If “demographics is destiny,” where does the future of America lie?
According to Pew Research Center, in more government and less freedom.
Speaking to congressional aides during a Republican Ripon Society event, Pew vice president Michael Dimock analyzed America’s changing demographics. While the United States is currently 37 percent non-white, Dimock reports that the “millennials,” born between 1979 and 1995, are 41 percent non-white — and the next generation may very well be more than 50 percent non-white.
This has grave political implications, as the non-white electorate votes predominately Democrat: Approximately two-thirds of Asians and Hispanics support Democrats while the party’s vote among blacks is regularly a whopping 90-plus percent. In 2012’s election the figures were even more lopsided: Hispanics, Asians, and blacks voted for Barack Obama by margins of 71, 73, and 93 percent, respectively. In contrast, the GOP derives 90 percent of its votes from whites.
Drawing the common conclusion that as the white electorate shrinks so do Republican political fortunes, Dimock advises that the GOP tone down “anti-government rhetoric,” saying that it doesn’t “resonate” with younger, increasingly non-white voters.
Translation: Move to the Left.
While Dimock points out that these younger voters are less likely than their elders to be loyal to either major party, their ideology is decidedly liberal. As columnist Paul Bedard writes while reporting on Dimock’s conclusions, “Younger voters are both pro-government and pro-business, split over gun control, back abortion and believe welfare does more good than harm” but consider the GOP “politically rigid and ideologically out of step.”
Of course, some might suspect that being pro-big government and pro-business smacks of fascism, which, among other things, involves a strong nexus between big government and big business.
In a similar vein, Bedard also quotes pollster John Zogby, who has dubbed millennials “First Globals,” as saying:
There is a strong libertarian streak [among the younger generations], but they largely do not hate government if it can prove to be a problem-solver. They have no patience for loud debates and for bureaucratic entropy, favoring quick and streamlined forms of problem-solving and decision-making — just as they have learned in video games. There is also an upside to their all having received a trophy: They are great believers and practitioners in teamwork. This is potentially great news for Democrats and liberals (34 percent call themselves such).
Perhaps most interesting about the above passage is what’s between the lines. Is it possible to have libertarianism and big government? After all, the latter inevitably creates troves of laws, regulations, and mandates, which (except for “house-keeping measures” and such) are by definition removals of freedom. As for “loud debates” and gridlock, that is precisely the result of healthy representative government, of the balance of power prescribed in the Constitution among the three branches of government and between the states and the feds. In contrast, “streamlined forms of problem-solving and decision-making” are only possible in autocracies — dictatorships and oligarchies. And while “teamwork” is often necessary, one wonders if in this case it’s a euphemism for “collectivism.”
Of course, Dimock isn’t the first to observe the electoral impact of demographic shifts. For example, columnist Daniel Greenfield explained the political parties’ demographic analyses and motivations in a 2012 article entitled “Demographics Is Destiny,” writing:
Breaking down the demographics is like looking at the cards in your hand. Once you’ve done that, the only remaining variable in a static game are your opponent’s cards. With election demographics, players can see all the cards everyone has. That makes the game static. Hands will inevitably be won or lost ... unless you can draw some new cards.
… [So] what if you could bring in cards from outside the deck? What if you could change the value of some cards? Then you would be on the way to being the best cardsharp in Washington D.C. or London or Paris.
Sure you could win elections by creating a few gerrymandered districts, but you couldn’t win a country that way. To do that, you have to change the national demographics.
And in another article entitled “Demographics Is Destiny,” Ann Coulter cemented Greenfield’s point, writing:
Liberals brag about having won the hearts and minds of America, as if, through logic and argument, they’ve persuaded people to accept their bankrupt European socialist ideas.
Democrats haven’t changed anyone’s mind. They changed the people.
Coulter is referring to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Prior to that year, immigration was controlled based on the National Origins Act of 1924, which prescribed that immigrants would be admitted into the United States in accordance with their groups’ overall percentage of the population; in other words, if Americans of Italian descent constituted (for argument’s sake) five percent of America, five percent of the yearly immigrants could come from Italy. The goal was to achieve demographic stability.
But the legislation of 1965 (at which time the United States was almost 90 percent white), heavily promoted by late Senator Ted Kennedy, radically changed this standard. It created a situation wherein 85 percent of our immigrants now hail from the Third World and Asia — steadily growing the very constituencies that consistently vote for liberal Democrats.
Yet certain conservative commentators say that Republicans do have some recourse. For example, economist Thomas Sowell points out that the GOP could exploit Democrat opposition to charter schools, which currently offer many black youngsters their only chance at a decent education; liberal advocacy of minimum-wage laws, which disenfranchise low-skilled workers, a group in which blacks are inordinately represented; and leftists’ creation of environmental regulations that drive blacks from cities such as San Francisco by making housing prohibitively expensive. And fellow economist Walter E. Williams, lamenting that liberals have harmed the black community by creating a climate of dependency and excuse-making, writes, “When black Americans finally recognize the harm of the progressive agenda, I'm betting they will be the nation's most conservative people, for who else has been harmed by progressivism as much?”
Whatever the case, America’s changing demographics is perhaps the biggest story of our time. After all, if writer Gary Brecher is correct in saying, “War is just demographics in a hurry,” how might we characterize hurried demographic change?
Correction: In this article as originally published, we had inadvertently attributed to Daniel Greenfield a statement by Ann Coulter.