We’re about to find out, as the GOP (a.k.a., “the stupid party”) has just been handed what is perhaps the greatest opportunity to win over a chunk of the Democratic base since Jimmy Carter held down Menachem Begin and farted in his face on national television. (Wait, that didn’t happen? Forgive me. I’m working from memory and I was very young during the Carter administration. Anyways…)
Back in 2008 it was the black Christian vote that defeated gay marriage in California. African Americans voted for Obama, but while they were there, they voted against gay marriage. It’s one of those stories no one wanted to talk about. Now, things become interesting: do African American churches, hearing the president say that “my Christian beliefs” inform this newly declared viewpoint, simply give up their own beliefs to support his or do they stand for their own? And then, who’s Christian beliefs are right? That’s a whole ball of wax I bet no one wanted to deal with in this election.
If I were running things at Republican party headquarters, first of all, I’d replace Romney with my dream ticket of Ann Coulter and the brain of Milton Friedman in an indestructible robot. But right after that, I’d start pouring every resource at my disposal into making minority Christians comfortable with the idea of voting Republican.
That group has much in common with the Republican base already: appreciation of traditional family values; disappointment with public schools and desire for an alternative; support for religious freedom. The biggest obstacle to gaining their votes is the decades and decades of Democratic propaganda establishing the lie that Republicans are the enemy of the dark-skinned man.
The GOP has to do something to overcome that so that black Christians don’t feel like sell-outs for pulling the lever for a Republican. I don’t know how, but finding out how, and then doing it, should be priority #1 at GOP headquarters right now.
Follow-up: After sleeping on it, I’ve come up with some ideas. If I can do this, surely the brainiac political consultants can do that much better.
– Among America’s many black artists, athletes, and celebrities, there have got to be some closet conservatives. I know it’s going to be a rare bird, but come on–statistically speaking, there must be at least a few. The GOP should track them down and beg them–and I mean beg without shame–to go public. They don’t even have to endorse a particular candidate; they just need to say that one party supports traditional values and one doesn’t, and they plan to vote for the one that does.
– Start cutting ads featuring any black Republican candidate for any office anywhere in America. (Seriously! There are a bunch!) Give them national exposure and give lie to the line that the GOP is a whites-only party.
– Finally get freaking serious about school vouchers and/or any other plan to help kids escape from failing public schools. Promise to jettison No Child Left Behind like a bag of Ted Kennedy’s old underpants. There is huge overlap between blacks and conservatives on the issue of school choice. You’ve heard of wedge issues? This is the opposite of a wedge issue; it’s a glue issue. Use it.
– As part of the GOP platform, propose to create an agency called S.H.I.E.L.D. and name Samuel Jackson the head of it. Heck, I’d vote for that anyway.
Follow-up, even more: This:
About two hours after declaring his support for same-sex marriage last week, President Obama gathered eight or so African-American ministers on a conference call to explain himself. He had struggled with the decision, he said, but had come to believe it was the right one.
The ministers, though, were not all as enthusiastic. A vocal few made it clear that the president’s stand on gay marriage might make it difficult for them to support his re-election.
This was the danger of going on the record, a danger Obama’s allies on the Left apparently discounted. Obama drove turnout in 2008 in part through the enthusiastic participation of these very same churches. Having now sided with the people who call these black pastors and congregations “bigots,” especially in North Carolina where two-thirds of black voters supported Amendment One, Obama is not at risk of having them flip to Mitt Romney — but he does risk losing that enthusiasm, fundraising, and organization.
Following the follow-up: Listeners of New York hip hop radio station HOT 97 did not take kindly to the news that President Obama had endorsed same-sex marriage. The day after the announcement, callers took to the airwaves to express their disappointment with the news.