Does He Have Their Back?

In Barack Obama’s mind, black people listen to gospel music mixed with a sort of 70’s techno-rap.  At least that’s what I got out of his recent ad targeting one part of America based on their skin color.  Obama’s divide and conquer strategy relies on race politics and getting people to vote for him because they share the same color skin.  After all, that’s what worked in North Carolina in 2008 when 95% of blacks voted for him.

But recent polls are showing that Obama’s racial politics may not have the same decisive effect in 2012.  Already his support among black voters in North Carolina has dropped to the mid 70s.  Perhaps it has something to do with minorities questioning if Obama really does have their back. 

Unemployment among blacks has soared to the highest level in 27 years.  In fact, while unemployment among whites has dropped slightly, it continues to rise for blacks.  Guess when the last time the unemployment rate was below 10% for blacks.  During the Bush administration.

Obama wants blacks to have his back. Does he have theirs?

In fact, despite Kanye West’s claim that Bush didn’t care about black people, they certainly fared much better under a Bush administration than they have under Obama.  In fact, from 2002-2007, the number of businesses owned by people who identify themselves as black rose by an unprecedented and historic 60%.  That was more than triple the overall rate of business growth for that period.  Economically, blacks did much better than their white counterparts under a Republican administration.

Aside from economics, Obama has come down on the wrong side of several social issues for blacks as well.  Blacks still oppose gay marriage by a large margin.  In fact, while blacks were helping hand Obama California in 2008, they were also helping California define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to oppose abortion than whites, but there is still an odd disconnect where pro-life blacks are more likely to vote for Democrats.  On the other hand, Obama and Democrats have been intensely pro-abortion.  They have not paused their agenda at the doors of religious institutions, but instead are working to force religious groups to pay for some forms of abortion for their employees.

Democrats have pursued blacks aggressively with identity politics.  But in 2012 the tide may turn.  The key is a little bit of pursuit by Republicans.  In the past, Republicans have written off the black vote as a waste of campaign cash.  This time around, Republicans should take the time and money to win back a segment of America who should be the natural allies of the party of Lincoln.

Part of the issue facing Republicans is that the racist attacks on black GOP members is nearly as intense as the anti-women attacks on female Republicans.  While Democrats accuse Republicans of using racial codewords, such as “cool”, to describe blacks, Democrats have openly used racially offensive language against black GOP members in order to diminish their roles.  How does calling the President too cool compare to calling Allen West an uncle Tom?

If Republicans can deliver on what Obama promised, national unity and healing, then they have a good chance at defeating the identity politics of the left.

Gay Republican Fred Karger Fights for His Voice to be Heard In Presidential Forum

Bookmark and Share Although he isstill an undeclared candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Fred Kargers aggressive exploratory committee has left no doubts about his serious consideration to enter the race. However; some are not so willing to accept his candidacy.

In Iowa, the Faith and Freedom Coalition , and one of its leaders, Steve Scheffler, is refusing to invite Karger to a March 7th forum of potential Republican candidates for President. The forum is widely viewed as one of the first, albeit unofficial, debates of the 2012 Republican presidential contest. For the record, Scheffler has stated that he will invite anyone who has expressed the “slightest interest” in the 2012 Republican nomination. But anyone apparently does not include Fred Karger.

Karger is an openly gay Republican and as such, Scheffler refuses to acknowledge Fred Karger as a legitimate candidate.

In light of these events, Fred Kargers exploratory committee has issued a press release (see below) announcing his plans to petition Steve Sheffler and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition to allow Fred to participate in the March 7th forum.

The incident is an early sign of the problem that Kargers candidacy will create for Republicans if they try to shut him out. In the case of this forum, Steve Scheffler and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition do have a right to deny Fred Karger a place on their stage. It is a private event. But in doing so, this Christian organization can not put itself forward as one that is providing an open forum for the free discussion of beliefs, opinions and ideas. It is clear that Scheffler only wants to here those opinions which he agrees with. That is fine for Scheffler and his coalition, but how long can the Republican Party accept denying Fred Karger a place at the table of debate? How long can they refuse to allow his views to be heard in the race for the Republican presidential nomination?

For his part, Karger has a campaign that will be many times harder than any of his potential opponents. Not only must he campaign hard to make his case, he musteven fight hard for the right to make his case. In addition to that, he must prove himself to be more than just the gay Republican in the race. He must break through stereotypes and prove that he is not a one issue candidate. He must also demonstrate that gays are respectful of differences of opinion and different beliefs, but ask for the same in return. Kargerthen needs to demonstrate to the Party of the right, that equality and the defense of rights is a cherished conservative value that should be a perfect fit for the Party of Lincoln.

And just as Karger has a lot of work to do, the Republican Party has a lot of tough questions to answer. First they must ask themselves if they wish to disenfranchise entire segments of society because of who they are? Then they must ask themselves how they can politically reconcile their catering to the extremes of the religious right, with their need to protect the constitutional rights of all people, including homosexuals? That is a debate that would be worth the Partys while to have now, rather than later, when they go head to head with President Obama.

It is also a debate that Fred Karger could help the Party get through. If they let him .

But it is up to the GOP to demonstrate that it is at least willing to have a family discussion about the issue during their candidate selection process. And while pondering that, the Party would be wise to remember that Fred Karger is not alone. In addition to simply being fellow Americans who are worthy of being heard, many gays are also Republicans.

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Karger’s petition reads as follows:

I am deeply disappointed to read that the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition has refused to invite potential presidential candidate Fred Karger to a planned March 2011 candidate forum in Waukee, Iowa. According to the Des Moines Register, you said that Karger can’t be considered a legitimate candidate.

That simply isn’t true. Karger has visited Iowa five times, has released a television commercial introducing himself to voters, has an official exploratory committee, and has met hundreds upon hundreds of Iowa voters. He is engaged in this campaign much more than some of the names on your invite list.

It sounds to me that the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition either doesn’t want to acknowledge Karger because he’s a gay Republican, or you’re afraid of his candidacy. But shouldn’t Iowa voters be the ones who decide whether or not Karger is a serious candidate?

I urge you to reconsider your decision to bar Karger from this event, and offer Karger an invite. If you think he’s the wrong Republican for the job, you should have the courage to confront him in a candidate forum, and allow Iowa voters to make up their own minds.

Thank you for your time.

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If you wish to help insure that all the issues are debated openly and honestly, below you will find a link to Karger’s petition for you to sign.

But in addition to that I also suggest that you take a moment to send the leadership of the Republican National Committee a message and tell them that they have a responsibility to make sure that Fred Karger and all voices in the Partyareheard and that all the issues should be open to discussion.

Email your message to

info@GOP.com

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