*(Via Buzzfeed) – “The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore,” a glum Bill O’Reilly said during Fox News’ Election Day coverage. “And the voters, many of them, feel that this economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff… People feel that they are entitled to things. And which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”
What O’Reilly — and other members of what the Fox host called the “white establishment” who are blaming Obama’s re-election on minority-group moochers — aren’t mentioning is that white Americans have their own long tradition of using voting power to get an economic leg up. O’Reilly’s own Irish-Catholic cohort is now seen as just another group that makes up the “traditional” establishment.
But when the Irish were chased to America by famine and British repression during the 19th century, they faced violent attacks from nativist groups, political cartoons caricaturing them as apes, “Help Wanted — No Irish Need Apply” signs, and a butcher knife–wielding, one-eyed Daniel Day Lewis. Desperately poor, uneducated, and barred from even menial jobs, the one tool the Irish had at their disposal was their sheer numbers — according to Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Nathan Glazer’s book Beyond the Melting Pot, by 1855, 28% of New Yorkers were Irish-born, with cities like Boston experiencing a similar surge.
The Irish turned out in droves to support urban Democratic political machines, and in return collected the Christmas turkeys and government jobs that came with their newfound power.
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