The 'white minority' illusion

Demographics will not be Democrats' salvation

Different faces.
(Image credit: Kubkoo/iStock)

If there's one thing that's sustained liberals through the trials of the 2016 election and its aftermath, it's faith that demography will come to their rescue to ensure that they eventually prevail against the right-wing, racist populism of the Trump-era Republican Party.

That assumption, which originated with the "emerging Democratic majority" thesis of the early 2000s, has animated a thousand tweets and undergirded an untold number of think pieces over the past year and a half. The most recent is Ezra Klein's erudite reckoning with just how much President Trump's toxic racism and xenophobia diverges from the American norm. Klein's conclusion from a perusal of American history is: not much. The United States has never been especially liberal or democratic for non-whites, and Trump represents the last gasp of those in American life who would like to keep it that way.

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