According to Cynthia Tucker, a Pulitzer prize winning Democrat activist with a byline, stodgy old white Republicans have become giddy teenagers over Dr. Ben Carson.
Like giddy teenagers, Republican activists have fallen for another charming, personable and accomplished black conservative. Dr. Ben Carson is the newest object of their crush, which was born of a desperate need to attract more black men and women as high-profile standard-bearers.
Nice set-up. According to Tucker, Dr. Carson hasn’t become a star because of his ideas or his life story, but out of pure emotion.
Meanwhile, Tucker never acknowledges how Democrats like herself actually do have a massive, emotional crush on Barack Obama. Just as they had massive, emotional crushes on Bill Clinton before. Liberal women were lining up offering to do various things to him to prove their loyalty during the Lewinski scandal. None of that was based on reason.
You can’t blame Republican loyalists for swooning over the doc, a renowned surgeon who rose from poverty to head pediatric neurosurgery at Baltimore’s famed Johns Hopkins Hospital. If wooing voters of color were simply a matter of finding an attractive black face with an inspiring personal story and an impressive resume, Carson would be hard to beat.
But black voters tend to be more discerning than that. They have shown an unerring instinct for rejecting condescension and dismissing tokenism. There are many black Americans who admire Carson for his professional accomplishments (I’m one of them), but that admiration is unlikely to translate into votes.
Really? No one on the left voted for Obama just because of his skin color or his party affiliation? What accomplishments did Barack Obama have before running for the presidency?
One of the reasons is that Carson doesn’t seem to know black Americans’ political values very well. In his most recent book — a political tract called “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great” — he writes: “Many African-Americans voted for Obama simply because he was a black man and not because they resonated philosophically with his policies.” In fact, black voters have been increasingly allied with the Democratic Party since the 1960s when Lyndon Johnson pushed through significant civil rights legislation. Al Gore received about 95% of the black vote in 2000, John Kerry about 93% in 2004.
Moreover, Carson seems to have adopted the view, popular among so many ultra-conservatives, that the Democratic Party appeals to voters who shun the work ethic.
Now, where would anyone get an idea like that? Maybe from the Democrats’ leader in the House.
Or maybe we got it from the Democrats’ constant refrains of class warfare. We can’t have gotten the idea that the Democratic Party shuns the work ethic just because, under Obama’s watch, the government actively advertises welfare to the middle class, and government spending on welfare has skyrocketed? Crazy talk.
Speaking of crazy talk…
In 2000, according to the U.S. census, less than a quarter of black Americans — 22.5% — lived in poverty. By 2010, that number had risen to 27.4%. Was there a sudden outbreak of indolence among black folk over that period? Or were there outside forces that conspired to knock them back down the economic ladder?
What were those “outside forces?” Tucker doesn’t say. But she does say this.
As long as the Republican Party refuses to acknowledge that, it will have little to offer workers of color — and declining appeal to younger whites. They, too, understand the limits of self-reliance.
Got that Republicans? Accept everything, every lie, that the left tells about you (forget for a moment that the second you do, they’ll just make up some new ones) and stop selling self-reliance. Younger voters aren’t buying it anyway.
And don’t let your heart be troubled that a party selling “the limits of self-reliance” shuns the work ethic.