Demographics will drive a wooden stake through the heart of the Southern Strategy, and none too soon.
In the last year or so, I noticed an interesting confluence of trends. Younger generations are more liberal, more lenient. A majority of GenZ, Millennials, and Post-Millenials share a disdain for Trump in particular and conservative politics in general. So it would follow that Republicans and some Establishment Democrats (Biden!) are expressing some alarm that the Boomers and older cohorts were outnumbered by every other younger generation at the polls in 2016.
So let us see if we can connect the dots leading up to what could potentially be, a blue wave in 2020. I first took note of this trend back in 2018, when I found myself reading articles like this one, The Post-Millennials Should Scare the Hell Out of the GOP, from New York Magazine. Therein, poll after poll shows that a majority of young Americans dislike Trump. A majority of young Americans identified as left or liberal, a good fraction to be far left, and about half are non-white.
I have known about a trend in young voters to embrace socialism for some time, but I am not terribly surprised to see that the same trend is gaining steam. According to Axios citing a Harris poll conducted in February, as the age of the voter decreases, the farther the drift from the average conservative, the greater the shift to liberal ideology. Millennials and GenZ prefer universal health care and tuition-free public college. A majority of Millennials and GenZ prefer to live in a socialist country, and by this, I assume they’re thinking of Scandinavia, and not that the state should own the means of production.
And then finally, a Pew Research Poll shows that Boomers and their elders were outnumbered by younger voters, GenX, GenZ and Millenials in the 2016 election. For obvious reasons, you know, like mortality, we can expect this trend to pick up additional steam in the years to come.
These trends explain well, the laser focus of “Cocaine” Mitch McConnell and his class of Republicans in the US Senate on judicial appointments, including the Supreme Court. This also explains McConnell’s flaming hypocrisy about not confirming another judge in an election year, like, next year. They can see something really big on the horizon, so they’re pitching camp in the courts.
Conservatives will, with some alacrity, lose elections just by virtue of a massive shift in demographics. Their Southern Strategy, that of relying upon a middle class, middle-aged, white majority is doomed and they know it. They are using judicial appointments as a means of buying some time. You know, like a few decades, to regain their footing, if they ever can.
Trump is an anomaly in every sense of the word. A conservative minority is clinging to Trump in the hopes that they will have enough time to keep things as they are, and still make their case to younger voters. But their arguments must chew through $1.5 trillion in student debt, a $21 trillion federal debt, an escalating trade war and deficit, and a tax cut that wasn’t paid for.
Trump is, in essence, a Hail Mary pass for conservatives. There will not be another candidate or president like Trump for a least a decade, perhaps a generation. And by the time another charismatic authoritarian like Trump appears, it will be too late. America will be too brown, too black, still young, but too experienced with crony capitalism, and too tired of a tiny religious minority intent on imposing their version of Sharia Law upon everyone else, to vote for another guy like Trump.
The court appointments, up and down the federal courts are there, to slow the blue tsunami down. The so-called deregulation efforts of the Trump Administration also serve to slow down the blue tsunami that is coming.
I use the term “tsunami” here because it is not one gigantic wave. It is a slow process relative to a giant wave, where, as if the ocean was in a bowl and someone tipped it in the direction of the shore, wiping out everything on shore. Then, as if the bowl tipped back, the water flows back out to sea.
Let’s hope that blue tsunami doesn’t go back out to sea.