Skip to comments.Black Conservative Republicans: Winning Elections ...
Posted on 03/06/2003 12:39:50 PM PST by MAKnight
While this is primarily directed to black Conservative Republicans who are thinking of running for office sometime in the future, all are welcome to throw in their additions, criticisms, insights, corrections, etc.
The bulleted articles in my campaign plan are almost entirely tactical (designed to win a particular campaign) as opposed to being strategic (designed to effect a change in the political environment to make Conservative campaigns much more likely to succeed). The sole exceptions are the articles on race to the extent that you (the candidate) do not allow your outreach operation to only last the duration of the campaign ... and that you're not the only GOP candidate employing it. This is appropriate, because it does not take a genius to see that the GOP getting an extra five-to-ten percent of the minority community vote, especially the black vote, would consign the Democrats to near permanent (no pun intended) minority status. Obtaining this extra five-to-ten percent is thus a valid long-term goal. Unfortunately, the powers that be in the GOP have deemed this to be an effort that is not, as yet, worthwhile.
The last bulleted article focussed on countering Leftist organizations / individuals who are presumed to have some authority (which they can and will use against you) on certain issues, for example, civil rights. The article used the NAACP rather heavily as an example. There is a reason for this. The NAACP is perhaps the most powerful organization a Republican has to contend with. This is because its claim that it represents the black community has substantial validity, to the extent that it can actually be said that the NAACP almost leads the black community. So while they are totally predictable, its endorsements are not taken lightly because for many African Americans, the NAACP's word is golden. No organization has more credibility with the black community (and the Press) and, unfortunately, hardly any organization is more stridently anti-Republican.
The NAACP's televised campaign ads in election seasons are only the tip of the iceberg of its operations to ensure that a solid majority of black votes go to the Democrats. Through its many local chapters, it is linked to the vast majority of other Leftist "civil rights" organizations (i.e. the Urban League, etc), black churches, community centers, local radio stations and the various urban and rural black political machines all over the country, they have an informal campaigning network that is, for all intents and purposes, unparalleled. And one can be certain that whatever is being said about the Republican in the televised campaign advert is ten times kinder to the Republican that what is said at the lower informal level of the network. George W. Bush was accused of endorsing the actions of the James Byrd murderers in Jasper - TX on national television. That was nothing; in many local churches, the word from the pastor on down was that Bush has been confirmed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and his first act upon entering office would be to single-handedly repeal the 13th Amendment, re-introduce slavery and pack black people off to concentration camps.
I was in a predominantly black neighborhood right when Al Gore conceded on national television. And an unbelievably large number of people around me were literally shaking in terror when Gore left the podium. It was, quite frankly, amazing. In May of 2000, Bush had an approval rating in the black community as high as 35%, and he was running much higher in Texas. By November, Bush was one of the most hated men in the history of black America, a huge amount of black people all over the country convinced that he was about to launch a "Black Holocaust". All thanks to the NAACP and its network. Suffice it to say, it cannot be denied the NAACP (and other racial organizations like it) is integral to the Democrat Party's continued survival, and thus a serious obstacle for the GOP to overcome to build a following in the black community.
This is because the Democrat Party has long ceased to be a party in the sense that a political party must have an overarching philosophy and a set of principles that define it. Today, the Democrat Party is basically a coalition of high-powered special interest groups, each of which bring their own agenda to the table. Each interest group, in exchange for pledges of support for their agenda from the other interest groups in the coalition, pledge their own support for the agendas of their coalition partners. Which is why the NOW, an organization totally dominated by upper middle class white women who have no reason to oppose parents being able to choose their children's educational paths, is a strong opponent of school choice. In exchange for this support of the Teachers Unions' agenda, the NOW recieve financial support and assistance in getting their programs into the nation's schools. Another illustration: in return for the NAACP declaring any attempt to decrease the size of government to be racist, the Public Employee Unions stand four-square against any threat to racial preferences. And so it goes.
Let me give a more exact example of how this coalition operates, John Ashcroft. When he was first announced as the President's choice for Attorney General, the racial Left was silent. He was not considered anything other than a typical conservative Republican (for which they have no love lost), and they judged that launching a serious opposition campaign against him was not a worthwhile investment of political capital. Labor was silent for the same reason. However, to the feminist Left, he was one of the Senators who had proven to be an extremely dangerous opponent and so, was to be stopped and humiliated by all means necessary. They called in their chips on their coalition partners and soon enough, Ashcroft was not only an abortion opponent, he was a misogynist, racist, anti-worker, anti-environment, theocratic fascist who had no doubt been a party to lynchings, gang rapes and hunting many species of animal to extinction.
Another example is Linda Chavez; if she had been a leftist Democrat of President Gore's choosing, the fact that she had taken in an abused woman who happened to be an illegal immigrant would have been touted as a sign of compassion by the feminist and Hispanic Left, and woe betide any Republican who brings it up as a reason to oppose her. However, she was a conservative Republican nominated by President Bush whose positions were anathema to Labor. So, instead we had the spectacle of organizations such as LULAC and MALDEF quietly declaring that she was not "really" Hispanic and NOW declaring that she was not "really" a woman.
This Democrat Coalition arrangement has proven to be very profitable to the organizations within it. Each organization contributes something valuable. The feminists bring in the Leftist upper-class and elites with their cash, the environmentalists bring in the ignorant youth and media credibility, the unions bring in cash and a substantial amount of votes, the racial organizations bring in their supposed constituencies, etc. Each provides some measure of financial and moral support to the others, adding their moral "authority", however gained, to the others' agendas. This explains why, for example, a ban on Partial Birth Abortion is somehow "racist" and a ban on racial preferences is somehow "sexist" and "misogynist". And furthermore, together, they are able to get people elected who would direct money from the Treasury directly into their accounts to fund their disparate agendas. All this serves to make the coalition greater than the sum of its parts
However, the coalition remains viable if and only if each and every organization in the coalition pulls its own weight. The racial groups' primary duty is to bring in the required amount of votes from their constituents to ensure the success of the coalition's candidates. The instant the racial organizations are no longer able to assure their coalition partners of being able to deliver the votes of the minority community their days at the big boys' table are at an end. Because while all members of the coalition are responsible for bringing "constituents" to the polls, the racial groups are under a great deal more pressure to do so. Not only do they have to get people to the polls, they have to ensure that the Democrats get extremely huge majorities of the votes of their "constituents". The fact is that Democrats need at least 85+% of the black vote to remain competitive in most states around the country. Sometimes even more than that. This means the black Left cannot afford the possibility of any more black people feeling at liberty enough to even consider voting for Republicans. The NAACP's James Byrd ad reeked of that desperation. If George W. Bush had captured as paltry a percentage as 12% of the black vote, Al Gore would have lost in a landslide. If, as he had seemed likely to in May 2000, he had captured 35%, the NAACP's position at the coalition table would have been very seriously diminished.
So far, the NAACP has had an easy job of it. The GOP has not seen it fit to mount a strong encroachment of the NAACP's territory and the resultant paucity of black officials in the Republican Party has helped it paint the GOP as a Party in which black people are not welcome. A black Republican is therefore extremely dangerous in this context because he / she is by definition as strong a repudiation as possible of this picture. The NAACP is deeply terrified of such a person's potential to make black people take a second look at the GOP and cause some to even consider voting Republican. Their place in the coalition, from which they gain practically all their benefits, depends on making certain that never happens. Which is why the NAACP has spent ten times more resources attacking Clarence Thomas than it has spent attacking David Duke and Matt Hale put together. JC Watts is far more of a concern to the NAACP than George Dietz and Ward Connerly is considered far more dangerous than William Pierce.
As a result, Clarence Thomas is in very real danger of being killed if ever he shows his face in many black neighborhoods around the country. What Harry Belafonte says about Colin Powell is nothing compared to the things being said about black GOP officials in the less visible local levels where the racial members of the Democrat coalition mostly operate. Black Republicans are not only traitors, they are murderers, child abusers, and every other nasty perverted thing you can possibly imagine, etc. In fact, I heard a story upon the revelation that Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist may be retiring last year; that if the President names Justice Thomas as his choice to the Chief Justice position, the Georgia NAACP was prepared to level an accusation of child abuse at Justice Thomas. In any case, they probably would need not bother, in a worryingly large number of black neighborhoods, being a child molester seems to be far more forgivable than being a Republican.
The fact remains that the NAACP and others have invested a lot of time, money and effort to convince black people that being a Democrat and toeing the coalition party-line is part and parcel of being authentically black, and woe betide anyone who dares to think differently by whatever small degree. Corey Booker, a black Democrat who advocated school choice, tough anti-crime policies, and free market alternatives in solving problems in the black community of Newark (thereby offending the teachers unions, public employee unions and racial organizations, all super players in the coalition), found this out when he challenged the incumbent black Democrat Mayor of Newark, Sharpe James, a party-line stalwart, for the Mayoralty. In response, the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, et al. with the active participation of Sharpe James himself, launched a massive barrage of attacks at Booker, branding Booker a traitor to his race and viciously attacking him for his impudence in questioning the wisdom of his betters in the Democrat Party and NAACP. Although he denies it, Sharpe James actually told Booker: "You have to learn to be an African-American!" implying that being black is dependent on an adherence to certain views to be defined by others, among those views not challenging Sharpe James. It is therefore quite clear that the NAACP and its allied groups believe that an African American loses his / her "blackness" the instant they move anywhere to the right of Maxine Waters.The Congressional Hispanic Caucus adamance that Miguel Estrada is not truly Hispanic because he has the audacity to be a conservative is based around the same principle.
In the end, one thing is clear. These racial organizations' grip on the black (and Hispanic) community has to be broken. And I am convinced that the only people who can effect this are black Republicans running for office and using the bully pulpit this affords appropriately.
Unfortunately, as is apparent, this is something that demands that the conservative principle of color-blindness be bent, because any candidate other than a black candidate would lack the credibility necessary to do what needs to be done. Basically, what is being said is that while a white candidate can certainly make a competitive race of trying to get the black vote in a race, this would only be a tactical short-term victory. The black community needs to see a black Republican standing tall and proud and in no uncertain terms, defying the NAACP and its partners in intimidation and character assasination. The GOP can break the NAACP and other racialist organizations' hold on the black community only if the black community can be convinced that one can be (or vote for) a Conservative Republican and still have the best interests of African Americans at heart. JC Watts did his very best to find a way to get more black people to consider the GOP as a viable alternative, but was always wary of crossing the powers that be in the black community. Either way, he still got, and continues to get called an "Uncle Tom" and he still failed to make any headway. To his credit, he did not run scared or move Left to placate them ... but he also did not stand up for himself as forcefully as he could have.
The fact is, when it comes right down to it, black Republicans are the least electable people in the country. They have to work a lot harder than anybody else to even get a mention and they start off with extremely powerful enemies in the NAACP, etc. Black people tend to live in the more populous states and in more or less racially homogenous neighborhoods / districts, and black Republicans are not any different. The strongly Democrat nature of most black neighborhoods and / or black majority districts often means running as a Republican in local elections is a waste of time and money that the state GOP often can better spend elsewhere. A black Republican with an interest in getting into electoral politics therefore either has to move to a more GOP friendly, and thus less heavily black, area, where, of course, he / she would have to contend with many other people who have been there before him / her and who may already have a base and are well-known. Funny enough, unlike black Democrats, this often means that black Republicans are more likely to win statewide races than local ones because non-black voters are far more receptive of black Republicans, and they compose the majority of voters in every state of the union. But ironically, primary voters of both parties usually much prefer giving the Party nomination to someone with experience and thus a track record at the local level. Someone who has more or less paid his / her dues. All this serves to make elected black Republicans a very rare breed.
How to rectify this?
My belief is that black Republicans should go for the conventional wisdom designated "unwinnable for the GOP" seats, with a focus on the statewide level (or the US Congressional district level provided that there is a substantial enough number of non-black constituents in the district) as well as the winnable seats at whatever level. Every opportunity should be explored and if possible exploited. Republican Virginia State Delegate Winsome Sears, who successfully won the election for her seat in a district that is 58% black with substantial racial arsonist opposition has shown that it is far from certain that this will always be a fruitless venture. But note that she did it the only way open to her, the hard way. She did not enter the race with the thought that she was on an mission impossible and as a result studied the issue and then did everything she needed to do to win. In fact, her decision to literally walk her district and personally meet as many voters as she can strongly inspired the emphasis I put on the personal touch in the campaign plan, which was itself authored with the hope of seeing it being used in so-called "hostile" territory (like the black community as a whole), as well as "friendly" territory.
Understand that I admit that it would be the height of willful blindness to not acknowledge that the vast majority of these campaigns by black Republicans are very unlikely to be successful, at least initially and that could be quite a while. But it should be understood that each time a black Conservative Republican runs a credible campaign, especially a high profile one (i.e. Governor, Lieutenant Governor, U.S. Senator, State Attorney General, etc.), the strategic position of Conservatism and the GOP in the black community, and the credibility of black Republicans, improve. Either way, a black Republican who decides to implement my campaign plan in charting his course for election needs to add two more things. Vigilance and fire. Vigilance so that you would know what it is being said about you at the local level of the racial organizations in the black community. And fire because as with most bullies (what else is the ruthless demonization of people who simply choose to think for themselves and not toe the party line but bullying?), the racial organizations of the Democrat coalition and their spokesmen respect only force. Make them afraid of attacking you because of what you can do to them and their reputation. And that means that you have to be unafraid of crossing them.
A black candidate running a viable campaign for some high-profile office like Governor or United States Senator is going to draw attention. But while a black Democrat candidate would recieve oodles of free positive press and the full support of the NAACP and its cohorts, a black Republican would likely be faced with Press indifference and would catapult himself / herself to the top of the enemy lists of the NAACP and Co. If a black Republican should win the GOP nomination for any of the Gubernatorial or Senate races next year, the primary mission of the NAACP in 2004 would switch from defeating the President's re-election effort to destroying the upstart black candidate. Bush poses far less of a threat to their fortunes than a successful high-profile elected Republican who is black. And judging from the NAACP's continued hate campaigns against Clarence Thomas and other black GOP officials, they would stop at nothing until the transgressor drops out of the public sphere, humiliated and despised the country over. Nothing short of leaving the GOP and swearing eternal loyalty to the agendas of the Democrat coalition would placate them. So the only option you (as such a candidate) have is to go nuclear on them whenever they attack you.
If some Press-beloved "black leader" like Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond, Al Sharpton or someone of their ilk, gets up and calls your "blackness", integrity or character into question, in whatever venue such that it reaches your ears, do not hesitate to slash him / her to pieces as soon as possible on your website, in a press release and, if possible, in your own voice (a speech) in public. If he / she does it on the radio, try and get on that same show as soon as possible and not only present your case but denounce him / her as strongly as possible. Do not court disaster and serious disrespect in the black community, like so many Republicans, black and white, who, upon being told that Jesse Jackson called them Klansmen (or race traitors) at a rally somewhere, are too intimidated to defend themselves too strongly for fear of pissing him off even more, and give a weak response such as "Well, Reverend Jackson is entitled to his opinion ..."
Whenever a racial arsonist attacks you as being an "Uncle Tom", hurt him and hurt him bad. Respond by pointing out that when you were born there was no tattoo on your forehead or ass declaring you the property of the DNC, NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, etc. Declare that you are unaware of any divine commandment instructing black people to obey the commands of the NAACP and / or their hand maidens. And then clearly and carefully point out the Democrats' myriad of failures in the inner cities after decades of their one-party control, and take the opportunity to plug your own platform and the GOP. Ask whoever the racial arsonist attacking you is to account for his / her precious Democrat Party's whereabouts all this time while black children were graduating from high school as functional illiterates, while black-on-black violence was escalating, etc. If he / she is a so-called "community leader", ask him / her where his / her voice was while all this was going on. Do not concede to the racial arsonists one millimeter of the moral high ground.
Point out the racial organizations' whorish relationship with the Teachers Unions that are destroying education, especially for poor minority children who have no options. Point out that one-third of all abortions involve black babies and that this does not bother the NAACP because their palms have been greased by the abortion lobby. And you are supposed to be the sell-out? Highlight and deride the ludicrousness of the racial arsonists positions; if you don't love Tom Daschle and hate Clarence Thomas, you hate black people. Challenge the arrogance that enables them to decide that they can define what it means to be black, to such an extent that Bill Clinton is supposed to be "more black" than JC Watts and Colin Powell. Put the racial arsonists on the defensive by explicitly letting them know that you will not be intimidated and wage a relentless slash and burn campaign on them until they back off.
You may not succeed in getting elected, but you will get respect, which would make you much more likely to succeed next time. Note that you might be able to win while ignoring the racial organizations' attacks ... but this would go a long way towards allowing them to negate the strategic importance of your victory. Again, Clarence Thomas is an apt example. The fact that a Republican president chose a black man to be a Supreme Court Justice was initially greeted with much joy in the black community, and his elevation could very well have caused a lot of black people to take another look at the GOP. But this was before the NAACP et al and their cohorts in the Democrat coalition went on a rampage to help destroy his reputation and make him a pariah in the black community. The strategic advantage he could have provided was lost because as a judicial nominee, Thomas was restricted in answering the ludicrous charges made against him. This would not apply to you and you should take full advantage of it. It is very possible that even if their efforts fail to torpedo your campaign, the racial arsonists could still end up with you being made a pariah in the black community, and thus your victory to an unacceptable extent, being made Pyrrhic a la Justice Thomas.
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