For quite a while I’ve been explaining the rabid, frantic vehemence of tea partiers and Republicans in general with a single visualisation:
They’ve got their backs against the seawall, and a massive, overwhelming demographic tidal wave is looming over them.
The terror that situation provokes among old, white, rich, “educated” male types is enough to mobilize a hell of a lot of political activity and influence (especially when it’s coopted and channeled by tens of billions of dollars in corporate propaganda). This goes a long way toward explaining the backlash of the 2010 election.
But desperate manoeuvring can’t stop the tides.
This demographic notion got its first major airing in Judis and Teixeira’s 2002 The Emerging Democratic Majority, which seems to have been a little ahead of it’s time. But as Jonathan Chait suggests in “2012 or Never,” the demographic clock may finally be ticking up to high noon.
The modern GOP—the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes—is staring down its own demographic extinction.
Despite assorted and sadly wishful pooh-poohing on the right (“the Republicans will just rebrand themselves”; “second-generation Latinos will be more conservative”), the demographic reality is displayed quite starkly in two graphs from a recent Pew report (PDF; hat tip Ruy Teixeira).
Say “buh bye.”
Nevertheless, as Robert Reich reminds us: for the present, “the loony right” remains “a clear and present danger.”
Cross-posted at Asymptosis.
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