We’ve harped on this before but, via The Washington Post‘s Phillip Bump, Pew Research brings us some new data points to plug in. The most common age for white Americans is 58 years old, representing the now-aging peak of the baby boomer generation.
The most common age for Latino Americans, in 2019: 11 years old. For black Americans and Asian Americans, it’s 27 and 29, respectively; for multiracial Americans, it’s 3 years old.
This is just another way of describing the well-known demographic shift at play in the United States: After the baby boomer generation, America has steadily been getting less “white” and more diverse. White Americans still make up most of the population, but birthrates between white and non-white Americans have now reached parity: 40% of the country now identifies as one of these supposed “minorities,” and the number is increasing.
The message in the numbers is that the Republican Party play of stoking Fox News-ian panic over non-white Americans in order to drive old racists and not-quite-racists-but to the polls still has clout to it. They have squarely aimed their cultural panic at the baby boomer generation, now old and voting reliably and in absolute droves, even at the price of alienating almost everyone else. But the strategy has the same cholesterol and heart and lower back problems that their target population does: It has an expiration date, and it is rapidly approaching.
People who grew up in the era when minority Americans were segregated out to the sidelines are steadily dying off and non-white Americans are, just as steadily, taking their place. Their own voting and policy preferences will begin to drive the national debate; the days in which a proudly racist bioluminescent blowhole like Trump can attract more voters to the Republican Party than he repulses are, no matter how successful future Republican strategizing might be, at an end.
And we’ve harped on this before as well, but that is precisely why the current incarnation of the Republican Party, a body that is now almost exclusively white, rural, and racist, has lurched into a new anti-democratic extremism in attempts to fill the judicial ranks and other government posts with white, archconservative allies; has engaged in now-panicked efforts to restrict the voting rolls and carve out majority-white districts out of increasingly non-white communities; and has begun to scream absolute bloody murder about the dangers of non-white Americans and immigrants via increasingly conspiratorial Fox News programs, rabble-rousing “populist” speeches, and other overt forays into white nationalism.
This is the very dangerous last gasp of conservative nationalism. It cannot exist, after this, not without scrapping our democratic processes.
Every action Sen. Mitch McConnell and the party’s other top leaders take is in service to staving off that day for as long as possible. The most conservative possible judges are being installed, and non-conservative judges blocked, so that new voter initiatives and newly emerging public norms can be tossed by fiat, as necessary, for however many decades each new human sandbag can hold out.
If that means embracing the most rotten possible of allies, forgiving the most loathsome of behaviors, and outright ignoring a dozen different crimes, it is all being stomached in order to whittle down as much of democracy as can be whittled down before the Republican racist coalition gets put into overly ornate urns and lost among their children’s belongings.
For Mitch McConnell and the rest of the old guard, the ones who believe the confederate flag to be “heritage” and who snapped a million different neurons at the election of a man named Barack, this is it. It is now or never. Trump could be exposed as selling nuclear warheads to ISIS for 50 dollars and a Mar-a-Lago membership each, and it would be put up with—for the sake of everything else.