There’re a lot of reasons for blindness: Fear, Innocence and hard whiskey are three. For former UNC Law School Dean Gene Nichol, when he sat down to read exit polls in the Washington Post, I suspect the problem may have been Ideology. He’s Politically Correct – for example, when he was President of William and Mary he removed the cross from the altar in the college chapel.
Last week, after reading the polls, he described how he sees the political landscape in the News and Observer.
The Democrats? The Democratic Party, he noted, is “extraordinarily tepid.” Democrats take their base – “minorities, the young, the poor, immigrants, the LGBT community” – for granted and “act as if they have no idea who elected them.” The heroes are Progressives. Not Democrats.
And Republicans? They’re members of “a calcified white people’s party” whose candidate in Virginia ran for Governor clinging to the vestiges of Nathan Bedford Forest. They’re a coalition of the “old, white, male, evangelical, Confederate and non-college educated” and those demographics spell hard times ahead for Republicans. Their future “is not promising.”
But stop a moment and remember history: Those demographics the former Dean is describing aren’t carved in stone. Crises – like the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam and 9-11 – change people. Growing older changes people. Marriage changes people. A sixty-five-year-old man with grandchildren is not the same man he was when he was 25.
Sitting in a straight-jacket of Political Correctness, staring at polls, former Dean Nichol missed a simple fact: People change.