In using the “silent majority” language, Nixon sought to politically awaken and unify this huge chunk of the American population that had little or no voice in American media and who often did not vote. This sector of American society was very real, and very frustrated by what they believed was a degradation of America and its institutions. Nixon successfully conveyed that he understood those frustrations, and the bond he created with the “silent majority” helped bring about his landslide re-election.
So does today’s cultural upheaval compare to that of 40 years ago? There’s no doubt that the United States of 2012 is quite different from the country Nixon served.
In 1972 the nation’s population was slightly over 200 million, while today there are over 314 million of us. In 1972 over 80% of the American population was White and of European descent. Today, according to some demographic reports, Whites make up as little as 74% of the population, while there is universal agreement that this majority is rapidly eroding.
In 1972 roughly 90% of Americans identified themselves as Christian. Today that figure is approximately 73%, as other religions, and a preference for no religious affiliation at all, become more prevalent.
So the United States of 2012 is more racially and ideologically pluralistic than was Nixon’s America. Yet concerns about the degradation of America are as prevalent today as they were in 1972. And while the radicalized influences that sought to upend the foundations of America were playing out on college campuses and in local communities across the country forty years ago, today they are in the White House, itself, and Americans sense the dangers that this poses.
Despite his promises of unifying America, President Barack Obama has exacerbated our divisions and violated many of our common understandings of right and wrong. When Arizona and Alabama sought two years ago to clarify the rule of law as it regards legal and illegal immigration, our President sided with the U.N., China, the dictator of Venezuela and Mexican President Felipe Calderon in opposing these two states, and then punished the residents there with costly federal lawsuits.
When South Carolina and Florida pursued voter ID laws so as to prevent non-citizens from voting, President Obama sued them to prevent the laws from being implemented. When Ohio sought to streamline early voting for military service personnel, President Obama sued Ohio to stop the troops from voting.
President Obama praises government employees, but calls private business owners “greedy.” As his policies have expanded government dependency, removed the work requirement for welfare, decreased the workforce participation rate and run-up over $5 trillion in deficit spending, he insists that he is moving our country “forward.”
Mr. Obama has undercut our nation’s ally Israel in the Middle East, but calls militant Islamists in the region our “friends” – even as they kill American civilians, military personnel, and a U.S. Ambassador (Christopher Stevens). And while his predecessor oversaw the construction of an offshore detention center (Guantanamo Bay) in which to detain and interrogate foreign terror suspects, President Obama has sought to welcome those very dangerous characters into the domestic U.S. and grant them access to American courts.
Indeed, we are surrounded by left-wing cultural chaos. What was once wrong is now right, and right is now wrong, in Obama’s America. If Mitt Romney can continue to convince America that he is as keenly aware of America’s degradation as millions of the rest of us are, he may find a majority of us standing with him in November.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.