White working class shrinking as percentage of U.S. population
Michael Lind SAYS “demographic panic” is behind the Republican Party’s pursuit of gridlock in Washington.
Having lost much of the white professional class to the Democrats (perhaps temporarily), the Republican Party is increasingly the party of the declining white working class. Non-Hispanic whites are shrinking as a percentage of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, the traditional skilled working class and lower middle class are shrinking as a proportion of the workforce, while the service sector proletariat and college-educated professionals increase their share.
To add insult to injury, the Democrats, instead of reaching out to white working-class voters, often have snobbishly dismissed them, as Obama did with his patronizing discussion of the “bitter” people.
In these circumstances, the American white working class quite naturally is experiencing “demographic panic.” Declining groups experiencing such anxieties generally focus on blocking adverse change, using the political institutions they still control. Apart from hanging on to their power as long as they can, they usually do not have programs for governing the country, something they do not expect to be able to do in the long run.