It is the day after the election. It doesn’t matter what your preference was as that is not what this post is about. This morning there are some very clear facts which can no longer be ignored.
Where I am at, there are a lot of white evangelicals and they are stunned. I see their status updates on Facebook acting as though they just were stricken by one of the ten plagues and in running into people today there is a visible shock, dazed gaze etched on their faces.
If anything is clear from this election it is the racial divide. The only ethnic group Romney carried were whites. He got 59% of them. Obama got around 93% of blacks, over 70% each of Latinos and Asians. 60% plus of all other groups. In each election cycle the white percentage of voters decreases by almost 2%.
This morning, I think for the very first time, many whites woke up and realized they aren’t alone. They can’t call the shots by themselves anymore. It can be disconcerting to realize you are no longer the group but instead of showing the fear which is being expressed everywhere today, one should ask themselves how they can reach a consensus with the other groups. After all, government is never about one group but all groups.
You may think I am exaggerating in how shocked certain communities are. Religious whites today have been sending each other comforting religious messages, calling their preachers to try and reach some understanding. There has to be a contingency plan for this in the Bible right? It sounds crazy but they had so convinced themselves that a wrong would be made right yesterday that they are now at a loss where to turn.
One problem is how isolated these groups are in real life. They never venture outside their little world. They make no effort to learn about other groups. If they had, they would’ve seen yesterday coming. For them the election was driven by their scorn, at times right out hatred, of Obama. That isolation plus that obsessive hatred made yesterday a shockwave for them.
The demographics in this country won’t change and there is no reason they should. Immigration will continue and the white population will continue to shrink. It is a given. The challenge facing the white population will be if they dig in, circle the wagons, become even more isolated and let their scorn dictate their actions or do they look at it, realize the future, and plan to make a more integrated society. I think the younger generation is more likely to choose the latter.
If the white community becomes an isolated block this will spell trouble. I don’t see how it won’t lead to a rise in violence especially in the wake of immigration reform which is going to be coming down the legislative pike in Obama’s second term.
The religious right will use social issues such as gay marriage or pot legalization – two big winners yesterday – to whip up their fury. Some of this is generational but a lot is born out of that isolation I mentioned. If you spend all your time attacking the sinners of the world, attacking science and medicine, or the concept that the U.S. needs the world as much as they need the U.S., then what is left to prompt you to reach out to anyone else?
There is a crossroads here. One that many are passing through without taking much notice. The aftermath of the election doesn’t bode for a smooth future.