Stephen Klineberg is a Rice University sociologist and, for 28 years, director of an annual event called the Houston Area Survey. 20 years ago, he says, 50 percent of Harris County residents he survey listed their registration as Republican but in the latest one 45 percent of Houstonians identified themselves as Democrats and only 39 percent Republicans. "The discontent with the Bush administration and the continuing demographic transformations have led to a clear change in the political patterns of Harris County," Klineberg said. Yet Bush trounced Kerry in 2004 and won in a landslide in Texas (59.3 percent ) in 2000 so this massive jump suddenly happened in 2006? Sure, let's have some fun figuring that out.
He seems to have forgotten it is 2009 and we're supposed to be talking about change and looking forward because he is finding ways to still blame George Bush for things, even population changes in Houston - it seems sort of laughably anachronistic, kind of like watching "24" now that Obama is president. Oddly, he lists gay marriage as a reason so many Democrats have sprung into existence. Yep, just like Rush Limbaugh warned (well, probably, Rush Limbaugh listeners were not included in the questionaire) if you vote Democrat you will become gay. And old white guys can't do anything about it, despite their stranglehold on local politics.
"Throughout all of its history, Houston was essentially a biracial southern city dominated and controlled, in an automatic, taken-for-granted way, by white men," Klineberg said.
Apparently not any more. Old white Republican men would keep a tighter grip on things, you'd think. If I were a white man (oh wait, I am) and had automatic, taken-for-granted power like that, why would I let a bunch of Democrat commie-fag-junkie rabble rousers move in and change my demographic? It can't be the power of federal law or the constitution of the US because the federal government during all those demographic changes was controlled by ... George Bush. And it can't be Texas state law tolerance prior to that, because the governor in Texas was ... George Bush.
Klineberg can't accept any notion about Republicans and gay people other than that they must have become Democrats because of it, which is the kind of correlation/causation silliness we like to make fun of here; he found that the belief that homosexuality is "morally wrong," for example, dropped steadily from 59 percent in 1997 to 46 percent in 2009, which dovetailed with Republican registration percentages. Presto, instant causation.
Really, it's no shock there, time and clear thinking will always win in ways that heavy-handed legislation never can. Younger Houstonians are more accepting of gays and lesbians too; no shock there either, except it's the older people (you remember, those Republican white men throughout all of Houston's history) that set the social and school agendas for today's younger people so it's a little baffling that the old white Republicans let this insidious gay agenda into their town.
If you're thinking this doesn't make a lot of sense, you're right. It's a local phone survey done by Klineberg and his undergraduate class and conducted by the Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston (and that's not a knock on undergraduate students, just a data point) so it isn't going to be conclusive; though Klineberg says, "I'm sure the trends in attitudes, beliefs, experiences and political ideologies that are being tracked by these surveys will be closely monitored by the two major political parties."
Why? The results make Democrats look bad and, if Republicans are intolerant, they now just know another place where they don't want to live.
How so? There are more minorities now, who should be Democrats, we are told, but apparently Democrats are more and more against them. With the drop in Republican voter registration, so went rights for immigrants; 71 percent in 2007 agreed that "the children of illegal immigrants should have the right to attend the public schools" but that dropped to 64 percent in the 2009 version - when you factor in the drop in Republican voters in that period and an increase in Hispanics (who would presumably be culturally sympathetic to most of the illegal immigrants in question, Asian populations being basically flatlined due to their insistence on entering the country legally) from 1.1 million (32.9 percent in 2000) to over 1.5 million in 2006 but the leap in Democrat intolerance is Hitler Youth levels of amazing; or maybe only carpet-bagging anti-Hispanic pro-gay Democrats moved there.
Some of it must be due to weird data positioning. Look at this graph; it maps changing attitudes to Houston ethnic diversity, except there is no negative answer. Respondents feels more minorities are a 'source of strengh', are 'good' or that the increased ethnic diversity 'mostly strengthens American culture'. None of that “why don’t you do us a favor and all go kill yourselves!” stuff that immigrants in hate-filled California apparently get for doing things legally.
That's it? Where are the people lamenting that when Asians did lawn care, you could talk to them in English? And when did Democrats go all anti-abortion? Corresponding to the drop in Republican voters and increase in Democrats, respondents who felt like abortion is 'morally wrong' spiked to 67 percent. It was only 48 percent believing that in 1980, when Houston was apparently all white male Republicans.
What gives, Houston Democrats? If you hate Hispanics as much as the survey says you must, you'd think aborting them would be the easiest solution.
Although maybe the answer is to make more Hispanics gay so they can't reproduce; the phone survey results showed support for gay marriage rose to 43 percent in 2009 from 32 percent two years ago. Did Karl Rove join the Democrats or something? That seems pretty darn sneaky.
Download a Powerpoint of the demographic data and results here.
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