The aftermath of the election has been something to behold. The excuses, the finger pointing, the recriminations, of course, hold no interest. But why the Republican party consistently fails to capture a meaningful amount of the minority vote is something of real interest, especially because it will most certainly play a greater and greater role in the future.
I noted that Rush Limbaugh was particularly perplexed and frustrated.
Speaking about attracting minorities he asked, "What more can the Republicans do?"
A fair question. At their convention they did a lot. A virtual parade of minorities addressed the nation; people of color and race who had come from nothing, and had risen to the pinnacle of their respective professions. These were people of real achievement.
Their successes were undeniable proof the system wasn't rigged, that hard work and achievement would be rewarded in America, no matter who you may be or where you come from. Seeing this should inspire anyone and give them hope. Right?
Apparently not. But why?
I found the answer quite by accident, and I will share it with you now.
Several years ago, I was driving late at night listening to the radio, and surfing through the channels blindly while keeping an eye on the road.
All of a sudden I heard Al Sharpton's unmistakable speech cadences. He was speaking to Jessie Jackson's Rainbow Push coalition in Chicago. I didn't listen long, but what I heard I have never forgotten.
In one simple sentence Rev. Sharpton gave what I feel sure is the definitive and honest response to Rush's question--the response Rush and the Republicans can take to the bank.
Sharpton, addressing the audience in a sermonic tone said, "Black faces in high places do not impress me. Take our present Supreme Court justice. He's my color, but he's not my kind."
While this statement shocked me at the time, it has taken me years to reduce what he said into a workable and meaningful principle. That principle can be expressed in an even simpler sentence than Sharpton's: policy trumps race.
Today, Sharpton's statement is echoed by millions of minorities. All the achievement oriented minorities who spoke at the Republican Convention did not impress, because, though they might have been of the same race, they were not of the same kind: their policies did not inspire, and therefore they did not inspire or persuade.
That which can be said of race or ethnicity can also be said of gender.
Bill Clinton was a womanizer, a man convincingly accused of rape and other abuses of women. Any N.O.W. fire breathing femiNazi ought to hate Bill Clinton, but, apparently, none does. All the revelations about his abuses and exploits were met with a deafening silence from N.O.W.
Why? His policies---they like them. Because of what he had done for women in supporting unrestrained abortion among other things made what he had done to women forgivable.
Policy trumps gender too.
Policy trumps race and gender for conservatives as well. For instance, any conservative worth his salt would vote for Walter Williams over any white liberal you can name.
A conservative would vote for Marco Rubio, Alan Watts, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez or Condeleeza Rice before he would the whitest liberal you can name... Joe Biden, I'm looking at you.
Policy trumps race: this is the simple principle upon which Al Sharpton's statement rests. This is the simple and unvarnished truth with which the Republican party and conservative must grapple in formulating an effective strategy for the future.
Republicans must come to realize that it is not that minorities don't like the Republican shoe salesmen and all this is needed is to show them you gladly hire minorities and they will enthusiastically patronize your store.
Nope. That ain't it.
The fact is, they don't like your shoes--they don't like what you're selling: hard work, effort, achievement, accomplishment.
Such things seem at once too hard and too remote. In addition, their leaders are constantly telling them that whatever they can take by means of government is deserved.
They hear constantly that the white man is rich at their expense, and what whites have has not been earned, but stolen from the minorities.
Therefore, using government to get what they want and need is not theft. It is justice. They're just getting back what was and is rightfully theirs.
With such a rationalization minorities can get on the welfare and entitlement benefit roles without a single twinge of conscience. They know what they're about, and it's not hard work and accomplishment. They're in it for the goodies and vote accordingly.
As Ron Paul told his wife when he first ran for office, "Don't worry. I'm not going to win. The voters want Santa Claus, and that's not my message."
Republican's successful wooing of minorities will not be accomplished by "outreach" of any kind. That's just stupid. Any attempt to do so will be seen a phony and disingenuous, and greeted with contempt and suspicion----their brainwashing has been quite thorough.
Take Bush 43, for instance. He had policies and programs that lavishly spent on minorities, programs that put the things Clinton did to shame. Minorities took the benefits and still hated Bush.
Conservatives wonder at the continued support of Obama by blacks, even as the unemployment lines swell and black unemployment leads the nation.
"Why," they ask, "why do they support him even while the situation worsens?"
Republicans and Conservatives are perplexed because they are looking at the wrong line. If they want to understand the reason for Obama's black support, they should look at the lines where tens of thousands are applying for food stamps, unemployment, welfare and disability benefits.
Their's is not the traditional American goal. They see getting on such roles as a worthy achievement and a reachable goal---and that is more true today than ever, thanks to Obama.
For them unencumbered opportunity to compete and succeed is not enough. What they want, their most nobel achievement, is having government footing the bill for their wants and needs.
By their standards Obama is a whopping success.
Obama is selling what they want. He is their color--sort of---and he is their kind. He is the best of both worlds, a world in which race and policy find a happy compatibility.
Now, just what the Hell are Republicans going to do about that?