A look at the states with the biggest growth over the past decade shows many of them have moved toward Democrats, including Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia (Obama was a surprise winner in all three, which had gone for President Bush in 2004). A look at the county-by-county growth in these states shows that the growth is focused in urban and Democratic areas — Las Vegas-based Clark County, Charlotte-based Mecklenburg County and the Research Triangle in North Carolina, and Northern Virginia all grew the fastest. That suggests that the growth is occuring in Democratic areas.Anytime I post these kinds of demographic trends and their implications, my fellow conservatives always think that I am arguing that Republicans should become less conservative in order to appeal to the urban, racially diverse moderates that lean Democrat. Not so. Republicans should never back down from their conservative mindset.
It has more to do with messaging than principle. It is the rhetoric that we use when referring to immigrants. It is the way in which we describe the first African American president of the United States. It is the knee-jerk discourse we use when blasting the other side. It is the way that we deliberately misrepresent basic facts. It is the way that we refuse to address issues important to urbanites. It is the way that we divide the United States into real Americans and not-so-real Americans.
The American government still spends too much money and there are still terrorists who want to do the United States harm, but we will never be able to offer a long term alternative form of government if we do not recognize the value that all Americans have. Politics is about convincing people. Conservative leaders today speak at their base. They engage in identity politics that is heavy in populist catch phrases meant to disparage any group of people not already in the base. This type of politics is short-sided at best.
I still have hope that the conservative movement can turn around. In fact, it will have to turn around. The demographic trends demand so.
Cross posted at The Cross Culturalist.