The Republican Party has adopted an old chestnut, the fear that demographers have been predicting that the "White Race" will soon lose its status as the majority, and will be replaced by people of color. Yes, "white" people, both in the US and in Europe, are having declining birth rates. Even the most fertile non-white people are beginning to have the same decline in fertility. The decline in birthrates everywhere should be applauded! This means that women are having more autonomy over their bodies, economies are improving, and a lower footprint in the world may well save us from the disaster of climate change.
However, a handful of undereducated and violent white men interpret this population change as an attack on their manhood. Their fear is stupid. The only issue that should concern them would be culture change: loss of democracy, holidays, and national identity.
We still celebrate Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year?s Day, and Valentine?s day, all particularly secular and very popular celebrations all Americans enjoy. American holidays are so popular that they have spread to the rest of the world, to the annoyance of autocrats everywhere. The new phenomenon of Hindu fundamentalism in India has prompted government outrage over the popularity of Christmas and Valentine?s Day, and even the Scandinavian children have adopted Halloween. This is a triumph of American culture.
One particular area of Republican concern is that new immigrants will pour over the border and vote Democratic. New immigrants do not vote until they obtain citizenship, a lengthy process. Furthermore, they do not automatically vote Democrat. Immigrants from autocratic countries, both left and right-wing, are usually conservative.
Immigrants from Cuba and Hungary are predominantly Republicans. Uneducated immigrants take much longer to get citizenship. Their born-in-America children who can vote often do not do so, and when they do, there is no guarantee that they will be democrats.
The only reason that there could be a permanent Democrat majority is that Republicans have lost much of their former appeal, "replaced" by the violent, resentful White males who marched with torchlight, chanting "Jews will not replace us." The fact is that the Jewish population in modern America is in decline, so that they will not replace these fascist White men in numbers, only in achievement and intelligence.
One of the most bitter complaints of the neo-fascists (everywhere in the world) is the rising power of women. They remember fondly the good old days when wife-beating was not a crime, when women could be raped in marriage because they were men?s property, and when women had no control over childbearing or family finances. And yes, bright women replace stupid men in the workplace.
The first things that dictators do is to regain control over women. Iran?s Ayatollah Khomeini outlawed contraceptives because he wanted more babies for his army. Turkey?s elected dictator scolded Turkish women for not staying home and having babies for the state. Hitler and Franco did the same. The anti-abortion movement is the same: more white babies, please! Putin has made the same complaint about women, understandable considering their population crash.
If we ever see the rebirth of a classical conservative party, it will always be a minority party but will serve as a check when the majority democrats make poor choices. That is not a bad thing.
Many of us have a rosy version of our past; however, change is a natural part of life. Would any of us really want to go back to the past if we could not choose our gender or class or race?
Would we really prefer the 1776 America without polio vaccine (Jews), pasta and pizza (Italians), Chinese food (Chinese), chili and tacos (Mexicans), hotdogs and hamburgers (Germans)? And on Thanksgiving, do we remember the people we replaced, the Native Americans, who gave us Turkey, cranberries, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, and beans?
Nobody is really replaced, just added. And we do not lose our culture when we are outnumbered if our culture is worth having. This is a much better country today than it was in 1776.
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of "How Do You Know That? Contact her at Lfarhat102@gmail.com or www.globalthink.net.