Opinion: Why Future Politicians Must Embrace Our Composite Nation

Opinion: Why Future Politicians Must Embrace Our Composite Nation

The Next America: How Demography Shapes the National Agenda
National Journal

Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

America is becoming browner—and the ability to harness the changing electorate has become the gold standard for any aspiring politician.

As Republican nominee Mitt Romney thanked his supporters last week in the early hours of Wednesday morning, he was speaking to a mostly white nationwide audience–nearly nine out of 10, according to exit polling from Edison Research. Over in Chicago, President Obama was preparing to give his victory speech to a multiracial coalition that offered a glimpse of what America may look like in the coming years: 56 percent white, 24 percent black, 14 percent Latino, 4 percent Asian, and 2 percent other races.

This election confirmed a trend that many have suspected but some have chosen to ignore at their peril. Obama won a second term because he maintained or increased his share of racial and ethnic minority votes in swing states, particularly the black vote. The NAACP recently commissioned a swing-state poll of black voters that shows how both parties can connect with this rising electorate…

…In an 1869 speech called “Our Composite Nationality,” Frederick Douglass wrote that America’s unique geography and government destined us to be “the perfect national illustration of the unity and dignity of the human family that the world has ever seen.” Since then, our great national experiment has thrived when we chose to embrace our diverse talents and perspectives, and it has failed when we chose to build walls between each other…

Read the entire opinion piece here.

Tags: , , , , , ,