The US has one major party devoted to whites, and another major party that represents whites and others. The GOP is the former; but it is in a state of crisis because its base, white voters, is shrinking. One response to this crisis was to expand the base by making blacks and Hispanics homeowners. This was George W. Bush's Ownership Society. But this solution was undone by Wall Street greed. Where the GOP saw potential voters (homeowners are more conservative than renters), Wall Street saw a new supply of mortgages that could be fused into securities and sold to yield-hungry investors around the world. This resulted in the sub-prime crisis that ended with the Crash of 2008.
The second and more desperate solution was Donald Trump. He excited poor, middle-class, and rural white voters with openly racist fantasies (humiliating the first black president, persecuting undocumented workers from Mexico, building a wall on the Mexican border, and Muslim bans). This solution almost did not work. But even a very slim win was all Trump needed to begin the destruction or weakening of institutions that are structurally (and therefore inherently) democratic. One of these institutions is the US Census Bureau. It provides "data on where and how people live," and "enables public policy to be more efficient," and, most importantly, "count[s] heads to allocate congressional seats." To the point: it has a demographic function with significant political consequences for the two major American parties. And so it is not a surprise that this institution is being attacked by Trump—an institution that will bear a lot of bad news for the GOP and its declining base in 2020.
On the day James Comney was fired, US Census Bureau director John H. Thompson announced his resignation. Why? Because "Republicans [are] trying to slash the bureau’s budget well below what he felt he needed." The mainstream media focused on the former story and almost completely ignored the latter and far more important story—and it's more important because the former is an event and the latter is structural. Trump is not trying to destroy the FBI, but he is trying to destroy or starve to death the Census Bureau (it is currently underfunded).
Gary Dean Painter, an economist "who studies immigrant populations at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price Center for Social Innovation" to Wired:
“I’m personally very worried that if [the government’s] goal is to obfuscate the viewing of what’s happening in particular places by not collecting the right types of data, we’re going to have to make important decisions with less information...”Because Trump does not have much support, he does not have much time to permanently damage the institutions that threaten white supremacy.
This country doesn't belong to the Trumpists. Don't ever let anyone, even liberals, make you believe that. There are more of us than them. pic.twitter.com/ioOlsKE2e9
— Connor Kilpatrick:snowman: (@ckilpatrick) January 31, 2017
This means 2020 will be the year democracy in the US survives or dies.