As an issue the arguments for and against affirmative action in college are simple so it is boring to discuss it. Instead I will focus on its political ramifications for this article. As a political move it is nothing less than a masterstroke plain and simple. It unites the Republicans and divides the Democrats creating opportunities for us to break apart their coalition.
As of right now Republicans are broadly divided into three groups. The economic nationalists under Trump who may not be that socially conservative. Those who fashion themselves as “principled conservatives” who supported Cruz during the primary. Lastly we have the establishment class who supported Kasich till the end. While the Trump and Cruz factions have mostly reconciled the establishment faction is still rooting for the presidency to fail. The stances on immigration and trade that the base demands are just simply against their financial interests. The best thing about the affirmative action issue is that whichever faction you belong to you would most likely be against it and would support its removal from the college application process. In essence it gives Republicans a reason to unite behind Trump.
Republicans face a common problem that victors face. They have been so successful and Democrats have been driven to their lowest level of power since the 1920’s that it is difficult for them to win more seats. Conversely the Democrats have an easier time winning just because the Republicans are defending so many seats. In order to expand their map further Republicans will have to break into the Democrat coalition and win away some of its members.
This is where affirmative action comes in. In the modern era the Democrats are defined by identity politics balancing the interests of its member factions. The GOP establishment has always gone after Latinos because that fits their financial interests but the immigration stances required to woo them are anathema to the base. African-Americans have been brainwashed to such an extent that the only a terms worth of results will have any impact on them. The best we can hope is that they stay home on elections. So it comes down to Asians.
Affirmative action really is discriminating against Asians. Most important from a political standpoint is that it is discriminating against Asian youth. No culture places more importance on the schooling of their children than Asian culture. Asians, particularly East Asians, place an unhealthy amount of importance in grades and the schools which their children go to. My personal belief is this comes from the Confucian influence in their society where college and governmental service exams become the most important parts of the year and students have their entire educational experience crafted to reflect that. Tutoring, Cram schools, and other extra curricular included. It is not a coincidence that the term tiger mom started with Asian moms.
If anything gets Asians off the Democratic plantation it is this issue. After all we are addressing their most important concerns. If successful this opens up races that Republicans were not competitive in before as well as forcing democrats to compete for seats they once thought were safe. All because we did something that we always wanted to do but establishment politicians never had the courage to try.