For once, I hope David Frum is right

Former Bush speech writer David Frum is a Canadian, which somehow fails to fill my breast to the bursting point with patriotic pride.

Today in the New York Times, Frum comes not to praise Karl Rove, but to bury him. I hope the following remarks prove to be prescient:

It has been apparent for many years that the Democratic base is growing faster than the Republican base. The numbers of the unmarried and the non-churchgoing are growing faster than the numbers of married and church-going Americans. The nonwhite and immigrant population is growing at a faster rate than that of white native-borns. The Democrats are the party of the top and bottom of American society; the Republicans do best in the great American middle, which is losing ground.

Mr. Rove often reminded me of a miner extracting the last nuggets from an exhausted seam.

Frum doesn’t mention that the younger generation is also less ideological over abortion and homosexuality. Taken together, it constitutes a far-reaching generational sea change that promises tough sailing for the GOP.

(By the way, someone please tell me what “GOP” stands for. I know it’s synonymous with “Republican Party”, but why?)

A post script —
The Christian Church will have to come to terms with the same demographic swing:  young caucasians who are pro-choice, “live and let live” re homosexuality, and who see no harm in sex outside of marriage; and an increasing percentage of the population who are immigrants, and therefore committed to other faiths. Hardline conservatism won’t work out any better for the Church than it has for the Republican Party.

I know, currying favour with the masses is hardly Christianity’s prime directive. But the Church must be “wise as serpents” when it comes to winning the next generation to Christ — mustn’t it? Walter Brueggemann believes the Church in the West is entering into a season of exile. I think maybe we have it coming, and it may ultimately be the path to much-needed renewal.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Random
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 07:00:33

    “Grand Old Party”.

    To be fair to Rove, he (and Bush) did see the need to reach out to immigrants and minorities – it’s just that they were unable to take the bulk of the party with them. Look at the recent immigration reform attempt for example, which often seemed to consist of the White House and the Democrats fighting the bulk of the Republican party.

    Reply

  2. aaron
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 12:37:58

    Random said:
    To be fair to Rove, he (and Bush) did see the need to reach out to immigrants and minorities – it’s just that they were unable to take the bulk of the party with them. Look at the recent immigration reform attempt for example, which often seemed to consist of the White House and the Democrats fighting the bulk of the Republican party.

    While I agree that Bush and Rove did try to reach out to a broader base, including with the immigration reform bill, the fact that they generally have failed is at least as much their own fault as it is anyone else’s in the Republican Party. The overriding strategy of Rove and Bush was to pursue division and partisanship in an effort to win elections. In so doing, they pandered to fear and intolerance (e.g., the Defense of Marriage Act, along with the efforts to put gay marriage bans on ballots across the country). That the membership of the party they played a pivotal role in shaping is just as intolerant of immigrants, and to a large extent, minorities, as it is of gays is a logical and foreseeable result.

    Reply

  3. Stephen
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 13:05:52

    Frum’s perspective seems to be that the immigration plan was an attempt to woo Hispanic voters to the Republican Party; but its only result was to alienate the Republican “base”.

    Mostly, however, Rove pandered to the base: the constant demonization of the democrats; same sex marriage; giving government funding to religious organizations. Frum comments,

    “Compassionate conservatism” started with slogans and went searching for problems to justify them. To what problem, exactly, was the faith-based initiative a solution?

    Reply

  4. addofio
    Aug 25, 2007 @ 12:35:00

    Back to the original quote: the claim that the Democratic party is the party of the top and the bottom, while the Republican party is the party of the middle class, just makes me indignant. The Republicans are MUCH more the party of the wealthy, and especially or the corporate wealthy, than the Democrats. Both have their wealthy adherents, but the Republicans are very consistent in representing and promoting the interests of the wealthy, often at the expense of pretty much everyone else.

    Both parties atract people from the wealthy to the working class. The profiles look different, but to characterize them in the simplistic way the Frum did strikes me as just another “divide and chnquer” move.

    Reply

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