Monday, March 10, 2014

The Coming Generational War in the GOP

click image to enlarge

I've written frequently about the civil war being waged in the Republican Party between the so-called GOP establishment one the one hand and the knuckle dragging, ignorance embracing elements of the Christofascists/Tea Party on the other.  But there is another civil war brewing.  It's the coming war between the libertarian leaning younger generations and the aging, angry elements of the GOP who reject modernity.  Perhaps thankfully, the latter element in the GOP is literally dying off.  But in the meanwhile, the growing division should be setting off alarm bells within the leadership of the GOP.  Andrew Sullivan sums it up well:
Perhaps the most crippling disadvantage the GOP now has is its dependence on seniors for political clout. We know just how divergent today’s generations are – to such an extent that they are effectively foreign countries to each other. 61 percent of Millennials are white, compared with over 80 percent for the pre-boomers – creating an entirely different rite of passage into adulthood. 26 percent are married, compared with 65 percent of pre-boomers and 48 percent of boomers. Millennials have far less trust in institutions, including political parties, and on social issues, Millennials are far more libertarian than their elders: marriage equality is simply a given for them, and legalizing weed a no-brainer.

On current trends, the GOP has close to no chance of winning over this demographic unless it loses its discomfort with non-whites and gays, if it pledges a re-run of George W Bush’s foreign policy, if it keeps championing the war on drugs, or the surveillance state. The widening generational gap between the parties is already unprecedented in modern times. And one segment of the voters is dying, and the other is gaining strength. Unless the GOP manages to find a way to re-brand itself with the next generation, it is facing an existence on life-support – and each pandering message to the Fox News demo will only serve to alienate Millennials.

What will be another interesting dynamic of this conflict will be the choice forced on the GOP: continuing pandering to the Christofascists or lose a majority the younger generation (56% of Republicans under 45 favor marriage equality).  I continue to be amazed that the powers that be in the GOP haven;t crunched the numbers and come to the realization that the Christofascists will be the death of the GOP.

No comments: