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It’s Time: GOP Needs to Radically Change Tactics with Minorities

What the GOP has done for decades to reach minorities has not worked, and will never work.

by
John Hawkins

Bio

May 5, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Republicans do poorly with minority voters.

As a general rule, the Republican Party gets about one-tenth of the black vote, one-third of the Hispanic vote, and one-fourth of the Jewish vote. If this seems like a huge problem today, demographic patterns point to the radical liberalism destroying the country today becoming the norm forevermore.

Why do minorities vote Democratic in such numbers? Part of the cause is issue-oriented. Liberals, whatever their race may be, aren’t going to vote for Republicans. People who are lower on the socioeconomic scale naturally tend to favor the party enlarging the taxpayer-funded dole. Given that blacks and Hispanics, taken as a group, have fallen behind other Americans economically, the Democrats have particularly fertile ground for their message there.

However, that doesn’t come close to telling the whole story. Ever since Reagan, people have been looking at the Christianity and social conservatism of Latinos and saying: Hispanics are Republican; they just don’t know it yet.”

The biggest issue for Jews tends to be the survival of Israel, and Republicans are unquestionably much better on that issue than Democrats.

Then there are black Americans. Even setting aside the historical alliance between Republicans and black Americans, most black Americans go to church, oppose gay marriage, are pro-life, are anti-illegal immigration, and are pro-school choice. These are not inconsequential issues.

So why is the GOP doing so poorly?

Republicans believe it should be all about the issues, while Democrats push culture. They tell minority groups that Republicans hate them, and it works — despite the fact that it’s entirely false. They also tell minorities that their ethnic identity is tied up in voting for the Democratic Party.

A good example of this is Jesse Jackson saying: “You can’t vote against health care and call yourself a black man.” Then there’s the NAACP, La Raza, CAIR, MALDEF, the Congressional Black Caucus … on and on and on. All these prominent groups implicitly or explicitly try to tie the cultural identity of minorities to the Democratic Party, even as they demonize Republicans as “the other.” Republicans are not merely treated as political opponents — they’re framed as racial enemies.

As a general rule, Republicans have a strong negative reaction to these organizations not only because they unfairly demonize, but because they divide by race when we should strive to be colorblind. It’s fine to feel that way — I do myself — but is the approach working?

No. Are we seeing any evidence that the tide is turning? Is La Raza about to collapse? Are most black Americans calling for a colorblind world where it matters, like with affirmative action programs?

So if the approach isn’t working and isn’t going to work, isn’t it time to change it?

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