It's not something that I lose sleep over, but it is curious as to the evolution of the Republic, given its history.
What is a curious feature of this year's Presidential election is that there is no WASP standing at the end, absent a brokered convention that picks who, Perry?, nor an opposing WASP with the Democrats, if Hillary Clinton is from that lineage of course had she won in 2008, but she of course is something of a novelty in the grand scheme of things too, if a well-qualified and good one.
Barack Obama is actually pretty WASPy in the end in some ways, as he was a law professor, home of plenty of reactionaries by the nature of the law's emphasis on case history and precedence.
As to the history, every single American President before Kennedy was a WASP, and every single one after that one was until Obama was too, as to a trend in things.
Rodham-Clinton, how very WASPy.
But on the Republican side in 2012, no WASP emerged at the end, only a Mormon and a Catholic, if both males.
Possibly that is a one off event, as there are some generational changes in the offing, and clearly of all the Republican candidates, Rick Perry was the most logical WASP, W II, Texas and all that, if he hadn't made one too many verbal errors.
One of those errors though was a good thing, telling the lunatic anti-immigration fringe to chill a little bit, unless they want a coup to rule.
Maybe Perry needed practice, an will be the VP selection or run in 2016? Some tutoring? Or have WASPs in fact become inbred and stupid?
But as to the WASPs, Gingrich of course fit that bill, if he was a somewhat of a decayed one, something that a writer as penetrating as Brooks Adams, yes, those Adams, thought inevitable, if Pareto thought differently as to the recycling of elites and ruling classes.
As to the Adams theory of WASP decline, that was the "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" theory.
As that played out in four generations, in the original non-televised and much more accomplished Adams Family, the father John Adams was a self-made titan, his son John Quincy although an honorable man, not quite the father, and then down the line though his father a diplomat, pretty heady stuff, but then Brooks, although very accomplished as an intellect, not much of a public power figure, at least not like great-granddad John Adams, if of course very Establishment right down the line, along with brother Henry Adams of course.
Now Brooks Adams theory of this dearth of Republicans would be pretty Spenglerian in character, in the sense that loss of spiritual values would undo faith in America's institutional framework.
Pareto saw life in many ways similarly to Brooks Adams, although I think he will be proved right, in the end, as to being more optimistic as to recyling of things too.
Pareto was an Italian genius, who saw "the circulation of elites" as the key to civilizations rise and fall. See also "Tiger Mom" Amy Chua's point about the value of ethnic tolerance in Day of Empire.
There is a shirt-sleeve to shirt-sleeve aspect to that, but then also renewal aspect too, in Pareto's more accurate historical descriptions, comforting for those who know the familiar that for the WASPs to retain their historic primacy in America, if not ethnically then, that is rather likley in the spirit of the good part of the WASPS, if and only if they do it the right way, starting with not undermining each other so much, like this year with the Republicans, but also not race baiting either.
That has been a not so great feature of contemporary American politics, if there's plenty of that on the other side, and its an old, and therefore hard habit to break, and the thing that Chua wisely warns about, and against, as an imperial strategy in Day of Empire.
The trajectory of George Wallace was instructive in that regard, as if he started out trying to hold on to WASP power as a race baiter, after ironically first being a progressive on race, he then totally changed course, and became very inclusive on that issue, clearly from the theory of Pareto and circulating elites as well as observations on the nature of the Roman trajectory what you want to do, as America is plenty young to be all Spenglerian about.
So, fear not WASPs, but make more things that Chinese and other foreigners want to buy, or then you really would be living on the kindness of not strangers, but living off of past generations more accomplished than us.