Friday, January 22, 2016

Two Versions of America Emerge in Presidential Campaign

From Ronald Brownstein, at National Journal, "Race, religion, and ethnicity divide the country between what it was and what it is becoming":
The cul­tur­al and demo­graph­ic gulf between the Re­pub­lic­an and Demo­crat­ic elect­or­al co­ali­tions can now be meas­ured not just in space, but time.

Today, the two parties rep­res­ent not only dif­fer­ent sec­tions of the coun­try, but also, in ef­fect, dif­fer­ent edi­tions of the coun­try. Along many key meas­ures, the Re­pub­lic­an co­ali­tion mir­rors what all of Amer­ic­an so­ci­ety looked like dec­ades ago. Across those same meas­ures, the Demo­crat­ic co­ali­tion rep­res­ents what Amer­ica might be­come in dec­ades ahead. The parties’ ever-es­cal­at­ing con­flict rep­res­ents not only an ideo­lo­gic­al and par­tis­an stale­mate. It also en­cap­su­lates our col­lect­ive fail­ure to find com­mon cause between what Amer­ica has been, and what it is be­com­ing.

The two dif­fer­ent Amer­icas em­bod­ied by the parties are out­lined by race.

In 2012, whites ac­coun­ted for about 90 per­cent of both the bal­lots cast in the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial primar­ies and the votes Mitt Rom­ney re­ceived in the gen­er­al elec­tion. The last time whites rep­res­en­ted 90 per­cent of the total Amer­ic­an pop­u­la­tion was 1960. Eth­nic groups now equal just over 37 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans. But voters of col­or ac­coun­ted for nearly 45 per­cent of Pres­id­ent Obama’s votes in 2012. Eth­nic minor­it­ies likely won’t equal that much of the total pop­u­la­tion for about an­oth­er 15 years.

Re­li­gion also re­in­forces the parties’ con­trast­ing Amer­icas.

White Chris­ti­ans ac­count for 69 per­cent of all adults who identi­fy as Re­pub­lic­ans, ac­cord­ing to the Pew Re­search Cen­ter’s massive re­li­gious-land­scape sur­vey. The last time white Chris­ti­ans equaled that much of Amer­ica’s total pop­u­la­tion was 1984—the year of Ron­ald Re­agan’s land­slide reelec­tion. Today, white Chris­ti­ans have fallen be­low ma­jor­ity status, to just 46 per­cent of the adult pop­u­la­tion. The change is even more pro­nounced among Demo­crats, less than one-third of whom are white Chris­ti­ans. An­oth­er third of Demo­crats are non­white Chris­ti­ans.

But the party’s largest group (around 35 per­cent) is com­prised of people from all races who identi­fy with non-Chris­ti­an faiths, or in­creas­ingly, with no re­li­gious tra­di­tion. Those non-Chris­ti­ans are grow­ing rap­idly across Amer­ic­an so­ci­ety—but in the en­tire pop­u­la­tion they likely won’t match their cur­rent level among Demo­crats un­til after 2020.

Sim­il­arly, data from Pew’s re­li­gious-land­scape study shows that nearly three-fifths of Re­pub­lic­ans are mar­ried—a level last reached in the over­all adult pop­u­la­tion in 1994. Today just un­der half of Amer­ic­an adults are mar­ried. Among Demo­crats, the num­ber is lower still: barely over two-in-five. Like­wise, the share of Re­pub­lic­ans who live in a house­hold with a gun (54 per­cent) equals the share in so­ci­ety over­all in 1993. Since then, gun own­er­ship among the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion has dropped to about 40 per­cent, while fall­ing even lower (around one-fourth) among Demo­crats.

From these con­trast­ing ex­per­i­ences, the parties now sep­ar­ate, above all, by their at­ti­tude to­ward the grow­ing di­versity and cul­tur­al changes re­mak­ing Amer­ica...
Well, it's interesting, to say the least.

I was thinking just this morning if Donald Trump could build some kind of wall to keep out terrible Chinese drivers. They're everywhere in Irvine and they drive me crazy!

But keep reading.

And ICYMI, "Obscure Pat Buchanan Adviser in 1996 Predicted Wild Donald Trump Campaign of 2016."