Republican Leader Rush Limbaugh: The Cutting Edge of Societal Evolution—or the Spokesperson for a Fast-Shrinking Demographic Dinosaur?

Is a demographic vise closing in on the GOP?

Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist writing for Time magazine, thinks so, and puts in a warning: Republican “elephants” need to become less hostile toward Hispanic immigration (and Hispanics in general). They also need to become more youth friendly and more libertarian with regard to social issues (like gay rights). If they don’t, they will unceremoniously go the way of their Ice Age mammoth cousins (and into a chilly electoral oblivion).

Murphy’s article is titled, appropriately, “The Ice Age Cometh”.

Here, for example, is what he observes about the Hispanic vote:

It was a huge shock to the GOP when Barack Obama won Republican Indiana last year. The bigger news was how he did it. Latino voters delivered the state. Exit polls showed that they provided Obama with a margin of more than 58,000 votes in a state he carried by a slim 26,000 votes. That’s right, GOP, you’ve entered a brave new world ruled by Latino Hoosiers, and you’re losing. In 1980, Latino voters cast about 2% of all votes. Last year it was 9%, and Obama won that Hispanic vote with a crushing 35-point margin. By 2030, the Latino share of the vote is likely to double. In Texas, the crucial buckle for the GOP’s Electoral College belt, the No. 1 name for new male babies—many of whom will vote one day—is Jose.

In other words, even states like Texas can no longer be taken for granted.

So change or die.

It simply will no longer do for Republicans to just think about evolution in the context of school board politics.  They’ve got to think about their own evolution, and how to survive in a dramatically altered climate. In the past, Rush Limbaugh has claimed that he and his enthusiastic listeners (such as Dick Cheney) constitute a revolutionary vanguard “on the cutting edge of societal evolution.” How wrong he is, unless he means that he and his listeners are dinosaurs who are gallantly, and in the name of principle, laying their collective necks before the cutting knife-edge of a demographic swing that may well bring them, for all practical purposes, to a place of near permanent political marginalization and, ultimately, to an ignoble extinction.

Can we say “Limbaughtomysaurus” and “Cheneysaurus Rex”?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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