Mama Grizzlies June 28, 2010Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
Tags: Sarah Palin
If you have been pining for discussions of Sarah Palin’s political prospects, here is the latest.
Apparently, Sarah Palin has taken to calling her female evangelical supporters “Mama Grizzlies”, invoking her belief that fighting for conservative causes is akin to fighting for your children (or something like that). Are Mama Grizzlies a new political force like the “soccer moms” of the past election cycle?
According to demographics expert Rudy Texeira, the answer is no.
Mama grizzlies seem likely to be just the latest in a long line of media-fueled electoral chimeras for the Republicans. The reality is that female evangelicals are not much of a growth constituency. And white evangelical protestants overall are roughly stable as a proportion of the population. They are no larger at this point than unmarried women—who are a growth constituency—as a proportion of eligible voters.
The growth action on the religious front is among unaffiliated or secular voters, who are the fastest-growing “religious” group in the United States. From 1944 to 2004 the percentage of adults reporting no religious affiliation almost tripled, rising from 5 percent to 14 percent. Projections indicate that by 2024 somewhere between 20-25 percent of adults will be unaffiliated.
This trend, combined with growth among non-Christian faiths and race-ethnic trends, will ensure that in very short order we will no longer be a white Christian nation. Even today, only about 55 percent of adults are white Christians. By 2024 that figure will be down to 45 percent. That means that by the 2016 election (or 2020 at the outside) the United States will cease to be a white Christian nation. Looking even farther down the road, by 2040 white Christians will be only around 35 percent of the population and conservative white Christians (a critical part of the GOP base) only about a third of that—a minority within a minority.
These developments will put increased pressure on the GOP to moderate its socially conservative stance. That stance may appeal strongly to a key segment of their base, but that segment will shrink substantially over time as religious diversity increases. A more moderate approach would have some chance of appealing to this diversity rather than leaving the field wide open for the Democrats. But of course Sarah Palin and her mama grizzlies takes the GOP in precisely the opposite direction
It is a relief that people who welcome Armeggedon are not gaining political ascendency.
Perhaps there really is a God.
For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com