Analysis by Ronald Brownstein Updated 1:16 AM ET, Fri April 23, 2021
Far right White supremacist groups, conservative media personalities and now Republicans in Congress are trying to inflame nativist feelings among conservative Whites by warning that liberals want immigrants to “replace” native-born Americans in the nation’s culture and electorate.But that racist “replacement theory” inverts the real consequence of immigration for its target audience of Whites uneasy about social and racial change: Many of the Whites most drawn to the far-right argument that new arrivals are displacing “real Americans” are among those with the most to lose if the nation reduces, much less eliminates, immigration in the decades ahead.
“Replacement theory,” sometimes called the “great replacement,” gestated in the swampy waters of far-right White supremacist groups. But in the Donald Trump era it has migrated closer to the GOP mainstream. Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson, who often spreads xenophobic arguments, has ardently embraced the charge that Democrats are “trying to replace the current electorate — the voters now casting ballots — with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World.” Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, both Republicans, have echoed him in recent public statements. The far-right Republican House members, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who floated plans for a Trump-like “America First Caucus” before scrapping them, declared in a recruiting document disclosed last week by the Punchbowl website that large-scale immigration threatens “the long-term existential future of America as a unique country with a unique culture and a unique identity.”
What’s next? We are fighting an entrenched group whose death-like grasp on the impossible idea of racial purity coupled with an allegedly stolen election and non-existent voter fraud seems strange to anyone who has read the multiple reports demonstrating the lack of voter fraud. Even some of the most conservative groups attest to a lack of significant voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database presents a sampling of recent proven instances of election fraud from across the country. There are fewer than 50 cases between 2018-2019 and fewer than 25 in 2020 (Election Day was November 3, 2020). There were approximately 159,000,000 votes cast in the 2020 presidential election.
Where does that leave me? Confused, concerned, and mobilized – again. It seems that the war is never won, it is only fought a battle at a time. It feels as though we take one step forward, and are pushed 2 steps backward.