The GOP: Messaging or Minority Problem?

Elisabeth Meinecke

1/16/2013 8:00:00 AM - Elisabeth Meinecke

I'm pleased to bring you a sneak peek of Townhall Magazine's February issue! 

Order Townhall Magazine today for these can't-miss topics:

--Our cover story, “Minority or Messaging Problem?,” focuses on how the GOP can better reach minority voters, specifically the black community, and how these two entities can actually help each other in the long run. Written by Stacy Washington, a conservative, African-American mother of three, it’s an excellent topic to delve into as conservatives discuss the fallout from November's elections.  Check below the magazine cover in this blogpost for an exclusive excerpt!

--“Obama’s Ace: The Executive Order”: President Obama has already displayed a keen eye for wielding executive authority when Congress won’t act. Where will he take this in a second term?

--The Real Gun Culture: Katie Pavlich, author of “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal And Its Shameless Cover-Up,” writes on the real and responsible gun culture in this country that anti-Second Amendment advocates studiously ignore whenever there’s a tragedy.

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Excerpted from Townhall Magazine's February feature, "Minority Issue or Messaging?," by Stacy Washington:

Typically, economic factors forecast voting patterns; convention suggests that there must be overall improvements in the quality of life for blacks to justify a level of support merely 5 percent lower than the last election. In August of 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an unemployment rate of 14.1 percent within the black community—less than a percentage point below the 14.9 percent rate at the end of the Great Recession, and well above Bush-era rates, of 9 percent and under.

Furthermore, when looking at household wealth and homeownership, two hallmarks of the American Dream, the Census reports that blacks have fared poorly as well. Between 2005 and 2010, the gap in white and black household wealth widened: whites went from 15 times that of blacks’ to 22 times. CNN Money reports that in 2010, white median household net worth stood at $110,729 versus $4,995 for blacks. This enormous chasm of wealth disparity opened up during the Great Recession and has persisted under the leadership of President Obama. ...

The GOP has tried running black candidates on the ticket, and while that’s important, it isn’t the answer. Nor is it enough to feature conservative black pundits on television and radio. Neither of these alone will convert blacks into Republican voters. What will work is illustrating how Republican policies will improve blacks’ lives and economic standing.

History shows that many minority groups, most notably the Irish and Jewish populations, had rough beginnings here in the U.S. but turned them around for the better through hard work and sacrifice.

American Jews weren’t always members of the upper echelons of society. Prosperous Jewish leaders noticed that there were ever-increasing numbers of their people mired in poverty and living in ghettos in New York. As a part of a greater effort to improve the lives of Jewish immigrants, the Federation of Jewish Farmers of America was formed. Historical records from the Jewish Agricultural Society and the Federation of Jewish Farmers show how they set about making a proactive change to better the circumstances of new immigrants through very simple means: teaching them to speak English, and then loaning them funds to buy a farm.

Once the family was set up on their new farm and had paid back the money, that same money was loaned to another family, so they, too, could escape the city. Community leaders stressed that education was of the utmost importance. And through the hard work and determination of the affluent reaching back to help less fortunate, newer American Jews, a tidal wave of success and wealth was unleashed over a few generations.

This plan isn’t limited in its application. It could work for American blacks too. Someone must suggest and implement it; but the Obama administration certainly won’t. The Democrats don’t want more blacks to become successful and free of government handouts. After all, once an individual begins to earn enough money to escape the horrors of inner-city living, he also begins to notice that his tax burden has increased as well. And once a person attends to their tax burden, he usually feels a desire to pay less.

The last election proved that black voters are engaged and willing to go the extra mile for a candidate that connects with them on a personal level. Yet minority outreach in the Republican Party is all but nonexistent. The party must initiate voter contact in the lull between campaigns, when Democrats aren’t working the churches, neighborhoods and shopping centers. Any black person will tell you that the Democrats only show up to seek out votes during election season, and the Republicans make their first attempts just three months before the election. This is abysmal!