Leo Morris: Who is replacing what?

Let you in on a little secret: Non-European, non-white voters are flooding the polls, boosting prospects for the Democratic Party and relegating Republicans to permanent minority status.

That is not rabid paranoia from the fevered imaginations of rightwing conspiracy nuts. It’s a boast from Democrat and liberal journalists, academicians and politicians, including Joe Biden, who just a few years ago were claiming that population shifts in the United States would dramatically alter voting patterns.

There were even books about it – “The Emerging Democratic Majority” in 2002 and “Brown is the New White” in 2016, which argued, according to one reviewer, that “hope for a more progressive political future lies not with more advertising to middle-of-the-road white voters, but with cultivating America’s growing, diverse majority.”

Such demographic drivel is bad enough on its own, plodding along in the intellectual shallows. But it can also be misused in a couple of significant ways, if “misuse” is the right word to deploy for something so worthless on its face.

One way is that it can be adopted by violent psychopaths who feel the need to espouse a “philosophy” when they go on killing sprees. Throw in a few references to the “evil Jewish cabal,” add some nonsense about race purity, and soon you have a manifesto for a revolution of one.

The Buffalo shooter hated African-Americans. The man who shot a Republican congressman and four others hated conservatives in general and Donald Trump in particular. The Unabomber hated technology. Violence springing from hate is their common bond.

The other way is that it can be sent forth to discredit one side of the political debate.

Just ignore any liberal contribution to replacement theory and brand it a conservative fantasy with roots in Hitler’s Germany and a more modern French radical movement and allow for no nuance or degrees of acceptance.

This is extremely useful when it comes to a subject such as immigration. Try to argue that allowing millions of people to flood across the border unvetted is an insane public policy, and you’re apt to be labeled a racist, nativist xenophobe, deathly afraid of losing white privilege. It’s that repugnant Great Replacement Theory, and you might as well be handing guns to your fellow Make America Great Again reactionary bigots.

I have my own replacement theory.

The primacy of the individual — the idea this country was founded on and the beacon of freedom in a totalitarian world — is being replaced by loyalty to the group. As just one human, you are nothing. Your worth is defined by your membership in a race, religion, sex or currently favored assemblage of quirks.

This is no accident but rather the active goal of statist elites who see themselves as benign philosopher kings, maintaining power by accumulating debts of dispensed favors. To them, tribalism is the desired result, not an unfortunate byproduct of a progressive agenda.

Sometimes, I worry they will succeed. It is hard to be free, morally responsible individuals and live with the results, good and bad, of our decisions. It is so much easier to melt into the crowd and let someone else take the risks.

But at times there are glimmers of stubborn autonomy.

Many of those non-European, non-white voters — Asians, blacks, and Hispanics especially — are starting to pull the Republican lever when they enter the voting booth.

We could probably come up with a grand theory of why this is happening. But could we just grant all those individual Americans the dignity of voting their own consciences and perhaps recognize a simple truth in the process?

Demography is not destiny.

Leo Morris, columnist for The Indiana Policy Review, is winner of the Hoosier Press Association’s award for Best Editorial Writer. Morris, as opinion editor of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, was named a finalist in editorial writing by the Pulitzer Prize committee. Send comments to [email protected]