The Conservative Counterattack on Young People IS An Effort to Ensure Minority Rule

by | Sep 13, 2023 | Politics | 3 comments

Lockdown, a word most often associated with prisons, has become commonplace on college campuses. The horror struck UNC again on Wednesday when law enforcement reported concerns that an armed person may have carried a gun in the Student Union. State troopers with long-nosed rifles patrolled the campus, a startling sight. This has become a defining trauma of Generation Z’s coming of age.

In response to young people’s pleas to end the carnage, Republicans have become utterly intransigent. The party is more pro-gun than ever. Every time a shooting scars a campus, the unified response from virtually every Republican officeholder is to scapegoat mentally ill people, perhaps mixing in a preposterous jab at “woke society.” They are not only refusing, absolutely and without exception, to address an existential concern of young people in this country. They are aligning themselves more fervently than ever with a belligerent white-male tribe that demands an absolute right to the ownership of a gun.

This may seem puzzling, that a political party with a losing record should snub a new generation of voters. But there is precedent behind this seeming madness. In our history, politicians have reacted to the rise of new voters in one of two ways. They have either adjusted to the presence of enfranchised citizens, or they have, in effect, counterattacked. Conservatives are choosing the belligerent road.

The South is often the purest encapsulation of American hope and pathology. In the area of new voters, it’s had the most dramatic history. Interestingly, arch-racist North Carolina Senator Furnifold Simmons attempted to win over women voters in his 1930 campaign for Senate; knowing that he had campaigned against woman suffrage for decades, they were unamused. But Simmons’s opportunistic inclusion strategy has been the exception in Southern politics. More often, Southern conservatives have sought to silence the voices of recently enfranchised voters who’d spent generations on the margins.

Back up to Reconstruction. A wave of new voters–Black men–had entered the Southern electorate in the wake of emancipation and the 15th Amendment. These men immediately transformed Southern life, opening schools, liberalizing elections, entering the workforce, and uniting families. Theoretically, the white Southern elite could have accepted this transformation as the verdict of history and made efforts to win Black-male votes. Instead, in a terroristic campaign employing fraud and violence, they forced Black men back onto the margins and solidified a system of legal apartheid that would keep the South in the dark world of oppression for 100 years.

A less sanguinary, but equally malevolent, campaign of backlash is occurring in the Republican Party right now. The rise of Millennials and Gen Z has represented the greatest racial transformation of the country’s electorate since Reconstruction. These generations are far more diverse than any previous cohort of Americans, and with their entry into the electorate has come a broad diversification of the American voter pool. Republicans, since 1964 the party of the white South, have declined to appeal to these people. Instead, they have targeted Black, brown, and young voters with the precision of a laser beam. They are attempted to force the genie back into the bottle so old-school white Anglos can rule undisturbed.

In North Carolina, Republicans have shuttered voting sights on college campuses, attempted to ban college IDs from counting toward discriminatory voter ID rules, introduced a bill that would ban college students’ parents from claiming them for tax purposes unless the student voted at their college address, and generally attempted to exclude young people from political life in every way they could. At the same time they’re taking positions on the pivotal issues of Gen-Z life–gun violence, climate, the dignity of the individual–that could not be more repugnant to most Zoomers and their relative elders in the Millennial generation. The message they are sending is perfectly unambiguous: The Republican tribe will rule.


  1. wayne

    The staggering extent to which Democrats will go to bloviate sheer nonsense–absolutely without shame–is breathtaking! Are you people REALLY so deluded that you cannot comprehend the extent to which you have been lied to and manipulated?? Are you really not capable of understanding that virtually ALL of the rancid accusations which you so sanctimoniously toss at the Republicans are the very SAME accusations, malfeasance, corruption, and outright lies for which the Democrat Party is clearly known to be guilty of…??? How do you even manage to function with such an outrageous level of stupidity without hurting yourselves??? I just read thru Jones’ diatribe–in addition to the silly comment posted above–and am astonished that ANY political party can be so wedded to ideology, that they cannot comprehend that their very same party is the one guilty of all those manifest sins–not the Republican Party. Trust me, scooter–Republicanism, and constitutional conservatism–are the only things holding this republic of ours together right now. The Democrat’s daily litany of faux outrage against Republicans is wearing thin. Even Democrats (those with a functioning brain, anyway) are not buying into your schtick anymore. They see right through it. Your recital of the days of Reconstruction fails to note one significant–and demonstrably provable fact–if it weren’t for the Republican Party the Civil Rights Acts of the 1860’s and the 1960’s would not have passed. Neither, in fact, would the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments have passed, except with Republican support. Talk about racists!! –your own provable history indicts you!!! Talk about a sick pathology–Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you the Democrat Party!

    • cocodog

      Wayne, I see you found a new word in your word processor program, “bloviate”! Defined means: “to speak or write verbosely and windily. Reading your postings, that word clearly applies. Your shameless and ignorant display of lack of historical knowledge should be personally embarrassing. Saying the Republican party that evolved following the civil war is the same Republican party that Trump currently leads is obviously ridiculous. Doses it embarrasses you that several folks have pointed out your understanding of this subject is at best confused. Yet you keep doing the same thing repeatedly, expecting a different result. I have no idea what your background is, whether you repaired appliances or managed a major corporation, but no employer would put up with an employee who was unable to make a simple distinction between reality and fantasy. You toss out these accusations of corruption but offer no tangible evidence to back them up. Your glorious leader, the Cheeto Christ suffers from the same propensity. But members of his own party are pushing back. His support is waning daily. A recent New Hampshire poll conducted by CNN and University of New Hampshire, shows Trump trailing Biden by at least twelve percent in New Hampshire. Your racist, bigoted party is losing. Trump is asking his attorneys whether he will be sent to a bad prison and will they make him wear a prison jump suit. Trump’s narcissistic concerns over his appearance while doing time should tell you how shallow and unqualified, he is to be president. Trump, the looser, is not living in the real world. A few Republicans in congress want to impeach Biden based on the mere fact his son bought a pistol while being addicted to narcotics. But cannot tie Biden into any of his son’s alleged criminal behavior. Unless you are being paid to spew these lies, I would consider another hobby.

  2. Mike L

    It’s been clear for the past few decades that the GOP cannot win free and fair elections, so they have to gerrymander and suppress voting rights to stay in power.

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