Romney and the illusory black vote

With President Obama in the White House it remains an illusion for the Romney camp to break the stranglehold the Democratic Party continues to exert with the majority of American blacks. American blacks don’t vote Republican because they can't seem to identify with the platform and conscience of the GOP hierarchy. Many continue to feel unwelcome and underappreciated in the Grand Old Party.

Makes sense. On the federal level, the Republican Party doesn't have a single black senator and only has two members of Congress. Their greatest support is in rural and suburban areas. Those Republicans with experience as big-city officials who maintain regular associations with black-American venues tend to do OK with the black vote. But certainly, the Republican Party is not a party of big-city officials. On the whole, black American communities and venues remain unfamiliar turf for Republicans.

By contrast, about one-quarter of the membership of the Democratic National Committee is black. This strong representation within the party facilitates more hiring — and elected representation — of American blacks in government at every level. This creates a positive ripple effect throughout the community. For example, a black politician might maintain close associations with other black community figures such as ministers, teachers, entrepreneurs and union officials. These interlocking relationships proclaim to American blacks that they are part of the Democratic Party.

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The Republicans need to take a page from the Democrats and do a better job of grooming black elected officials to carry their message into the community, because the black community is ripe for appeal. More and more American blacks are coming to the conclusion that liberalism has not solved their most basic problems. Instead, it has put many blacks in the mindset that they must be fed government programs, instead of being given access to capital and the opportunity to create their own jobs.

The younger generation of American blacks is saying it is time to move beyond the basic covenants of liberalism and finally face who they are and what they need, not solely as blacks, but as individuals.

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