The Last Hurrah of Old, White America?
I’ve been told that once an approaching tsunami is sensed, many animals move inland to escape destruction. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. What is true is that old, white America – the America that remembers apple pie and Jesus Christ – senses its impending, cultural doom.
In this line of work, I have spent a lot of time with old, white America. And by “old, white America” I don’t mean solely white people, but rather the Americans who love America and her institutions despite all of her flaws. They remember times when neighbors were neighborly, when you didn’t lock your doors, when politics and civic responsibility were much more local, when tattoos and piercings were unthinkable, when police were respected, when fathers were strong, and so on. While generally associated with old, white Americans, these cultural values are also upheld by many Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other peoples of color.
Americans of such cultural inclinations sense that the America they love is being washed away by the cultural elites in our schools, media, government, and entertainment industries. As such, they feel powerless on their own. They have rallied before, but been betrayed. In desperation, they seek a strong man to upend the current order and preserve their vision of America. They have chosen Trump.
In December 2015, long before the primaries were even decided, I shared one sentence from a book published in 1934 about why Americans were attracted to FDR and the New Dealers and how the attraction to Trump is similar. Here’s the sentence:
“The starveling saints may win shrines from posterity, but the full-blooded, hearty man is the hero of his own times.”
I concluded with the following:
“Whatever your position, never forget the power of mass human psychology and the potential of those who are able to exploit it.”
As I write today, it is afternoon on Election Day. Unsurprisingly, the exit polls are vindicating my point from 2015; Americans want a strong leader – a “full-blooded, hearty man”:
“Voters heading to the polls Tuesday are twice as likely to say they want a president who is a ‘strong leader’ than in 2012, according to Morning Consult/POLITICO exit data.
More than one-third (36 percent) of 2016 voters said being a strong leader was the most important quality when picking a president, compared with 18 percent of voters who said the same during 2012 election. It’s an opinion held regardless of partisan leanings: 35 percent of Democrats, 34 percent of independents and 39 percent of Republicans said that was most important.”
If Trump wins this election, which is a very real possibility, we are in for a wild time. What would a Trump version of the New Deal look like? What would his first 100 days accomplish? What steps will he take to shore up old, white America? We can speculate based on his speeches, but we really have no idea how things will happen.
On the other hand, if Trump loses, what does the future hold for old, white America? The demographic projections are not in their favor. As the Washington Examiner noted on November 6:
“This may be the last year that a Republican will be elected president, as the growth of liberal-leaning minorities all but guarantees that Democrats will hold the majority at least for the next four decades.
That’s according to an unusual survey on the impact of minorities, mostly Latin American, done for WalletHub and provided to Secrets.
The bottom line: In no presidential election from 2020-60 do the Republicans win. The closest the Republicans come is 2020 when the Democratic vote under the 2004 model reaches 50.48 percent, WalletHub said. The widest gap is projected for 2060, when the minority population will be its biggest, delivering the Democrats 58.8 percent of the vote.
‘Since 1992, Democratic constituents have grown more ethnically diverse and less religious at a faster rate than the U.S., whereas their Republican counterparts have remained largely non-Hispanic white and become less religious at a slower pace,’ the analysis said.”
If that is the case, then what can old, white America do? Politically, they will become less and less of a power yet they will still hold most of the wealth of the nation.
Only two options are available. They can become cynical, wash their hands of politics and use their wealth to enjoy what’s left of life. Or they can still fight for their beliefs, for their America, for their civilization.
Old, white America’s future fight won’t be through politics. Rather, to have impact they must redirect their energies and wealth to organizations that are positioned to foster a long march through the institutions of America. Such organizations must be youth- and culture-oriented. Importantly, these organizations must also be able to speak the language of youth while conveying the great traditions and principles of the West – the traditions and principles grounded in a Judeo-Christian worldview that helped make America great. In other words, old, white America can plant the seeds of a “re-founding of America“, but they likely won’t see the fruits of their labors. They must be comfortable with such a reality, holding on to the hope that their grandchildren or great-grandchildren will be the benefactors of their generosity.
There is no denying that we live in a time of transition. No matter who wins the election, America will be very different moving forward. For those who believe in the traditions of the West and the importance of living according to them, our work will not end, it will evolve.