How the GOP Can Win Asian Voters
The Los Angeles Times has a fairly one-sided story reporting on the GOP’s nascent attempt to recapture Asian voters ahead of the 2014 elections.
According to the Times writer, while Asians would seem like natural Republican voters since when compared to other groups they are “wealthier and better educated than the general population and have a long tradition of entrepreneurship,” their support for government intervention and loose immigration laws has swung them towards Democrats.
The solution, implies the article, is for Republicans to become more like Democrats.
For obvious reasons I won’t address that argument. Instead, I’ll propose an alternative.
Rather than compete with Democrats over who can give away the most goodies, why not change the frame to who can remove the most obstacles to success?
It’s an open secret that elite universities impose caps on the number of Asian students they will enroll, despite the fact that Asians make up 28 percent of National Merit Finalists even though they are only 5 percent of the population.
For proof, consider the fact that over the last ten years the percentage of Asian students has plateaued at each Ivy League school suspiciously at 16 percent, while enrollment at universities using race neutral admissions procedures – e.g. UC Berkeley, UCLA and Cal Tech – boast percentages around 40 percent, in step with the Asian community’s population increase over time.
Last year, an Asian student shut out of Harvard and Princeton filed a complaint with the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights. If the findings go public, elite higher education could be exposed to some embarrassing revelations.
All this to say that Republicans – and conservatives in particular – could use the well documented discrimination against Asians in university admissions as a way to reach out to a voting bloc with a message of opportunity for hard work.
Republicans talk a lot about meritocracy and the Opportunity Society. This would be a good issue to make it real.
Let the other party tie its success to parceling out caps and quotas. Republicans can win by helping individuals help themselves.