According to the most recent census figures, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as “white, not Hispanic” is 63.4% of the population. The United States has about 314 million citizens, and therefore about 199 million white citizens.
Why do I bring this up? Because it puts in perspective Tea Party hysteria. In raw terms, whites are not a dying group in North America (even if we exclude Canada). There are more whites on this continent now than in 1960 (when the population of the entire United States was just 178 million).
And in 2050, let’s say that “white, non-Hispanic” Americans make up just 50% of the U.S. population (as opposed to the 63% of today). What will that mean?
Because the total population of the country is projected to be about 400 million in 2050, it will mean that there will still be about 200 million white Americans living in the United States.
The country, in other words, will have the ethnic look and feel of California (where the white population represents about 39% of the population). Politically, economically, and culturally, California is a terrific place to live, and that’s where the country as a whole is headed.
Republicans can adjust to this reality or get used to being, in every election cycle going forward, ever more slightly marginalized (as the Republican Party has in California since its notorious push for Proposition 187–an anti-immigrant ballot proposal–in the early 1990s).
So if I were a white Republican, I’d move to California and put my kids in public school there. I wouldn’t cloister them in home school or decide to raise them in a so-called “whitopia” like Idaho. And if I were a young Republican with political ambitions, I’d study California’s history and politics and ask myself a hard question: “How can my party avoid the fate of the Republican Party in California?” Because that fate is what looms over the national Republican Party.
And I’d stop doing two things immediately:
- hating on Obama and Hillary
- opposing immigration reform and The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
Why? Because by making these lightning rods, you’re branding your party for decades to come as one that doesn’t especially like non-whites or women reaching power and doesn’t like two key things Hispanics in polls overwhelmingly like: immigration reform and Obamacare. At some point, you’ve got to find solidarity with non-white and female voters.
Good luck walking that tightrope between the Tea Party and America’s changing demographics.