The latest Newsweek cover declares Republicans “history” because they are old and white, but I noticed something shortly after the election that ought to give the pundits repeating that line pause: the oldest states overwhelmingly supported Obama. In fact, Vermont, which is one of the oldest and whitest states in the US, gave Obama a full 67% of its votes. Maine, which is the oldest state in the US (and another one of the whitest), gave him 56%. The only old state in which Obama lost was West Virginia.
The youngest states – Utah, Alaska, Idaho and Texas – all went solidly Republican.
For years, I’ve noticed that old white liberals consistently portray their political rivals as, well… Old and white. It’s as though they are stuck back in 1972, and think they are still 20-somethings battling Richard Nixon. It’s both amusing and annoying at the same time, but for once I’d like to see some honesty about this issue.
Apparently, Obama won largely on the old, white vote, especially in the old, white stronghold of the Northeast.
Why are white liberal states so old? Because liberals don’t have many children. And because they are still firmly attached to the old American Republican/Democrat paradigm (which is, for better or worse, finally crumbling), they are quite fearful of being outbred by their conservative rivals. This is why they cling to the hope that young minorities will join them in their high-minded Puritan ideals and lifestyle, which is not going to happen, but hey, they’ll be dead by that time anyway.
So, allow me to predict a bit of what the American political future will look like based on demographics:
White people will be more conservative, minorities will remain as they are (i.e. they’ll vote Democrat but will not be “liberals”), and white liberals will be largely dead or in nursing homes (real estate is going to be pretty cheap in New England in a decade or so). Young liberals, AKA progressives, will constitute a shrinking proportion of the national population. The SWPL lifestyle will be marginalized, the country will be divided roughly in two between whites and minorities, and we’ll begin to see the emergence of truly distinct populations separated by ethnicity and geography, and probably language in some cases.
Yes, it’s true: Old white people – like all old people – are on the way out. But the old whites with kids and grandkids will see their legacy carry on. Old white liberals, not so much.