News from the Near Future

NB: All statistics in this essay are from Pew Research unless otherwise noted.

Republicans face an existential crisis, but they have a plan.

First, young people don’t share their ideologies (racism, ultranationalism, laissez-faire Capitalism, fundamentalist Christianity). Consider Millennials. Only 12 percent describe themselves as “Mostly conservative” or “Consistently conservative.” Only 29 percent say that “belief in God is necessary to be moral.” 67 percent (two-thirds) support government health care coverage for all. 77 percent think that the way to achieve peace is through “good diplomacy.” 68 percent say that the country should make changes to achieve racial equality. 79 percent say that immigrants strengthen the country. 73 percent support gay marriage. 62 percent say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. 81 percent say that there is solid evidence of global warming. 70 percent say that they would vote for a Socialist. Only 32 percent say that they are “Republican” or “Lean Republican.” Only 27 percent approved of Trump’s job performance. In recent midterms, only 29 percent supported Republican candidates.

Second, the demographics of the country are changing in ways that do not favor Republicans. Even though Trump has often claimed, in his racist way, that “The Blacks love Trump,” only 19 percent of Black men and 9 percent of Black women voted for Trump. Overall, according to Roper, 87 percent of Blacks voted for Biden, 65 percent of Hispanics, 61 percent of Asian Americans, and 55 percent of people of other nonwhite racial groups.

And, of course, these two sets of facts are related. Younger cohorts are more racially and ethnically diverse. The percentage of whites in the U.S. is declining. According to the Brookings Institution, the decline in percentage of the white population was just shy, by a fraction of a percentage point, of 20 percent since 1980. 79 percent of Silent Generation Americans were white, 72 percent of the Boomers, 61 percent of Gen X, and 56 of Millennials.

Furthermore, with quite minor exceptions, these gains for progressives and losses for Conservatives have held consistent, as trends, in every case, over DECADES.

Now, you might be thinking that, well, of course young people are progressives, but as they grow older, they become more conservative. That’s the conventional wisdom. But as is often the case with received ideas, that’s wrong. Political scientists have done many studies of this question. Political leanings tend to persist over the lifespan. (You might be surprised to find that for most of the Vietnam War, most young people in the U.S. approved of it, and most older people opposed it. So, the emergence of Reaganism wasn’t that surprising after all.)

But, back to the current situation. The complex of idiocy and reaction that is Repugnicanism is dying. So, what’s a fire-breathing Repugnican to do? How does the GOP, the Greying Old Party, keep from going the way of the Know-Nothings?

Well, the do-or-die moment is coming. Thanks to gerrymandering, laws to restrict access to voting, voter apathy (the tendency of people not to vote in Midterms, for example), Republicans have an opportunity, in 2022, to retake complete control of the Senate and the House. If (when?) that happens, the Republicans won’t need Manchin and Sinema to render the Biden administration ineffectual and sway people against it. Then, if (when?) they take the Presidency in 2024 because the Democratic Party has once again chosen a “moderate” who will inspire no one, the Repugnicans will control it all. And they can even, with a simple majority vote, expand the already conservative Supreme Court into an ultra-right-wing nationalist Extreme Court, pass a version of the German Enabling Act to be rubber stamped by that court, and dramatically restrict voting rights.

And that’s how a minority party regains and retains power. By becoming a Fascist party and engineering a Fascist state. The Fascists love iconography. Perhaps they should chuck the elephant and adopt a Phoenix symbol for this, The Party, rising from THE ASHES OF DEMOCRACY.

All this seems quite possible. In fact, right now, it’s looking highly probable, that we are Germany in 1932. There’s a flaw at the heart of democracy that Fascists can exploit: Just once, you have to get enough people to vote against themselves. The founders of the United States could not envision the fatal combination of near universal suffrage with mass consumer culture idiocy.

The fall of American democracy will happen while people are busy watching Spiderman: No Way Home on their TVs and eating chips from a bag that was 3/4ths empty when they opened it. That mostly empty bag is deeply symbolic.

Not with a bang but a whimper. A pfoooot of the kind that comes when opening that bag of potato chips.

BUT, the Repugnicans have no notion how impossible it will be for them to establish an autocratic, ultra-nationalist, fundamentalist Christian, fascist state here. Why? Most people are light years beyond them, already in another galaxy far, far, away.

Don’t be too quick to stand on the aircraft carrier, in 2025, and announce, “Mission Accomplished,” Pugs. Be careful what you wish for.

Copyright 2022. Robert D. Shepherd. All rights reserved. This essay may be reprinted or shared IF it is done so in its entirety and if authorship credit is given. I want to make sure that my name comes up in the show trials. LOL.

About Bob Shepherd

interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation
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10 Responses to News from the Near Future

  1. Jon Awbrey says:

    (sp) endangered feces

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Roy Turrentine says:

    I did not see this post until you posted the link on Ravitch site. You make some dire predictions here. I am looking forward to telling you how wrong these predictions are. I am praying fervently that none of this happens. Unfortunately, I cannot really influence the path toward these predictions due to the geographical position I occupy. As a minority in my voting region, my voice is effectively silenced.

    The interesting thing about the conservative voters I know is thaat they perceive themselves as victims of a liberal domination. Liberals dominate them by changing societal views on religion, social values, and government. Any deviation from what each of these people believe is taken as placing them in a position of victimhood. They are victims of the LGBTQ movement. Roe v Wade victimizes their view of morality. And on and on. All of this while their views, held by a minority of Americans, are the dominant way the law reads. The entrenching of their dogmatism is evident is laws being passed in certain states that will restrict voting by populations that naturally oppose them. Can they gerrymander forever? The Democrats did not find it possible in the last generation. Nor will this group. They will be forced to govern by fiat eventually.

    What then? The fire next time? capitulation? Hard to say.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bob Shepherd says:

      They can’t simply gerrymander their way forward. The tide of change, among young people, demographically, is POWERFULLY against them. This is their do-or-die moment. They are going to have one shot at it, and they know it. Unfortunately, too many Democrats don’t. The only way that they will continue to exist as a significant party 20 years from now is if they seize this moment and rise Phoenix-like from the ashes of Democracy. Listen carefully to their leaders. They know this.

      Like

    • Bob Shepherd says:

      They have to seize enough control that they can suppress voting rights in a really big way and start indoctrinating a new generation of young people. This is their one show (2022-24), and they know it. Otherwise, they are history.

      Like

    • Bob Shepherd says:

      Their continued existence as a party depends upon, REQUIRES, shifting to overt fascist rule.

      Like

    • Bob Shepherd says:

      Trump loved to say, in his racist way, The blacks, they love Trump.” 93 percent of black people voted against him. And 60-70 percent of young people say they would vote for a Socialist presidential candidate. They Pugs know that they can no longer rely on the ignorance of the populace, on manufactured consent, and distracting entertainments. They move now to establish fascist control, or they go extinct. All their beautiful rapaciousness, washed away by a tide they have not been able to control.

      Like

    • Roy Turrentine says:

      I think they are banking on winning enough states to use the senate to dominate the rest of the legislative process. Their base constantly posts maps of the country, making the argument that the majority of the geography is for the Republicans. They are banking on the power of the few being able to hold sway over the many because the few are invested with power through the Senate.

      The Polandizing of Nashville (it was gerrymandered out of a congressional seat i the recent re-districting) is a good example of what will happen. Napoleon and Alexander divided hapless Poland between their dominant armies back in that day, effectively rendering them powerless. Nashville will be powerless now, perhaps for a generation. But what will occur to change that? Will the peaceful transfer of power keep the wolf of tyranny from the door of the people? Or will some future generation of people feel so powerless that they cannot keep from insurrection?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bob Shepherd says:

        Great analogy, Roy! My take, as you know, is that the Pugs will take this last shot and, by 2025, have gained the power they need to establish a fascist state with absolute minority Party control. But here’s the problem for them, why they won’t be able to stand on an aircraft carrier and declare, truthfully, “Mission Accomplished” come 2025: They have no notion how backward they are, how far behind most Americans, and especially behind the young people coming up. They will respond to the inevitable dissent, protests, with ever-increasing totalitarian violence, ofc. We’re in for a rough time. –NostraBobus

        Like

      • Bob Shepherd says:

        Among young people, for every deeply confused Kyle Rittenhouse, there are 20 AOCs.

        Like

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