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It’s Time for the Republican Party to Embrace Identity Politics

We have to face the truth: it's not just the message — it's who's delivering it.

by
John Hawkins

Bio

June 29, 2009 - 12:23 am
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Just about everyone acknowledges, inside the Republican Party and out, that the GOP needs to do a much better job of bringing minorities into the party. But how? There’s a big problem with implementing this idea — one that is seldom discussed.

The obstacles that prevent Republicans from bringing more minorities into the party are as cultural as they are political. Many blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, and even women instinctually vote Democrat, even when their views more closely align with the Republicans.

It would be ambitious to imagine the GOP could get 50% of every one of those groups. But is it really out of the question to get 35% of the black vote as opposed to the 10% the party usually gets, or 45% of the Hispanic vote as opposed to the roughly 30% pulled in normally? Not at all, and such an achievement could create a powerful political shift to the right in this country.

The problem with attempting to do this is that the Republican Party has ceded leadership in minority communities, almost by default, to the Democrats. You can see examples of this on a regular basis. Sarah Palin is hit with sexist attacks and even conservatives say, “NOW is supposed to represent all women; so what are they going to say about it?”

When black Republicans are treated unfairly, the mantra goes, “What does the NAACP have to say about this?” In other words, the Democrats have created groups who claim to speak for all blacks, all Hispanics, and all women — and even conservatives accept this to a certain extent. In addition, why is supporting tough action to fight illegal immigration considered “racist”? Sure, it impacts Hispanic illegals — but they’re not Americans. On the other hand, illegal immigration disproportionately impacts American Hispanics. It puts them out of jobs and lowers their wages. It makes a mockery of the Hispanic Americans who love this country and spent thousands of dollars and years waiting to get their citizenship the legal way. And why? So a bunch of rich white liberals can import a Hispanic slave class to pick their strawberries and be their nannies? That sounds more than a little racist to me.

How about affirmative action? What makes opposing that “racist”? Sure, there are a few black Americans who benefit from it, but it also causes thousands of black college students to flunk out of schools they never should have been admitted to in the first place. It casts a shadow over the accomplishment of every black American because it leaves people wondering whether they got where they are via merit or affirmative action. So whom does it benefit? Primarily white liberals who care more about making themselves feel superior to black Americans by giving them counter-productive “help” than they do about making anyone’s life better.

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