by John Hawkins | November 20, 2008 8:56 am
Theoretically, it’s a good idea for Republicans to embrace the idea of a color blind political pitch. It’s what we believe in, it fits with the vision of the Founding Fathers, and it would be better for the country if people cared nothing about race. However, the reality is that philosophy has proven to be completely unworkable in practice with black Americans.
Look to the Democratic primaries where the wife of Bill Clinton, the first “black President,” was losing 90% of the black vote to a very similar candidate merely because he was black.
Republicans, although we are and always have been the party of a color blind world, are losing with black Americans and we will probably still be losing with them in 2050 by the same margins unless something changes.
That’s particularly grating because if you take color out of the equation, we should probably be getting 30%-40% of the black vote. There is a large black middle class. A lot of them go to church. In fact, probably about a third of black Americans could be honestly classified as conservative.
But, what’s happening? Those black, middle class conservatives are going to the polls and pulling the lever for the Democrats.
That’s nuts, right? They’re voting for a party that disagrees with everything they stand for.
It’s because being Republican is not acceptable in the black community. It’s cultural — it’s an attitude thing.
What we need to do is change that.
That’s why I’d like to see a NAACRP, a National Association for the Advancement of Colored Republican People.
How do we do it?
You get a group of black Republicans and load them up with funding under the NAACRP banner and then let them start pursuing “conservative” projects across the country — community watches, micro-loans for entrepreneurs, projects to reveal government waste that is hurting the black community, etc. — and just wait a few years.
Once a Republican group like that gains genuine respect in the black community and it becomes “OK” to be a Republican, you could see the GOP’s numbers expand relatively rapidly with black Americans.
Would that be cheap? Not so much. Would some conservatives not like the idea of dipping into identity politics like that? You bet. But, what is — let’s say — 20% of the black vote worth? A heck of a lot in my book…
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