The Republican Party, most will agree, is at an all-time high, while the Democratic party, most will agree, is at an all-time low. Some have even gone as far to say that the Democratic Party is collapsing, falling apart, or imploding. Is this an accurate assessment or just the wishful thinking of partisan activists? There is ample evidence to show that the Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders have plenty of reason to be worried.
Except for the last decade, Democrats typically were the majority in the American government--the very time America rose from an isolationist afterthought to the world’s only superpower. Republican success on a national level can be traced back to the “southern strategy,” a racist, minority baiting plan to get white southerners to vote Republican because African-Americans were associated with Democrats. By all accounts, it worked well for them, and the strategy continues today as it has morphed into the “gay-baiting strategy,” aimed at the same individuals with the same types of prejudices.
But is this strategy a long-term winner? Many have written about how population growth in “red states” exceeds that of “blue states” and have concluded that this bodes well for the Republican Party. The analysis is superficial, however, because it does not look at why the population is increasing and it assumes “red states” will always remain that way. Take, for instance, Nevada, a red state that is growing rapidly. A large portion of that growth comes from California, one of the bluest states in the country, and as we have witnessed, George Bush won Nevada by only 10,000 votes. Due to the high influx of Californians, had the election been replayed today, Bush may have lost Nevada to John Kerry. Similar trends are occurring in Florida where east-coast liberals are moving there en masse to retire. In Texas, as well as many other western states like Colorado, the majority of the growth is from Latinos and Latino immigrants, the majority of whom vote Democratic.
Compounding the future problems for Republicans is the fact that they are fighting squarely against the things Americans believe in. Large majorities of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction, that Bush doesn’t share their priorities, that the war in Iraq wasn’t worth it, that stem-cell research should be pursued, that Democrats have a better plan for Social Security, that Democrats will protect the environment better, and that the President can’t be trusted. Most people can’t think of anything Congress has done except for intruding in the Terri Schiavo case, and almost everyone disapproved of that. By an overwhelming 2-1 margin, Americans do not want Roe v. Wade overturned; yet President Bush has nominated John Roberts for a position as a Supreme Court justice, where he is all but certain to help overturn the case.