Asian electorate drifts to the right

So there seems to be some movement towards the right by the asian electorate. I think this is in part based on the anti-meritocracy elements of liberal orthodoxy discussed here but that’s just a guess. Is meritocracy overrated?

It may be a fluke but I don’t think so.
I suspect that if it was romney or mccain on the ballot instead of trump, the drift would be more dramatic.

Part if the reason, I would guess, is that democrats often don’t include Asians as minorities in their arguments.

The crit race theory arm of the Democeatic crowd calls us “white adjacent.” Which is frustrating because many Republicans definitely think of us as minorities.

Which is pretty bizarre thinking. Once a minority group achieves a certain level of success they are now considered “white adjacent” even if they still face discrimination from large segments of the population?

It has become very common for democrats to pick and chose who is minority enough. It often seems directly tied to whether or not that minority agrees with their political ideology. I’m a black man. I’ve had white, liberal identifying people tell me that I must be a troll because I don’t agree with them politically. That certainly I must be confused or stupid because any rational black person must agree with and support democrats.

According the Kaiser Family Foundation, the poverty rate was 11% for Asians/Pacific Islanders/Native Hawaiians, 22% for blacks, 19% for Hispanics, and 11% for whites in the United States in 2018. I’m aware of the long history in the United States of discriminating against people of Asian descent with some of the biggest being the Chinese Exclusion Act and the more recent internment of those of Japanese descent during the second World War. I’m also aware that there are complaints revolving around anti-Asian biases in admissions at American universities as well as representation of Asians in our media.

But other than that, what kinds of discrimination do Asians face here in the United States today? Are they suffering when it comes to education, housing, jobs, or access to medical care due to systemic racism? I don’t want to belittle the problems Asians do face, and I have no problem recognizing that they’re minorities in the United States, but it’s hard for me to think of them in the same light I do African Americans or Hispanics because overall they seem to be doing just fine.

They face plenty of discrimination. My girlfriend is Japanese. Before covid, she worked in an upscale restaurant and had countless stories of her race being made an issue by both coworkers and customers. After covid, she’s been fearful because in her words, people can’t tell the difference between Japanese and Chinese and she’s worried people will harass her.

If anything, Asians illustrate exactly what is wrong with how democrats handle race. They are (even stereotypically) an exceptionally hard working demographic, and that served them so well that now the quotas work against them and they’re referred to as “white adjacent.”

You know what? That’s fair. I had completely forgotten about recent attacks and backlash against people of Asian descent during the pandemic.

A few examples from the Chinese half of my family/history.

The generation before me had to use the colored community pool, and were the only Asians in their Catholic schools growing up.

This century, in states on the southern border, relatives were pulled over and asked for papers please because they looked Hispanic.

I’ve personally been mocked as yellow, communist, chink, chinaman, a-Shen (a pun on my name), why-you-no-doctor-yet, why don’t you go back to the paddies, sweatshops, how can you see out of those things (and my eyes aren’t even that slanted), etc. I’ve heard a few slurs against Hispanics directed at me. Oh, and people sometimes think I speak Chinese or Japanese or Anime (which might as well be a different language).

When I’m the only asian around, I might feel like I’m representing asians as a race. People will ask me questions about why asians do X or about the history of China or U.S.-China relations like I’m some sort of expert.

Usually these sorts of things come across in a joking manner, I have thick skin and don’t personally mind it much. Sometimes the jokes are funny. In my father’s day, there was real hatred behind it.

Oh, and sometimes people on messageboards say we don’t love our children.


The OP has an interesting interpretation of the data. The Asian electorate is drifting to the right? That’s not what I would have gotten out of “most Asian Americans identify as Democrats, with more than half saying they plan to back Joe Biden and less than a third saying they’d vote for President Trump”.

The article describes how certain segments of the Asian population have shifted republican, some of them considerably.

Relevant Atlantic article: The Whitening of Asian-Americans

Another article.

This whitening isn’t being done by blacks its being done by whites.

It tends to happen when whites get displaced by asians. How does that happen in such a profoundly racist society? White adjacency is apparently more powerful in our white supremacist society than actually being white.

Here a bunch of white folks want to institute a lottery system in specialized high school admissions. The school has gone from 70%white to 79%asian. Black and Hispanic populations have not changed.

And they’re absolutely minuscule, especially for this region. It’s pretty reasonable to want to increase the Black and Hispanic population of this school when it’s so low (about 2%, IIRC).

According to the 538 article, Asian Americans still align with the Democrats on racial justice/progressive issues. The issue they are the most divided on and the issue where Republicans have an edge is the economy.

Almost every asian I know is against racism. For some, it is the only reason they can’t vote for republicans.

I disagree. We’ve had this same argument over and over again. You believe in equality of results (or you think that equality of results is the only acceptable proof of equality of opportunity) and I believe in equality of opportunity realizing that this will often lead to disparity in results.

Liberals these days are very different from liberals from the old days. Liberals like RBG.

Right, but that discrimination is due to the Republican president and his enablers referring to the novel coronavirus as the China virus, Kung Flu, and other such racist tropes. Why would that drive the Asian electorate to the Right?

To the OP, there’s an Asian woman on the Democratic ballot right now, and there was another Asian who was running for the Democratic nomination.

My guess is that, if there is a drift to the right, it’s due to wealthier Asians and some amount of social conservatism as well. Wealthy and socially conservative Asians would naturally fit in the Republican party if only the party didn’t hate them so much. I think it has nothing at all to do with your meritocracy thing.


I would agree with this. I know Asians who have pointed this out in conversations I’ve had from time to time. They are not predisposed to be right wing at all, but it’s something that some Asians I’ve known definitely notice.

As others have probably noted, there’s also a perception, right or wrong, that Democrats bend over backwards to appeal to Dreamers and undocumented immigrants, to the point of even decriminalizing illegal entry, while they spend years waiting in green card lines and end up paying thousands of dollars in the process. Asians seem to be victimized the worst in this regard. Asians see Democrats going out of their way to cater and pander to Hispanic voters while not saying nearly as much about legal immigrants’ woes.

They also tend to have mixed feelings about black people as well. On the one hand, the Asians I’ve met acknowledge that blacks are victims of discrimination but so are Asians, and a lot of times, they have been told to ‘go back to their own country’ and to stop spreading coronavirus by black and Hispanic people. They also typically look down on these microcultures because they don’t seem to have the same regard for education that Asian immigrants do.

Obviously, race has a complex history in this country and I’ve pointed out things in conversation that I’ve pointed out here. But I can definitely see how some Asians might not be as attracted to the Democratic party as they used to be.

Democrats assume they can win elections because “Republicans are racist,” and it’s just not that simple. Voters seem to accept that politicians and even their fellow citizens can be assholes. What they want to see in their leaders is strength and the perception that they can get shit done. Far too often, Democrats talk about social justice over pocketbook issues and they just come across as whiny pussies. Voters want alpha males, not bitch men.

At least in the South Asian community, there has been a looooong history of racism against darker skinned people. Hasan Minhaj addressed it earlier this year. I remember growing up and my dad teasing my mom by calling her “Kali” (black). I thought it was pretty fucked up back then as well.

But I just wanted to note something from the article that seems to be missed:

So in 1992, less than a third of Asian Americans voted Democrat, but now half plan to vote for Biden and only a third plan to vote for Trump. It seems like a massive sea change in ~30 years.

Some groups are starting to move back towards the Republicans (Vietnamese, Asian Indians), but that tends to miss the bigger massive trend.

I would @DeadTreasSecretaries is correct, some Asians are going back to the right because of economic issues.

Wrong. I believe in equality of opportunity, not equality of results. Opportunity is not remotely equal. Certainly not if, in Northern Virginia, the black and Hispanic population of this school is so minuscule.