A cursory inspection of demographic reports from the US Census bureau reveals that the white majority of this country is quickly losing its traditional preeminence. In 1990, people considering themselves "white" were 80.3% of the total population of the United States. By 2000, that portion of the population had shrunk to 75.1%. When one considers that, by all accounts the US Census Bureau has a significant undercount, and that said undercount is more pronounced for racial minorities, the current political dominance of those who consider themselves "white" would seem to be condemned to dwindle and eventually disappear.
This is very bad news for the GOP. Any examination of the voting trends of racial minorities shows a clear and significant preference for the Democratic party, and that that preference is only becoming more pronounced over time:
corporatists and power-brokers at the upper echelons of the Republican party, the "conservative" party, maintain the status quo? How can they perpetuate the current distribution of wealth and power, without which they might be forced to share the bounty of this country, no longer able to skim the cream from the top? If the movers and shakers in the GOP cannot hold together enough of the white majority, how will the all-important hierarchy be preserved?
In their increasing panic, they have formulated a desperate, last-ditch plan for holding on to their shaky hegemony: unite as much of the white majority as they can through the age-old fail-safes of hatred and fear. Scanning the cultural landscape of the nation, they have landed upon three convenient labels that they can present to their under-educated and bigoted rabble (for this is truly how the GOP elite view the less-than-affluent Christian evangelicals in their party) to arouse the latter's primal emotions:
- Terrorists - a nebulous, undefined entity that can be used to point a shrill finger at any convenient target. Scare the hoi polloi with "al Qaeda in Iraq," "Islamists," or thoughts of having to "fight them here," and they will fall in behind whoever is the Republican Daddy-of-the-moment very quickly.
- Gays - the ever-present menace that psuedo-Christians just know are lurking in the public restrooms and classrooms ready to convert their children and destroy their marriages. The GOP exploited this particular prejudice to great effect in the 2004 election, by shrieking about mild and moderate reforms taking place in San Francisco, Massachusetts and elsewhere. Rabid homophobes from all corners of the country flocked to the polls to stop the "homosexual agenda," and, oh, by the way, cast a vote for Junior Bush while they were at it. Of course, sexually-repressed homophobic Republicans are likely exhibiting some perverse form of subliminal self-loathing in their fear and hatred of homosexuals, since studies have indicated that the most vehement homophobes may, in fact, be closeted homosexuals. It is almost enough to evoke pity toward them, in much the same way that one feels pity toward the slug that slimed its way into a bag of iodized Morton's salt.
- Mexicans - alas, this entity is a double-edged sword which the GOP, shaken by its recent drubbing at the polls, cannot decide how to effectively wield. On the one hand, the illegal immigrant label (which, of course, is a code phrase to mean "Mexican") is low-hanging fruit for bigwig demagogues in the GOP: the influx of south-of-the-border immigrants (both documented and undocumented) is readily visible and threatening to the ignoramuses and thinly-disguised racists that compose a good share of the Republican proletariat. These are the people who can scarcely manage their grasp of the English language; the thought of others around them speaking in another language (and possibly laughing at them) sends them into a blind panic. But, on the other hand, the GOP intelligentsia are not unaware of the demographic and voting trends I cited earlier in this post. They know that the long-term fruits of beating up on Latinos will be electoral extinction. (And, besides, the corporatists sure do love that cheap labor!) Thus, we are treated to the spectacle of Junior Bush and certain "far-sighted" Republicans taking relatively lenient positions vis-a-vis immigration, while the more rabid, demagogic wing of the party (which derives from the Republican untermensch) screams about "border security" and promotes fantastical visions of a fence running from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas.
As ye sow, so shall ye reap.