Monday, December 8, 2014

"Have Black Voters Left the Building?" My Article At "American Thinker" And The Saddening Response Showing Terrible State Of Race Relations

I wrote the article below for American Thinker LINK after the results of the mid-terms showed a striking shift in White support to the GOP in the south and an apparent concomitant drop in Black turnout. The article was positive, factual, descriptive and, I trust prescriptive in a positive manner.

I expected a degree of critical analysis but what eventuated in the comment section was striking and disturbing. The amount of overt racism reflects, at least to the degree that the comments are representative of wider feeling, a sad
commentary of the state of race relation s in America today under the Obama administration. That the 90% plus level of support for President Obama and the Democrat's might need examination and soul searching on the part of the Black voting community, as I set out in the article. is reinforced to my mind by this unexpected response.

Have Black Voters Left the Building?

In July, New York Times political writer Nate Cohn wrote a long piece, "Demographic Shift Black Southern Voters, Poised to Play a Historic Role," in which he surveyed the collapse of white support for the Democratic Party (in the November election, Senator Landrieu in Louisiana received only 18 percent of the white vote) and the vital, as he saw it, new role of Southern black voters.

Using Georgia as an example, Cohn found that "demographics" might win the Senate for the Dems:
Today, 57 percent of black Americans live in the South; more than one million black Southerners today were born in the Northeast. Nowhere has the remigration done more to improve Democratic chances than in Georgia, where Democrats have a chance to win an open Senate seat this November. Since 2000, as the black population has risen, the share of registered voters who are white has dropped to 59 percent, from 72 percent.
And with the Senate race:
The state’s growing black population will give her (Dem candidate Michelle Nunn) a chance to win with less than one-third of the white vote. And a major reason for this optimism: "Mr. Obama is part of the reason for higher black turnout, which surpassed white turnout nationally in the 2012 presidential election, according to the census.
As we know now, the Democrats were beyond decimated in the South, losing every seat that was up for grabs, with Michelle Nunn in Georgia (who Cohn advised might also get in with the support of "a handful of the rural, Southern white voters who adored her [former senator] father" being clobbered by nearly 8 points.

Kentucky went to the GOP a 15.5-point landslide, Arkansas by a massive 17 points.  Even the highly touted Kay Hagan, whom all polls that called the race bar one said was a winner, lost in North Carolina.
With white voters in the South monolithically now supporting the Republicans, does the Cohn-vaunted "demographics" rationale have much meaning?  The statistics on voting patterns seem to show that it doesn't.
From Breitbart:
Nationally, African-American turnout in 2008 was a record 65%, exceeded only by another record turnout of 66% in 2012, better than overall turnout rates of 63.6% and 61.8% respectively. 
In 2010 and 2014, African-American turnout plummeted to 39% and 35% respectively. In 2012, African-Americans comprised 13% of all voters, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of exit polls. In 2014, they were down to 12%.

Twelve percent of all voters with declining turnout rates would seem to doom the Democratic Party in the South to irrelevance except in pockets of House representation.  Cohn, with the election behind him, seems to now agree with this: "Demise of the Southern Democrat Is Now Nearly Complete."

With the devastating defeat of Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, Cohn's whole "demographic shift" premise has exploded.  This leads to the question of what the role of black voters might be in the South.  As happened in Mississippi, where the Republicans allow an open Senate primary, blacks voted in enough numbers to give the sitting Senator Thad Cochran a narrow victory over the Tea Party-supported candidate. 

With "jungle" primary opportunities in Georgia and Louisiana, there too blacks could play a significant role in what sort of Republican is elected, which will ensure that the voice of black voters is noticed and their needs appealed to.

Republican dominance might also encourage conservative black Democrats to consider a political future as a centrist voice in the Southern GOP.  The landslide election of Tim Scott in South Carolina shows that there are no electoral blockages to blacks at the highest level of political office.
With declining black turnout figures in the midterms – regardless of whether a particular state showed a steady rate, since that had no effect on the outcomes – the question of whether the GOP puts major effort, such as Rand Paul has commenced doing, into black voter outreach comes into consideration.

If blacks perceive that the political framework of their monolithic 93% support for the Democrats has left them bereft jobs-wise, in a worse position as far as their perceptions of social injustices are concerned, and with near inconsequential voting power in the South, might they simply decide not to turn out?  Once President Obama leaves office, and if these trends are still in place, might the incentive of support for a black president having gone further dampen voting enthusiasm? 

Massive black turnout affects the GOP's presidential chances only in Virginia, Ohio, and Florida (with the Hispanic vote a counter-balance), and even there we will see, post-Obama, how permanent that is only from 2016 on; certainly it had no effect in the 2014 midterms.  Why then should the GOP look to black support as a group rather than appeal to all groups on economics?

Blacks moved en masse from the Republicans to the Democrats because of Roosevelt's economic policies.  If the GOP can demonstrate that that is the path forward for all Americans and can point to the growing number of black conservatives as elected representatives, successful business people, professionals, and in the media, there can be an end to dogma and fear, and a move to a genuine multiculturalism based on mutual respect and mutuality of interest, with prosperity the cure for the ills of society.  The laying to rest of "demographics" may also be the best thing for the Democrats as they seek to recover from the dead end that path has made for them.


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