Transforming the Black Vote

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The CBC’s troubles had initially placed the Democratic Leadership in a tight quandary. Their hope was to strike a delicate balance between enforcing accountability and showing support for its more ethically-challenged members. At first, when the Rangel charges surfaced, many in the Democratic Party, including Nancy Pelosi and Obama, publicly distanced themselves. Obama even proffered that Rangel should do the honorable thing and fall on his sword.

However, as polls continued to show an ever more probable election disaster for Democrats, fears arose that a lack of support for Rangel would create a serious backlash in the black community and further depress election turnout. So, public peace was made, as evidenced by a gala fundraiser the party threw for Rangel in September. While Waters and the others have not yet been given the special “Rangel treatment,” no public utterances urging them to quit have surfaced either.

Despite this apparent unity, the difficulty for white progressives is the balancing act they must perform in order to ensure cooperation and trust with the CBC and its attendant allies outside of Congress–or face electoral disaster. That Charlie Rangel would be initially dismissed by Nancy Pelosi and Obama is startling in itself. That Waters’ aides would be ousted from a Pelosi press conference for carrying “Free Maxine” signs is stunning. Having even taken the chance to offend any of this core constituency in an election year is mind blowing.

To some observers, however, it really does not seem like that much of a gamble for Democratic leaders to take. When an ethnic group votes with the consistency blacks have over the years, it remains a fair bet that no matter how badly treated, in the end this constituency will keep on coming back to the Democrats for more.

This dependency on the Democratic Party has proven baffling to most Republicans. They have never been able to square the fact that African-Americans continually throw their lot in with Democrats, whose policies have seen to the systematic destruction of the black community over the last half-century.

If, as Republicans say, 2010 is turning out to be a stunning rebuke of Democratic economic policies, then their argument is that African-Americans should be the ones leading the charge.

While the nation as a whole has suffered grievously during the last two years of Democratic rule, blacks have suffered in a hugely disproportionate way. The unemployment rate among blacks has reached a 25-year high and now stands at an incredible 17.3%, compared to an unemployment rate of 8.8% for whites. Furthermore, the newly released census figures, which saw the national poverty level reach 15%, also saw the black poverty rate climb above 25%.

While not banking on this economic reality to suddenly produce a metamorphosis in the black community, it still could move the ball a little closer toward the GOP side. After all, the gap isn’t very wide. Most political analysts believe if Republicans can attract 10% more of the black vote, it would cripple the Democratic Party on the national stage

Republicans have seen some additional evidence to support their tentative belief that shifting black support off the Democratic bench may finally be attainable. The first and perhaps most important sign has been in the number of African-Americans involved in the Tea Party movement.

While the media and Democrats tend to portray the Tea Party as one large Klan convention, evidence shows the Tea Party to have a racial composition that nearly mirrors that of the nation. As the Tea Party grows in power, so, correspondingly, will the role and influence of black conservatives.

Secondly, as an incubator of conservative beliefs, it was from the Tea Party that many of this year’s record number of black Republican candidates emerged. In fact, 32 black Republican congressional candidates have run in 2010, the most since Reconstruction. While that number has been pared down through the primary process to 13, it still represents the beginning of the transformational image of the GOP from its current view as a party of only white men.

However small or realistic these indicators may be of a serious shift in the black community’s political allegiance, Democrats need to be very careful how they respond to these emerging trends. Having African-Americans sit out this year’s election, however harmful in the short run, may not prove fatal, but losing even a small number of them to the opposition will.

Frank Crimi is a freelance writer living in San Diego, California. You can read more of Frank’s work at his blog, or contact him at

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    Given the natural empathy of African-Americans for Obama, there is little chance of Republicans making significant headway for as long as he's President. With Hispanics, it's another story. Republicans have a chance here; we need to recruit articulate Spanish-speakers to convey the Conservative message. It would go something like this…

    1) Democrats want to keep you on the plantation with their identity-politics. They want you to remain poor, disaffected, and unassimilated; otherwise, your success risks pulling you out of the orbit of their paternalistic policies. Conversely, while Republicans certainly embrace your Hispanic heritage, we think you are intelligent and enlightened enough to want to be recognized and acknowledged as INDIVIDUALS, with your own unique talents, hopes, and aspirations. We want to institute policies that will maximize your success, so that you become willing participants in – and supporters of – the free enterprise system.

    2) Your ethics and values have little in common with the Left, as they continue to push their radical social agenda and wage war on the family

    3) As Americans, you too are impacted by the terrorist infiltration, crime and societal expenses associated with illegal immigration

    Folks, the USA will have a Hispanic majority within 50 years. It is imperative that we begin making inroads in educating them as to the real content and merit of conservative thought.

    Hispanics are characteristically hard-working, entrepreneurial, and family oriented…and should be a natural constituency for the Republican Party. Bringing them into the fold requires only a little vision and a little effort.

    • blotto

      They will only become a majority if we continue to allow an open border, lack the will to deport them either systematically or through the loss of jobs and benefits and we stop the anchor baby entitlement.

      "Hispanics are characteristically hard-working, entrepreneurial, and family oriented…and should be a natural constituency for the Republican Party. Bringing them into the fold requires only a little vision and a little effort. "

      Boy that's a tough sell. Most research indicates just the opposite. Maybe your anecdotal research proves what you said, but the fact that 20 million are here illegally tells me you are wrong from the get go.

      Furthermore you are advocating we become like the Dems and see people as groups and not individuals.

      Nice try plant.

      • Chezwick_Mac

        BLOTTO: "They will only become a majority if we continue to allow an open border, lack the will to deport them either systematically or through the loss of jobs and benefits and we stop the anchor baby entitlement."

        RESPONSE: Actually, they WILL be a majority by the end of the century if not sooner, this a demographic certainty.

        BLOTTO: "Furthermore you are advocating we become like the Dems and see people as groups and not individuals."

        RESPONSE: You obviously can't read, because what I wrote directly contradicts this assertion.

        BLOTTO: "Nice try plant."

        RESPONSE: Is that what I am? You're very deep.

        • blotto

          If they are NOT here then how can they become a demographic majority in the US?

          You are correct. Since you were writing hypothetically, to someone, in second person, from another world, I misunderstood you.

          You're very confused.

          • Chezwick_Mac

            BLOTTO: "If they are NOT here then how can they become a demographic majority in the US?"

            RESPONSE: But they ARE here. There are over 30 million Hispanic Americans here LEGALLY (another 17 million are illegal). When you take into account their median age, their fertility rates (compared to the aging white population with diminishing fertility), and then add for future Latin immigration – both legal and illegal – their numbers will increase exponentially and they will become a majority. This fact may make you uncomfortable, but it remains a fact.

            BLOTTO: "You are correct. Since you were writing hypothetically, to someone, in second person, from another world, I misunderstood you. You're very confused."

            RESPONSE: I was writing to American Hispanic voters. Last time I looked, they were part of OUR world. I'll leave it to the readers to decide which one of us is confused.

  • Jay

    I agree, the key is to focus on non-black minorities: Latinos for the above reasons, Asians for similar reasons as well as their econominc clout, Native Americans who contrary to stereo-types of the Left are more likely to own guns and serve in the Armed Forces than most other groups. The idea that all non-whites are alike or have the same historical grievances is a ridiculous, liberal myth.

  • stephencuz

    All I can say is look at the picture for this post. This girl is worth fighting for! She is gorgeous and deserves a chance in life. I hate that there remain wolves in sheep's clothing saying to them their whole lives that the "rich, white man" is keeping them down. For the past 40+ years in every one of these "neglected" and hurting neighborhoods, those that talk a good game have been in power. From School Boards, to Mayors, Police Chiefs, Commissioners and Councilors, all of them have claimed to be champions of the people railing against the "oppresors" and to have helped these neighborhoods. I ask them now; in what way? To continue this cycle of entrapment is heinous in its deception. Who are the ones benefiting from these folks being in office? They themselves at the expense of the very people they profess to help. A little light on this evil may be all it takes.

    • blotto

      How are you going to fight for them? Support affirmative action. Support contuning the reparations in the form of lifetime welfare. Support the, hidden by the MSM, their increased racialization, criminality, tribal and uncivil behavior in order to get their votes.

      They as a group have been so inured and dumbed down to what the Dems have given them over the past 50 years that there is NO way they will ever see the harm that has befallen them.

  • bdouglasaf1980

    I don't think it's worth pursuing a policy of racial politics. It's a no win situation for the republicans. No matter how many times people such as Hannity try to show just how bad policies have been to minorities, the black audience call-ins overwhelmingly call him a racist. Remember, there is still a HUGE element of the black community who believe the reason Lincoln is on a copper coin is to represent him in a derogatory fashin.

    You think I am wildly speculating, go to the websites that host a predominately black audience.

    If the republicans want to gain power they should stick to a strong conservative message and stay with the tea party. The tea party members seem to recognize the power behind local politics.

  • lamentable

    America's historically black community is imploding, destroyed be moral decay and serfdom. As it is written (Isiah 6:11) Then I said, ' "For how long, O Lord?" And he answered: "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged,' Yet this can be averted, but salvation shall come only from the community itself.

  • Seek

    The GOP should forget about fishing for black votes. We've taken that trip many times in the last 30 years, especially when led by the nonstop-babbling Jack Kemp. Each time, blacks turn out at the polls overwhelmingly for Democrats, in local and state as well as federal elections. Why? Because Democrats give them what they want: affirmative action, reparations, an enlarged welfare state, mandatory employee diversity training, coerced court consent decrees. We can't compete with that — and shouldn't.

    However much we court black voters, they never will reciprocate the love. Thus, I say: Let Democrats have the black vote. We Republicans have a much more potent base in the white vote. Of course, we're not allowed to say that publicly. Our party bosses would crucify us. Even Tom Tancredo, a true patriot, won't go there. But it's absolutely necessary to say it anyway.

    All that hooey about the GOP being "the party of Lincoln" is beside the point (that Lincoln, in fact, was anti-black is a separate issue). The black vote will never be "transformed!" Won't happen, dudes.

  • votedagainstoby

    Hey, All you black people, here is some money. Shut the ef up and go screw and have abortions. We will pay for it. Oh, and get drunk and smoke pot too. We will pay for it.- The Democratic Party. You are too stupid to know any better.

  • MKS

    I am convinced that a significant number of black voters respect free thought, free speech, and free ownership of private property.

    How one treats a potential voter is important. Prior to 1960, Martin Luther King, Jr., Daddy King, and many other such leaders voted Republican. Since Democrats were responsible for "Jim Crow" laws, this made sense. But during the 1960 presidential campaigns, Martin Luther King, Jr. was in jail (in Georgia, I think) for his civil rights work, and his family was worried for him. Harris Wofford, working on the JFK campaign, persuaded John F. Kennedy to place a phone call to Coretta Scott King and express his concern and well wishes for her husband. This gesture caused many of the family and friends to change parties immediately, and this had a long-term impact on U.S. politics.

    Sometimes you don't have to change your principles or policies to gain support, you just have to be thoughtful and polite.

  • Wesley69

    Republicans and Democrats voted for the Civil Rights legislation. The Democrats continued to pass legislation such as LBJ's war of poverty that helped destroy the Black family and the Black work ethic. Even Affirmative Action. The message is, you can not compete so we will give you allow you into the game. Look at all the major cities under Black Democrat Mayors – what is the government doing for them? As more Blacks get into the middle class, their ideas may change. One thing is sure, the label, racist, bigot is getting worn out, particularly in this post racial presidency.

  • Mikeymojo

    Forgot to mention the troubles of my own Congress critter, John Conyers. Well, not him, but his wife Monica. She's in the pokey right now for influence peddleing. It was her own gig with the Detroit City Council that earned her a trip to "Camp Cupcake" but no one believes that Johnny didn't know what she was doing. Unfortunately it won't hurt him any because I don't think there's even a Republican running against him.