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Demographics Are Not Destiny

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Jeff Swinger

There is much about this election that everyone got wrong, way wrong. But the one thing that sticks out the most to me is a drum leftists have been beating for decades – that demographics are destiny. On November 3rd we saw, once again, that they are not; that people are individuals, not their skin color, and vote however they damn well please. Democrats are not prepared for this.


The idea has been around for a long time, but it’s really come into furious focus in the last decade. The Republican “autopsy” after the 2012 election bought into this leftist idea that as the country became “less white,” they’d have a harder time winning elections. Their idea was to play the game Democrats ran – pander to Hispanic voters by softening on illegal immigration. This was a stupid concept then, and it’s been proven so now.

When given the choice between Democrats and Democrat-lite, people will choose the Democrat. If it’s a race between a Democrat saying they’ll have the government give you a dollar and a Republican who’ll have the government give you fifty cents, the Democrat promising the dollar will win every time.

The problem isn’t just the promising of something “free,” but it’s that Republicans are offering less but still something. They’ve ceded the concept that government should be giving people something in the first place, and given the choice between two candidates promising to give you something, why would anyone choose the one offering less?

Republicans bought into this after 2012, not realizing voters had just rejected Mitt Romney, the perfect example of offering something less than the other guy.

Then Donald Trump came along and blew the hell out of the concept; not only not promising half a loaf, but promising to shut down the bakery while making the country a kitchen. His language was blunt, but his message was clear – he was for the exact opposite of what Democrats were offering.


This straight talk (real straight talk, not the McCain “I’m going to suck up to the media” type) was a shock to the system. Democrats and the media hated it, and it made a lot of Republicans very nervous. They were certain the focus groups and polls they’d paid for were right, that the only way to attract minority voters was to pander, and Trump wouldn’t pander.

But Donald Trump won, something no one else in the party likely could have done.

Still, even with that victory, the “demographics are destiny” crowd came roaring back.

“The numbers simply do not lie. America, as a whole, and swing states, in particular, are growing more diverse, more quickly. There is no way Republicans can change birth rates or curb this trend — and there's not a single demographic megatrend that favors Republicans,” wrote Axios in July of 2019.

In a piece entitled, “The Relentless Shrinking of Trump’s Base,” the New York Times reported just last month how a “steady decline in white voters without college degrees” would spell doom for Trump and Republicans. George Will at the Washington Post, someone I used to respect, similarly wrote in a column called, “The coming decade of Democratic dominance,” that “Demographic arithmetic is also discouraging for Trump. There are more than 5 million fewer members of his core constituency — Whites without college degrees — than there were four years ago. And there are more than 13 million more minority and college-educated White eligible voters than in 2016.”


The assumption of all these people, and many more, was that the stark choice offered to non-white voters was an easy decision – “Orange Man Bad is a racist, must vote for old white Democrat.” The left had, after all, spent every moment of four years carefully crafting that narrative, so there really wasn’t any other conceivable choice.

But a funny thing happened on the way to that election slaughter – Donald Trump racked up more than 10 million more votes than he did last time, and earned more minority votes than any Republican in 60 years. The blunt talk that was labeled “racist” by hyper-sensitive suburban liberal white people was actually seen for what it was by a lot of minorities – a candidate not sugar-coating the same gruel that leftist and leftist-lite politicians had been shoving down our throats for years and actually talking to voters the way normal people talk to each other.

Donald Trump didn’t pander. He offered a stark choice in plain language: this or that. While more people appear to have chosen “that,” President Trump proved that ideas, even when coming from an imperfect messenger and spun in every way the media could imagine, still have an audience with the American people of every configuration. So much so that Republicans, on the coattails of President Trump, won House seats no one expected with a record number of minority and women candidates, and have a better than average shot at maintaining control of the Senate.


Demographics were not, and are not, destiny. A conservative message of sovereignty, economic growth, law and order, and putting America’s interests first has an audience with every type of American, with the exception of Democrats and journalists. If Republicans are smart, which is always a big “if,” they will forget the consultants, focus groups and polls and focus on that reality.

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.

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