View full issue

This link was published in:

For Now, Links!

by M.G. Siegler


The Coming G.O.P. Apocalypse

David Brooks:

But it’s hard to look at the generational data and not see long-term disaster for Republicans. Some people think generations get more conservative as they age, but that is not borne out by the evidence. Moreover, today’s generation gap is not based just on temporary intellectual postures. It is based on concrete, lived experience that is never going to go away.
Unlike the Silent Generation and the boomers, millennials and Gen Z voters live with difference every single day. Only 16 percent of the Silent Generation is minority, but 44 percent of the millennial generation is. If you are a millennial in California, Texas, Florida, Arizona or New Jersey, ethnic minorities make up more than half of your age cohort. In just over two decades, America will be a majority-minority country.

It’s tempting to think this point of view is wrong — certainly when it’s written in The New York Times! — because it has been wrong in the past. That this is all cyclical in nature and the Republicans will come back around. But it’s not wrong, it’s just early. And I think the Republican Party has a classic case of Anagnorisis (another example) right now — they know it’s over, so they’re doing everything possible to change that equation, or use the last bit of influence to shape the future. 

In that context, Donald Trump actually sort of makes perfect sense. He’s the last desperate — extremely desperate — attempt to hang on by a group that has already lost their relevancy to time and will never get it back. 

That’s not to say the Democratic Party is perfect. Far, far, far from it. But for all their faults, they didn’t go Trump. I would bet that in 20 years, the Republican Party will be something else. It may still be called the Republican Party, but it will not be what we have now. Time and demographics and ultimately choices have destroyed that party.


Want to receive more content like this in your inbox?