Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All Of The Stars Align - Time For Republicans To Court The Black Vote

. . . One of the things that is long overdue is some Republican re-thinking — or perhaps thinking for the first time — about the approach that they have been using, with consistently disastrous results, for trying to get the black vote.

The black vote was once consistently Republican, from the time of Abraham Lincoln to Herbert Hoover. Even after Franklin D. Roosevelt won over the black vote to the Democrats, it was not considered remarkable when Eisenhower got a higher share of the black vote than any Republican president in recent times has.

It may be years before Republicans can again get a majority of the black vote. But Republicans don’t need to get a majority of the black vote. If they get 20 percent of the black vote, the Democrats are in trouble — and if they get 30 percent, the Democrats have had it in the general elections.

Thomas Sowell, How Republicans Can Win The Black Vote, NRO, 22 Jan. 2010

One of the great travesties of the past half century has been how the far left has fully sewn up the black vote. It was LBJ's championing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - over the objection on Constitutional grounds of Barry Goldwater - that cemented the black vote for Democrats. Since then, blacks have regularly voted near 90% for Democrats.

The Democrats have been able to accomplish this by treating the blacks as servile victims permanently entitled to special treatment. Democrats substituted a brand of soft racism for the hard racism that was historically the hallmark of their party. And as we see today, that faustian bargain has worked out much better for the hard left than it has for blacks in our society.

But that house of cards is crumbling before our very eyes. Quite literally, all of the stars are aligned for conservatives to make a real push for the black vote. Blacks should be waking up to a hard lesson - that the left wing promises sold to them, the separatism and victimhood, they are all empty. And on the two most important issues facing blacks today, jobs and education, their best hopes lay with the right.

The first star in alignment is jobs. The black middle class has been growing steadily since 1955. But that middle class is under full frontal assault from Obama. According to the Economic Policy Institute, quoted in the Chicago Sun Times, the median net worth for black families has plunged 83% under Obama. Black unemployment has risen to 16.2%, and only 56.9% of black men over the age of 20 remain in today's workforce. According to the Censsus Bureau, the poverty rate for black households in America today is at a staggering 27.4%. As the Sun-Times summed this up:

Millions of Americans endured financial calamities in the recession. But for many in the black community, job loss has knocked them out of the middle class and back into poverty. And some experts warn of a historic reversal of hard-won economic gains that took black people decades to achieve.

“History is going to say the black middle class was decimated” over the past few years, said Maya Wiley, director of the Center for Social Inclusion. “But we’re not done writing history.”

Adds Algernon Austin, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy: “The recession is not over for black folks.”

And indeed, it should be noted that Obama's most recent decision to decimate Army ranks will likewise severely restrict another historic avenue for black advancement to the middle class. In the Army, 27.7% of the enlisted ranks are filled by blacks.

The second star in alignment is the horrid state of public education in the inner cities. Is is, as Juan Williams has called it from the left, "the key civil rights issue of this generation." And as Thomas Sowell has opined from the right, "Republicans have a golden opportunity to go after the votes of black parents by connecting the dots and exposing one of the key reasons for bad education in inner cities and the bad consequences that follow.."

Both Williams and Sowell also agree that the single biggest hurdle to improving education in the inner cities is the power of teachers' unions. The left stands shoulder to shoulder with all public sector unions - teachers' unions in particular - because they provide much of the economic base for Democrats. And indeed, Exhibit one in trying to win the black vote on this issue is Obama who, at the start of his administration, ended the DC voucher program for DC's inner city youth, while at the same time he enrolled his children in the area's best private school.

Then there is the third star in alignment. Black Republicans are starting to gain a wide voice. When groups like the Black Caucus or the NAACP play the race card now, there are black conservatives like LTC Alen West to respond. And the message of West and his ilk to their fellow blacks is quite literally to runaway from the Democratic plantation.

And finally, the last star in alignment is the race card. There was a time when throwing the race card ended all debate, sending the one whom the card was aimed at ducking and running for cover. For a host of reasons, that is no longer true today. The race card is near bankrupt - though that won't stop the hard left from playing it while there is still any life in their bodies. The race card has been the key to their rise to power. Its bankruptcy spells their death knell. Indeed, expect the race card to fly fast and furious when Republicans seriously vie for the black vote.

For their part, as Republicans vie for the black vote, they must heed the warning of Dr. Thomas Sowell:

There is no point today in Republicans’ continuing to try to win over the average black voter by acting like imitation Democrats. Those who like what the Democrats are doing are going to vote for real Democrats.

Indeed, in the current climate, there is no reason to pretend to be anything other than a conservative Republican when addressing the black community.

It is doubtful that we will ever see again the stars aligned so favorably for breaking the Democrat's stranglehold on the black vote. But according to people close to the issue, it would appear that there is virtually no top down attempt being made by the Republican Party to court the black vote. This from PJM:

Timothy Johnson is the chairman and founder of the Frederick Douglass Foundation. He is less than impressed with the Republican Party’s outreach efforts: I’m a past party official, so I can speak from in house party politics. The short answer is the party sucks at it. That’s the bottom line. The party when it comes down to the black community is doing a terrible job, and is still doing a terrible job. Johnson said that the GOP may have done a little better under the leadership of Michael Steele, but the current leadership has simply given up on getting black votes:

I have candidates who are honest with me and they say, “Tim, I’ve had people tell me ‘Don’t worry about the black community.’” That pisses me off. When they are honest with me and say, ‘Tim, we’ve been told, ‘Don’t worry about going to the black community, they’re not going to vote for you anyway,’” that’s a bold faced lie. You don’t know who I’m going to vote for. I’m an American.

That is just unforgivable. The opportunity is here for a long term shift in the political calculus in favor of the right and very much for the betterment of black Americans as a whole. It just remains to be taken like the low hanging fruit that it is.

Update: Linked at Larwyn's Linx and What Bubba Knows. Thanks all.


Anonymous said...

Always good to hear from the planet Orberton, how is the weather there anyway?

Here on earth, what you're proposing isn't going to happen.

Point out all the joblessness and homelessness and other failed policies you want, it won't matter. For the most part, you're trying to appeal to adults that have been ground out by the NEA.

They've been conditioned to hate this country and our Founding values & principles. Voting for conservatives is impossible for most of them.

I have more blacks friends than probably most white people that you know. I'm invited to their homes, many times I'm the only white person there. After a few cocktails, I kinda blend in and the long knives come out.

Blacks are, hands down, the most racist group of people I've ever been around-don't know about La Raza, haven't interacted with them, but they sound pretty bad too.

Everything, and I mean EVERY THING is looked at through a racial lens. Lord knows I've tried to present these very same arguments and they are always trumped by the entitlement mentality that has been drilled into their heads.

Some of the most ridiculous notions you can imagine are thrown back at me to explain 4th and 5th and 6th!! generation welfare, ADC, section 8, and on and on it goes.

Children are raised in a sea of government. The first resort for any problem is government. They see virtually no intact families. They have brothers and sisters from other fathers and mothers.

The culture revered is a sewer culture. We all know the vile crap that Rap spews. The drugs, the disrespect of women, the disgraceful view of America.

We have Obama, not producing a damn thing for the black community, but spouting his "vision" thing and they eat it up. I ask my friends, do you really think he wants you, as an individual, to succeed? Why not turn the industrious loose, creating jobs? From them? Jealousy. Envy. Yes, the class warfare ingrained in them from the earliest days in schools, reenforced with a sewer culture and every day, blasted into their heads from "leaders" like Obama, Jackson and Sharpton.

These are the men that get the face time. When successful black men are given face time, vilification is the order of the day. Men like SCJ Thomas are destroyed. Look no further than the disgusting hack job done on Herman Cain. BTW, have you noticed once he dropped out, the liars disappeared?

Are all blacks like this? Of course not. But even successful middle class black men I know could no more vote Republican than I could vote for Obama.

I hate to sound so negative but until we get the GD NEA and teacher's unions away from educating our children, things will not change.

There's a reason millions and millions of dollars have poured in CO every time vouchers have come up for a vote here.

GW said...

Anon - a great comment, thanks. I don't doubt your experience at all. Funny, and I've written this before, my experience growing up was the military, and then serving in it. It was as close to a color blind meritocracy as you will ever find, and skin color was meaningless, professionally and socially. It wasn't until I left the military and entered the civilian world that I got my first introduction to all that is going on in between Democrats and the civilian black population. It was horrific. But that said, I approach this issue from the point of view that there is hope that inroads can be made based on my experience.

I don't doubt that the task is daunting. As you say, "voting for conservatives is impossible for most of them." Well, I'll take the few today for whom it isn't impossible, then let them create just a few more for whom it isn't impossible.

At any rate, this problem will never right itself until Republicans start to make a real effort, backed with substantial funding, to create a real outreach to the black community. That is step one.

Step two is, as you say, get rid of the teachers unions and the NEA. That is precisely what Sowell is telling us to run on. I think that he could not be more right.

Anonymous said...

Forgive in advance what will sound snarky but your next to last paragraph is a platitude.

"At any rate, this problem will never right itself until Republicans start to make a real effort, backed with substantial funding, to create a real outreach to the black community. That is step one."

I disagree. What this sounds like is our side ponying up a conservative version of Section 8. Eff that.

America itself is a REAL OUTREACH. Teach our children about our Founding and the great men of that time. Go back even further and teach them the principles that our Founders relied from Locke and Montague. Teach them about inalienable rights and natural law.

There's a very good reason why these men and their values are denigrated. To REgressives, you must tear down our past and trample the good that has come from it to enable the jealousy and envy to take root.

No I say skip right to the heart of the problem. Eliminate the Dept/Education. It is nothing more then a multi billion dollar slush fund, directing billions to local school districts, allowing the most outrageous programs to steam roll into our schools.

The federal government has absolutely no Constitutional authority to involve itself in my school district. Yet this is exactly what has happened.

My dad was in WWll, a belly gunner and he used to tell me you could tell when they were near their target from all the ack ack coming in. Same thing here-remember the "crazy eyes" tag the left dominated media put on Michelle Bachmann after she proposed eliminating the Dept/Edcuation? The left's hair goes up in flames every time this agency is talked about getting axed. Hell, RR proposed the same thing almost 30 years ago and look how far he got.

It's going to take a pair of coconuts to fight this and I ain't seeing any out there in the current crop. Maybe Santorum or maybe Newt knows how to strangle the NEA in some bureaucratic maneuver.

For my money, a Palin/West ticket would have energized conservatives like nothing else and would have put the fear of God into REgressives.

Oh well, like Rummy said, you go to war with what you've got. Romney?-sigh-

OBloodyHell said...

>>> It was LBJ's championing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - over the objection on Constitutional grounds of Barry Goldwater - that cemented the black vote for Democrats.

The thing is
a) The 1964 Dem National convention, duly elected black representatives from the south were marginalized and backroomed while "racially voted" white reps were given their seat:
Democratic Debacle.
The disgust and disappointment of the black representatives filtered back to the black community and led directly to things like Malcolm X and the general violence over racial tensions that occurred in the 1960 and 70s.
b) In addition, a much larger percentage of the GOP voted for the Civil Rights legislation you mention than the percentage of Dems.
c) As GW has noted, Martin Luther King, Jr., was a registered Republican.

I cannot speak for you, Anon, but part of the message that has to be sold is the one of the racist history of the Dems and the Left, even into modern times, when the media are openly insulting to successful blacks, like Colin Powell and Condi Rice, with terms that would raise a frothing ire in blacks if anyone else used them against, say, The Great Big 0.

Most blacks are nowadays supremely ignorant of the history of Dems, and even when pointed out believe that's all "in the past". This, among other things, needs to change. A great deal of pressure needs to be brought to bear to attack this problem.

OBloodyHell said...

Anon, I think you are potentially correct, but have to wonder about two possible alternatives to explain your experiences.

a) You may not be good at arguing. Can't judge this, and it's not an accusation or anything of the sort -- I'm just pointing out the possibility.

b) Much more likely, you may well be hanging out with hard core racist blacks. Arguing with them, even with a wide array of facts on your side, may well be like arguing with members of the White Citizens Council in the early 60s. This does not guarantee that your own experiences translate to dealing with blacks as a whole, or that your experiences highlight the attitudes of blacks far beyond a simple large percentage of them.