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The LBJ Curse on the Black Vote
Acton Institute ^ | November 14, 2012 | Anthony B. Bradley

Posted on 11/16/2012 5:50:37 AM PST by SoFloFreeper

Gov. Mitt Romney’s devastating loss to President Barack Obama is producing all sorts of interesting discussion. The analysis shows, again, a clear preference that minorities had for Obama. For example, according to exit polling data at Fox News, President Obama received 93 percent of the black vote. Over the years, the GOP made honest attempts to attach racial weight to issues like abortion and gay marriage but to no avail. Those attempts failed for an important reason: For black voters, entitlement programs trump moral-social issues every time. Even if African Americans are more socially conservative on many issues black voters will choose the path of consequentialism at the ballot box. This is the sentiment that the moral worth of an action derives solely from its outcomes or consequences. The GOP seems blind to this fact.

President Obama owes a debt of gratitude to former President Lyndon Johnson for the “War on Poverty” programs he proposed in his 1964 Great Society speech. Johnson was well aware that by federalizing his proposals he was cementing black allegiance to the Democratic Party for years to come. In fact, it is reported that Johnson, in an attempt to assuage the fears of southern governors, said that his plan was “to have them n*****s voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” Johnson’s plan worked masterfully.

Even when there is evidence to the contrary -- for example, that none of the entitlement programs introduced by the Johnson administration have improved the lives of blacks in the long-run anywhere in America – race-sensitive warfare rhetoric and the perception of genuine concern for the marginalized ensures that Democratic candidates prevail among minority voters. Even though Johnson’s programs introduced perverse incentives against saving money, starting businesses, getting married, and they discouraged fathers from being physically and emotionally present for their children -- resulting in generational welfare dependence -- black voters are lured to choose dependence over liberation.

The Johnson administration successfully convinced generations of black voters to believe a two-part narrative. First, none of the challenges in your life are related to any decisions you or your family has ever made and all of your problems have been imposed on you, historically, by others. Second, you are, therefore, entitled to receive money and services through government that will remedy all of your problems. An additional sub-plot advances an evolving conflation of “government” with "society." Therefore, when the point is made that other institutions in society are better at caring for the differentiated needs of the poor in the long-run, progressives will always interpret that as "not caring for the poor," "ignoring the poor," "leaving the poor to fend for themselves,” and so on. An anxious warning results: “If government doesn't provide for the poor, no one will.”

What remains odd is how easily we have forgotten that the cultural production of evil that oppressed and marginalized blacks in the first place was the work of politics. The trans-Atlantic slave trade, American slavery, the Jim Crow era, the Eugenics movement, the Tuskegee Experiment, and the forced sterilization of black women were all made possible and perpetuated because of concentrated political power. Johnson brilliantly worked to whitewash the historical narrative with a speech and a few pen strokes to view government as the most effective means of remedying the kinds of problems that politics initiated in the first place—problems that are often more moral in nature rather than political. Years after the systemic oppression, politicians courted black voters to elect them to solve the problems catalyzed by previous eras’ self-interested politicians just like them.

It seems plausible, then, that the only way to free black voters from the curse of LBJ is for some group to make the persuasive and factual case that black communities are better off when people in those communities are in full control of how to solve their own problems. This was the norm in the black community that led to higher black marriage rates and work force participation rates prior to the civil rights movement than after, for example. What should matter for black voters moving forward should not be allegiance to the unfulfilled promises of past proposals but a future that empowers and positions local communities to create the conditions for virtue formation, strong marriages, parental control in education, entrepreneurial freedom, and protection from the unchecked power of self-interested politicians lobbied by corporations, so that votes are cast to guarantee the actualizing of liberty rather than the promises of wished-for solutions.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortion; morality; race; slavery
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The Acton Institute is dedicated to defending Christianity and capitalism. Good analysis here.
1 posted on 11/16/2012 5:50:46 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: SoFloFreeper

Yes, this thing really got rolling under Johnson and the so-called, “Great Society.”

Black and Latino Americans - For God’s Sake, Wake up!

3 posted on 11/16/2012 5:58:35 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Josa

Damn good article and 100% true. LBJ didn’t give a damn about blacks. It was just a way to hold on to power for his party. Make them dependent on the government. Forever. That is the democrat motto.

4 posted on 11/16/2012 5:59:39 AM PST by NKP_Vet
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To: SoFloFreeper
his plan was “to have them n*****s voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.”

And it seems to be working...

5 posted on 11/16/2012 5:59:45 AM PST by grobdriver
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To: SoFloFreeper
NRO It's Income not Ethnicity article support this article.

Shockingly O'Reilly makes this point. On his show, someone made a good point that the reason single women vote democratic is that so many are single Mom's near or in poverty. The image the media likes to make of single women is the young college educated women who enlightenly votes Democratic.

6 posted on 11/16/2012 6:00:54 AM PST by 11th Commandment (
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To: SoFloFreeper

As the Prgaer Zeitung said after BHO was reelected:

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president.”

7 posted on 11/16/2012 6:12:42 AM PST by CharlesMartelsGhost
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To: SoFloFreeper

“For black voters, entitlement programs trump moral-social issues every time.”

You’re almost right...but isn’t it closer to the surface? Isn’t that right Colon?

8 posted on 11/16/2012 6:14:45 AM PST by Portcall24
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: CharlesMartelsGhost

Absolutely right. Don’t blame a thermometer because you have a fever. All an election does is take the country;s temperature. A sick, debauched culture/society.

10 posted on 11/16/2012 6:22:07 AM PST by all the best (`~!)
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” I wash my hands of them. “

And how many died in the civil war to set them free?
(I’ve had arguments with them denying that fact)

11 posted on 11/16/2012 6:22:52 AM PST by vanilla swirl (searching for something meaningful to say)
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To: grobdriver

Except for the 200 years part. It doesn’t look like the gravy train will last that long.

12 posted on 11/16/2012 6:23:28 AM PST by jospehm20
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To: SoFloFreeper

10-20% of the black vote used to belong to the Republican Party back in the day when social conservatives were welcome in the Party. Now that they are vilified the Democrat Party appears more attractive to these 10-20% that might have gone Republican. Republican FisCons cut their own throats with the black vote when they started marginalizing the SoCons and the bleeding will continue until and unless they wake up.

13 posted on 11/16/2012 6:23:45 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: Jeff Head
“It takes a village” is not just some slogan hitlery cooked up, its an inbred way of life with most of African decent.
It probably is a good survival philosophy in Africa or get eaten in that predator environment just trying to find enough to eat.

Here it takes on 95% vote for a person AND a Party who clearly does not truly have their best interests in mind, but who doles out just enough to satisfy em for the day.

Is there any incentive for a high majority of blacks to improve their lot in life? Name me one invention that even remotely benefited mankind that came from sub-Sarahan Africa. Am not inferring they do not have the capacity, its the incentive that's missing, and don't tell me about Carver, he was raised by whites.

14 posted on 11/16/2012 6:30:54 AM PST by X-spurt (It is time for OFF YOUR FEET and on the gravy-train)
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To: SoFloFreeper
For black voters, entitlement programs trump moral-social issues every time.

For far too many white voters as well.

15 posted on 11/16/2012 6:39:41 AM PST by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: vanilla swirl
Was born and raised and love the South.

We as a nation are reaping the Karma of slavery. When we revolted from King George, our nation would have been better off to have abolished slavery without exception in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. The consensus was to let it continue, why? to enable developing agriculture in the South that obviously did benefit our fledgling Nation short-term.

There is never any rightful reason for slavery and we as a Nation will continue paying the price until it is Paid In Full, no matter even if it results in our dissolution and destruction.

16 posted on 11/16/2012 6:45:43 AM PST by X-spurt (It is time for OFF YOUR FEET and on the gravy-train)
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To: SoFloFreeper

Since it became fashionable to ignore hard data and declare that all people, ethnic groups, and races are equal in all abilities and attributes our culture has been plummeting downhill.

Of course, the well off, influential people who generate policy and law based on this misguided concept don’t have to live with the results of their actions.

They don’t have to watch their little children bussed an hour across the city to a ghetto school where they will learn almost nothing of value.

they don’t have to watch moochers on the dole living better than they do on the hard earned money they are forced to pay in taxes to keep the moochers happy.

I do not see a peaceful way out of this dilemma.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

- Attributed to Prof. Alexander Frazer Tytler; 1747-1813, lawyer and writer.

17 posted on 11/16/2012 6:47:00 AM PST by Iron Munro ("Jiggle the Handle for Barry!")
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To: 11th Commandment
That's a really good point. So the women's lib movement told women to open their legs and be uninhibited, powerful, and you will be FREE! And yet, the reality is that detaching oneself from deep moral underpinnings has enslaved many women to lives of struggle, disillusion, and poverty.

Go into nearly any inner city and look at almost any Black woman. She's young with two or three kids in tow. She is dirt poor except for whatever handouts she gets from the government, and she has absolutely no future — none.

And this cycle is repeated endlessly with her young daughters. And the Democrats call this good! They morally deceive themselves and pat themselves on the backs believes they are being compassionate when in fact they have instituted abject misery through millions of broken lives.

It is a disgrace and it is sinful that Liberals call this good and they will be held accountable for their deeds.

18 posted on 11/16/2012 6:48:48 AM PST by Obadiah (Americans said, "Give us Barabbas!")
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To: grobdriver
“I'll have them n*****s voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.”

And those were his EXACT WORDS (from eyewitnesses)

19 posted on 11/16/2012 6:58:57 AM PST by Mr. K (some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help...)
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To: SoFloFreeper
Trying to compete on the "who can give more free stuff" is a loser of an idea. Right now blacks don't trust the GOP and won't have a reason to take a chance on switching if the GOP strategy is just to look more like democrats. But there are things that blacks care about other than welfare. Vouchers, for instance, offer a way to get their kids out of the dismal and dangerous public schools they are force to endure. And Democrats are the only thing standing in their way.

And crime. Blacks are the ones forced to live in war zones while their democrat mayors do nothing. Tough laws that keep criminals in jail might appeal. Not to the criminals themselves, mind you, but to parents and grandparents who want their kids to be safe.

What about jobs? Tax policy that incentivizes investment in their communities is another thing that would benefit them without being a handout. Let's try to find a way to elevate the black community and then talk to them, convince them.

This is the sort of thing Jack Kemp was trying to do 30 years ago and if the GOP had kept up with it for those 30 years maybe they'd be able to capture a measly 10% of black votes. That would be enough to sway these close elections. And more importantly, it would actually provide a real chance for a future for millions of kids stuck in no-win situations. It's a way to make the country better. It's worth doing.

But the GOP squandered those 30 years by refusing to take the fight on these sorts of issues. Now it might take another 30 years from now but the goal needs to be to win their votes by doing smart, conservative things that will help them to succeed and excel and which appeal to them. Focus on a small subset like moms who are worried about their kids, win a few of them without resorting to trying to buy them and then build. It'll be a tough job; it's time it was begun.

20 posted on 11/16/2012 7:01:25 AM PST by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
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