Thesis: As the white demographic wanes, there will be a consolidation of whites into a Republican coalition including those that would be presently described as either “liberal” or “conservative.”
In a democracy, we do not only vote for particular policies, we also shape our voting preferences in response to the – revealed and stated – preferences of others. The more alike the members of a society are, the more opportunity there is for politicians to appeal to more specific voting blocs of that society. For example, if 100% of the members of a democratic society supported gun rights, then some politicians would differ from each other by approving of policies to subsidize gun ownership. On the other hand, in our society there is more of a split between some supporting gun rights and others supporting gun control, so politicians tend to differ by supporting those policies, respectively. As a general rule, the narrower the overall range of opinions of citizens in a democratic society, the more specific will be the policies that politicians give approval to.
The consequence of this general rule is that, the wider the range of opinions, the less specific will be the policies that politicians differ from each other by. This is what we are observing with the expansion of the US citizenship to include immigrants from many places all around the world, of very different cultures and socioeconomic positions. The result will be politicians taking more general policy perspectives, as it becomes necessary for the individual voter to join broader coalitions to find representation of their views in government. This leads to what I am calling the white nationalist hypothesis: as the white demographic wanes, whites will end up voting more as a coalition than they presently do.
This is because minorities, with their distinct incentives and policy preferences (which differ as much from whites as they do with other minority groups), will tend to vote along group lines, both cultural and ethnic. The policies of their politicians will appeal to them by policies crafted to benefit them, even at the expense of other groups. That is a consequence of democracy, where people tend to vote in terms of what they believe will benefit them most of all, and it is unavoidable. As the population expands in terms of cultures and ethnic groups, the opportunities for differing groups to agree on policies shrinks, as politicians support more policies designed to appeal to specific cultural groups.
The result is that whites, as a political coalition, will become more represented as whites rather than as liberals or conservatives. It will be viewed by individual voters as necessary to maintain the representation of their interests in government, especially as the rise of minority groups – and their politicians – make policies of wealth transfer more popular. Whites will simply have less room to support policies of liberal or conservative slant when it becomes necessary to vote primarily as a coalition to support politicians who avow to protect their socioeconomic status and wealth. When it was more taken for granted in previous decades – among a white majority – that their wealth was basically not going to be transferred to others, i.e. Republicans and Democrats opposed “socialist” policies and broadly supported free markets, that gave more opportunity for politicians to differentiate themselves on more specific issues.
However, although I am calling it the white nationalist hypothesis, and whites will vote more like present white nationalists claim they would like to see, those whites are unlikely to be white nationalists per se. That is because whites will remain politically diverse, it is just that when push comes to shove, white liberals will find their incentives lining up more frequently with white conservatives than, say, with minority liberals. That is because “minority liberals” will already tend to vote along basically ethnocultural lines, differentiating themselves more from white liberals rather than white liberals cozying up closer to white conservatives. In other words, the universe of voters will expand, and although white liberals and white conservatives will remain as far apart in absolute terms as they are presently, they will be relatively nearer than their “liberal” brethren among minorities. That is because minorities will vote more as ethnocultural coalitions than as politically-minded coalitions, e.g. the Hispanic minority will seek more representation in government as Hispanics rather than as liberals.
This changes the “rules” by which Republicans and Democrats currently play in our democracy. According to the rapidly-obsolescing, mid-20th century ideal, the citizen is supposed to consider the issues on their own, and then vote for the politician that they think will best support the policies they think best address those issues. However, in the 21st century the rules will change; empirically, minority groups tend to vote as ethnocultural coalitions, rather than splitting along political lines. Even Hispanic conservatives tend to vote Democrat rather than Republican, simply because Democrats still appeal to them more as Hispanics than their sensibilities as conservatives. This becomes obvious when one considers that minority groups tend to be much more culturally conservative even than white conservatives, and still tend to support the culturally liberal Democrats!
The election of Trump can be viewed as a “pre-emptive strike” by whites against this change, even while Trump’s election actually sets the precedent to improve the likelihood of minorities voting along ethnocultural lines! From that perspective, the narrative forwarded about the ills of white nationalism is a simple, cynical strike against whites forming a coalition that would impede the opportunity for minorities to gain representation in government. Whites as a voting coalition have been divided simply because they were the majority. As their majority status wanes, and especially when they become a mere plurality, their tendency to vote as a coalition will increase. White identity as such will become hardened by the democratic process.
The candidates running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination might be the last of a dying breed. Although politicians like Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker have made quite ham-fisted appeals to Hispanic voters, and every candidate on the debate stage raised their hand in support of providing healthcare to illegal immigrants, the majority of them still appear to be running as classical liberal politicians. This is simply because whites remain the dominant racial group in the Democratic party, making up 60% of its members. However, in the future as Democratic candidates differentiate amongst each other to find support from voting coalitions, they will compete to gain larger swathes of support from minority groups, who otherwise tend to be treated as “already in the bag” for Democratic politicians. Politicians like Ilhan Omar are the future of the Democratic party, who make relatively naked appeals to their ethnocultural groups to gain support.
It is when the support of white liberals becomes presumed – all the while heaping abuse on them – that many younger whites will change their allegiance. They will simply observe other ethnocultural groups voting along purely ethnocultural lines, and as observing a behavior normalizes it, will begin to engage in the same tactics. The mainstream media will play a role in this, especially as the internet operates to expand the political consciousness of the people. Within 10 years, views and individuals derogated as “white nationalist” or even “white supremacist” will become popular voices in mainstream media. This will be viewed as financially expedient, as the influence of Boomers wanes and Millennials rises in the culture. This process will be part of a trend away from liberal hegemony, simply due to liberalism as such becoming less of a factor in forming political coalitions. The people will all be more liberal in general, and at the same time ethnocultural identity will also matter more for everyone. Ironically, Republicans will become the party of culturally progressive whites while Democrats become the party of culturally regressive minorities.
Of course, I could be wrong, but then again more surprising things have already happened in the last 10 years. By the time it happens, everyone will assert they always saw it coming anyway.
Is this a good thing? A bad thing? I don’t know, and won’t pretend to answer. This is simply my disinterested prediction. But, if I were a younger person interested in pursuing politics, especially if I where white, I would begin positioning myself to gain support from the future demographically-shrinking white coalition by making a presence on social media and making myself host to a wide spectrum of different political ideas.