Ezra Klein: Democracy Dies by GOP Not Rolling Over for Dems
The problems in American democracy run far deeper than Trump.
By Ezra Klein@ezraklein Feb 2, 2018, 8:10am EST
… Making our present moment yet more combustible is a deep transformation of our political coalitions:
The nonwhite share of the Democratic vote rose from 7 percent in the 1950s to 44 percent in 2012. Republican voters, by contrast, were still nearly 90 percent white into the 2000s. So as the Democrats have increasingly become a party of ethnic minorities, the Republican Party has remained almost entirely a party of whites.
And it doesn’t stop there:
As the political scientist Alan Abramowitz points out, in the 1950s, married white Christians were the overwhelming majority — nearly 80 percent — of American voters, divided more or less equally between the two parties. By the 2000s, married white Christians constituted barely 40 percent of the electorate, and they were now concentrated in the Republican Party. …
If the definition of “real Americans” is restricted to those who are native-born, English-speaking, white, and Christian, then it is easy to see how “real Americans” may view themselves as declining. As Ann Coulter chillingly put it, “The American electorate isn’t moving to the left — it’s shrinking.” The perception among many Tea Party Republicans that their America is disappearing helps us understand the appeal of such slogans as “Take Our Country Back” or “Make America Great Again.” The danger of such appeals is that casting Democrats as not real Americans is a frontal assault on mutual toleration.
Whereas importing foreign ringers to vote Democratic is the epitome of All-American fair play. Similarly, ginning up Hate Whitey campaigns to hold your coalition of the fringes together is something George Washington would have approved of.