How Can a "Fellow Black Republican" Oppose Obama?

Larry Elder

6/26/2008 12:01:00 AM - Larry Elder

Mr. Elder,

I am shocked that you oppose Barack Obama and belong to the Republican Party. We must get over ourselves and realize there is room at the top for everyone and we must get there by helping each other -- instead of agreeing with policies and old politics that are proven not to work.

To endorse John McCain, a person who will not make it easier for the underprivileged, is just too much. How can a fellow black American feel this way?

Your Former Supporter

Dear Former Supporter,

Do you have any Republican friends, let alone black ones? If so, how many of them want to make it harder "for the underprivileged"?

You also might want to familiarize yourself with the history of the Democratic and Republican parties, and see which party has stood up longer for the rights of people of color. Do you know that Democrats opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution -- abolishing slavery, granting citizenship rights to newly freed slaves, and guaranteeing the right to vote (at least on paper) to blacks, respectively? Do you know that most of the politicians who stood for segregation were Southern Democrats? Do you know that the Ku Klux Klan was founded by Democrats, one of whose goals was to stop the spread of the Republican Party? Do you know that, as a percentage of the party, more Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Do you know that inner-city parents want vouchers -- the right to determine where their children go to school? Do you know most Democrats, including Barack Obama, oppose this? Republicans, for the most part, support vouchers. Where vouchers have been tried, kids appear to perform better, with higher parental satisfaction. You tell me, how many things are more important than a child's education?

Do you know that 36 percent of babies aborted are black, while blacks make up 17 percent of live births? Do you know that polls show blacks are more pro-life than are whites? Yet the Democratic Party -- to which over 90 percent of blacks belong -- is the party of Roe v. Wade, requiring states to legalize abortion on demand. Do you know that Margaret Sanger, the founder of the organization that became Planned Parenthood, believed that poor blacks were inferior and that aborting their babies made our society better? Look it up.

Do you know that blacks stand to benefit more than whites through Social Security privatization, a position opposed by Obama but supported by McCain? Are you even familiar with the issue and what a powerful income-generating vehicle it would be for blacks? If not, take a look at the research done by the libertarian think tank Cato Institute and the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.

Porous borders enable illegal aliens to enter our country and threaten the jobs and lower the wages of Americans, many of whom are unskilled people of color. Which party is more determined to deal with this -- Republicans or Democrats? Obama called the foes of the House anti-illegal immigration bill "ugly and racist." I did not support the bill, but vehemently object to characterizing those who did as "ugly and racist."

You speak of policies that have "proven not to work." What about the "war on poverty" that began in the '60s, the policies that Obama and his party want to continue and expand? Do you know that today 70 percent of black children and over 50 percent of Hispanics are born outside of wedlock? The welfare state -- which Democrats want to expand -- has played a huge role in discouraging marriage and destabilizing families.

Speaking of helping the "underprivileged," I'd suggest you read a book called "Who Really Cares," by Arthur C. Brooks. A non-Republican professor raised by Democrats, he examined the charitable spending habits of Democrats and Republicans. The results surprised him. Brooks found that Republicans give far more of their money and time for charitable purposes than do Democrats. And the giving is not confined to their churches or other houses of worship. This, by the way, has nothing to do with income. Poor Republicans give more than poor Democrats.

Compassion is not about making people dependent on government. Compassion is about encouraging personal responsibility, and getting people to understand that life is about making choices. Poverty does not cause crime. Crime causes poverty. Poverty does not cause a child to have a child. A child having a child causes poverty. Finishing high school is a choice. Not joining a gang is a choice. Not having a child until you have the maturity and the means to raise that child is a choice.

You ask how can a "fellow black American feel this way"? Quite a statement. You may disagree, but it doesn't make me less caring and compassionate than you are. I'm sure you truly consider yourself open-minded and tolerant. But based on your letter, tolerance ends -- especially with "fellow black Americans" -- if someone has an opposing point of view.

Larry