In a blog entry at ColorLines, Shani O. Hilton says that while the GOP may face a tougher time, Democrats also have to worry about changing demographics and connecting with young voters of color in November. Part of the problem is that elected officials have not made purposeful strides toward developing young leaders, who can act as catalysts to help get out the vote.
When it's time for liberals to criticize how the GOP operates — and, let's be honest, the closer we get to November, it seems to always be that time — they often go to the same well: Demographics are changing, and Republicans must either rethink how they connect with voters, or perish.
A recent piece in New York magazine by Jonathan Chait followed this trend:
The glue holding together the contemporary Republican agenda — the fierce defense of entitlement spending on the elderly, the equally fierce opposition to welfare spending on the young, the backlash against illegal immigration, the nationalist foreign policy, the cultural traditionalism — is ethnocentrism. Republicans are defending the shared cultural prerogatives of a certain group of people. That is why I am arguing that the shifting demographic tides will require the GOP to undertake a major reorientation in order to maintain its competitiveness. There's simply no way to transpose their sense of what is and what is not a legitimate government function onto a progressively younger, browner electorate. […]
There's nothing inherently wrong with this logic. Changing demographics do lead to shifts in priorities. And to an extent, it stands to reason that the GOP will be forced to rethink its strategy as the electorate becomes "progressively younger, browner."
But the GOP isn't the only party that needs to worry about this, some young Democrats say. In fact, while Republicans develop their younger branches, and conservatives funnel money into conservative youth programs, it's possible that young Democrats — especially young Democrats of color — will also need a bit of help getting their own party to adapt to the changing demographic tide.
Read Shani O. Hilton's entire blog entry at ColorLines.