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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:51 pm 
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http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1861280,00.html

It hasn't been the best time to be a Republican — and even worse if you are a black Republican. Take the experience of Ada Fisher. This fall, the Salisbury, N.C., physician ran for a state general-assembly seat representing a mostly white, working-class district. Several black college students who campaigned on her behalf were dissed by peers as "Uncle Toms." Then, in September, as Fisher walked toward the local Republican Party's booth at a county fair, a white man told her to go back to the Democratic Party booth "where she belonged" and to support Barack Obama. Never mind that the 61-year-old is a third-generation Republican. She also recalls hearing of white people urging friends to vote a straight Republican ticket — "except for the black woman."

Barack Obama's candidacy posed a peculiar challenge to the GOP's minuscule African-American membership. For some, it meant weighing a sense of racial pride against loyalty to conservative economic and foreign policy principles. Now, the GOP must decide how it can be relevant to an increasingly diverse electorate, particularly blacks. That will certainly be on the agenda as Michael Steele, the former Maryland lieutenant governor, vies to become the first African American to lead the Republican National Committee. In an interview with TIME last week, Steele acknowledged it will be "very, very tough" to boost black support for the Republican Party, particularly given the historic nature of Obama's presidency. Still, he says, "I want to take the party back to communities outside its comfort zone." (See pictures of the Republican National Convention.)

Black Republicans often boast that theirs is the Party of Lincoln and that it was the GOP during Reconstruction that propelled several blacks into elected office. Now, however, Obama is being cast as the new Lincoln. And though George W. Bush won a surprisingly large 11% of the national black vote in 2004 — partly by appealing to African Americans' fundamentally conservative social sensibilities — the numbers have once again becoming overwhelmingly Democratic, extending a trend that began in the 1960s. This year, 95% of blacks cast their vote for Obama. (See pictures of how Obama's election energized the heart of the civil rights movement.)

Don Scoggins, 63, has been a Republican for nearly 40 years. Yet on Nov. 4, he voted for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time. Scoggins is president of the 1,000-member Republicans for Black Empowerment, a Washington-based group that primarily aims to mobilize black conservatives. For months, he struggled over whether to support John McCain. The selection of Alaska governor Sarah Palin as McCain's vice-presidential running mate "was the nail in the coffin. She didn't exude any intellectual acuity," he says. Scoggins says his support for Obama wasn't just out of a sense of racial pride. But he was moved by Obama's forceful speech last June on personal responsibility, particularly among black men. "In the black community," Scoggins says, "the biggest problem is the deterioration of the black family. McCain wasn't interested in that — and I don't think he could ever have been the person to articulate it." Scoggins has faced criticism in some conservative circles for supporting Obama. But, he says, "Sometimes you have to lose in order to win. The Republican Party losing [is] forcing it to re-create itself into a party for the 21st century."

Scoggins says he'll remain in the Republican Party despite his vote for Obama. "I'm not going to be driven out by people who shouldn't be in the party in the first place," he says. "Blacks looked up to the party when it was the party of commerce. But the party," he adds, "has totally gotten away from that. It's now about abortion, gay rights and guns. It's frustrating."

Renee Amoore believes she knows the way to make the party more appealing to African Americans. The only black woman with a prime-time speaking role from the podium at this year's Republican National Convention, Amoore, 55, a suburban Philadelphia business executive, says that GOP outreach to blacks should be simple: you just have to ask. But, she says, "You have to do it 24/7. You can't woo people only during election time." She has urged Republicans to buy advertisements promoting Republican candidates on black-oriented television and radio stations, locally and nationally. She also runs the Pennsylvania New Majority Council, which aims to boost GOP support among people of color. During Tom Ridge's 1994 Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign, Amoore recalls, she took him to some of the bleakest areas of north Philadelphia. "This is what our candidates need to see — how people are living, and how they can help those people," she says. Amoore believes Ridge's visit helped him win a significant share of black votes in Philadelphia.

Michael Steele does not diminish the power of the Obama victory. "As a black man, of course I am very proud of his accomplishment," Steele says. "It is at once uplifting — of not only a people but a nation — and sobering in light of the work that remains to be done to address the systemic erosion of black wealth, health and opportunity." But Steele predicts that Obama as President will find it difficult to appease his more liberal supporters as he is forced to moderate views on the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other issues.

Steele says if he is selected as the RNC's chairman in January, he will move swiftly to temper the party's tone, using the model of Ronald Reagan, who, he says, "made it cool to be a conservative." But one of Steele's more daunting mandates will to be to broaden the GOP's base of black voters. "I'll tell local chairmen, 'If you want to be chairman under my leadership, don't think this is a country-club atmosphere where we sit around drinking wine and eating cheese and talking amongst ourselves. If you don't want to drill down and build coalitions in minority communities, then you have to give that seat to someone who does."

That will be a particularly difficult challenge during an Obama presidency. But Steele says that people have to be reminded of the origins of the things over which they take issue with the GOP. Many blacks, he says, "look at the party as this bastion of racism, which it isn't. Democrats have to keep defining us as racists because that's how they stay in power. But just look at the inner-city school systems and the poverty levels that have been high for years. It's systemic, and you can't blame Republicans for that. I haven't heard Barack Obama talk about the recidivism rate among youth in the prison system, or drug addiction. I don't know what he's going to do. But I know we're going to be developing strategies that put us in places where we need to talk about entrepreneurship. We're going to offer something more."

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:58 pm 
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Good article. But I laughed out loud when I saw this part:

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George W. Bush won a surprisingly large 11% of the national black vote in 2004


11%? That's "surprisingly large?" That statement in itself speaks louder than any 2008 exit poll ever could. Any national political organization should be ashamed of itself for getting only 11% of any large slice of the electorate. Imagine the GOP getting 11% of the women vote. The Hispanic vote. Voters in the south, in the west or even in New England. It just wouldn't happen. It would set off major alarm bells if any other group of people of any ethnic background living anywhere only voted in bare double digits for the GOP. But when Bush got 11% in 2004, it was a cause for celebration, because it was higher than usual. And people are so used to things being this way that they don't even question it - it's just the way it is. Despite the fact that somewhere between 30%-35% of young black voters are registered Independents.

Since the GOP is the only party that protects the unborn, I desperately hope that the party experiences some "change" of its own.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:33 pm 
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I believe Alan Keyes was a republican but was given absolutely no respect by the same MSM who worshipped Obama. Mr. Keyes should have been our first African American president.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:33 am 
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TheValuesVoter wrote:
Good article. But I laughed out loud when I saw this part:

Quote:
George W. Bush won a surprisingly large 11% of the national black vote in 2004


11%? That's "surprisingly large?"


It might be --from a certain point of view.

If the Republican party is as evil as the Democrats say, why should the Republicans get even one single vote from a person of African descent, much less a whopping 11%?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:02 am 
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Over here you wrote:

TheValuesVoter wrote:
And I'm not suggesting that the Democrats don't play racial politics. Of course they do. But their gains from those types of things, when they happen, are minimal, compared to their gains from the fact that the Republicans haven't shown up and have made big mistakes in this area.

The Democrats commit a lot of penalties in this part of the game. Unnecessary Roughness. Tripping. Too many men on the field. But it's the Republican fumbles that have been the difference in this aspect of the contest.


My interpretation...

Continuing that discussion, I would agree that the Republicans through a set of circumstances during a particularly volatile period dropped the ball, as well as embraced a strategy of writing off an entire segment of the population. They saw the turmoil and no doubt said, how can we capitalize on this?

But, I think a lot of that is at the horse-race level of politics, the stuff that operatives concern themselves with.

In this sense they have done something very similar with "the poor" as a class.

So, (again strategizing) its easy to imagine something like...

=========
"Look gentleman, we have a chance to divide the electorate for some measurable gains here if we will but make some moves to sharpen that division." (Part of what Philips seems to be saying in the quote in the other thread, is, we are going to lose the majority of blacks no matter what we do. So, given that reality, lets see if we can maximize it in another direction.)

So, gentlemen while we are losing blacks lets see if we can pick up more rednecks than the number of blacks lost."
==========

IOW, if you have two apparently irreconcilable segments of the population, a strategist is going to look at that and wonder if there is political advantage to be had.

Meanwhile in other venues on the right, i.e. those focused on policy, we have the rise of intellectual conservatism growing in appeal, and having a negative effect on the electorate in ways unintended by the theory.

The Democrat party (as you said) became more extreme in its liberalism. A big part of that means more gov't., which is to say, more socialism.

AFDC = socialism
Food Stamps = socialism
Heating assistance = socialism
Medicaid & Medicare = socialism
HUD housing = socialism
Housing vouchers = socialism
More civil service jobs = socialism
Busing = federal social engineering
Affirmative action = federal social engineering
Pro union labor laws = federal social engineering

With the Democrat party becoming more socialistic with each electoral era, those Americans who believe in liberty, limited government, low taxes and minimal regulation of the marketplace, were increasingly alienated from the Democrat party.

And so, the Republican party being presently the only other viable option, those persons who believe in those things, and who also believe socialism is bad for the economy, and bad for society, increasingly insisted that the party they were going to be a part of should increasingly be opposed to those bad things.

The problem, from the political side, is these policies are subject to demagoguery, not only with race-baiting, but also for class warfare. Anyone who is opposed, or fails to support, these liberal policies, it is said, is not only a racist, but a heartless greedy monster.

Republicans are responsible for the homelessness. Republicans want poor seniors to eat dog food. Republicans only want wealthy people to have access to health care. Republicans want poor children to die from preventable diseases, etc., etc., etc.

The state of the political landscape is that there are no sincere philosophical disagreements held by people of good will on both sides. Rather, each side's policies are part of an insidious plot to destroy the America the other party loves.

So, I would say lrobb was wrong, and John Edwards was right (in manner of speaking). There are two Americas (but, not the two that Edwards imagines). These two Americas are in the professional political world. The socialistic America, and the somewhat free-market America.

Now, the Democrats began to offer socialism at an opportune time --during the Great Depression-- a time (as I said) when the Republicans were a marginal aimless party.

Intellectual conservatism gave substance to the hollow Republican party, and revived it at philosophical level. The problem was, the historical accident of the co-incidence of the rise of political conservatism was inconvenient with the incompetence of the politicians and the machinations of the strategists with regard to race.

It was inconvenient, because increasingly the Democrat party was the party of expansive government, and expansive government is what was viewed as helping black America. Therefore, the Republican policy of opposing expansive government is easily linked with Republican neglect of the black vote, and pursuit of the redneck vote.

Exacerbating this problem is the political rhetoric by both parties, the media, academia, and black leaders which said/says: race is a valid basis for bloc voting. I think the Ada Fisher episode described in the article shows that sentiment still holds.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:21 am 
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11 percent of any large group is just laughable. Celebrating it as being better than usual is like buying your kid a car to cebrate the fact that he improved from an F to a low D minus. To accept that as a matter of course is to accept a pathetic level of underperformance. It's even worse when you accept it over the span of many decades.

A lot of the problem has not been opposition to food stamps, etc. And that's not where most of the allegations of racism have come from. I do not think that the party is racist, but I think it has been providing the Democrats some of the ammunition with which it fires those charges at it. It's a matter of continually shooting yourself in the foot.

The really frustrating thing is that each of the past four Republican Presidents have been really decent people. Neither Bush was anything even remotely close to being a racist. And neither was Reagan or Ford. The Bushes in particular have a long family history of trying to achieve racial equlity and of reaching out to blacks.

But, just as we were talking about the unfortunate references to race that the minister made at inauguration and that were made at the congressional meeting, this same type of thing - from Republicans -has regularly affected them at the most inoportune times. For example, right after Reagan was inaugurated, Trent Lott started pressuring the administration to restore the tax-exempt status of schools that explicitly segregate by race. The administration later bit - announcing that racially segregated schools would not be penalized by the IRS in any way - and brought on itself a firestorm of unneeded controversy that further aggrevated the image problems Reagan (who never had bad intentions in this regard) had with minoity voters. And then on the day in 1983 on which King's birthday became a national holiday, Jesse Helms had been in the news for filing a lawsuit and threatening a filibuster trying to stop the holiday, alleging that King was a communist and also trying to unseal FBI files which would remain sealed for decades. During a nationally broadcast news conference, Reagan had been asked if his party's powerful Senator was correct in claiming that the slain Civil Rights leader was a communist. Reagan replied "well, I guess we'll know in 35 years, won't we?" The President took on a barrage of intense criticism and had to apologize to Mrs. King. Bob Dole's refusal to go to the NAACP conference in 1996, publicly claiming that the invitation for the presidential candidate to the national convention was a "set-up" (he apologized a month later). I remember that a Maryland Republican candidate for Governor had declined the opportunity to campaign in heavily black neighborhoods in Baltimore because it could send "the wrong message." Bush going to speak at Bob Jones University, with its policy as late as 2000 of not permitting interracial dating, and then clarifying afterward that he was not an "ANTI-CATHOLIC bigot." I could spend a whole day citing examples like this. Things like that, in most cases, coming from people who didn't actually bear ill will toward blacks but who sent messages that just sounded awful and which gave some extra unleaded fuel to the fire of demoratic accusations, have just really hurt.

Both parties use racial politcs, but it is the GOP that has used it in a way that has most capitalized on anti-black fears and resentments. The Dems haven't done this as much as blacks are an instrumental part of the party's electoral coalition and they have avoided explicitly alienating blacks. But things like the Willie Horton ad (the criminal, by the way, had never been known by the name "Willie" before the ad), Jesse Helms' "Hands" ad, and the 2006 ad run by an RNC-funded group against Harold Ford (which, like the others, was a dual-purpose ad, raising a more legitimate character issue while at the same time aggrivating an old soutern fear or resentment - in that case, interracial dating), are some examples. Put it this way, a Gallup survey showed that both blacks and whites agreed that the Democrats might use race in the 2008 election - their answers were about the same. But while whites assumed that the GOP was no more likely to use race than the Democrats, blacks overwhelmingly believed that the GOP would launch some racially-tinged ads against Obama. And that's the problem - people have come to expect that from the GOP.

I agree with one thing that was said in the article. The way to change this is simply to ask and to not wait until right before the election to do it. And they just have to stop shooting themselves in the foot. Those dumb comments that came from people associated with Obama remind me of these GOP mistakes. People may not mean harm in most cases, but it offends, divides, and sounds terrible. And I could almost set my watch to these types of things coming from the GOP. Every six months or so, somebody's going to say that the country would be safer if every black baby were aborted, decline an important invite for no good reason, or put out the next Magic Negro song. In most cases, good people who are not racists but who couldn't have sent out messages that hurt the party's image more if they tried. Shooting yourself in the foot.

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 1:21 am 
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ValuesVoter, where is your book?? You can just copy-and-paste your excellent posts here at HucksArmy and weave them into several outstanding chapters on the GOP and minorities.

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 10:18 pm 
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Quote:
IOW, if you have two apparently irreconcilable segments of the population, a strategist is going to look at that and wonder if there is political advantage to be had.

Meanwhile in other venues on the right, i.e. those focused on policy, we have the rise of intellectual conservatism growing in appeal, and having a negative effect on the electorate in ways unintended by the theory.

The Democrat party (as you said) became more extreme in its liberalism. A big part of that means more gov't., which is to say, more socialism.

AFDC = socialism
Food Stamps = socialism
Heating assistance = socialism
Medicaid & Medicare = socialism
HUD housing = socialism
Housing vouchers = socialism
More civil service jobs = socialism
Busing = federal social engineering
Affirmative action = federal social engineering
Pro union labor laws = federal social engineering

With the Democrat party becoming more socialistic with each electoral era, those Americans who believe in liberty, limited government, low taxes and minimal regulation of the marketplace, were increasingly alienated from the Democrat party.

This made me think to myself: It seems Republicans are most likely to win when one major wedge issue rises to the forefront -Like terrorism in 2004. But in most other cases, voters can be persuaded to choose Democrat based on what their vote is going to get them; i.e. Foodstamps, free healthcare, gov't jobs, etc. I think the only way to combat this is to educate the voters on the true, hidden cost of these glorious gifts: the cost is freedom and liberty. But this is impossible if our chosen educators fall into these groups:
* out-of-touch bumbling old dudes like John McCain or Mitch McConnell
*stick-in-the-mud dweebs like Mitt Romney or Pat Toomey
* intellectually mediocre, flavor of the month politico-celebrities (i won't mention any names here.)
... I have some more to write here, but I need to leave my comp. right now.. 8)


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 11:15 pm 
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All-in-for-Mike wrote:
ValuesVoter, where is your book?? You can just copy-and-paste your excellent posts here at HucksArmy and weave them into several outstanding chapters on the GOP and minorities.


Thanks!! I'm working on it right now - still doing an incredible amount of research and still learning more things I didn't know before. That, along with work and family, have sort of kept me away from blogging recently.

I currently have about 600+ pages of notes and dozens of books that I am reading for more info. My goal is to try to wrap up researching in the next month, get a detailed outline finished (I have a high-level one now) the month after that and get a draft done within a few months after that. It's slow going but I'm still going.

I still have the same conclusion after all the study. The GOP and black voters need to reconcile. The GOP was founded as the anti-slavery party. All blacks were originally Republicans. President Grant won the election in 1868, even though he lost among the nation's white voters, because 700,000 black freedmen in the south voted for him. The GOP didn't lose the trust of black voters completely for almost another hundred years.

The Republican Party will be 155 years old on this coming July 6th. For more than half of that time period, blacks voted for the Republican Party more than the Democratic Party. For another three decades, the GOP was in a position to contend for support from black voters. For about 67% of the duration of the party's history, it has had at least a chance of getting a significant percentage of blacks to vote for the Republican Presidential candidate. The total alienation of black voters by the GOP is a relatively recent phenomenon - just the past 50 years. And even now, a third of young blacks are not Democrats but also not Republicans (and I am in this group of Independents as well). The party has to undo some long-standing but still relatively recent damage.

The GOP is unlikely to win another national election unless it somehow closes the gap at least a little bit with minority voters (case in point: John McCain beat President Obama among white voters by twelve percentage points but lost the election by more than a hundred electoral votes). It's not because there is a shortage of white voters. It is because when you lose almost all of a large slice of a large minority group of voters, you need a landslide amongst the majority in order to make up for that significant loss. No Republican President in the past 50 years has won an election by winning less than 54% of white voter support (beating the Democrat among this demographic group by at least eight points). And even in the year that a Republican won 54% of white voters, that year was 2000, in which there was almost a perfect tie in the Presidential race. Think the race would have turned out differently if Gore hadn't gotten 92% of the black vote in Florida? It's like a football game where your opponent always gets to start their drives on the 30-yard line and you always have to start yours on the 10-yard line. By ceding so much territory to them, you've made it easier for them to win and harder for you to win.

As things stand today, the current model is a lose-lose scenario for both the GOP and for blacks. The GOP loses for the reasons I mentioned above. Blacks lose because 1) liberal social policies have been very destructive to the black family and 2) when a group supports only one political party, both parties tend to discount that group. On top of that, the conservative vote is split. Many blacks are conservatives, especially Christian conservatives. So, what happens when most white Christian conservatives vote for the GOP and most black Christian conseratives vote for the Democrats? The conservative vote is split and is a lot less effective than it would have been if the split wasn't in place (a "household divided against itself will not stand" anyone?) Gay marriage happens. Expansion of abortion happens. It's a lose-lose scenario. But it won't change until the things that have caused black voters to see the GOP as a party of southern racists change - the GOP brand is ruined with black voters. And to change this, people have to understand why this perception got started and why it has persisted. I'm working to try to completely research and understand this and bring this different perspective to light.

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 11:23 pm 
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TheValuesVoter wrote:
I currently have about 600+ pages of notes and dozens of books that I am reading for more info. My goal is to try to wrap up researching in the next month, get a detailed outline finished (I have a high-level one now) the month after that and get a draft done within a few months after that. It's slow going but I'm still going.


Great goals, TVV! (Plan your work, work your plan!) I'm impressed you have that much done already! We can't wait to read it!

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 11:26 pm 
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ValuesVoter, I love reading your stuff. When you are done with the draft of your book, if you want a fresh pair of eyes for final proofreading, I'd be glad to volunteer. I've never seen so much as a jot or tittle out of place in your posts, so I doubt that much proofreading would need doing. But it would be a pleasure to help you get your message out!

I have this picture of you in the future, appearing on the Mike Huckabee TV show, promoting your ground-breaking book, which Mike is enthusiastically recommending!

If anyone reading TVV's posts can get copies of them to Gov. Huckabee, they would be doing a huge favor to Mike, to the GOP, and to America.

Mary, I like your quoting Mike's favorite adage!

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:26 am 
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All-in-for-Mike wrote:
ValuesVoter, I love reading your stuff. When you are done with the draft of your book, if you want a fresh pair of eyes for final proofreading, I'd be glad to volunteer. I've never seen so much as a jot or tittle out of place in your posts, so I doubt that much proofreading would need doing. But it would be a pleasure to help you get your message out!

I have this picture of you in the future, appearing on the Mike Huckabee TV show, promoting your ground-breaking book, which Mike is enthusiastically recommending!

If anyone reading TVV's posts can get copies of them to Gov. Huckabee, they would be doing a huge favor to Mike, to the GOP, and to America.

Mary, I like your quoting Mike's favorite adage!


Thanks very much, again!! I do make lots of mistakes and would definitely take up any help on editing and proofreading. I also really need prayer in terms of finding a publisher, getting interviews with some people, and all of that. I also have been daydreaming of going on Huckabee to talk about it once it's done. After that, I'm onto taking on abortion. My rationale for doing this first was: a) I thought this topic would be easier to research (it's not easy, though), b) I'd establish wriiting credentials to attack the more controversial topic of abortion and c) until conservatives stop being politically divided by color, we're not going to make much progress in protecting unborn life and family. We're a house divided.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:03 pm 
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I think you chose the better topic first. There have been many, many, many books written on abortion, from all angles and sides. But have seen precious few titles about this VERY important topic: why minorities vote Democrat, the history behind it, why it's NOT in their best interest, and how can we change this tendency?

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:28 pm 
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TVV - I too can picture you on Huckabee someday - what a dream! We would all be so proud to see that happen!

I can't wait to read your book!


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:35 pm 
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My response to this question is YES !! If the GOP does not reach out more to black and latino voters, then this party will become irrelevant in future national elections. However, I am very encouraged by Michael Williams, currently serving his second term as Texas Railroad Commisioner, who had decided to run for senate to replace Hutchinson.

Williams is black and a true conservative. He would be a new shining star for the GOP if he is elected to the senate. I hope HuckPAK endorses him.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:30 pm 
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Thanks again everyone for the kind words of encouragement. On the topic of this thread, I came across this article that was published in The Economist in 1998. I found it interesting.


Quote:
Most blacks are conservative-except when it comes to voting. How can the Republican Party appeal to them?

WHEN the Southern Republican Leadership Conference met in Biloxi, Mississippi, this spring, those attending selected a favourite for the Republican nomination in 2000. To no one's surprise, George W. Bush, the governor of Texas, came out on top. Much more surprising, and perhaps of more significance, was the man these southern Republicans wanted for vice-president: J.C. Watts, a conservative black congressman from Oklahoma. Mr Watts is in the vanguard of black conservatism, which is more self-confident and influential these days than at any time since the end of the civil war. As he and many other black politicians know, black Americans may vote left, but they often think right. Poll after poll shows that blacks are more conservative on social issues than whites. They are tougher on homosexuality, abortion and drugs, and more outspoken in favour of school prayer. They are also surprisingly conservative on key political issues. Most think term limits are a good idea; and yes, America should strive for a balanced budget. Even affirmative action is viewed suspiciously; in one Gallup poll, 74% of blacks were opposed to minority preferences in hiring. And yet, despite all these indicators, Bill Clinton snapped up 84% of the black vote in 1996. Why? The biggest reason is that blacks still equate conservatism (and, by default, Republicans) with racial prejudice. They have not forgiven conservatives for opposing the civil-rights movement, and they still perceive the Republican Party as something of a country club, jolly enough for members but haughty towards those left outside. The Republican drive to downsize government, which has given many blacks jobs and advancement over the years, is another stumbling block. And the style of the wilder Republican candidates does not help. ''I'm not saying Pat Buchanan is a racist,'' sighs one black Republican, ''but to most black folks, that's the way he comes across.'' Blacks do not often have much contact with Republicans anyway. Few Republican campaigns are eager to spend their hard-begged dollars reaching out to black voters. In most places, Republicans in effect cede the black vote to Democrats before any real money is spent. Latinos, by contrast, are actively pursued wherever they are numerous, simply because they hint that they might be willing to slip into bed with Republicans. ''It's the worst of all worlds,'' says Clark Kent Ervin, the black assistant secretary of state in Texas. ''Republicans ignore us and Democrats take us for granted.'' Yet there are signs that this is changing, and nowhere more strikingly than in Florida. There, Jeb Bush, the younger son of the former president, is striving to win the hearts of blacks in his race for the governorship. This used to be a group he almost wilfully ignored; asked in 1994, during his previous race, what he would do for blacks if elected, he famously answered ''Probably nothing''. Now he is campaigning with enthusiasm in some of the poorest black districts in the state. In Liberty City, a depressed black area of Miami, he has helped to set up a charter school. The tactic seems to be working; blacks are beginning to ask themselves whether this Republican, who talks like a conservative Democrat, might not be on their side. Florida's blacks have also learned that they have leverage. Mr Bush needs them, because they make up 20% of the state's voters; they may spell the difference for him between victory and defeat. Richard Nixon knew this, too: in 1960 he snuggled up to Jackie Robinson, the first black to play national league baseball, and won more than a third of the black vote from Kennedy. Indeed, if black voters applied themselves in a Machiavellian manner, they would vote Republican in large enough numbers to worry Democrats and thereby gain more influence in both parties. This is exactly what is happening in the Missouri Senate race. There blacks are deserting the Democratic candidate, Jay Nixon, in favour of Christopher Bond, the Republican incumbent. Mr Nixon has annoyed them by proposing to end busing as a means of school integration, and assuming that they will vote for him all the same. By contrast, Mr Bond, with no assumptions, is working hard in black precincts (where he barely set foot in his previous races) and is going to all the right church suppers. The black mayor of Kansas City, among other prominent blacks, is now publicly contributing to his campaign. There are, of course, a small core of blacks who vote Republican without persuasion. Pollsters say they are such a tiny sample that it is hard to generalise about them. But they tend to be recent immigrants (particularly West Indians such as Colin Powell); the upwardly mobile (''buppies''), especially businessmen and lawyers; blacks in the armed forces; and those brought up as Episcopalians or Catholics, who-the argument goes-have a broader outlook than blacks attending more narrowly black churches. Frances Edwards-West Indian, Catholic and an executive with HBO, a cable TV channel-is a good example of the upcoming generation of black conservatives. She finds it hard to relate to liberal leaders such as Jesse Jackson; instead, she gains sustenance from thinkers such as Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele, who emphasise that blacks must progress by their own efforts and not with the help of government. She regrets what she calls ''censorship'' of the black conservative view, and resents the way the media present blacks as a group with a single political outlook. Her views are echoed even more forcefully by Clarence Thomas, the lone black voice on the Supreme Court, who in a new book of essays by various writers, ''Black and Right'' (Praeger-Greenwood), applauds ''dissident blacks'' for refusing ''to give in to the cult mentality and childish obedience that hypnotises black Americans into a mindless political trance.'' Yet, for all their passion, black conservatives seldom run for political office. An exception is Alan Keyes, a black politician from Maryland (and Republican candidate in the 1996 presidential race) who is the standard bearer of social conservatives both black and white. Mr Keyes has founded Black America's Political Action Committee (BAMPAC) to encourage black conservatives to get elected. Its director, Alvin Williams, says the vital issues are tax reform, school choice, amendments to affirmative action, welfare reform; and, above all, moral regeneration. Mr Williams believes that black conservatives are the true voice of the black community: self-starting, respectful, pious. BAMPAC, with 60,000 members, contributes to the campaigns of black Republicans and holds training sessions for political novices. Already it has three notches in its belt: Mr Watts, elected to Congress in Oklahoma; Ken Blackwell, elected state treasurer in Ohio; and Vikki Buckley, elected secretary of state in Colorado. This autumn it will be backing several more black conservatives, including two first-time congressional candidates from Texas. For those blacks-and there are many of them-still reluctant to show their Republican sympathies, there is a model in Tex Moten, who in 1940 wandered into the Texas campaign office of the Republican presidential candidate, Wendell Willkie. As a black man, he had to enter by the side door. The white campaign officials looked at him strangely; what was a black man doing in a Republican office? He told them that he opposed Roosevelt's government handouts, and wanted to help the Republican campaign by stuffing envelopes. He never looked back. Mr Moten, now in his eighties, remains a staunch Republican, retailing the party's virtues to anyone who cares to listen. Republicans, he insists, are not racist and never have been. Most black colleges, he points out, were founded by Republicans. Several of the founding fathers of the Texas Republican Party were black men. Indeed, Republicans held power during Texas's turbulent Reconstruction largely because of black suffrage. And whatever its lapses during the civil-rights years, the party was originally founded to fight slavery. Besides, times have changed. At the turn of the century Mr Moten's grandfather, a freed slave, tried to register as a Republican and was laughed at. ''Boy,'' said the county official, ''in this county we only allow Democrat [expletive].'' Never let it be said that that particular prejudice is still alive and well


"Black, yes; Democrats, maybe: most blacks are conservative - except when it comes to voting. How can the Republican Party appeal to them?." The Economist (US). Economist Newspaper Ltd. 1998. HighBeam Research. 2 Jun. 2009 <http://www.highbeam.com>.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:23 am 
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Wow, what a great article! (And the writing is "vigorous and concise"!)

I had no idea that Florida's electorate is 20% African-Americans, and I had not heard that Jeb Bush said he would do "probably nothing" for blacks if elected. That's just truly awful.

Reminds me of what James Baker said about Jewish people!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Another article - this one from 23 years ago.

Quote:
A simply silly idea for GOP to lure blacks

Election Day sees conservatives, in the National Review, performing their perennial hand-wringing and head-scratching over the lack of black Republican voters.

In the Nov. 7 issue of the biweekly, author Henry Klingeman suggests, with breathtaking simplicity, that Republicans would get more black votes if they just asked for them.

As a case in point he cites Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), openly hostile to civil rights legislation, credited with just 2 percent of the black vote in voter surveys before the 1984 election.

Helms made a three-day campaign swing through black precincts and ended up pulling 13 percent of the black vote - ironically, his margin of victory over a pro-civil rights Democrat.

"If you want someone's vote, you have to ask him for it," Klingeman writes in an article titled "I Just Called to Say I Love You."

"The tendency of Republican candidates to avoid black audiences only reinforces blacks' fear that the GOP platform is one big code word for racism," he continues.

The time is ripe for Republican gains because "the black establishment today is in disarray and black activism is stagnating," while the black/Democratic alliance merely is "running on nostalgia," Klingeman adds.

He ignores this year's Republican "ballot integrity" program. It's aimed directly, court proceedings have shown, at purging black voters from the rolls.

He also ignores both parties' poor showing in recruiting black candidates. In today's elections no major-party Senate nominee is black; a black Democrat in California and a black Republican in Michigan are running for governor, but both are expected to lose.

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-3793957.html


It would be hard for a political party to win nationally when it gets single digit showings from any large group of people. I'm pretty sure that the GOP gets a higher percentage of support from one-legged gay-marriage supporting environmentalists in favor of gun control than they do from African Americans. This comes in spite of the fact that blacks are as a group extremely conservative on social issues and even on many financial issues and tend to agree with the GOP on a number of issues. It's a shame.

Three of the five states with the largest number of electoral votes have at least a 10% black population. The same thing is true for seven of the ten largest electoral states as well as ten of the largest fifteen. What's the significance of this? Well, let's say for arguments sake that a particular state has a 90% white population and a 10% black popuation. Let's say that the Republicans only get 10% of black voter support. In order to win the election in that state, simple math dictates that the Republicans need to win 55% of the white vote in order to overcome losing 90% of the black vote. In other words, they need to beat the Democrats among white voters by ten points, 55%-45%, a near landslide, in order to overcome the very low level of support from black voters. There are a large number of would-be red states that turned out blue because the GOP effectively got all the white votes that it could possibly get - the majority but not a landslide - and a very low level of support from blacks and other ethnic minority groups. Because of the way that blacks have come to view the GOP over the past five decades, the party has a challenge in needing to win non-minority voters by a huge margin just to break even. This is one of the reasons why no Republican President in at least the past fifty years has won an election without carrying at least 54% of white voters (Bush 43 got 54% in 2000 and just barely broke even, losing the popular vote and getting two EVs over the bare minimum).

The really frustrating thing for me - part of why I'm writing my book - is hearing and seeing people scratch their heads, not able to figure out why things are the way they are. I'm tired of hearing people presuming that blacks vote Democratic because of some dependence on the government (by the way, after reading this, can you please pass me my government check?) or that we're fooled by Democrats. From doing my research, I can see so many scenarios in which the GOP has had wide-open opportunities to fix the problem over the past three decades but has either ignored them or blown the chance. As a Values Voter who is also an African American, my frustration is compounded, because 1) I realize that there is almost no way in the 21st century for the Republican Party to be in a position to fight for the sanctity of life or traditional family (assuming it's still interested in doing so) until it fixes its image problem with blacks - It's a pretty simple math problem, as I pointed out above - and, 2) I'm frustrated that out of all the theories I've heard Republicans spout out about how to get back to winning, they've almost never mentioned the glaring and obvious demographic problem in terms of the intensity in which it loses black voters. If you look at all the statistics of who rejects the GOP, this is the most obvious shortcoming.

It's like talking to a person who wants to lose weight and can't figure out why they keep gaining. You tell them "stop eating fried foods and go out and exercise a little." They give you back a blank stare and insist that the problem is with everyone else - people are too obsessed with being thin (although the scale offers objective evidence that it's them, not others, who needs to change). You watch them continue to struggle and continue to ask why they're not able to be in better shape, even though they ignored your answer. But you're relying on them to win a two person foot race because you don't like their competitor. You know that they are in no shape to win but they're also not willing to do the hard work necessary to get into shape for competition or to face the honest facts about why they're in the shape that they're in. Frustrating.

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