November 08, 2012
But here’s the truth of demographics, and it has nothing to do with pandering to Latinos or single women in need of free rubbers or “the middle class”: fewer and fewer people are turning out for national Republican candidates because fewer and fewer people believe that the Republican Party at the national level cares a whit about individual liberty, smaller government, or constitutional first principles. They are dispirited. And they seem particularly averse to polished politicians or long-time Washington insiders.I think Jeff is onto something.
45% of eligible persons don't vote at all. They don't feel that the government works for them period. And I mean neither side. That's the long term trend for both parties despite the jump in voters after 9/11 and also Obama's first run for president.
The Dems are partially shielded from a drop in turnout among their supporters because of Obama. They want to believe, so they are giving him a try. Over time if they perceive that they were not delivered what they were promised or after Obama leaves office, I feel the trend on the left will most likely return to its long standing downward path. Especially if you look at states like Illinois where long standing Democrat rule has not resulted in promises delivered. Dems still win but overall participation continues to decline while cynicism and dropping out of the political process increase over the long term.
The WWII generation is dying off. So die hard standard rule of law, lock em up politics just don't pull as many votes, neither do social issues. And no one believes Republican are really for fiscal discipline nor limited government power. They just want to be the ones holding the power. These trends will continue as the rest of the WWII generation stops voting and more and more of the remaining electorate takes a moderate stance on social issues. The old politics of the late 20th century is fading rapidly.
I see a lot of hand wringing about how do we pull in a few more percent of a this or that ten percent minority of the electorate. But the largest untapped group is the 45% of Americans who don't vote at all.
These folks don't feel government serves them, quite to the contrary they see government as their adversary. A government that interferes with them, taxes them, fines them and does not care about their issues nor their vote. So they don't participate at all in a system that they see as hostile and deaf to their concerns.
So you can argue over how to get a few more percentage points of this or that group or you can fill your shortfall by convincing one out of five of the really large group that you do care about them. That you are about individual liberty, smaller government, or constitutional priorities. That you are there to serve their interests and protect them from an ever growing, powerful and hostile government. That you want every person to participate and feel their participation can and will make a difference. But that's a really large leap of faith for Republican leadership, one I seriously doubt they are capable of making. And if they fail to make that jump they will spend billions trying to secure small chunks of small minorities and they will fail again and again.
As this trend continues our country will be ruled by two very different, divided minorities. An increasingly shrinking political class of activists with the majority sitting the whole thing out believing that neither of side of the ruling minorities care about or serve their interest.