When the melting-pot vision is measured against these combined processes that are the necessary conditions of its creation, it has no basis in reality.
Sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset believes that the melting pot is validated by intermarriage statistics, which, as he surmises, "indicate that majorities of Catholics, Jews, Italians, Irish, and Japanese Americans marry out of their ancestral groups."19 Indeed, demographic data also show greater tolerance for black-white intermarriages, although they are the least common form of racial intermarriage for whites.20 However, while some degree of amalgamation occurs between groups in a pluralistic society, it is not often a total societal process in the sense meant by the melting-pot theory.
The definition of American to mean "white," which can be traced to the writings of melting-pot visionaries like Crevecoeur, also has a negative impact on the identificational assimilation of "people of color." In a study of children of Haitians, Cubans, West Indians, Mexicans, and Vietnamese in south Florida and Southern California, the researchers asked repondents how they identified themselves.
Lipset insists that for the masses, the melting-pot image "remains as appropriate as ever."42 By melting pot, Lipset means "American universalism, the desire to incorporate groups into one culturally unified whole, [which] is inherent in the founding ideology--the American Creed."43 Although melting pot is not technically the term that describes what Lipset means, it is clearly a vision that is consistent with the option of liberal pluralism that Gordon identifies.
Commission on Immigration Reform, said: "We are more than a melting-pot; we are a kaleidoscope."
These counter-metaphors all share a common premise: that ethnic groups in the United States may live side by side harmoniously, but on two conditions that overturn both assumptions of the melting-pot metaphor.
The greatest failing of the melting-pot metaphor is that it overreaches.
These states, combined with New Jersey, Hawaii, and New Mexico, are identified as melting-pot states and represent a very different constituency than those in other parts of the country.
Nonetheless, both Bush and Gore paid attention to these changing demographics when visiting each of these melting-pot states--symbolically, by speaking Spanish when visiting Hispanic neighborhoods, and in their policy prescriptions, favoring INS reform, improved public education, and support for family values.
Immigration is not the only cause for the rise of Hispanic and Asian visibility in the melting-pot states.
Despite Bush's victories in Texas and Florida, most melting-pot states are likely to tilt toward more liberal issues that tend to be associated with Democrats.
In contrast, they constitute only 36 percent of the voting-age population of melting-pot states and only 46 percent of the total U.S.