WSJ Compares Asian Immigrants to New England Puritans

WSJ Compares Asian Immigrants to New England Puritans

Ten days ago, Breitbart News analyzed an exhaustive Pew Research study about Asians in America and made the argument that their views align well with conservatism, and may be conservatism’s last, best hope. If Asians vote en masse for liberals like Hispanics and African-Americans have been doing, the Republican Party at the national level may be no more. 

Breitbart News noted that the Pew survey’s findings on entrepreneurism, family values, faith, and assimilation made Asian-Americans the most likely group to become Republicans, which could be crucial in key swing states such as Virginia and serve as a firewall in other states — like Georgia — Republicans cannot afford to lose.

Saturday, Walter Russell Mead, in The Wall Street Journal, compared Asian immigrants to some of the country’s first settlers and made many  similar observations to those of Breitbart News last week. 

Mead, one of the nation’s most innovative thinkers, writes that while “the Pew study found that the new Asian immigrants identify themselves, surprisingly, as 22% Protestant and 19% Catholic,” most of them, “whatever their religion,” have “in spades what Max Weber called the Protestant work ethic.”

“Arguably, in America’s long history of immigration, the group that the new immigrants resembles most is the original cohort of Puritans who settled New England,” Mead writes.

Mead writes Asian immigrants also resemble the “earlier waves of educated and already urbanized immigrants more than the desperate and often unskilled rural groups from Europe and Latin America,” and, like those earlier wave of immigrants, “tend to be better-educated than most of the people in their countries of origin,” are “steeped in the culture of enterprise and capitalism,” and “three times more likely than other recent immigrants to come to the U.S. on visas arranged through employers.”

Most importantly, Mead notes, as Breitbart News did, that “most of the new immigrants like it here and want to stay (only 12% wish they had stayed home),” have strong family values, and do not “seem to be inward-looking or unwilling to assimilate.” 

America can only accelerate back to its founding, constitutional principles if powered by a conservative movement that can win at the national level. To do so, conservatism must prevail in key swing states such as Virginia, which may be the most important bellwether state for the next two decades. And the Asian vote will be key in determining whether statists or those who believe in limited government prevail in places like Virginia.  If the Asian vote helps the country return to constitutional principles by helping conservatives win elections, it would be fitting because, as Mead notes, Asians most resemble the country’s original immigrants.