I’ve watched with interest the debate on how conservatives are to handle the issue of race. T.K. Farrow is right — Republicans face a tall order in winning over black voters. But, as JFK said regarding putting a man on the moon, we must do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard.
Ruben Navarrette notes correctly that certain Republicans have done over-the-top stupid things on race that have hurt the party, but he carries the argument too far. Does every Republican in the country have to worry some idiot in another state is going to embarrass the party? Following Navarrette’s argument, we do. Though I would wager the vast majority of minorities that vote for Democrats would do so even without the obscure statements Navarrette cites.
John Hawkins argues the GOP needs to nominate more minority and women candidates. Hawkins is on the right track, but the strategy of nominating minorities to gain in demographics has a spotty record. While Michael Steele received twice George W. Bush’s share of the black vote in his 2006 Senate run, Senator Mel Martinez barely ran ahead in his own ethnic group. Lynn Swann actually received a lower percentage of the black vote than his opponent. Similarly, women as a group have been even harder on Sarah Palin than men have.
Our minority congressional candidates have a ridiculously low winning percentage. The GOP’s problem thus lies not in nominating minorities, but in actually getting them elected.
The challenge rests in eliminating black culture’s meme that black Republicans are sellouts.
Vivid examples of this come from Bill Cosby’s widely panned 1990 movie Ghost Dad and the black family sitcom Smart Guy. A scene from Smart Guy is particularly relevant. The genius protagonist is told that he could become a Supreme Court justice “who’s not a sell out,” thus slamming Clarence Thomas as a race traitor on national television.
So long as such cultural attitudes remain prevalent, the GOP won’t be able to solve its problems with black voters by nominating minorities. This distrust is rooted in more than just the interests of self-serving elites who want to disparage Republicans, but also in how we collectively approach the issue. The desire for minority votes is driven entirely by ambition rather than by an earnest desire to benefit minorities.
Since the slaves were freed, one political group or another has tried to use minority votes for political advantage — be it carpetbagging Republicans in the 1860s or today’s race-baiting Left with its vested interest in keeping as many minorities as possible poor, bitter, and uneducated.
In large urban centers across this nation, people live in poverty under corrupt, incompetent regimes that waste taxpayer resources. In Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, the regime has succeeded in creating a permanent brown underclass that serves as a base for the Democratic Party.