Now or never for the GOP?
Here’s an article that seeks to make sense of the apocalyptic tone of the GOP 2012 Primary and Presidential Election strategy. Essentially, the piece looks at the changing demographics in the US–that we are and will continue to become less-white and more educated, and sees the voting bloc for today’s GOP shrinking into the future. As a result, the current form of conservatism of the past 40 years is getting desperate to remain relevant.
What that means, and how it will play out, remains to be seen. As the author surmises, it could mean that this election will be the last chance this current manifestation of the Republican Party has to survive. I’m not endorsing this view of the future. But it’s an worth considering.
So TRC recommends 2012 or Never, by Jonathon Chait, for NY Magazine.
Obama’s election dramatized the degree to which this long-standing political dynamic had been flipped on its head. In the aftermath of George McGovern’s 1972 defeat, neoconservative intellectual Jeane Kirkpatrick disdainfully identified his voters as “intellectuals enamored with righteousness and possibility, college students, for whom perfectionism is an occupational hazard; portions of the upper classes freed from concern with economic self-interest,” and so on, curiously neglecting to include racial minorities. All of them were, in essence, people who heard a term like “real American” and understood that in some way it did not apply to them. Today, cosmopolitan liberals may still feel like an embattled sect—they certainly describe their political fights in those terms—but time has transformed their rump minority into a collective majority. As conservative strategists will tell you, there are now more of “them” than “us.” What’s more, the disparity will continue to grow indefinitely. Obama actually lost the over-45-year-old vote in 2008, gaining his entire victory margin from younger voters—more racially diverse, better educated, less religious, and more socially and economically liberal.
Portents of this future were surely rendered all the more vivid by the startling reality that the man presiding over the new majority just happened to be, himself, young, urban, hip, and black. When jubilant supporters of Obama gathered in Grant Park on Election Night in 2008, Republicans saw a glimpse of their own political mortality. And a galvanizing picture of just what their new rulers would look like.