall how Sonny Bono made a name for himself in politics. During a debate the moderator told him, "You have two minutes to give your opinion of illegal immigration." He stood up, and said, "It's illegal." Then, he sat down. Hell, a famously hardnosed INS border guard got elected to Congress from El Paso running against illegal immigration!
Bush ran to the left of The New York Times Editorial Board on illegal immigration. They denounced the AFL-CIO's call for a new amnesty. What did Bush say? Instead of taking it to the AFL-CIO in order sow discord between the leftist leadership and the patriotic rank and file, he let them operate in peace. Union muscle cost him most of the Great Lakes states.
Perhaps Jude can take some consolation from the news that Dubya's outreach did win him one racial minority: Eskimos.
December 15, 2000