Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

11 May 2014

South Africa: Demography As Destiny - South Africa's Politics in the Years to Come

analysis

What does the future of the ANC share with the future of the Republican Party in America? J. BROOKS SPECTOR argues the answer to that question may well surprise readers.

Many American commentators - along with a growing number of influential Republican Party insiders - have been arguing that Republicans as a political species face a demographic time bomb set to go off within a couple of election cycles - or even sooner - despite their apparent strengths going into the 2014 election. The argument goes something like this: Republican support is strongest in those parts of the country and with those groups whose long-term demographic prospects are dimming - and whose numbers are inexorably shrinking relative to the total population of the country. This is because Republican supporters, increasingly concentrated among the older, white populations of the country's small towns, farmlands, and peri-urban regions of the South and Midwest, its supporters are slowly losing the demographic foot race in American society to groups who tend to lean toward the Democrats.

In population terms, according to current trends, the percentage of older white Americans, as the majority in the total, will continue to shrink in the face of more youthful,...

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