For years, Lincoln’s Republican party, by virtue of having freed the slaves, was the party of newly enfranchised black Americans. Just as African-Americans now vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, they once voted for Republicans.
This began to change under FDR as his social programs appealed to many ethnic minorities–not just those of African descent. This shift was solidified during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s under President Lyndon Johnson–as Hillary Clinton pointed out.
It appears many African-Americans finally tired of liberal patronization. After decades of liberal self-congratulation and credit taking for Civil Rights gains (look at us! see how enlightened and open minded we are!), blacks finally see it for what it really is–supremely condescending nanny-statism. Hillary’s statement is just another example of what President Bush called the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”
- RASMUSSEN: Clinton leads Obama among white voters 41% to 27%
- Obama leads Clinton among African-American voters 66% to 16%
Could this be a break-up in the liberal-Democrat coalition? And if black Americans finally see Democrat’s true colors, is it possible other traditionally Democrat-voting minorities will also break from stereotype politics?
For a long time we’ve wondered about what type of conservative message might appeal to minorities who typically do not vote Republican. One strong possibility is school choice and vouchers. (We wrote about it here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
Public education overwhelmingly fails minority students. Given the opportunity, minority parents–especially African-Americans–have taken their child and voucher and gone to better schools. With the Democrats and adversarial teachers’ unions joined at the hip, this is an opportunity where Republicans are uniquely positioned to capitalize. What’s more, it would not be a case of pander-politics. Conservatives already believe in vouchers and school choice, they simply need to explain how they benefit minority students.
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