I posted an article the other night on the fear of anon-white planet by the Republican hard right. Tonight, Howard Dean echoed some of the same sentiment on Rachel Maddow’s show. He also repeated his belief that the Democrats would retain control of both chambers of Congress.
Many of us have voiced an opinion that we don’t believe that there will be a ‘November tsunami’. We read Nate’s numbers to the contrary and listen to the media’s warning based on how it has always happened in the past and most of us admit that it’s a gut feeling that this turnover will not take place.But what is the source of that gut feeling? Why are we so sure?
Let’s consider some numbers. Census data show that minorities are quickly becoming the norm and that low birth rates amongst whites is decreasing their numbers. So, as Governor Dean pointed out, young white people are increasingly surrounded by and befriending minorities, gays, Muslims,and accepting ideals outside of those of hard right Republicans. The ‘other’for them is…well…the norm. That has to be a frightening prospect for the ultra-conservative; to be a dying breed. Young people just aren’t buying the crazy. The only thing that will save ultra conservatives is if the younger population has a big apathy reaction to politics.
And fearful Republicans are circling the wagons. The Tea Party is alienating just about everyone who doesn’t share their limited worldview. They’re fighting DADT, taking a hard line on immigration reform, fighting help for the middle class. They’re raising obsolete culture issues like extreme anti-abortions stances and banging the drums of fear like a drumline on ecstasy. Having your perspective become obsolete has to be hard.
The other dynamic in play here is that communication technologies have changed considerably and Republicans and pollsters are slow to catch on to that. I don’t even know anyone under thirty with a landline.And despite pollster’s assurances that they have taken this information into consideration, I remain skeptical that the data is accurate.
So, that’s what my gut is telling me. Largely white aging boomers are losing touch with reality, or should I say, reality is losing touch with them. They are experiencing a fearful, knee-jerk reaction that the world they grew up in as children is gone. Well, adaptation is critical for survival in any changing environment because nature abhors a vacuum. I suggest that adaptation is a property they adopt quickly.