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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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An analysis by Columbia University statisticians found a “generation-gap” on support for same-sex marriage that they called “huge.” According to the nerds, “If policy were set by state-by-state majorities of those 65 or older, none would allow same-sex marriage. If policy were set by those under 30, only 12 states would not allow -same-sex marriage.” 

According to the Pew Social and Demographic Trends Project, “About two-thirds of people 65 and older said religion is very important to them, compared with just more than half of those 30 to 49 and 44 percent of people 18 to 29.” 

Even the rural-urban divide is becoming narrower, at least in terms of lifestyle. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, the number of Americans who hunt has dropped seven percent over the past decade, and NPR notes that “fewer young people, in particular” are taking up the sport. 

The generation gap cuts across a range of social issues -- including interracial marriage and abortion. "Around the notion of morality and work ethic, the differences in point of view are pretty much felt across the board," Pew’s Paul Taylor told the Associated Press. He said the gap has never been greater. 

8. White Minority Status 

Many people believe that in 2050, if birth and immigration rates do what experts expect them to, white folk will become a minority in the United States. This caused the so-totally-not-racist-and-how- dare-you-even-suggest-as-much Pat Buchanan a shiver of fear, tinged with a hint of nostalgia: 

In 1960, when JFK defeated Nixon, America was a nation of 160 million, 90 percent white and 10 percent black, with a few million Hispanics and Asians sprinkled among us. 

We were one nation, one people. We worshipped the same God, spoke the same English language, studied American history and English literature, honored the same heroes, read the same books, watched the same TV shows, went to the same movies … 

That never happened in reality, of course. 

But … that America is now gone forever…. In 2050, there will be three times as many people living here as in 1960 – 420 million. White Americans will be a minority, 49 percent, and falling… By countries of origin, America will be a Third World nation. 

Oh, cry for the European Americans! Or don't -- Pat’s numbers don’t include white people of “Hispanic heritage.” When you factor those white folks in, 74 percent of the population will remain pasty in 2050, down just six points from today.  

9. And the Browning of America 

Among the political class a more reasonable fear is that the base’s boiling rhetoric over immigration will permanently alienate Latinos and Asian Americans, two fast-growing voting blocs that are heavily concentrated in a handful of key swing states. Rather than shaking over the prospect of a white demographic minority like Buchanan, they’re afraid the venom coming from Republicans like Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and JD Hayworth (R-AZ) will saddle them with a structural inability to win national elections for a generation. As former Republican House majority leader Dick Armey, the chairman of the corporate-funded front-group Freedomworks and a key organizer of the angry and ostensibly “grass-roots” Tea Parties, put it, “Who in the Republican Party was the genius that said that now that we have identified the fastest-growing voting demographic in America, let’s go out and alienate them?”  

10. Unions 

Here’s another one that scares the Right-wing coastal elitists who in fact run the conservative movement, the operatives.  

Most people understand that the Right’s corporate patrons don’t care for organized labor because it hurts the bottom line. But there’s another thing to fear: Union members are more likely to vote their economic interests than be blinded by culture war distractions.  

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