Psychologists say that depression is anger turned inward. What happens if it turns outward?That's the right question. Zakaria misses it completely, being so invested in the narrative that America is becoming more ethnically diverse that he fails to notice that it was an artificial process that could be fairly easily reversed. Nothing can be done but to accept their miserable fate, he suggests:
Working-class whites don’t think of themselves as an elite group. But, in a sense, they have been, certainly compared with blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and most immigrants. They were central to America’s economy, its society, indeed its very identity. They are not anymore. Donald Trump has promised that he will change this and make them win again. But he can’t. No one can. And deep down, they know it.In fact, it was an immigration reform act in 1965 that altered America's immigration policies to favor the Third World instead of the First as they had traditionally. Laws that can change one way can change another.
It was the election of two different two-term Democratic presidents who did not enforce immigration laws, and one two-term Republican who was not especially exercised about it, that led to the massive demographic shift over the last three decades. If you elect a President for whom they are a priority, that massive wave of immigrants are still first-generation. They could be expelled, if enough anger is focused upon the matter.
Even without the increased anger, last year more natives of Mexico left the United States than came here. Why not? People have a natural preference for home. If Mexico and other Latin American states improve, many of these people would go home just because they'd rather be there than here. If increasing anger drives a nativism that becomes harsh and unwelcoming, even more people will feel inclined to depart. They'll take their families with them willingly. The demographic 'destiny' would then change, and what Zakaria thinks impossible would become real.
It would, however, be a very ugly time. The expressions of such anger and nativism are not beautiful.
What is driving all this anger? Perhaps it is the fact that the government, under the current administration, is actively taking sides against these workers. It's also the triumphalism of the cultural left, which is openly salivating about being able to put the older, whiter America in the grave. These are choices too, choices with consequences. These people are not fools just because they don't have a college degree. Having less education may make their response more visceral, but it won't keep them from noticing what is being done and who is doing it. They can hear the voices that hate them. They can hear how happy those voices sound when they posit a world in which these American workers and their families are no longer important.
In fact, even if we avoid the period of anger it would be completely unsurprising if America became less 'ethnically diverse' again -- not by changing actual demographics, but by absorbing later-generation immigrants into a new definition of 'the majority.' That has happened to the Irish, to the Germans, to the Italians, to many Jews, and could very easily happen to Latinos as well. There is no reason for us to insist on going through the ugliness that is likely to follow.
Still, avoiding the anger will be hard to do because the anger is not unjustified. It is clear that a generation of policies have been in place to effect this reduction, that new policies are being put in place to further it and cement it, and that the fall of these people and their families is deeply and earnestly desired by the cultural allies of the politicians effecting the policies.
What happens if the anger turns outward? That is indeed the question, and people should give it some thought. It would be wiser and better for those driving the underlying causes of this anger to stop and consider the effects of their actions.