Conservatism Dying Off, Literally
Back in the twilight of the Reagan era, I worked at a country and talk radio station where we had a running joke that our listenership was dropping as our audience died of old age. We read the obituaries on the air, we had the Sunday night polka show, and the highlight of the day was the now recently deceased Paul Harvey.
And just as Reagan himself rotted away from Alzheimers, that audience is fading away in the Obama era. There is, of course, the hard evidence of narrow over-65 support for John McCain being overwhelmed by the two to one youth support for Obama.
"The dirty little secret of conservative talk radio is that the average age of listeners is 67 and rising," writes Michael Wolff in Vanity Fair. "What's more, it's the Internet that is the fast-growing and arguably more powerful political medium -- and it is the province of the young and liberal. The only sensible market view of conservative talk is that it will contract and be reduced, in the coming years, to a much more rarefied format."
Another station of the conservative cross that's fading with the years is the Cuba embargo. The Batista generation is getting older and smaller, and so is a frail Fidel. The three South Florida Cuban-American House seats, represented by the last Hispanic House Republicans, all saw close races last year. Kos thinks the embargo will be gone by the end of the Obama administration's first term.
One senses that Republicans are aware of their aging demographic. That's why they want to cement gay marriage bans into state constitutions now. Support for marriage equality and civil unions is fairly even, but growing, amond the middle aged and young. The anti-gay at the polls have been driven by people of the pre-boomer, pre-Stonewall generation, where homosexuality was discussed only in hushed tones if at all. Cultural conservatives want to win their bans with these votes now, fast, because they see their chances getting slimmer with the years.
The future is ours, progressives, and now you know the rest of the story. I'm John Deeth.... Good DAY?