Two More Tips For The Republican Party

My last post was a reblogging of a post from last year, where I suggested some tips for the Republican Party to move forward.  A few other recent ones have dealt with their “Growth &Opportunity Project” document.   I’m not the only one who has been digging around through it, and analyzing it, and some of what they’ve pointed out, along with comments here, have led me to decide to suggest some additional “tips” for the Republicans.

These suggestions are built off of the last point in my previous post: recognize that it’s the 21’st century.   As I said then:

Because most of your talk about “good old American traditional values,” etc., last existed in 1900, and were on their way out then.  That was the year that the population started becoming a “majority urban” instead of a “majority rural” population.

Instead of today’s:

Most of the population is urban, it’s much more diverse demographically, we live in a connected world, and in case you missed it, women can vote.

A lot of the Republican “path forward” was devoted to how to communicate their message with various minority groups, youth, and women, to attract them to the party.   In the comments of my posts on that subject, one of the points I made was “actions speak louder than words.”   Which is why they are losing all of those categories.  In fact, it’s many of those same actions which has cost them membership.  Quite a number of independents are former Republicans.   Not people who decided they were really liberals, but people who still think of themselves as “conservative,” but just can’t abide what the Republican Party has become.   So here’s my “tips.”

1) Stop being racist.   No, really.  I know that there’s a lot of talk about “minority outreach” in their “plan” moving forward, but it runs right into that brick wall.  Want examples?

The first is the systematic effort by Republicans across the country to impose voter-identification laws that would mainly serve to disenfranchise minority voters.

The second is what many people regarded as the thinly veiled racism that lay at the root of the “birther” attacks claiming President Obama is a Muslim born outside the United States.

While Republican Party officials have piously denied any racist motives themselves, the reality is that they, if not actively encouraging it, were definitely condoning it.  It’s already been admitted by several party strategists that the impetus to implement voter ID laws were not based on any concern about “fraud,” but rather just to make it more difficult for minority voters who they thought (correctly) would vote Democratic.   On my blog roll, there are several “anti-birther” sites, and I’ve been following that movement for a considerable time.   I’ve watched various Republican officials embrace it, or if not that, rather half-heartedly deny it.   That wasn’t missed by the black community, either:

The other was numerous GOP figures’ perpetuation of the racist “birther” lie against President Obama without so much as a corrective “Oh, no you don’t” from the party establishment. On this latter point, Green wrote, “I’ll leave it to those better qualified than I am to say precisely what effect this had on minorities’ view of the GOP….”

Considering I’m African American and have hammered the Republican Party establishment for its complicity in furthering the delegitimizing lie that Obama wasn’t born in this country (and thus occupying the Oval Office illegally), let me talk about the effect this had.

 Blacks hated it — and continue to hate it.
It wasn’t missed by Latino voters, either.  Considering the number of “immigration laws” that have been passed in places like Georgia, Alabama, and Arizona, all targeting … Latinos, as well as several efforts by Republican officials to do away with “birthright citizenship” or “rework the 14’th Amendment,” it wasn’t hard for them to miss the point.  Quite a number of other immigrant groups “got the message” as well.

Any outreach efforts based on “your principles,” and attempting to recruit – or show off – minority spokespeople is going to be seen as a token effort, not backed up by any real change on your part.  It’s hard to get anyone to want to join your party, even if they might happen to agree with you on some things, if you’re as seen actively doing everything you can to push them to the sidelines, or remove their rights.    Until you get serious about cracking down on this – for example, one of your county chairs in Alabama is a prominent birther – and show you mean it, any outreach efforts are going to fall flat on their face.

2)  Start supporting programs that actually help  It’s a function of #1, really.   Consider the most common “complaint” that Republicans have:  “Entitlements.”  It’s a dog whistle for “urban black (or brown) people getting government money.”  It’s usually followed by statements about “self-sufficiency” and “getting jobs,” etc.   Alright then, when the economy crashed, why did all of you point the finger at banking laws aimed at urban minorities?  They weren’t really the problem, but they were a constant scapegoat.   A program designed to help minorities gain access to capital, to start businesses and own their own homes – which you should have been for – became a nice target to help deflect criticism of the actual problem.  How about trying what was proposed by a Republican?  You may have heard of him, his name was Jack Kemp:

Kemp was unsuccessful at either of his major initiatives: enacting enterprise zones and promoting public housing tenant ownership. The goal of these two plans was to change public housing into tenant-owned residences and to lure industry and business into inner cities with federal incentives.
Kemp fought White House Budget Director Richard Darman, who opposed Kemp’s pet project HOPE (Homeownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere). The project involved selling public housing to its tenants. Darman also opposed Kemp’s proposed welfare adjustment of government offsets. HOPE was first proposed to White House chief of staff John Sununu in June 1989 to create enterprise zones, increase subsidies for low-income renters, expand social services for the homeless and elderly, and enact tax changes to help first-time home buyers. Sununu opposed it at first as did most of the Cabinet, but in August 1990 Sununu, at the urging of United States Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, encouraged President Bush to endorse Kemp’s Economic Empowerment Task Force.
It ended up going nowhere, because it didn’t have any support at the time.  It was one of the few times I’ve seen a Republican actually propose bringing industry, employment, and home ownership into urban areas – principally minority areas – with the goal of reducing “entitlements.”  Most of the current Republican “thinking” is that there’s some magic “if only they would” wand which would get people into jobs – which don’t exist.   In other words, every action shows that you have no interest in doing anything that might move your principles forward in these areas.

Those are just two – and yes, I do have more – of the “tips” for the Republicans.  They want to attract minorities?  They recognize (sort of) that the demographics of this country are – and have – changed?  Sure, great idea.  Now, they have to show that they’re serious about it, and right now, everything they’ve done has been to make sure that those same groups they say they want to attract are driven far, far away from them.  It’ll take a lot of action, not words, to change that, and so far all the Republicans have been showing is that … it’s just words.   They don’t mean it.


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5 responses to “Two More Tips For The Republican Party

  1. see above

    Actions yes but when the words are how successful the R states are and if only they can repeat that nationally eureka they’ve found nirvana.
    Unfortunately, although they got elected in the R states many of them have never voted R in national elections. The talk is change but the actions are fixing the outcomes to win even when you lose.
    They seem to completely miss the fact that the R govenors are extremely unpopular they poll in the toilet and without the fix being in they will not be reelected.
    I wish I could understand how you convince yourself that up is down and green is blue. Then I wish I understood how you convince a media, except for very few, to buy into your fantasy, use your words to describe it, and never ever ask a follow-up question to the non-answers provided.

  2. Vic78

    The base drove Kemp away when he said liberals weren’t the enemy. The problem is that they don’t give a shit about the things they talk about. All they want to do is enrich themselves and their buddies. They sure as hell don’t care about the deficit. They want to conserve the pre Woodrw Wilson America.

    They have gone as far as they’re going to go with their base. They aren’t willing to cut them loose. It’s over when democrats start running Elizabeth Warren type campaigns. “You know you’re empowering lunatics when you vote republican. He seems like a great guy but being GOP means he’s complicit with every crazy thing they do.” That day isn’t too far off.

    • Oh, I think it’ll start in 2014, to be honest. Given the unpopularity of various Republican governors, I can see a number of states “shifting” as well as even ‘safe districts’ suddenly being not so safe.

      Honestly? I think the Republicans need to lose, and keep losing for a while before they get serious about changing. I used Kemp as an example not because I agreed with everything – or even most things – he advocated (he was a big supply-side advocate), but no one ever said he didn’t have ideas and plans to help the economically disadvantaged. Today’s Republicans would rather just use them as a handy scapegoat.

      • Thing is Norbrook, Kemp’s views were not uncommon amongst the more moderate R’s of his time and earlier, they have just been scrubbed out of the party in favor of racist idiots like Sununu. Didn’t always agree with Kemp, but he took his teamwork mentality as a QB for the Buffalo Bills and adopted it as a politician. He, like Dole, thought he got voted in to get shit done, not to bullshit about RWNJ ideology.

      • Vic78

        I’ve always liked Jack Kemp. It’s just his crazy base didn’t like him being nice to people he disagreed with. I see a lot of safe GOP states going democratic if this keeps up. It’s going to take some time for the GOP to discover normalcy. In the meantime, all of us in the real world have to clean up their messes. That’s going to take a minute.