(The Guardian) -- Given the kind of things the Republican presidential candidates have been saying every day for weeks now, you might reasonably conclude that US politics is stuck not just in another decade, but in a previous century. Ben Carson thinks Obamacare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery”. To boost an argument against gun control Carson also said that Hitler would have killed fewer Jews in the Holocaust “if the people had been armed”. Donald Trump, meanwhile, would expel 12 million undocumented migrants because so many are “criminals, murderers and rapists”. Carly Fiorina asserts that “every single policy” Hillary Clinton espouses, including paid family leave and equal pay for women, “has been demonstrably bad for women”.
This Republican race to the political bottom is happening because America’s conservatives are losing the culture wars. The US is now beyond the electoral tipping point, driven by a new progressive majority in the electorate: racial minorities (black and Hispanic) plus single women, millennials (born between 1982 and 2000) and secular voters together formed 51% of the electorate in 2012; and will reach a politically critical 63% next year.