Professor Dowell Myers, a demographer and policy planner, relies on the latest census information and new forecasts to propose a more productive narrative for America. He critiques old misperceptions, spotlights uncontested truths, and finds grounds for new hope. A shared destiny with great promise links our generations and spans the demographic groups. The question remains whether this vision of fruitful connectedness can survive in a competitive political contest.
Rapid demographic change has dramatic, polarizing effects among the electorate, especially in a time of economic despair. The declining majority status of whites, growing numbers of elderly, and increasing immigration each have been cause for rejoice and new political demands. Yet those trends fan fears and galvanize opposition that is easily exploited by political candidates. In this environment is there any hope for reducing division and polarization? How can a middle-ground position of common interest be established and defended?