I have about ten ideas for posts for every actual post I publish here. This is something I’ve been stewing about since the election. I don’t have the inclination to document what I’m going to say so I’ll just blurt it out.
Over the period of the next twenty years the composition of the electorate will change from 72% “white”, as it is now, to about 60% “white”. That’s a demographic certainty. Those aren’t scare quotes by the way. I’m using a definition of “white” other than the one I’d use: people who aren’t black, Hispanic, or Asian. I just don’t see it as that big of a deal.
I’ve never thought of Hispanics or Asians as anything but white. Note that in 1840, when my Irish ancestors arrived here in the States, they weren’t considered “white” and when my wife’s Sicilian grandfather arrived here just before the turn of the 20th century he probably wasn’t considered “white”, either. Jews weren’t considered “white” a hundred or, perhaps, 120 years ago. Being white is malleable in a way that being black is not. I didn’t make it that way but it clearly is that way.
Will Hispanics be as socially and politically cohesive as blacks have been? I honestly don’t know and I don’t think that anybody else does, either.
I think there’s something to bear in mind. Blacks comprise about 12% of the American population. They comprised about 12% of the population 200 years ago, 150 years ago, 100 years ago, and 50 years ago. Hispanics are about 20% of the population. If Hispanics remain politically cohesive and committed to identity politics, the losers won’t be whites but blacks. The way identity politics has worked out in Chicago, likely a bellwether for the rest of the country, is that the political fortunes of Hispanics are rising. After two black mayors (one elected, one appointed), Chicago’s mayors have been “white”.
Over a period of about ten years white Southern Democrats deserted the party in droves and became Republicans. They have dominated the Republican Party power structure for the last couple of decades. Former mainstays of the Republican Party, paleocons and libertarians, are now called “independents” which is another way of saying they have no power at all. My point is that these things can change very rapidly. The only thing that’s a law of nature is that 90% of everything is showing up.