Missing Another Chance With African-Americans
Democrats take "the black vote" for granted. There is a ton of evidence of that fact.
And I think that on a great number of issues, conservative ideas (like vouchers) offer more hope to black Americans than do the tried-and-failed liberal ones.
But our conservative ideas aren't being heard, because I think it's fair to say that white Republicans simply aren't trusted by African-Americans. For every Jack Kemp we have, talking about opportunity and breaking the shackles of the welfare-state mentality, and the benefits Civil Rights has brought to all of us as Americans, we have a Trent Lott.
Here on Long Island an African-American Republican is running against a Democratic incumbent in a Republican-majority District. James Garner is the mayor of Hempstead, a predominantly black village, and the former President of the US Congress of Mayors. He is a man of substance. He is a good man. And he is an African-American Republican who has shown again and again (19 years as mayor & Trustee) that he can get elected in a Democratic village.
Republicans should be pouring HUGE dollars and effort into his campaign-- yet except for a brief visit by Speaker Hastert last week, little has been done to help this man, either locally or nationally. He is being outspent by over 5-1. His opponent got more money from PACs alone than Garner has received from all sources.
I've written previously about how the Bush people wrote off NY, and the unfortunate consequence of that action. The President should have been here. The President should have helped Mayor Garner. And who knows? Maybe that would have translated into more African-American votes for W across the nation; James Garner in Congress surely would have given Republicans a voice in that community for years to come, which would have to benefit the party. But, little has been done.
No wonder Republicans have difficulty attracting conservative and moderate African-Americans to the party, and why our ideas, which offer the best hope for disadvantaged Americans of all races, fall on too many deaf ears.
Here was a great chance. We'll likely find out Tuesday that we missed it, again.