Failing to attract minority support, should the GOP write off the black vote?

Missing from the avalanche of press coverage from last week’s historic election is race. Did Scott Brown have any appeal for the few middle class blacks in the suburbs? Why didn’t minority communities turn out for the putative successor to Kennedy, a longtime favorite, for Coakley? Is it time for the GOP to drop the effort and all pretensions to garnering the votes of African American issues?

A party that fails to diversify itself is a party destined for failure. Jack Kemp knew this better than most successfully elected Republicans. It may be ironic that the GOP has more in solidarity with the nation’s growing Hispanic population which shares to some degree the party’s social and economic philosophy.

The failure of the GOP to make inroads in the African American community leaves the latter at the mercy of indifferent Democratic politicians who could care less about the poor quality of urban schools.

D.R. Tucker, always worth reading, weighs in for a little honest pessimism.

There’s no nice way of saying this, so it must be stated plainly. The Republican Party is the home of two groups: those who want the government’s size and scope to be reduced, and those who believe that the government has a compelling interest in maintaining the country’s “Judeo-Christian” principles. The folks who comprise these two groups do not live in urban communities. There is no way for the GOP to reach out to urban communities without alienating the folks who make up these two groups, just as the Democratic Party cannot reach out to the folks who make up these two groups without alienating urban communities. To believe otherwise is to believe in fairy tales. Only by dealing honestly with racial and political realities can conservatives and Republicans live happily ever after.

About Karl Marx

Left wing libertarian conservative.

  • But I think the GOP may have written off that voting block years ago.  As the author you cite points out there is a basic urban vs suburban dynamic going on.  I’m not sure that can be overcome.  To those on the left the GOP has become the standard bearer of gumpy old white men.  I suspect that over time, that dynamic will ease slightly…as more an more people of color attain educational and economic success.  It is also much more common and accepted to have marriages with children who are of mixed ethnicity (like our President).

    The inroads in upcoming ethnic demographics in the short term has got to be the Hispanic vote.  It is a natural fit to most of their social tastes, but immigration is a very sticky subject.  But it is not a one size fits all.  Those of Cuban and Puerto Rician background are vastly different than Mexican and Central American backgrounds.

    But I’m afraid, at least in the short term, that voting block will be difficult to get, but I think we’re getting more of it than we ever have before…which isn’t saying much.

  • nomad943

    I would contend that

    those who want the government’s size and scope to be reduced

    are people who may or may not reside in urban communities. The author makes the false assumption that a overbearing and ever expanding government is idolized by everyone living inside of the city limits.

    Perhaps the case today is that this is true of a majority of such people but this may not always be the case if times or the dialogue change even marginaly.

  • As a party, we simply cannot write off any vote – minority or not!  No, this is not to say that we have to become some amorphus mass that stands for nothing but tries to appeal to everyone.

    No, rather we must be a party that adheres to our core principles but isn’t afraid to tailor & hone our message.  We cannot shatter negative stereotypes unless we engage voters where they live and upon their terms.  

    Take the SouthCoast.  Sure, Scott Brown carried the area in a sea of red but he did not pick up New Bedford & Fall River.  Now, I could contend that these areas are heavily minority (African American, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. etc.) and as such the soil simply isn’t fertile for Republicans.

    RIDICULOUS!  I maintain that we need to redouble our efforts.  Again, we can’t sacrifice what makes us uniquely Republican but we can market ourselves in a palitable way that maintains true to ourselves while tearing down those cultural impediments in the minds of those traditionally not willing to pull the lever for an R.

    Arugably, how did the Republican Party lose the black vote?  After all, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a life long Republican.  Well, Nixon ignored but JFK made a phone call awhile the pastor was in prison and (with a great deal of other events) the rest has been decades of history.  Will we make the calls necessary to swing the pendulum back or ignore an important segment of the citizenry at our peril?

  • was widely attributed to the large black vote for Obama and agreed with Obama that marriage is between one man and one woman.  That’s probably just as true here in Massachusetts, so a good way to write off the black vote is to write off the marriage vote.