Look at the photo on the Trump rally in NC and you tell me what's lacking.
By Reginald Kaigler
I'm going to tell you what's wrong with the Republican Party. Obviously, the party has abandoned its small government/liberty ideological roots. But its inability to attracting racial minorities is making the party less and less relevant in American cities and threatens to create a situation where conservatives can't win presidential elections (or even compete in many senatorial races). I will discuss how the GOP can attract more minority voters and win the victory. But first, I must explain why the GOP is losing minority votes.
I will use myself as an example. I am a 34 year old black Libertarian who loves guns and doesn't want to government to take over every aspect of my life.
I was born in the Motor City in 1981 during the beginning of a major economic downturn for the industrial north. The auto industry was beginning to move jobs over seas and close manufacturing plants in cities such as Detroit and Flint, MI.
I was raised by a single black mother in the industrial decaying city of Flint, MI. My mother raised my older sister and I in the heart of the Rust Belt. We were homeless when we moved to Flint in 1985.
Although my family depended on welfare and food stamps to get by, I never felt comfortable in that environment. I think this is why I've always looked for a political path that was different from the people I was surround by. As a young man in college, I didn't know a lot about politics, but I knew that I walked something different.
My mother and older sister were staunch Democrats, but I never cared for the Democratic Party. After all, the Democrat Party had always controlled the impoverished city of Flint and usually controlled the declining state of Michigan.
Black and Ready
Many of the people in my surroundings supported the Democratic Party, because of its support for the social programs that they depended on. I, however, never felt comfortable with the idea of becoming overly depended on the government. I remember coming home for Wednesday night bible study and only finding bread and government cheese in the refrigerator. As a young child, I was often living in unsafe neighborhoods, worried if there was going to be enough food in the refrigerator and always watched my mother struggle to provide for my sister and I. Perhaps this colored my political outlook.
I didn't want to support the white Democratic politicians who only showed up at my black church on the Sunday before election day. I remember a Sunday when three white middle-aged men marched into the church in the middle of the service. They walked onto the pulpit and the politician among them stepped up to the podium. The church was 100% black and we almost never saw white people in the church until the Sunday before Election day.
This white man (a Democrat) stood before the church and gave a short speech. The black congregation was very accepting of the man's message. And nobody seemed to question why this man thought that it would be acceptable to just march into a church in the middle of the service and give a political speech to people he had ignored for the other 364 days of the year.
After the politician finished, he marched out of the church with his lackeys. The black pastor then commented that he would like to see them stop by more often, and not just when it was time for an election. Of course, the politician never did. Because he knew that he didn't have to.
I sat in that church and realized that nobody respected us. Nobody respected black people. We (black people) just blinded supported the Democratic Party and we received nothing in return. Nothing ever improved.
So by the time I was a college student, I was ready for a change.
I realized that my people were being exploited and used. I realized that everyone that surround me was poor and black. And they all voted for the same political party. And for that reason alone, I was interested in something else. I wanted something different.
In 2004, Bush Jr. was running for re-election. I was a college student and was very interested in politics. One Autumn afternoon, I walked through the University of Michigan-Flint's Student Life Center when I saw the tables for the College Republicans and the College Democrats. At the time, I considered myself to be a Republican. I was both socially and economic conservative. I'm more of a libertarian now.
Nevertheless, I was not interested in voting for Democrat John Kerry. Both tables were in the same reception area. There were over 150 college students around.
When I walked over to the Democratic table and was greeted by the college Democrats with smiles. They were friendly and open. Despite the fact that there were other visitors at their table, one of the representatives (a white man) took his time while explaining why I should get involved in his cause.
He provided my with literature and invited me to attend a special event. I didn't like agree with his politics, but he and the other College Democrats were very welcoming. They also had some racial minorities, which was great. Most of the College Democrats were white and some were preppy, but I didn't think much about it. They seemed like normal people. My encounter with the College Democrats was a pleasant experience.
However, when I walked over to the College Republican table, it was a very different experience.
Every single one of them were white, but they were very different from the College Democrats.They were the preppy white youth who looked at me like I was a freak. At first, they seemed to look right through me. I had to engage the College Republicans.I spoke to the young white man who I perceived to be their leader. It was clear that he didn't feel comfortable talking to me.
I asked him what his group did and he told me that they helped "Republicans get elected. All Republicans."
His delivery were flat and cold.
His statement was followed by an awkward period. That was the end of the conversation. He didn't invite me to any event and the other College Republicans were just ignoring me. I couldn't believe that this guy didn't even attempt to pitch me on his political party. The most bizarre aspect of the encounter was the fact that I was the only visitor at their table.
It was one of the most awkward encounters that I've ever experienced. They clearly did feel comfortable being around me. Maybe it was because I was a big black man and I scared them. Maybe it was because I was black and they thought that I was crazy for talking to the Republicans. But I will always remember that encounter.
I have been rejected by many women before, but that rejection was an encounter that I will never forget. I acknowledge that the College Republicans were nothing more that a college group and didn't work for the RNC.
However, it really doesn't matter. The encounter was one of many awkward exchanges I had with Republican groups. Simply put, the Republican groups never wanted me. And this is why the GOP is struggling to win minority voters. Many of us feel like the GOP doesn't want us.
The Republican Party Isn't Ready
I voted for John McCain in the 2008 Presidential election, despite his flaws. I voted for Republicans in 2010, because I wanted the GOP to stop Obama. Unfortunately, it never happened. The GOP controlled Congress didn't fight Obama on his agenda and it didn't push balance the balance (or even attempted to deduce the deficit).
By 2012, I had lost faith in the GOP and certainly didn't trust Mitt Romney.
Frankly, many white voters have lost faith in the GOP. I realize that many people in the GOP sphere don't have any interest in attracting non-white voters. But the fact of the matter is that America is not becoming whiter. We are becoming more diverse. There will be more of us (non-whites) and less of you (whites). If the GOP doesn't find a way to adapt to this change, the party and the principles that it espouses will be come irrelevant.
How the GOP Changes and WINS
They need a change at the grassroots level. The Grand Old Party can't just select a few minorities for key posts. They need to focus on recruiting minorities from the bottom up. They need to get minorities involved in every aspect of the conservative movement and Republican organization.
Think: blood transfusion. Many older white voters will die off. The party needs more voters. Young white voters, Minorities, definitely more young women.
The GOP doesn't just need a black or Indian or Korean candidate running for public official. The GOP needs a black or Indian or Korean person knocking on doors. Otherwise, it just looks like the GOP is putting a black face on the Republican Party. Black and Indian and Korean people need to see members in their community speaking out for the candidates.
The GOP needs a culture change. Stop talking about preventing gay people from getting married and start talking about protecting the second amendment. There are a lot of black, Jewish, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Cuban, Mexican, and gay people who can relate to that. Many of them also want to a more reason tax rate and not get dominated by an overbearing government.
There are minority voters that will support a conservative party, but the GOP can't win the voters if it's not conservative. And it definitely can't win the voters if it doesn't try.
The GOP needs to compete for votes.
I have a strong interest in the second amendment and many other conservative causes. It would be nice if I had a political party in this country that was both competent to attracting voters and willing to fight for the causes.