“Like a lightning flash in a stormy sky, the Trayvon Martin case has
illuminated the depth of the impasse between white and nonwhite America.
But a similar dynamic looms less visibly behind Washington’s standoff
between a Democratic coalition that relies on overwhelming support from
minorities and a Republican coalition still almost entirely dependent on
the votes of whites, especially older ones. Both developments tell the
same challenging story: Even as America experiences its most profound
demographic change in more than a century, our society is increasingly
fracturing along overlapping racial, generational, and partisan lines.
The diversity remaking America could be a source of rejuvenation and
innovation, but today it is reinforcing our ferocious partisan