The Future of the (Scared, White) GOP

While every liberal in the country has figured out the implicit whiteness that increasingly (and necessarily) comprises the GOP (given how quickly the U.S. is becoming majority non-white), guess who hasn’t figured this out.

The GOP.

The same can be said of the Tea Party.

Here’s another one. In the Huffington Post, Wray Herbert writes of “The Future of the (Scared, White) GOP

When President Obama defeated Mitt Romney in 2012, handily winning a second term, he did so with only 39 percent of white voters. White men made up only a quarter of his votes.

Even staunch Republicans had to take notice of these stark demographics. Some questioned the longtime GOP strategy of appealing to white voters, and others went so far as to question the party’s future. Have white voters, and the Republican Party itself, become irrelevant in the nation’s shifting 21st century political landscape?

The 2012 election, according to sociologist Michael Kimmel, merely crystallized a much larger cultural and economic shift already taking place in the country. In his top-selling new book, Angry White Men, Kimmel describes the gradual but profound changes that have marginalized — and continue to marginalize — white men in America. These changes, Kimmel argues, have left the country’s once dominant group with a sense of “aggrieved entitlement” — the sense that their rightful place has been usurped.

If white voters are angry now, just wait. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that, by the year 2042, racial minority groups will make up the majority of the nation’s population — and voters. Nobody really knows how this so-called “majority-minority” shift will affect Americans’ attitudes and actions, although many believe it will spell even further trouble for conservatives and Republicans.

Others aren’t so sure. Those include Northwestern University psychological scientists Maureen Craig and Jennifer Richeson, who raise another possibility. Might this demographic shift have the opposite effect, leading to greater endorsement of conservative political ideology, at least among white Americans? Psychological theory supports the idea that conservatives, if threatened, will circle the ideological wagons, embracing rather than moving away from conservative values. Craig and Richeson decided to explore this idea empirically, to see if the likelihood of an increasingly diverse racial landscape influences the politics of white Americans, and if so, how.

Herbert then provides a brief abstract of an upcoming article in the journal Psychological Science, and from this posits:

….[M]ore white Americans may join the conservative, Republican ranks as this threat gets closer. But the GOP they join will be whiter and whiter, and the political landscape will be more and more racially polarized.

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