The 2012 election was a watershed moment in our nation’s history. For the first time (as we’re being told) a working majority (at least those who bothered to participate) consisted of individuals whom are considered ‘minorities’ – i.e., non-white males.
Or is that really the case? Well, maybe not quite this last election, but as one editorial pointed out:
Those “demographics” — non-white voters — represented just 28 percent of the electorate in 2012, according to analysis from my Chicago-based policy shop. That 28 percent has the potential to grow exponentially in 2016, as Census data tell us that today’s age 10-19 population — many of whom will vote for the first time in the next election — is 45 percent non-white. While these youth numbers don’t correlate directly with the realities of the 2016 electorate (aside from the obvious fact that 14-year-olds can’t vote, there are compounding factors that will keep many of these youth from casting a ballot on November 8, 2016), the new demographic reality is evident. (Blogger’s note: this is my highlight). Further proof is offered by a recent PEW Hispanic Centerreport demonstrating how the Latino electorate will likely double in 2016, accounting for a jaw-dropping 40 percent of the growth in the eligible electorate over the next four years.
Call them voter ID requirements or voter suppression measures, these efforts backfired — horribly — for the GOP. An estimated 11 million Latino voters cast a ballot this year, up 13 percent from 2008’s record-breaking figure of 9.75 million. And some speculate that voter suppression was precisely what drove “angered and shocked” African-American voters to the polls — to overwhelmingly throw their support behind Obama.
Slate put it best — or at least most bluntly: “Only white people voted for Mitt Romney.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sylvia-puente/latinos-election-2012_b_2146203.html).
(And to think that the man has Mexican family roots; too bad he didn’t think of bringing that up when it might’ve helped,…).
So if 2012 didn’t really have a “non-white” majority, then we can expect this to change – sooner than expected. Welcome to Tomorrow,…
Personally, the true, overlooked irony in all of this (and perhaps I’m showing my own age) is the fact that we actually had a Presidential election choice between a African-American / Black candidate and a Mormon candidate; if you were to try telling that to people back some forty years ago, you probably would’ve been laughed out of the room.
Given the historical trials and tribulations the Mormons underwent, this is a rather remarkable event. Similarly, given the pain and suffering that African-Americans / Blacks have undergone, it is truly telling that a nation would not only allow but encourage people to rise to the best and become not only part of the fabric, but actually attain high, powerful leadership roles.
So even though the ‘last stand(ees)’ decry the changing nature of our country – i.e., the ‘there goes the neighborhood’ folk – for all practical purposes it already has happened: they threw their weight behind somebody who, but a couple of decades ago would also have been considered a total outsider: a Mormon.
Talk about radical change; but then again, this is ultimately what the United States is about.
Usually the biggest changes are the ones that creep up on you.
Some people had foreseen this event taking place: witness the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. who, during a BBC interview back in 1966 predicted that “in forty years from now, we shall have a black president.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/martin_luther_king).
But with every revolution there is a counter-revolution; some folks don’t like things to change – and this is to be expected. Witness the rise of the “Succession Petitions” – i.e., petitions submitted by people requesting to place a motion on their respective ballots to have their states succeed from the United States of America.
Fort Sumpter, anyone?
So the petitions keep on coming in: more and more people (though still few and scattered) openly speak of having their respective states separate from the United States of America.
Interestingly enough, the majority of these come from Texas, but given Texas’s prior history as (for a brief time) an independent nation, it should come as no surprise (http://www.examiner.com/article/texas-succession-request-gathers-over-113-000-signatures-historic-move).
But here’s some food for thought: checking out the election of 1860, with Abraham Lincoln’s election as President, note where Lincoln’s electoral base derived from:
Now compare this map with the 2012 presidential election:
Granted, Nevada, Washington along with Colorado and New Mexico were not states at the time of the 1860 election, but you get the picture.
What these maps show is that sadly, some things haven’t changed.
Maybe it’s no coincidence that President Obama regards Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest presidents of our nation (as was witnessed for the past several months by his pre-election day statements). And depressingly, given the attitude of some folk, maybe it shouldn’t come as any surprise: like Lincoln, people who represent change aren’t always welcomed.
It’s important to remember we’re all part of something bigger; you learn to live with that reality – and above all, with one another. Maybe that’s one important message that Thanksgiving teaches us: we all bring something to the table – and when we do, there’s more food to eat and nobody goes hungry.
Succession is not a valid option; divisiveness must stop. Recognition of the economic rights for all must be attained, otherwise it’s not going to get any easier to do any business in this country; and if you don’t believe this, then just watch China in the coming decade as they start going down a path that the United States already did – back in 1880, beginning with the labor unrests and the riots in the following years after a bloody Civil War.
We can’t afford that.
The Union: now and forever.