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10 Things That Terrify Right-Wingers

These are some of the things that keep American conservatives awake at night.

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Ah, but there’s a conundrum! It’s Article 3, which gives the Supreme Court the power to say whether a law oversteps the powers designated to the Federal Government. Believe it or not, the Founders never intended for the most reactionary law enforcement personnel in the country to decide disputes between the states and the central government, so they created a court to do that job. It’s one of the enumerated powers in the Constitution!

5. Plotting Global Elites 

Somewhat lost in the brouhaha over Kentucky senate candidate Rand Paul’s views of the Civil Rights Act was his worry over the coming of the “Amero,” the official currency of the absolutely terrifying North American Union to come.  

It’s an increasingly popular conspiracy theory about a group of shadowy and mostly nameless international "elites" who are planning to "replace the United States" -- in the words of Jerome Corsi, a key figure in the SwiftBoat Veterans for Truth project and a leading NAU conspiracist -- with a transnational government. The theory holds that the borders between Mexico, Canada and the United States are in the process of being erased, covertly, by a group of "globalists" whose ultimate goal is to replace national governments in D.C., Ottawa and Mexico City with a single trinational state ruled by a bloated EU-style bureaucracy. 

The North American Union story is an offspring of the John Birch Society Right, with its simmering xenophobia and paranoia. It’s terrifying, but fortunately it’s also completely baseless

It should go without saying that the Tea Partiers are also a bit apprehensive about the conservative establishment-types because the latter are elitists who live in high-rent cities along the coasts. Much of their alarm was of course stoked by those slick political operatives with partisan ambitions in mind. But once stirred to fear, a group of terrified people can be tough to control. The political hacks find the Tea Partiers useful, but no doubt also look upon them with some trepidation because they’re crazy and might hurt someone. That, combined with a changing electorate, causes conservative leaders -- ostensibly sensible people -- an entirely different set of anxieties. Their fear can be summed up as: Oh My God, We Won’t Be Able to Win a Race for Dog-Catcher Outside the Deep South! 

6. The Decline of Married White Christians 

This one worries the operative class: the decline of married white people who identify as “Christians.” The GOP relies on them -- they represent the party’s most loyal demographic.  

To be clear, there are a lot of white people, a lot of married people, and a lot of people who say they’re Christians. But the share of American voters who are white and married and identify as Christians has been in a long and steep decline, and by every estimate will continue to fall. 

That tidbit comes from an analysis by Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz. As he put it, “In American politics today, whether you are a married white Christian is a much stronger predictor of your political preferences than your gender or your class — the two demographic characteristics that dominate much of the debate” among the pundits. These two bone-chilling graphics reveal the trend: 

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That’s the base, and it’s shrinking fast: 

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(click for larger version)

7. The Graying of the Culture Warriors 

Because the plenty-plaint is so flexible, you can rest assured that tomorrow’s conservatives will never run out of wedge social issues. Nonetheless, some of the most popular aren’t being embraced by the kids these days, and that’s cause for alarm among those trying to win some elections. 

 
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