Articles of interest over the holidays – USA

Source: Is America About to Suffer Its Weimar Moment?

Political impact

Of all the concerns about immigration, perhaps none is more important to politicians than how immigration affects political control. In particular, many Republicans believe that immigration has clearly boosted the Democratic Party and that higher immigration will obviously doom the GOP. But historically (and recently), congressional Republicans have performed much better during periods when the immigrant share of the population is high. By contrast, Democrats dominated the low immigration periods.

GOP Almost Always Controls a House of Congress During High Immigration Periods, Rarely Controls Either House During Low Immigration Periods

The Republican Party came into existence in 1854, and while it quickly dominated, the Civil War and Reconstruction make its early history anomalous. Looking solely at the period since Reconstruction, Republicans have controlled at least one House of Congress 85 percent of years when the immigrant share of the population was greater than 10 percent, while not controlling either House 83 percent of all other years (Fig. 1). Moreover, they have controlled both houses 59 percent of the high immigration years, compared to just 7 percent of the low immigration years.

Source: Congressional Republicans Dominate High Immigration Periods | Cato @ Liberty

Citizenship

The citizenship question the Trump administration wanted to add to the 2020 census would have likely been especially sensitive in areas with higher shares of Latinx residents and noncitizens. That’s among the Census Bureau’s final conclusions from its recent experiment testing public reaction to the question.

If courts had not blocked the question from appearing on census forms, it would have also likely lowered self-response rates in parts of the U.S. where Asian residents make up between 5% and 20% of the population, according to the Census Bureau’s final report on the national experiment conducted earlier this year.

The findings released on Monday flesh out preliminary analysis the bureau put out in October when officials announced the question likely would not have had a significant effect on overall self-response rates.

Digging deeper into specific groups, however, the bureau did find statistically significant differences between certain households asked to fill out a test census form with a citizenship question and those presented with forms without one.

“These differences were small,” wrote Victoria Velkoff, the bureau’s associate director for demographic programs, in a blog post about the bureau’s early findings.

Source: Census Bureau Releases Final Report On 2019 Test Of Citizenship Question

Evangelicals

At the time of year when Christians around the world are supposed to unite in celebration of their savior’s birth, this Christmas has been a particularly fractious time for white evangelicals in America. Last week, Christianity Today, a leading evangelical magazine, published an editorial condemning Trump’s “immoral character” and calling for his removal from office. “That he should be removed,” the editorial, written by outgoing editor-in-chief Mark Galli, contended, “we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”

It was a stance that nearly broke the internet — the publication’s website temporarily went down as millions tried to read the piece — and revealed the fault lines in a religious movement that is often viewed as a monolithic political force. No sooner had Christianity Today published its words than the piece drew heavy and vitriolic pushback from other conservative Christian voices. Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, scoffed on Fox News that the publication ought to be renamed “Christianity Yesterday” for being “out of step with the faith community” when it came to Trump. Shortly after, nearly two hundred evangelical leaders signed a letterexpressing their “dissatisfaction” with the editorial for supporting what it called the “entirely-partisan, legally-dubious, and politically-motivated impeachment.”

Secular media pounced on the controversy, seemingly surprised that an evangelical outlet had taken such a stand while also deeming the fracas as part of what The Daily Beast called the “spiraling evangelical Christian civil war.” That’s an overstated assessment of a rather imbalanced divide, but the Christianity Today editorial does point to a committed and principled NeverTrump evangelical movement that has held steadfast since 2015 and which draws a sharp contrast with the spineless Congressional Republicans who, in toto, have folded in complete submission to Trump.

Source: The evangelical resistance?

Ever since the 1970s and the birth of the Religious Right, white evangelicals have been closely associated with the Republican Party. Generally speaking, this has meant white evangelicals tend to lean conservative on most social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

But recent political events show that what began as a rightward lean has, on at least one issue, become an area of genuine extremism. Inspired by the Christmastime dustup between Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and blogger Matt Walsh, Eastern Illinois University political scientist Ryan P. Burge did some data analysis on just how white evangelicals feel about immigration in 2019, and what he found was startling.

Using data from the Cooperate Congressional Election Study, Burge found that on the five immigration questions asked by the survey, white evangelicals had a rightward gap from the mainstream Burge characterized as “humungous” — at least 20 percentage points on four of the five questions.

Source: Study: The Average White Evangelical Is Further Right on Immigration Than Abortion

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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