White males -- especially older, working-class, less-educated fundamentalists -- generally vote Republican in U.S. elections. But that segment of the population keeps shrinking, while other booming segments lean Democratic. Therefore, demographics signal brighter times ahead for progressive American politics.
Younger adults, women, Hispanics, blacks, Asians, gays and other minorities tend to have liberal worldviews, and now form the base of the Democratic Party. Relentlessly, bit by bit, they're rising as a larger share of the electorate.
Last year, the Bipartisan Policy Center -- the only Washington think-tank dedicated solely to teamwork between right and left -- held a seminar on political demographics. Sociologist Ruy Teixeira told the assembly that minorities rose from 15 percent of voters in 1988 to 26 percent by 2008, when they voted 80 percent Democratic.
A Governing magazine report on the seminar said:
"The growing minority vote ... the shift of white college graduates from red to blue, and the shrinking white working class ... are good omens for the left .... The Census Bureau predicts Hispanics will jump from 16 percent of the American population in 2010 to 30 percent in 2050. Over the same period, whites are projected to drop from 65 percent to 46 percent."
As we said, tides of change favor Democrats. For example, the snowballing American acceptance of equality for gays is a slap in the face to conservatives, who traditionally tried to stigmatize and punish homosexuals -- but America has turned against that bigoted view.
Here's another sign of rising Democratic advantage. Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, a former top aide to President George W. Bush, wrote last week:
"The fastest-growing religious affiliation today is the lack of religious affiliation -- the rise of the 'nones,' as in 'none of the above,' who now constitute nearly 20 percent of the population .... On the level of politics, this trend aids cultural liberalism and the Democratic Party. About 70 percent of the nones voted for President Obama. They are more liberal than the religiously affiliated on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In fact, nones are now the largest religious category in the Democratic coalition, comprising 24 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters."
While traditional church membership keeps dwindling in America, the secular segment is growing rapidly -- another bulwark for Democratic politics.
America's culture evolves constantly. We hope these trends secure humane national policies that favor average families instead of the wealthy, and lock compassionate progressive values firmly into dominance.