- A wave of media articles are calling “replacement theory,” the idea that elites are trying to reduce the white population through immigration, racist and a conspiracy theory after a the Buffalo shooter discussed the idea in his manifesto.
- Democrats, however, have embraced the theory and have celebrated demographic and electoral changes brought about through immigration for decades, while the media has long acknowledged that it will make it easier for Democrats to win elections.
- “The potential Democratic ticket represents ‘the future of Texas’ and a ‘precursor of what much of American politics will be in the future’ as demographic changes reduce the strength of the white vote,” one Washington Post article said.
Corporate media outlets and prominent Democrats have called “replacement theory” racist in recent days after openly cheering the phenomenon it describes: the demographic replacement of white Americans and accompanying electoral shifts.
After a gunman who shot and killed 10 people in a Buffalo, New York supermarket Saturday had allegedly discussed the “great replacement” theory in a manifesto, according to The Wall Street Journal, media outlets were quick to portray the concept as racist and a conspiracy theory. However, Democrats and the media have long celebrated the demographic and electoral changes brought about through immigration, and the media has widely acknowledged this Democratic strategy.
NEW w/@karenyourish: For extremists like the Buffalo killer, “replacement” justifies violence. For some right-wing pols and media personalities, variations on the theme bring clout, audiences, retweets and donations.
How replacement went mainstream. https://t.co/HdUstSNW2d
— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) May 16, 2022
The New York Times called “replacement theory” racist in a Sunday article which blamed Tucker Carlson for promoting the idea. A Rolling Stone commentary article said the theory was part of an extremist ideology controlling the GOP and that the shooter was a “mainstream Republican,” and the Associated Press cited an expert who said the idea that Democrats wanted to encourage migration from Latin America to bring in more Democratic voters was baseless.
Numerous media outlets and Democratic strategists have acknowledged that taking advantage of increasingly non-white demographics is a key Democratic strategy.
A 1990 article in Time Magazine predicted that white Americans would soon become a minority group, due in large part to immigration, and that this change would reshape society and politics.
The liberal think tank Center for American Progress said in 2013 that “[s]upporting real immigration reform that contains a pathway to citizenship for our nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants is the only way to maintain electoral strength in the future.”
Salon wrote in 2008 that New Mexico’s growing Hispanic population had helped make the state solidly blue and speculated that the growing proportion of Hispanic voters in various swing states could create a permanent Democratic majority and land a Democrat in the White House in every presidential election.
A 2020 New York Times piece titled “The Relentless Shrinking of Trump’s Base” cited a decline in white voters without college degrees to suggest that Donald Trump would lose to Joe Biden in 2020, noting that as aging drove down the white population, the proportion of minority voters continued to grow.
The Los Angeles Times predicted that Democrats would gain power in historically conservative states as their populations grew less white.
“A multiethnic bloc of Latinos, blacks, young people and suburban whites helped to broaden the party’s reach Tuesday well beyond its traditional base in the Northeast and the West Coast — carrying Barack Obama into the White House and expanding the party’s majorities in Congress,” the article read.
“That new formula was evident in state exit polls and county-level election results showing that Democrats scored gains from a voting base that is growing progressively less white than the population that helped forge Republican advantages in past elections,” the article said. “In state after state, from GOP strongholds like North Carolina, Indiana and Colorado, minorities made up a larger share of the vote than in the past, and in each case they helped turn states from red to blue.”
Democratic politicians have celebrated demographic shifts in which white Americans make up a smaller proportion of the population and explicitly recognized it as a key to electoral victories.
Then-Democratic San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said in 2008 that demographic changes driven by immigration would turn Texas blue.
“Texas is a very, very Republican state, but some people say the demographics are changing and the demographics alone will make it that it won’t be so Republican next time around,” host Bob Schieffer told Castro on CBC’s Face The Nation.
“In a couple of presidential cycles, you’ll be on election night. You’ll be announcing that we’re calling the 38 electoral votes of Texas for the Democratic nominee for president. It’s changing. It’s going to become a purple state, and then a blue state, because of the demographics, because of the population growth of folks from outside of Texas,” Castro responded.
A 2002 Washington Post article discussed how demographic changes in Texas could impact future elections, noting how Democrats would benefit from white people making up a smaller proportion of the electorate.
“Henry Cisneros, a former U.S. secretary of housing and development who supports Kirk, said the potential Democratic ticket represents ‘the future of Texas’ and a ‘precursor of what much of American politics will be in the future’ as demographic changes reduce the strength of the white vote in many populous states,” the article said.
Democratic officials have seized on Texas despite its deep conservative roots because of the state’s racial and ethnic diversity, according to a 2013 Politico article, viewing it as a potential Democratic stronghold.
“Democrats have eyed Texas longingly for years, watching as the Republican bastion has transformed into a majority-minority state. The 2010 census found that 38 percent of Texans identified themselves as Latino or Hispanic; just under 45 percent were non-Hispanic whites,” the article said.
“If Democrats can count on Hispanics to deliver the nine states, including those two, where their population is at or exceeds the national average, then the party would have a formidable advantage in every presidential election. Combined, those states represent 212 Electoral College votes. Add the dependably blue Northeast, and the Dems win the White House every time,” it said.