Skip to comments.Standing for something - Conservative blacks align with GOP
Posted on 08/22/2002 9:41:29 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
It's not a trend yet. In fact, it's still the very noticeable exception. But look around. In Douglas and Cobb and Fulton and DeKalb counties, even statewide, genuine conservatives are running as Republicans.
No novelty there. The noteworthy distinction, though, is that some of them are black.
Close your eyes and listen as they talk about the size and role of government, about personal and fiscal responsibility. What you hear is a conservative's message, upbeat and hopeful, without race and class appeals to envy and anger.
Charles Lollar, a loan officer and and officer in the Marine Corps Reserves, who is running for the Cobb County Commission, is one of them. So too is Garland Hunt of Alpharetta, an attorney who is running for the Georgia House of Representatives. In college both were self-described liberals.
Hunt was drawn to the Republican Party because of disenchantment with failed social programs and with the behavior of black Democratic leaders. Catherine Davis, who is running for the 4th Congressional District nomination, looked at the failed results of a quarter-century of federal spending on social programs and concluded there had to be another, better way. Lollar, while a student at Kennesaw State University, found Ronald Reagan's upbeat message of opportunity in America captivating.
Al Bartell, a candidate for lieutenant governor, talks about local control of education with the conviction of a true believer. ("Local control" of schools to liberals is an empty buzzword; to conservatives, it denotes a philosophy that defines relationships and responsibilities. If you don't know that and try to fake it, you fall on your face. Bartell stands tall.)
The emergence of black conservatives as Republican candidates should be a welcomed development by the party's regular voters.
The plain fact is that the first blacks to hold office as Republicans will have to come from majority-white districts. The reason is obvious. More than 90 percent of blacks vote Democratic religiously. Whenever they are thought to wander, party activists stoke the fires of class and race to frighten them back into the fold. It works so often that in close contests that race-baiting has become a Democratic campaign-season staple.
Consequently a black conservative running as a Republican is a major league threat. Ever let the dike break and the traditional conservativism of black voters, especially on social issues, is likely to become a flood, draining the Democratic Party of its most predictable core constituency.
The greatest wrath of black Democrats, therefore, is reserved for pioneer black Republicans. No black Republican will represent a community of black Democrats in our lifetime.
Given that reality, the issue then shifts to how Republicans can attract blacks. One way is for the GOP to stand for something, to have a philosophy of strong defense, limited government and taxes, personal responsibility, equal opportunity and free enterprise. Stand for something and people who are drawn to those ideas and principles will overcome lesser disagreement to join purpose.
If the party has a message, its leaders can't express that message through inhospitable filters. It causes a media flap every time a Republican president or presidential nominee declines to address the NAACP, for example.
But clearly that is no forum for any conservative, black or white, who does not identify with the Democratic Party's liberalism. Inhospitable filters hear the message and interpret it based on their own preferred outcome.
Republicans, then, should stand for something. They should not try to outspend or outregulate the party of government just to buy the affection of any voter group. And, finally, where two candidates are roughly equal, they should pick the one who expands the base.
Jim Wooten is the associate editorial page editor. His column appears Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
This regular conservative voter can not begin to tell you how welcome this devlopment is.
The author of this piece gets it. How come Bush and Rove don't?
AMEN to that one! I cannot believe how many supposedly "conservative" republicans just seem to want to tear GWB apart! I ask them if they'd rather the country and the Constitution be in Gore's hands and their reply is invariably: "Better the DEVIL we know." SO STUPID!
On the other hand, don't count your chickens before they're hatched in regards to this thread. I live and work in that southern bastion of liberalism, Miami-Dade County, Florida. And I teach in the inner city. They all still would like for whatshername McKinney to be not only a congresscritter, but they'd like it if she were President!
Never fear, the liberals and Clintonites still hold the inner cities of America firmly in their LEFT hand! While they still try to place the right hand around our throat.
Media flap, my hind foot!
After what the NAACP did to him (dragging death ad), I doubt he'll EVER agree to speak to that group again and I don't blame him one bit. That was a total insult and they deserve to be snubbed - press opinions be damned!
Well, those are two godd@#n good reasons.
Say, what is a story like this doing in the Journal Constipation? I expect nothing but Cynthia Tucker's Demospew from that source.
I wouldn't doubt it. Bush never stops surprising me. He knows getting and being president involves politics and does a good job of balancing both. Of course most of us will never be statisfied with every outcome. We're much more conservative the most of the electorate.
Amen and amen, sister! (And danged proud of it too!)
Getting the black vote can be done by going to blacks themselves and maybe a few organizations. But going before the naacp is like pearls before swine.
Same thing with the hispanic vote and La Raza.