I wish I could say that I was the genius who first realized this, but I cannot. The redoubtable Ruy Texeira and John Judis wrote a book way back in 2002 postulating that changing demographics and changing ideology among the younger generations would create “the Emerging Democratic Majority.” You do not have to wonder if Texeira and Judis were right; the Republicans sure believe they’re the minority party these days, or they wouldn’t be so addicted to voter suppression.
But you can judge for yourself. Wrote Texeira and Judis: “…it is fair to assume that if Democrats can consistently take professionals by about 10 percent, working women by about 20 percent, keep 75 percent of the minority vote, and get close to an even split of white working-class voters, they will have achieved a new Democratic majority.” Barack Obama outperformed with professionals and minorities and kept enough white working-class voters to get elected in 2008 and 2012. So did Joe Biden in 2020, increasing Hilary Clinton’s margin with suburbanites by nearly 10%, maintaining her margin with minorities, and increasing his votes from white non-college graduates to 33%.
But I think that perennial Democratic majority is going to emerge sooner rather than later — not thanks to corporate Democrats’ pathetic responses but to rampant stupidity. I think you know where this is going.
The older generation of Americans is whiter, more conservative, more racist, and more Republican than the nation as a whole. Gen Z and Millennials went for Biden by about 20 points. In 2020, Boomers and their parents were 44% of the electorate. Boomers split evenly between Biden and Trump – but what if there were fewer Boomers, specifically those sporting MAGA hats?
We’ve known for a while that counties that went for Trump have more COVID-19 deaths — considerably more — than counties that went for Biden. Citizens in Democratic counties (regardless of their political affiliation) are more likely to social-distance, wear masks, stay at home more, etc. But the disparity has gotten even greater since the emergence of the Delta variant, with counties where Trump won 70% of the vote dying at nearly five times the rate of counties that went 69% for Biden.
John Nolte, a senior writer at Breitbart, spun a crackpot conspiracy theory — the type of over-the-top Breitbart nonsense that needs no rebutting — about Democrats using reverse psychology on MAGA morons, but he did say one thing that’s true: “Right now, a countless number of Trump supporters believe they are owning [emphasis in the original] the left by refusing to take a lifesaving vaccine. In a country where elections are decided on razor-thin margins, does it not benefit one side if their opponents simply drop dead?”
Well, yes, it does.
And expect the disparity to get worse. Far-right Republicans villainize anything that might actually reduce death rates. A conservative Christian who wrote an op-ed in USA Today on why he got the COVID-19 vaccine got fired from his job as a spokesman for NRB (National Religious Broadcasters). They equated his pro-vaccine message as “insubordination” because NRB was staying “neutral” on whether it’s OK to save lives. Senator Lindsey Graham was booed for asking his audience to at least consider getting vaccinated. As Washington Post columnist Eugene Robison wrote recently: “…the whole charade involves Republican officials — many of them educated at the nation’s top schools — betting that their constituents are too dumb to know they’re being lied to. So far, the bet is paying off.” And no reason to think that the gullible will wise up anytime soon, no matter how many relatives die. At the same time, minorities, who were more reluctant, are catching up with their White counterparts, thanks to President Joe Biden’s outreach programs.
As NPR’s Domenico Montanaro noted, it was “just 44,000 votes in Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin that separated Biden and Trump from a tie in the Electoral College.” As more and more either die outright or succumb to long-haul COVID in Trump country, states that were once swing states will turn blue and red states will become swing states (I’m talking about you, Arizona and Georgia). You won’t see as many crazy anti-CRT anti-maskers at school board meetings, won’t see as many MAGA hats at the grocery store, won’t see as many Don’t Tread on Me flags in yards. They’ll be otherwise engaged.