Category Archives: Poltics

Asian Americans are part of the new South

Photo from Center for American Progress

When political scientists talk about shifting demographics I tend to think first about Latinos, but a recent article in the Huffington Post points to a quiet but persistent migration of Asian-Americans to the South and it speculates on the potential impact this population might have in regional politics.

According to the article, the Asian American population has grown by 69% over the past decade in the South. This is interesting and potentially problematic for Republicans, because the nonpartisan National Asian-American Survey found in 2016 that twice as many Asian Americans now identify as Democrats than Republicans. In Georgia, for example, the Asian-American population grew 136% over the last ten years (according to the American Community Survey). In the state of Virginia, the Asian American population grew by 113% during the same time, and according to the Pew Research Center, the number of Asian American who voted from 2004 to 2012 grew by 180%.

voting, elections

It is really unclear if the Asian American population in the South has the numbers to influence elections at a state level (my guess would be they aren’t quite there yet), but the trend remains interesting. I had foolishly thought the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections were indicators that a new multicultural and multiracial voting block had finally come of age, but now I know better. The ageing, white baby boomers are now approximately the same size as Millennials and this younger generation is more racially mixed. Asian Americans and other races will have an increasing impact on the outcome of future state and national elections but what that might look like is hard to predict at this point.

The Party of Reagan is now Russia’s bitch

russia republicans, politicsThis is an election year and if you believe all the hype, Democrats are energized and Republicans are either demoralized or not paying attention. As a political junkie who swore off politics, following the 2016 Presidential elections, I couldn’t help but be drawn into the drama last month surrounding the Pennsylvania 18th-district special election won by the conservative Democrat, Conor Lamb (don’t call it a “lamb slide”).

Many have attributed Trump’s unfavorable ratings to self-inflicted wounds, ranging from foreign policy gaffes to a revolving door at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but nothing has been more destructive to the sitting President’s credibility than the special counsel investigation looking into Russian meddling in our elections and the possibility of collusion. For the record, I don’t think Trump or his minions ever knowingly colluded with Russians, but I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility that they’ve been ‘played’ by Russians and I wouldn’t be surprised if Robert Mueller found that Trump and those surrounding him were unwittingly aiding Russians who were intent in discrediting institutions that are the foundation of our democracy.

While political neophytes may be tired of all the reporting on the special counsel investigation, these remain early days. To put this in perspective, the Watergate investigation lasted for two years and resulted in 5 people pleading “guilty”. Mueller started work in the middle of May last year. That means his team has identified as many guilty pleas as Watergate in only 9-months.  In the world of politics that is moving at warp speed, and the longer this goes on the worse it appears to get for Donald Trump.

donald trum, robert mueller investigatioon

I never thought I’d live to see the day when the Republican Party would cede its credibility with foreign policy and defense (let alone fiscal conservatism). If you ever told me that the Democratic Party was going to be holding the Republican Party accountable for colluding with an authoritarian leader from Russia, I would have wondered if you had lost your mind, but then again, I think that is the only way to explain Donald Trump’s election; either Russia tipped the scale or we as a nation have collectively lost our mind.

Pew Research finds growing divide in voters today from 20 years ago

vote, voting, electionsLast week Pew Research published their report, Wide Gender Gap, Growing Educational Divide in Voters’ Party IdentificationThe findings from Pew Research are based on more than 10,000 interviews of registered voters. Since the last midterm election in 2014, Pew found some notable changes in party identification among several key groups of voters.

Persistent gender gap. 56% of women now identify or lean Democratic; the highest since 1992. By contrast only slightly more than one third, 37% of women identify or lean Republican. Based on the President’s demeaning behavior towards women, I’d bet this figure drops a few percentage points.

Record share of college graduates now align with Democrats. Voters who have completed college make up a third of all registered voters, and nearly six-in-ten, 58%, now identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. The much larger group of voters who do not have a four-year degree is more evenly divided but over the past twenty years have steadily been moving toward the GOP.

Interestingly, 53% of white voters with at least a four-year college degree affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic as compared to 42% who identify as Republicans or lean Republican. Pew Research shared that as recently as two years ago, this was evenly split with 47% identifying with each party.

Continued racial divisions in partisan identification. About half of white voters, 51%, identify with the GOP or lean Republican, while 43% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. However minorities have continued to look to the Democratic Party; African Americans – 84% Democratic to 8% Republican; Hispanics – 63% Democratic to 28% Republican; and Asian Americans – 65% Democratic to 27% Republican. In short, the Democratic Party increasingly represents what America will look like and the Republican Party increasingly reflects our nations demographics from the 20th century. This poses a long term problem for the Republican party because while 69% of the electorate is white, just 20 years ago it was 83%; this represents a 14% drop. The changes in these demographics are  most noticeable in key Republican states like AZ, TX and FL.

Millennials, especially Millennial women, tilt more Democratic.  Nearly six-in-ten Millennials, 59%, affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic; 70% of women and 49% of men.  This is also problematic for Republicans because Millennials are expected to outnumber Baby Boomers by 2019 and more of them are voting with each passing election. For example, in 2012 approximately 22 million Millennials voted and in 2016 the number climbed to 24 million.

You can read the full report here, Wide Gender Gap, Growing Educational Divide in Voters’ Party Identification.

March for our lives Boston

march for our lives bostonToday, Sergio and I joined a massive crowd on the Boston Common to show our support for enacting sensible gun control legislation.

I wish there could be more reasonable discourse on this topic, because I’m no longer satisfied with “thoughts and prayers”. Below are a few photos from today’s protest on the Boston Common.

march for our lives boston

march for our lives boston

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When the party of Lincoln becomes the party of Putin

george takei, humorWell said Lieutenant Sulu.

Hey women of America: Step up to the plate

Much is being made of the fact that more women are expressing an interest in politics (at all levels, municipal, state and federal) than ever before, but  it remains to be seen how many will actually step up to the plate. I hope that this talk becomes a catalyst that will see more women, reaching out to their spouses and families, asking them for help with regards to family responsibilities so they may focus on a career of civil service.

I have come to the conclusion that political progress on issues that matter most to women will only be incremental if women from both political parties do not step forward in large numbers.

We are a nation of 320+ million people. There is not a job in america that couldn’t be filled by a qualified woman today.

I recognize that not all women agree on policy and politics, but greater representation is the key to women advancing their interests whether it is equal pay, better access to healthcare and childcare or reshaping how America interacts with the world. We are a nation of 320+ million people. That means there are enough women qualified to do any job including US Senator and Representative. So I’m asking the women of America to step away from the sheet cake, and step up to the plate in 2018.

One year later: Still she persisted

Cambridge / Boston Women’s March on the Cambridge Common, January 20, 2018.  Photo Credit: Greg Cook || gregcookland.com

One year after the historic Women’s March of 2017 and just days after the Federal Government was forced to shutdown, thousands took to the streets in cities all across the United States. While the massive crowds that overtook and overwhelmed the streets of Boston were smaller this year when people gathered on the Cambridge Common, it remains inspiring for me to see people braving the cold to exercise their rights and make their voices heard.

Thanks to Greg Cook for sharing some of the best protest signs from Saturday’s Boston/Cambridge Women’s March 2018: The People Persist.