The Presidential campaign will be covered today like it were a horse race. Today Republicans and Democrats will hold their breath to see who won that race. But anxiety over any one campaign can make it hard to discern larger, slower, movements on which our true hopes may ride.
Paul Taylor at the Pew Research Center has noted of the United States that, “…we are in midpassage of a big, centurylong demographic change,” He notes that in 1950 the nation was 87% white, but by 2050, whites will fall beneath 50% for the first time.
The Republican strategy to focus on a white males domographic, peppered by token people of color, has always been wrong but it will grow increasingly absurd. Their strategy may or may not cost them this particular race, but the writing is on the wall. Only 10% of the current Republican Party consists of people of color. The old line some Republicans use about “playing the race card” everytime someone brings up an issue important to Black and Hispanic voters will soon be understood not only as racist, but as an act of denial.
The article linked below says that “by 2050, minorities will be the majority.” But that phrase, too, is an act of denial. When people of color become the majority population, by definition, they won’t be minorities any more. They will no longer be asked to fit in Black History Month, or along the edges of European culture. In other words, the United States will have to change how we think about the world.
Whoever wins today’s election will not effect the demographic sunami headed our way. Every year for the rest of our lives America will look a little a little less like an episode of the Osmonds, and a little more like the rest of the people on planet earth. That re-entry into the human family, and not any one election, is where our ultimate hope lies.