The Demographic Reality Show: GOP Survivor?

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

birth-rateWell, much to the chagrin of our Republican brothers and without any obvious help from the train wreckers themselves, their base just shrunk. For the first time in American history, more non-hispanic Caucasians died than were born. This demographic milestone hits the Right at the worst possible time. With the incredible shrinking number of  minorities in its ranks (only 13% of Republicans identify themselves as a minority) GOPers could always rest assured of refilling their ranks with scores of Caucasians driven into a frenzy by racial fear mongering or to rage by claims  fiscal foolishness or to just about any other emotion … just pick your own  right-wing wedge issue. Couple that with the fact that last year over 50% of all babies born were non-Caucasians and that the Republican  record with women is well … sad, very sad … and you’ve got a demographic disaster looming for the GOP.

Or do you? Let’s see how are our brothers (and a precious few sisters) across the ideological aisle are dealing with the problem. Why full speed ahead on blocking immigration reform (Sen. Ted Cruz); rushing to impose invasive ultrasounds in heartland places like Wisconsin (Gov. Scott Walker); budget cuts for the poor (Paul Ryan); more  votes in the U.S. House on bills to  ban all abortion  procedures after 20 weeks regardless of rape or incest (Boehner & Cantor). These righties sure know how to woo a woman.

Are there any voices of reason on the deck of this Titanic? Well you’d hope so. The College Republicans, once the recruiting ground of bomb throwers like Newt Gingrich (in 1978 he implored them be “young, nasty people who h[ave] no respect for their elders”), now seems to be the crewman in the crow’s nest transfixed on the looming iceberg even as their older brethren play the same ol’ tune (Nearer My God to Thee was the reputed last song played on the ill-fated luxury liner–strangely appropriate now and then) that got them shut out in the last two presidential battles and lost the youth vote by 5 million votes. According to a new report by the baby Repubs, young people deemed “winnable” for Republicans increasingly are coming to see the GOP a ” closed-minded, racist, rigid, [and]old-fashioned.” (p. 69). Imagine what the “unwinnables” must think! The report also finds the GOP out-of-step with the under 25 crowd in terms of understanding young Americans reliance on  social media and non-traditional news sources like Comedy Central’s’ The Daily Show to get  news and hence their view of the world.  Just as distressing, the Republicans are hopelessly tone-deaf to the attitudes of young voters on issues like abortion, immigration, and negative political advertising.  Ignore them at your peril the collegians are screaming, but the Right just keeps chugging father right. Onward Christian soldiers!

You have to wonder how any political party can survive with shrinking numbers, unpopular views, and an institutionalized arrogance (that 47% line still resonates) a Roman emperor would envy. Maybe you don’t have wonder for very long. Ask a Whig. Oops there aren’t any.

And as for the Caucasian race in the U.S., it might be time to take a break from the rat race they so proudly created. “We’re jumping the gun on a long, slow decline of our white population, which is going to characterize this century,” William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, told the paper. “It’s a bookend from the last century, when whites helped us grow. Now it’s minorities who are going to make the contributions to our economic and population growth over the next 50 years.”

Was that a chill I just felt blowing over from the country club?

Source: Washington Post

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

154 thoughts on “The Demographic Reality Show: GOP Survivor?”

  1. Bron: I suppose the conundrum can be more simply put this way: If you believe people have rights, and there is no existing authority for defining what those rights are, how do we arrive at what those rights are? What do we do about people that absolutely refuse to define any such rights? What do we even mean by a “right?”

    To me, a “right” is only defined by what others are obligated to defend and enforce. A right to free speech is meaningless if I can be punished for speaking my mind and there are no consequences for those inflicting the punishment.

    Since a right depends upon the obligation of others to defend and enforce it (not volunteerism which would reduce “rights’ to a measure of individual popularity, which does not fit the concept of a ‘right’), I think the only meaningful rights that can be defined are those which a stable super-majority of citizens will agree should be universally applicable.

    However you define “rights,” you have to address the question of imposing an obligation on all citizens to defend the rights (refrain from punishment for exercising them) and to punish those that violate the rights, otherwise the “rights” are just empty rhetoric without meaning; they do not protect you from punitive retaliation for your actions (or inactions). Those obligations necessarily include risk and money to effect the defense or punishment, which itself has to be forthcoming even if the victim is unable to pay (perhaps because their right to life itself was violated).

    That is about as explicit a social contract as I can describe, in order to have rights that truly apply to everybody, they must be paid for, and not everybody has the resources or ability to work to pay for their rights to be enforced. Therefore some must pay the bill for others; or “rights” are non-existent, all that exists is the anarchic mercenary protections paid for by those that can afford them, and people are free to do anything they wish to those that cannot pay for their protection.

    There are no rights without an obligation of protection. Once a population exceeds some thousands of people, there are no obligations that 100% of the population will agree upon; there are too many crazies, mentally ill, mentally impaired, criminal and psychopathic for that to happen. That leaves majority agreement (or super-majority agreement) that obligates everybody, like it or not.

  2. Bron: I am all for Republican Democracy. I just believe individuals have rights. Your conception is that they only have rights if 51% say they do.

    Perhaps you missed that “super” in super-majority. Which is also something I tend to believe in; because I understand statistical uncertainty and believe attitudes and cultures can shift and change significantly over years and decades; so I think the greater a super-majority agreement was on what should be a “right,” the less likely it is that a new vote would overturn that right.

    Because of that, 51% is not really enough for me, 51% can flip into 49% overnight. The greater the percentage in favor of anything, the more likely it is that a decade down the road, a new poll would fall on the same side of 50%. It is not guaranteed, but when we are dealing with non-deterministic human emotions, no prediction can be guaranteed, all we can do is work with probabilities.

    So my conception of rights is more like, if 70% of people agree on something, then that should be a right. That is actually a stronger standard than we currently have; within 4 years if even 55% of Americans agreed strongly enough on something, they could take over the House, the Senate, and the Presidency and pass anything they wanted to pass as a law, budget, or Constitutional Amendment (or repeal of one).

    Bron says: I want no part of a society in which I can be voted into a gas chamber if 51% say it is time for me to die. That is what you are proposing.

    It is not what I am proposing, technically and with some time delay (4 years) it is the American society you and I both live in. Perhaps you should read the Constitution; nothing in it is immune to Amendment.

    Bron says: In your world gays can only marry if 51% of the people who vote say they can?

    No, in my world (which is reality) the Constitution pragmatically requires far more than a 51% vote to rescind a Constitutional right, and that is why gays should have the same rights of marriage (and non-discrimination) as everybody else.

    As for what is “okay with me,” I can (and have) disagreed strongly with some laws, but I understand that in the real world I am not the dictator and I do not want anyone to be the dictator. Yet some rule that could not be overturned by even 99% of the population voting vehemently against it is simply dictatorial.

    The only pragmatic, real-world alternative to dictatorship I can see is super-majority agreement on rules that will apply to all, both those in favor of the rule and those opposed to it. We aren’t there yet, but we have a rough approximation of it.

    You may want no part of it, but there is no place on Earth you can go with any absolute guarantees; they are all essentially super-majority rule, or dictatorships (benevolent or not) or in anarchic states with no guarantees at all.

    As for being gas-chambered, that is what we do today with the death penalty. For 12 jurors to agree on such a punishment, if they were selected randomly from the population, about 94.4% of the population would have to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt by the evidence that the defendant was guilty, in order to have a 50/50 chance of selecting a jury that would vote unanimously on the death penalty. (The fact that the jury is filtered to those tolerant of the death penalty reduces the 94.4% considerably).

    So even if juries could not be filtered and assignment was random and unalterable by prosecution, defense or judge, the implied 94.4% threshold of agreement on sending somebody to the gas chamber still just represents a super-majority, it is not even plausibly unanimous, since some people are ideologically opposed to the death penalty.

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