I meant to write a post about this article last week, and have since noticed that there is now a Part II version, which I have yet to read. But you see, according to the author, the reason why the racial divide still thrives is because of smug White delusion. We just don’t understand the plight of Black Americans. We’re too stupid and we need to have more conversations on this issue because we just haven’t discussed this topic enough. Like Eric Holder says, “we are a nation of cowards”. There were many statistics included in the article to support the authors contention, one of which was this:
The black-white income gap is roughly 40 percent greater today than it was in 1967.
One obvious conclusion to me for this result could be that the Democrats coveted “war on poverty” is a colossal failure. Another stat was this:
Because of the catastrophic experiment in mass incarceration, black men in their 20s without a high school diploma are more likely to be incarcerated today than employed
I don’t remember any “experiment in mass incarceration” – can anyone help me out here?
The way I see it, Black America has a huge cultural problem within their own community and that is a problem that only they can resolve. There have been an untold number of government programs and initiatives designed to lift them up, individually and collectively, and obviously they have all failed, and I just don’t think more “conversation” is going to help either. One idea does come to mind – improving the economy.
Feel free to speak your mind on this issue and prove Eric Holder wrong!
Certainly being able to get a job to support yourself or your family is an important factor. But the black youth are dropping out of school and getting criminal records, getting mixed up with gangs and drugs even before that, which further screws up their ability to get a good job even if they were available. I think welfare dependence in many ways has replaced the father or wage earner, a work ethic, any chance to build pride or self esteem, good roll models or examples of showing respect for others and themselves. Learning that’s life is not all about themselves and the good feeling of contributing to family and community. Affirmative action may have given them a hiring advantage, but in lieu of qualifications for that job, it was often setting them up for failure, or worse, dropping the bar on the job qualifications until they could meet them and they knew it. Same with the qualifications in our military and elite forces now lowering the bar for women. It doesn’t just diminish them.
I am a woman who has worked much if not most of her life doing what has been considered “man’s work”. I grew up on a farm, where women drove trucks and operated tractors, but when I wanted to drive a truck and make three times what I could make in traditional “women’s work” I was insulted and treated like dirt. The thing is, I didn’t ask for special treatment, I just asked for equal treatment, and I knew the difference. There was no way I would have asked for, or expected, standards to be lowered for me, because I always understood that lowering standards can lead to dangerous working conditions.
Being a woman who has hated the discrimination I ran into because of my gender, I still never wanted to be given a job just because of it. If I am on the third floor of a house on fire, the last person I want to see coming up that ladder to rescue me is a 5’3″ woman who weighs 130 pounds, no matter how strong she is for her size.
Call me a racist—-I don’t care. I still don’t want to have to wonder if a black doctor is as qualified as a white doctor, because Affirmative Action might have let him into medical school, and then made sure he graduated, without being as good as others in his class. (Old joke: Q: What do you call the person who graduated last in his class in medical school? A: Doctor.) And this is the ugly truth about Affirmative Action—-it HURTS black people, because it casts that cloud of doubt on them and deprives them of the respect they may very well have earned. Under Affirmative Action, the black girl who got straight A’s and did everything possible to qualify for admission to a top school is still going to be seen as someone who got there due to a paternalistic and condescending pat on the head and the assumption she could not have made it on her own, and no one at that school is going to know how hard she worked to get there. Under the superficial pretense of helping black people, it really erodes the respect high achievers have earned.
The black community really has been the victim of a trifecta of abuse. Progressives of both races have promised them the moon and given them just enough to keep them on the modern version of the plantation. The race hustlers like Jackson and Sharpton have selectively exploited events like Ferguson, MO to keep the rage simmering; and Republicans have largely given up on blacks as both people and voters. At some point a rational person would have to believe that there will be a paradigm shift. The catch 22 is that the Left has so ingrained the entitlement mentality into such a high percentage of blacks that, even if Conservatives were to offer a hand up as opposed to a hand out, that’s not going to be seen as an attractive alternative to continuing to get free stuff. What the black community desperately needs is a black Ronald Reagan — someone who makes them feel good about themselves, who instills in them a sense of worth and and personal responsibility.
Call me a racist, but it’s really a pretty simple concept — when you subsidize something, in this case poverty, you get more of it. I don’t know why anyone is surprised. I’ve been thinking most of my adult life that eventually the majority of blacks would realize what Liberal Democrats had done to them, and look for another way. I just hope the other way doesn’t end up being a race war. There’s a ton of rage building in the black community.
“There’s a ton of rage building in the black community.”
That is not good. But what is worse is that it is being carefully, callously, calculatedly created and fed by those who are supposed to be leaders, in their racial community and/or the country. Obviously, they feel that they will benefit, somehow, by setting up and then nurturing otherwise unnecessary conflict.
Who benefits from this conflict? Black people don’t. On the contrary, they suffer, as they lose stature and respect through their irrational behavior. Why would anyone with a sincere desire to make life better for black people encourage them to remain cocooned in a subculture of illiteracy, illegitimacy, resentment and self-destructive paranoia? Why would anyone with a sincere desire to make life better for black people goad them into criminal and antisocial behavior that marks them as primitive savages? Why would anyone with a sincere desire to make life better for black people encourage attitudes such as the belief that speaking proper English is a betrayal of ones’ heritage, that succeeding in school is “acting white”, that a successful black person is an “Uncle Tom”?
It looks to me as if an entire race has been deemed disposable, by people of the same race who are only too willing to sacrifice it to further their own personal or political agendas. And then they call US “racists”.
To be sure, the liberal solution is, as always, stupid. Their basic attitude to this destruction of the African-American community is “whitey, admit you’re racist and provide more welfare”. But that doesn’t excuse us – and we on the right really haven’t taken much time to understand the particular dynamics of the African-American community. Call it what you will, but even educated and successful African-Americans do believe that racism is alive and well and goes part way to explaining the problems of African-Americans. And I’ve comes across African-American conservatives who boil with anger when they see white conservatives simply not get it – in the most recent case, the Ferguson debacle. One A-A conservative I know on Facebook was furious with the way white conservatives just automatically, in a sense, backed the police – and he knew the story of the black man in the case…but his attitude was that, still, unarmed people shouldn’t be shot by the police and unless the police had indisputable evidence showing why shooting was the only possible course of action, then the police are wrong. This, boiled down, was my attitude and I think he was grateful for it…but I was one in a hundred. His final challenge to the white conservatives was “suppose it was me: suppose I was shot by the police – knowing what you know about me, what would you say, then?”. Keep in mind that the man is, in some ways, more hard core conservative than I am – heck, he’s practically a TEA Party prepper…if there is anyone in the A-A community who is with us, then its him.
Unless and until we take the problem seriously rather than just excuse ourselves by saying “it is the liberals’ fault”, we’re not going to get anywhere. And, yes, I know the failure in the A-A community is the liberals’ fault – in fact, if a foreign enemy had set out to destroy the A-A community, he could have done no worse than liberals did with their policies over the last 40 years. But we are the people who have to go into the African-American community with programs and plans – and tangible, immediate benefits – to demonstrate that there is a better way – a conservative way. I think our best opening is going to be a campaign to de-militarize the police and overall police reform to restore the police to their proper function: peace officers. Keepers of the peace – people who are not there to arrest but to protect…including protecting the possibly-high petty thief walking down the middle of the street.
Other things we can do are:
1. Encourage single, black women to arm themselves to the teeth and join conservative organizations for such activity.
2. Come up with programs to help African-Americans start businesses in their own communities – in here, we get the chance to hammer the liberal political elite which has set up taxes and regulations in, especially, the African-American communities which makes it very hard for businesses to start up (seriously, even if we had to provide $100,000 in taxpayer funds to start the business, it is worth it if we’ve also got rid of restraint of trade regulations and taxes).
3. Provide whatever it takes to build schools in the African-American communities which are not the mere tools of the public sector unions. If we have to double education spending so that we have a duplicate, non-union school system right next to the unionized one, that is what we’ll have to do…knowing, of course, that if we do it the unionized system will shortly collapse.
4. Let working African-Americans in the poor areas know – especially women – that we are there for them; that there will not only be no cuts to benefits, but if they are working full time there will be an increase in benefits.
5. Provide at least a 50% boost in benefits to any African-American married couple which is working full time.
These and probably a score of other things would provide real, material benefits and show that we genuinely care…while at the same time starting to inject free market principals into the one place in America where they are most lacking: the African-American community. But if we just sit back and point fingers, we’re going to fail at this…and fail, ultimately, to reform our nation.
Well, Mark, what I am seeing is Affirmative Action from the right instead of from the left.
“1. Encourage single, black women to arm themselves to the teeth and join conservative organizations for such activity.”
Not sure about this. Introducing more guns into an already violent society just doesn’t feel right. I would instead provide a strong voice, via various media (and yes, the word “media” IS a plural, no matter how often it is used as a singular) about self reliance and dignity. A big whine among blacks is that we do not allow them the dignity they deserve, but dignity is not allowed, it is earned, and if it is a big deal, as I believe it is, I would use this as the tent pole for an educational movement.
“2. Come up with programs to help African-Americans start businesses in their own communities – in here, we get the chance to hammer the liberal political elite which has set up taxes and regulations in, especially, the African-American communities which makes it very hard for businesses to start up (seriously, even if we had to provide $100,000 in taxpayer funds to start the business, it is worth it if we’ve also got rid of restraint of trade regulations and taxes).”
And once again we are picking out a demographic for special treatment. The farthest I would go would be a tax break for people of any race in a certain income range. That, and dismantling the punitive and restrictive mess of taxes and regulations, with lots and lots of publicity about why it is being done, is as much as I could approve.
“3. Provide whatever it takes to build schools in the African-American communities which are not the mere tools of the public sector unions. If we have to double education spending so that we have a duplicate, non-union school system right next to the unionized one, that is what we’ll have to do…knowing, of course, that if we do it the unionized system will shortly collapse.”
See above, about different treatment of different demographics. Instead, push for school vouchers and let the market take care of itself. Forget about race. FORGET ABOUT RACE. Make private schools available to all, using whatever is allocated per student for public education and letting parents apply that to any private school they want. This would include being able to use it for charter schools. Do not go in with a “solution” paid for by OPM and expect it to make a difference. Instead, make options and opportunities available to all, equally.
“4. Let working African-Americans in the poor areas know – especially women – that we are there for them; that there will not only be no cuts to benefits, but if they are working full time there will be an increase in benefits.”
Letting people know “we are there for them” is just offensive to me, and smacks of Leftist cant. I would much prefer a statement, made in dozens of ways, that we don’t need to “be there” for black people, which is so paternalistic and condescending, but that we are all about absolute equality of opportunity for everyone. Increasing benefits for working people just sounds wrong, unless it is in the form of temporary rent or home purchase plans that let working people get out of crappy neighborhoods and start moving upward and into productive society. I think our message has to be not a kindly pat on the head patronizing “we are here for you” but a simple expression of the belief that these people can do anything they set their minds to, that they have the intellect and ability, and don’t need to be taken care of.
“5. Provide at least a 50% boost in benefits to any African-American married couple which is working full time.”
Eeeuuwww. I know you are trying to find a way to reach out to the black community, but I find the very term “black community” offensive and condescending, though I sometimes find it convenient and use it myself. But to me, this “reaching out” smacks of the paternalistic condescension of those who don’t think black people can make it on their own, and this is the message it telegraphs. I think the only way to get through to the heart and soul of black America is to treat all people the same, and let those who rise above the ignorance and stupidity and bigotry be examples to others.
Everything you say is clearly coming from a position on your part of compassion and desire to make things better, but every word of it reeks of the belief that these people simply cannot improve their lives without us, the powerful (and probably white) elites. It seems to me that it is just perpetuating what we should be trying to end—the sense that one race is dependent on another for advancement, opportunity, and so on. Personally, I would be much more comfortable in saying “Hey, you guys——you’ve been treated as if you can’t get by without us, and that is wrong. We know you can. Some of you have been held back by what was portrayed as a helping hand, when in reality it just conveyed the message that you are not only not capable of taking care of yourselves but that you shouldn’t have to, and that is wrong. You SHOULD have to take care of yourselves, you SHOULD have to pay your own way, and what we need to do is respect that, and get out of your way. This is what we are going to do, to try to offset the damage done by our mistaken attitudes. (1) We are going to make sure that your children have access to the best education available, by letting you pick your own schools for them, and using the taxes now going to public schools to pay for them. If you want to stay in the public schools, you can—it’s your choice. But if you want equality of education, which is the cornerstone of economic equality, we are passing laws that will let you choose your own schools. (2) We are going to get rid of the bizarre taxation system we have, and refine it so it makes sense and rewards accomplishment and achievement instead of punishing it. That means cutting back on unearned subsidies for anyone other than those who truly cannot care for themselves. It means no more subsidies for illegitimate children or fatherless families, and these subsidies will be phased out. It will mean assuming personal responsibility for what we do—-for what we ALL do—-and not assuming that government will take care of us. It won’t. But it will, from now on, make it easier for us to take care of ourselves. (3) We are going to get rid of a lot of the restrictions and regulations that get in the way of starting and running businesses. (4) We are going to use taxpayer money to expand our concept of public education to include trade schools, so everyone can learn a productive job skill. (5) Yes, there are long-standing grievances based on old racial relationships. We are going to work to get past them, but you have to do the same thing. Only a fool trips over what is behind him. Black people have let their culture erode, and it is up to you to fix it. We can’t fix it for you and it would be arrogant of us to try. All we can do is give you some tools, such as education, and get out of your way. “
An example of the toxic brew of victimhood, paranoia and lack of personal dignity is blatant in Janay Rice’s bleating about hubby Ray getting booted out of football for knocking her senseless, dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator after he punched her out, and then nudging her legs together with his foot while he chatted with a security guard. She went ahead and married him, which is her business, but now his punishment for beating her unconscious is portrayed as —-well, look at her own words:
“…To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels.”
It wasn’t a punishment for breaking a law, or for beating her senseless, but it was JUST TO GAIN RATINGS !!!!! Who knew? And what ratings? And the intent of canning him was not to get bullies out of professional football, but really to “….hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away…” She was not made a victim by being beaten, or by staying with her attacker, but by those who found it unacceptable. She clearly would have been much happier having little black boys see that video of a football hero and thinking “Now THAT’S the way to keep a bitch in line!” and perpetuating that kind of attitude and behavior.
OK, she can make the decision that personal dignity is not as important as whatever she gets from being Ray Rice’s wife. That is her decision. But it is the kind of decision that holds women down, and no amount of paternalistic handouts from anyone will fix that. The message has to be “I’m better than that” and it has to be repeated till it is ingrained in the minds of women like Janay, who seems to think that being pounded into unconsciousness is just part of a loving relationship. This is going to require a shift in cultural attitudes and beliefs that no amount of entitlement handouts can accomplish, any more than admiration for males who impregnate females and then brag about having so many offspring, without being a father to any of them can be shown to be stupid and harmful by arming women or keeping them on the dole.
We have to win. If we had merely lost the African-American vote by 50 percentage points, we’d be complaining right now about President Romney’s Middle East policy. It was really that close – take 3.1 million A-A votes from Obama and hand them to Romney (ie, 19 percentage points of the A-A vote and add them to Romney’s 6 percentage points), then Obama loses the 2012 election. Not only that, but if the Republican party could consistently win about 25% of the A-A vote, not only would be not see a Democrat President for decades, but we wouldn’t see a Democrat Congress for ages. We have to win – to win, we have to get people to vote for us who have scorned and ignored us for decades.
Now, to be sure, we can’t do this by being Democrat-Lite – RINOs try that and lose. But we also can’t do it by going into African-American areas and saying “be responsible”; “get a job”; “we’re going to cut the welfare which is enslaving you”. All of these statements are true, of course, but they are also political losers. We’re not going to get from here (hardly any A-A vote) to there (A-A a substantial minority voting for us) all in one step. One step at a time.
Take, for instance, my plan to provide even more aid – but notice how it is predicated upon solid, conservative principals: you’ll get more aid if you work. Today I was listening a bit to Rush on the way to work and he had a caller who is a small businessman and he said that for the second time recently he’s had a good employee quit because it was the only way to keep their benefits. Democrats set it up this way – making benefits at least as valuable as a full time, minimum wage job (or, often, a bit better) and then discouraging the development of independence by immediately cutting all benefits as soon as the beneficiary starts to get ahead. I’ll turn that around – the less you work, the lower you’re benefits…the more you work, the higher your benefits (to a certain point, of course – after a while, if someone works hard and applies themselves, they’ll not need any benefits, at all). I’m rewarding work – also rewarding it by getting rid of restraint-of-trade liberal regulations and taxes against small business start-ups and expansions. To be sure, its going to cost money – but, Amazona, we’re already spending the money. Its already going out in great, big gobs every day…and we won’t win by proposing spending cuts to people who have no dog in that hunt. But if, instead, I campaigned in the blue areas by saying I’m going to take money from the unionized bureaucrats and hand it directly to the working poor, that will make sense…and would force the Democrats to try and defend the system which is crushing us.
We have to win. We can’t win with the old, tired policies of the past. If someone’s got a better plan for winning – a plan which will actually get votes, then I’m all ears. But I think the plans I’m laying out are the best.
But it’s still OPM given to them. I just don’t agree that “..you’ll get more aid if you work..” is a “solid conservative principle”. As for quitting a job to keep benefits (not sure I understand that….) if we don’t hand out “benefits” they will have to be earned. No matter how you phrase it, your plan is still based on the idea of giving OPM to people based on their race, in hopes of getting their votes. It may be pragmatic, but it ain’t conservative, unless you can find this in the enumerated duties delegated to the federal government.
Your analysis of the black vote is based on turnout equal to that of the last two elections. So it has to be predicated upon the belief that whoever gets the Dem nod for president will have the same appeal to black voters as Obama has had, and that they will turn out in the same numbers to vote for him or her. Have you done the math to see what would happen if only half of the previous black voter numbers were to turn out this time?
It also seems to be based on an assumption that black voters are all dependent on the government. Face it—no one, black or white or Latino, is going to vote to have his or her goodies taken away. It will be up to the grownups to do the taking-away.
Here’s another way to look at the election. Take away those who are fed up with Obamacare and starting to see the light regarding the welfare state and Liberal policies, including Liberal foreign policy. Take away about half of the black votes that were cast in the past two elections. Take away those who are just fed up and disillusioned with the way things are going and have become lethargic about the process. Nearly all of these will be from the Dem side. They can sit on the sidelines, which will help us. Some of them will cross over, which will help even more. On our side, we have energized highly motivated people. Sure, we will have the sourpuss political purists who will never cast a vote for a Republican who has violated any of their rigid “standards”, including religious litmus tests, but for the most part conservatives are really pumped up about getting a Republican back into the White House.
For all the media hype about Hillary, I haven’t seen excitement about her from the rank and file. It is all pundits, oohing and aahing about her “sophisticated election machine” and so on. But she is still a harsh, strident harridan, screeching and abrasive, and she still has a very mediocre Senate term and a disastrous stint as Secretary of State, complete with Benghazi, trailing along behind her like sea anchors. I can’t imagine what fresh approach she can bring to the table to counter the levels of disillusionment and dismay created by Obama. His has been a 100% negative experience, from the campaigns to the administration, and the Dems desperately need energy, happy positive fresh energy, to overcome it. Say what you want about Hillary, the words “happy” and “fresh” and “positive” will never be part of it.
It works like this – Uncle Sam says if you are unemployed and have, say, two kids you can get total benefits of $1,200 per month. A full time, minimum wage job in Nevada pays $1,430 per month, pre-tax! So, if someone works then we’re going to take away their benefits and in a very large sense, they will be financially worse off by working than by being on welfare, once you take away the taxes on the working income and then add in the various expenses involved in going to work, especially child care for a single parent. It makes no sense to work – which is precisely how the Democrats want it. But here’s our problem: if we go into the poor areas and campaign on just taking away the benefits, then those people will not vote for us – they’ll keep voting Democrat at the Presidential, Congressional and local level and we’ll be stymied in any effort to reform the system. We have to get the Democrats out – we can only get them out by appealing to at least some of the people who have voted Democrat in the past. And, so, we just turn the welfare State against the Democrats…pointing out the rank corruption within said system and promising that of the money spent on welfare, a larger percentage of it will go to actual beneficiaries and if you are working full time, we will ensure that you don’t lose all benefits just because of that fact.
Its the only way – if you’re thinking that disillusion with Obama will lead to GOP victory in the long term, you’ve got it wrong. Hillary will come along and will promise the moon and the stars to Obama’s voters (and she’ll be the First Woman President!) and we’ll get beat. We have to show that Hillary is really promising to provide more money to people who’ve already got it while those who are at the low end of the working world are getting screwed…and we’re going to do more for you on the end. Do that, and we won’t even get close to a majority of such votes, but we’ll get enough to crush the Democrats up and down the ballot…and then, once in, we can start to reform things so that over a 40 year period (it will take that long) we start to restore Constitutional government.
And this isn’t at all predicated upon benefits for racial groups – I’m just using African-Americans as an example. There are plenty of white, working class people who vote Democrat to their own detriment but who will not vote for us as long as we’re just out there shouting “get a job”, with the un-stated follow on being “you bum”, in their minds.
Politics is the art of the possible – in a nation where 45 million are on welfare and there are overall more people getting government benefits than paying for government, we can’t be the party of “no”. We’ll just lose – and even if we manage to scrape out a victory in 2016, we’ll be back at square one in 2020 or 2024 when the next Obama comes along to wow the LIV with promises of free stuff. We have to bend the curve back to more people being free of government, but that is a long, slow process and in the initial phases of the process, we’ve got to be willing to spend the money already being spent in a manner which (a) encourages eventually freedom from dependency and (b) sets us on a path to spending less.
If we are going to use OPM to buy votes then we are just the flip side of the Leftist coin, doing the SSDD but with a different letter after the name. There are a hundred ways to justify it, just as the Left does, but it is still the same thing. And it is in no way “conservative”.
We can make a deal with the devil and say we have to use Leftist tactics to get control of the country, because then we’re pretty sure we will use our power for good instead of evil but we are no better, or different, than the regime we are trying to unseat, just using different rhetoric. And, funniest thing, whenever someone uses that self-serving excuse for doing the wrong thing, the right thing somehow doesn’t get done—-the same corruption is still there, the same crony capitalism, the same mess. It’s just under a different identity.
As I said, no one getting goodies is going to vote to have them taken away. That is a given. We faced the same thing when the GOP took back Congress with the promises of the Contract With America. But we won, by telling the truth and promising hard decisions that were designed to make real changes. I was in Peru when Fujimori was running for president, and was very impressed by his campaign, which bluntly told the people that to fix anything it had to get worse before it could get better. And he won, in a country far poorer than this one. Slackers will vote to stay at the trough, but slackers don’t always vote, either. It’s the people with skin in the game we need to go after, and many of them have voted Dem and can be brought over.
You talk about minimum wage, and you talk about having a choice between working for minimum wage and not working at all. But these are not the whole picture. Subsidize day care if you must, but go after child support, and start restructuring the problems, not slapping bandaids on them.
At no time in Peru was more than half the population on the dole – we are in a situation where we can’t win by promising to cut, by promising pain. It is the same reason that even allegedly conservative parties in Europe never tamper with the welfare State: they can’t win if they try. What I am proposing is using the means we have at hand in order to re-cast the debate into one which will win us power and allow us over time to slowly shift away from government dependency.
Its a cinch, of instance, that if we do obtain power that there will be major tax reform in a conservative direction – that, in an of itself, will help get the ball rolling, but if we are campaigning on tax reform to people who don’t pay taxes, they will just tune us out. We have to bring something to the table for them – better policing, an end to what is rightly seen as police harassment, better schools, improved infrastructure (note that in the rich, liberal neighborhoods the streets are in good shape in the poor, liberal neighborhoods they are crumbling), more of the welfare money going to recipients rather than the bureaucracy.
Think about that last: if I go in there and point out that the rich liberals are getting richer via the welfare bureaucracy while the working poor get crumbs, that is the way I educate the poor liberals that government dependency is ultimately a scam…and the liberal Ruling Class has no way to fight against me: I’m promising the poor more aid than they are and painting an enemy for the poor to despise which isn’t a remote rich person who doesn’t pay his “fair share” of taxes, but the person who denies them additional benefits and then drives home to a rich, gated community and sends his or her kids to private schools.
We’re in a civil war right now – still, thank God, actually civil, but a war none the less. We have to go scorched earth and return the hatred directed at us right back at those who are generating the hate. They claim that we hate the poor – we’ve got to show that we don’t; that we’ll do more for them and that they, the liberals, are the people keeping, as it were, the black man down. And the Latino man; and the single mother; and the poor white…
The whole purpose is, however, entirely conservative – by using these tactics to gut the power structure of the left (ie, fewer bureaucrats to begin with, fewer unionized government workers, less money for the left) we can obtain the ability to really change things…and eventually force even the most dependent on the path to full citizenship. But we can’t even start until we win – and we won’t win until we find a way to convince people to vote for us. I’m not talking about just winning in 2014 or 2016 – I’m talking about winning to big that for 20 years we hold unchallenged power. It will take us that long to wrench things away from the liberal direction and start us on the path to conservatism – and the total process will take 40 or 50 years.
And once again we can see the internal divisions within the Republican Party taking shape, and its defeat and demise outlined.
Mark, what you are talking about is exactly, precisely, what the Left is all about. It is about taking care of people, about giving things to people, about buying their votes with OPM. It is even about a “path to citizenship” for those who have blatantly flouted our laws and shown disrespect for our country.
I don’t think you can fly the flag of conservatism if you are using tactics that defy the very wording and intent of the Constitution, no matter what your intended goals may be. It is also sneaky—“vote for me because I promise to give you more than the other guy, but once I am in office I am going to go back on my word and do the opposite”. As I said, it may be pragmatic, but it is not conservative. It is Leftism with a slightly different face and a claim to a different long-term agenda.
I also find it demeaning and disrespectful to many of the poor, in assuming they are inherently lazy or stupid or both and just want handouts. It takes the position that people have to be tricked for their own good, because they simply lack the intelligence or integrity to do the right thing. It assumes that “the poor” is a monolithic demographic with no interest in long-range goals such as better job training and more opportunity and being able to keep more of what they earn. It lumps the multi-generational welfare parasites in with those whose poverty is unwelcome and often of recent origin, who don’t necessarily want ongoing handouts but who want the ability to live in dignity.
No matter how sincere you are (and I see a lot of Catholic-style socialism in your comments) I see your approach as a muddle of Leftist-style use of OPM to garner votes, squishy “oh-the-poor-illegal-immigrant-let’s-make-him-a-citizen” rhetoric, and in general the idea, though not actually voiced, that it is the job of government to solve the problems of the people. When I read your ideas they sound a lot like John McCain’s.
Sure, we are going to have to use a lot of government money—-that is, OUR money—-for a while, but instead of handing it out to people, paying them not to work and paying them more to work, it should go to things like practical job training. This, of course, would be useless if we don’t at the same time expand the economy to make more jobs, which means cutting taxes and senseless regulations. Allow productive illegals to remain, if they register and qualify for work permits, but why would anyone find it a benefit to reward them for scorning our laws by handing out citizenship like Halloween candy?
Your premise is based on many assumptions: That as many black people will vote for any Democrat as voted for Obama, that the welfare contingent will swarm out to vote, that “the poor” are some monolithic identity seeking only more handouts, that we have to trick people into voting for us under false pretenses so we can then discard our Liberal disguises and show our true conservative colors (which sounds like a grand plan for a one-term presidency) and that there is some benefit in handing out citizenship to people who have never shown any interest in becoming citizens. It is also based on running on issues instead of ideology, which I contend is a losing strategy because issues are emotion-based and infinitely flexible, and the Left OWNS issues. I don’t agree with any of it.
You misunderstood the reference to the Fujimori campaign. It was not that people were willing to vote to get less stuff. It was that he treated Peruvians, rich and poor, urban and rural, as intelligent people capable of understanding the problems he laid out and of making a rational decision. He RESPECTED his people. He didn’t talk down to them, he didn’t lie to them, he didn’t blow smoke up their butts with a lot of big promises, and he didn’t assume that greed and laziness trumped dignity and love of country.
Our discussion is merely putting a face on the general debate of whether we need to water down the conservative philosophy and become more “moderate” in order to win, or whether we will do better to explain the conservative philosophy and run on it. After every election cycle we talk about how we will have to run AS conservatives the next time around, we talk interminably about how diluting the conservative message to appeal to more people never works, we espouse commitment to the true conservative message and decide that from that point on we will not shy away from it—–and then people start to get panicky, people start to say “But…..but……but……the Dems won by taking money from some people and giving it to others so if we want to beat them we have to do the same thing (but we’ll do it for better reasons)” and the supposed coalition of supposed conservatives starts to crumble around the edges. Pretty soon the debate is not conservative vs Liberal but conservative vs RINO, and the cannibalism begins.
Who is going to go back on their word? The word is – if you work, we will ensure that you get whatever is necessary to sustain a respectable life style. If you don’t work, that gets to be a different story…as I’ve said, we’re not going to get anything close to a majority of the dependent vote but, then again, we don’t need to. We just need a little bit more than we’re getting now and we’ll crush the Democrats for good…and then all welfare plans can be re-worked as platforms heading towards independence rather than being tools of ever increasing dependence. Politics is the art of the possible – it isn’t possible for us to get the voting of a working single-mom if we’re proposing to eliminate the food stamps which are necessary to feed her children…even though, in the long run, she will be vastly better off under our plans, she simply won’t listen to us if we’re just saying “no” at election time.
How do you propose to get her to listen? How do you propose to get the vote of a Latino man and wife who are working hard but are in section 8 housing? How do you propose to get the votes of a poor, white family which is dependent upon Medicare? You tell me – I’m, as I’ve said, all ears for proposals…but we must get to about 55% of the vote in order to really win (this puts us outside the margin of fraud and gives us enough power to actually make changes, even when those changes prove temporarily unpopular and cost us some votes in the short term).
Mark, I can understand that if you start with belief in what seem to be your basic premises, your plan might seem the only way to proceed. It’s the premises I challenge, as well as the claim that things like “more aid if you work” or “the more you work, the higher your benefits” or “tak(ing) money from (anyone) and hand(ing) it directly to the working poor” or “if you work, we will ensure that you get whatever is necessary to sustain a respectable life style” or “promising the poor more aid than they (the Dems) are” are in any way compliant with our Constitution and therefore conservative.
But you seem to be operating under some premises I simply do not accept.
1. That as many black people will turn out to vote in 2016 as turned out in the past two presidential elections
2. That these black voters will all vote Dem even if there is no racial issue at stake
3. That “the poor” are quite happy being dependent and only want to ensure that this continues
4. That the dependent class is going to turn out in large numbers to vote
5. That there is no appeal in telling people you are offering a way out of dependence
6. That a conservative campaign that does not offer the OPM enticements of your plan is one that just tells voters “We’re going to cut off all your benefits”
7. That the only way to win is to give people more of OPM than the other side
We lost in 2012 by about 5 million votes. If the 7.5 million or so white voters who stayed home had been motivated to vote, there is a pretty good chance that at least half of them would have voted R.
In 2012, approximately 16.6 million black voters voted, up about 300,000 from 2008. Change nothing but the interest level in the next election, without a black candidate and the accompanying race baiting, and decrease the black turnout by one fourth, or 4 million voters. Without any other change, that almost would tip the election to the GOP, without an additional vote going to the Republicans. Just having a quarter of the formerly energized black vote becoming less motivated would make a huge change. Or, if you prefer, you can look at what would happen if the black vote were to remain static but white voters become more motivated.
“Had people voted (in 2012) at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly, according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press.
Romney would have erased Obama’s nearly 5 million-vote victory margin and narrowly won the popular vote if voters had turned out as they did in 2004, according to Frey’s analysis. Then, white turnout was slightly higher and black voting lower.
More significantly, the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and Colorado would have tipped in favor of Romney, handing him the presidency if the outcome of other states remained the same.”
More from the same article: (emphasis mine) “The economy and policy matter. Exit polling shows that even with Obama’s re-election, voter support for a government that does more to solve problems declined from 51 percent in 2008 to 43 percent last year, bolstering the view among Republicans that their core principles of reducing government are sound.”
All of this tells me that a solid campaign clearly defining the main core difference between the two parties—one in favor of a federal government severely restricted as to size, scope and power, with more authority kept at the state and local level, vs an infinitely expandable Central Authority with the idea that its role is to solve all the problems of its citizens, keeping power centralized and lessening state and local control, will resonate with a lot of voters. Going on to explain that the latter political model means the system will fail, is failing and is close to collapse, meaning that nothing will be available to anyone, would be part of that. Going on to explain that reforming our system to decrease taxes and increase take-home pay will result in a stronger, healthier economy and more money for those currently dependent on the system will make sense to a lot of those who don’t really like being on the dole but find, as you pointed out, that it pays better than working. I think there are a lot of people on welfare who would vote for a system that promises to reform the entitlement system, if it simply gives them a way out of the trap of government dependence.
And obviously—OBVIOUSLY—no one would campaign on “Elect me and I’ll take away your stuff”. No, it would be on the necessary commitment to ease the nation out of its dependency mode, to first improve all education including job training to make work more accessible and well-paying and at the same time stop adding to the welfare rolls, so work and its benefits are more appealing. It would be to immediately halt the growth of the welfare state, and to start weaning people off it by using tax money to make better education available and by reforming out tax system to both increase jobs and make working more profitable. Working should always be the more attractive option, and paying people not to work, or to stay in low paying jobs, is just counter productive. The very idea of using welfare for anything but basic sustenance, except for the those truly incapable of caring for themselves, is simply wrong.
We also have foreign affairs to consider. The Left’s approach to international relations has a lot of people very nervous. So we have the threats associated with the explosion of power and its accompanying threat level with ISIS, we have the unrest in Ukraine (even though those Russians are only there “on vacation”), we have the violence along the border that has been covered up by the Complicit Agenda Media but which could be highlighted in a competent Republican campaign, we have more than half of the country thinking we don’t want a government “…that does more to solve problems..”, we have growing awareness of the dangers of our astounding national debt (something else that can and should be a focus of a R campaign) and in general we have a lot more going on than a whole lot of people focused solely on getting more stuff from the feds.
I don’t think we can count on winning by hoping for a drop off in LIV turnout – especially as Hillary will bring them out in droves in 2016. Just like the nitwits voted for Obama because he’s the first black President, they’ll turn out to vote for the first female President. To be sure, African-American turnout probably won’t reach 2008’s stratospheric levels, but plenty of single women will turn out for Hillary. I’d like to try and get some of them to vote for us – especially as voting for Hillary would be a counter-productive disaster for them. But while she’s promising them free everything, how do I reach them? By taking that promise and making it real – and turning Hillary into what she is: the corrupt representative of the Ruling Class who is promising crumbs to single women while ensuring that her cronies clean up.
” How do you propose to get the vote of a Latino man and wife who are working hard but are in section 8 housing?”
Are they citizens? Because if they are not, there is no reason to try to appeal to them because they can’t vote.
Which takes me to another critical step in winning the next election, and that is the kind of reform necessary to interfere as much as possible with vote fraud. That means pushing voter ID, in spite of the constant claims that it is racist, that its intent is to suppress voter participation, etc.
I suggest that one way to deal with this is, while Congress is voting on this, the GOP start its own internally funded campaign to get photo IDs for anyone qualified to have one. We know that there are very very few legally qualified voters who do not have photo IDs, so this would not be that big a job, but it would be a very good approach to pulling the teeth of the inevitable whines that the photo ID campaign is designed to interfere. I think some inner-city offices where people could come for help in getting photo IDs would be a great idea, staffed with volunteers who could help track down birth certificates, baptismal certificates and so on to provide to get government issued photo IDs. As outreach programs go, they would probably not cost all that much, and would serve the additional purpose of getting the GOP brand into areas where it is no doubt now seen with a lot of distrust.
” it isn’t possible for us to get the voting of a working single-mom if we’re proposing to eliminate the food stamps which are necessary to feed her children…even though, in the long run, she will be vastly better off under our plans, she simply won’t listen to us if we’re just saying “no” at election time. ”
Of course we would not just say ” “no” at election time”. That would be stupid. I don’t know why you keep setting up these straw men, such as imaginary threats to immediately cut off existing aid, when there has never been indication that anything like this would be considered.
What we say is: If you truly need food stamps, you can continue to get them till you don’t need them any more. Our job is to make sure you don’t need them for the rest of your life. But those who do not need them, who got them through fraud, who abuse the system, are not only hurting the system they are hurting those who really need this help, and we are going to go after these kinds of abusers and stop this kind of fraud.
What we say is: We understand it is hard for you to have to depend on the government to stay alive, to feed your children. This is a systemic problem, and we are committed to solving it. If the father of your children is not paying to care for them, we will help force him to contribute to their care. (We already do this, to some extent. In Colorado, at least, you can lose your drivers’ license or any other state-issued license, such as licensing to be a plumber, if you are behind on child support. Wages are often garnished for child support—our company employs a couple of men who have money taken out of their paychecks every week and sent directly to Social Services for their children. And, of course, being unable to work because of non payment of child support should not qualify a man for food stamps.) We will provide day care for three years, if you are in school to learn how to take care of yourself. We will make sure your children have access to the kinds of schools and programs they will need to be able to work and take care of themselves, so your own dependence does not sentence your children to the same kind of life. We will let you retain your eligibility for government assistance for housing for three years after you start working. We will allow private faith-based organizations to participate in our efforts to get you on your own feet and independent. We want you to succeed and we will help you succeed. We believe in you.
We will NOT subsidize illegitimacy, by paying you to have children out of wedlock, or for the purpose of getting more government aid. And we will NOT expand the existing system, but will work diligently to reduce it as time goes by.
All is well….. Another carrot offered to keep them on the plantation.
The conversation in this thread between Amazona and Mark illustrates perfectly the Catch 22 situation we Conservatives find ourselves in. It took Progressives nearly a century, a very patient century, to get the country to this point where now more people are taking out than are putting in. Absent a massive social upheaval, which is not something that can be dismissed at this point, Mark’s comment above that it will take 40 to 50 years to reverse the process is not at all unrealistic. But simply reversing the process ignores some basic current realities, one of which, The FED printing massive amounts of fiat money, may well be coming to an end soon, or, at the very least, an easing of the easing. But the bubble has gotten so big that there just isn’t going to be a painless way out. And the pain is going to be felt by those at the bottom of the economic spectrum to a far greater extent than those at the top. Is that going to make a significant portion of them receptive to new ideas — or maybe some old ideas that worked but were abandoned in favor of hope and change. I sure hope so.
The “tapering” of quantitive easing will have to begin soon, but Janet Yellin is a progressive’s progressive and a firm believer in QE so who knows. At some point the music stops though and people will be scrambling for chairs. That is of course if we continue with this “free lunch” mentality and “pandering for votes” politicians. The truth is that we could turn this whole economic disaster around over night if we had the will to begin extracting our vast reserves of natural gas and oil. The next economic boom is energy and we have the resources we need to start that boom, but sadly we don’t have the leadership.
There could be a massive upheaval – but I still think we need to start planning on slowly encouraging people back to rational behavior. I’m taking my cue here, actually, from Pope Francis vis a vis those Catholics who are, shall we say?, not very Catholic – the way to invite them back is in easy stages, as it were. Let’s just get them thinking along the correct lines and let the fullness of time fix it up for us. So, too, with our fellow Americans who are not real citizens any longer – we need to re-educate them into being citizens, and as we of the right won’t coerce, we have to do it by kindness and mercy and deep understanding.