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.

Is Trump Trustworthy?

We’ve heard it before. In fact, our current President stood before the nation and told us that he believed that marriage was a union between one man and one woman. Since then, Obama has stirred controversy by refusing to defend the current law on the books that defines marriage that way. In fact, before the ink was dry on the administration’s statement that they would no longer defend DOMA in court, prop 8 opponents in California had quotes from the statement prepared in a lengthy legal document requesting a stay in the implementation of Prop 8.

Pandering is the ancient art of politics. John Kerry supported the war before he was against it. Many have accused Mitt Romney of pandering. After all, he ran on a pro-choice platform in Massachusetts and then wrote Romneycare. He may have excuses and explanations, but in the end conservatives will have to decide if they are willing to trust Romney on social issues and healthcare.

Conservatives will have to make the same decision with Donald Trump. Trump recently came out in opposition both of gay marriage and civil union benefits. Already he is getting a lot of flack for the choice. One gay activist called him “an extreme bigot” for his marriage position.

Trump has also changed his stance on abortion, now choosing to go pro-life.

So can social conservatives trust Donald Trump? As noted in previous posts, Trump has supported Democrats like Rahm Emanuel financially. Trump’s daughter was recently seen at a pro-gay marriage reception in New York.

Trump knows whose palms to grease and who to support to be successful in his business. That makes an easy explanation for his history. But it should also be a warning sign to social conservatives. Is Trump truly a social right winger? Or is the social right wing his latest acquisition?

Trump’s move may be genuine, but the 2012 Republican electorate is turning out to be one of the most cynical, untrusting and judgmental crowd the right has seen in a long time. And justly so. George W. Bush’s last couple years in office ruined his conservative legacy, and McCain was no Reagan.

My prediction: Trump is not going to convince the social conservative base of the Republican party.

%d bloggers like this: