First, there is the dramatic movement of the United States toward becoming a majority-minority country, where no ethnic group is in the majority. We have already crossed several Rubicons. In 2011, new births were majority minority for the first time, and 2014 was the first year that minority students were in the majority at U.S. public schools. Several states are already majority minority.

Predictions for when the country as a whole will become majority minority continually shift, but there is no question that this will happen within the lifetimes of today’s young people, and perhaps even within my own lifetime, if I should be blessed with longevity. It is unsurprising that our clear movement in this direction should provoke resistance from those whose well-being, status and self-esteem are connected to historical privileges of “whiteness.”…

In other words, in this country, too, we would by now have Trumpists, libertarians and netizens in government, if we had a parliamentary system. But because we don’t, we have a very weird, historically important presidential campaign. The weirdness comes from the fact that it is unfolding inside the structure of our creaky, 19th-century two-party framework.

The real story, then, is not about this or that candidate but about precisely how the realignment of U.S. public opinion away from the two major political parties will shake out and about who or what the major parties will sell down the river while trying to save themselves as the “big tents” they need to be to win elections. And the burning question inside this story is whether our two-party system can survive the digital era. Or, perhaps better, how to ensure that it doesn’t so that we can save our center-right party, the Republicans, for the center.