No this isn’t a joke, the Republican Party is about to drop $60 million in an attempt to improve their image through a minority outreach campaign. Ok, well it isn’t all minority voters, just those who might be able to look past the racism and xenophobia running rampant on the fringes of the GOP. To be honest, many African-Americans and Hispanics tend to be both religious and socially conservative, but the party’s rhetoric toward immigrants and minorities tends to be very off-putting to say the least.
Instead of doing things like perhaps ostracizing the most virulent racists that also call themselves Republicans, they’re just going to throw some money at the problem, probably at the advice of the same consultants who told Bobby Jindal he could save $2 million by closing DMV offices. PBS Newshour is reporting that the Republican Party is planning to spend $60 million on minority outreach programs:
Getting African-Americans and other minority voters on board is a priority for the GOP in part because birth rates among whites are shrinking in the U.S.; racial and ethnic minorities are expected to make up a majority of Americans within about 30 years. The number of African-American voters has increased steadily: 12.9 million in 2000, 14 million in 2004, 16 million in 2008 and 17.8 million in 2012.
In 2012, blacks for the first time voted at a higher rate, 66.2 percent, than did whites, with a rate of 64.1 percent, or Asians or Hispanics, with rates of about 48 percent each.
Few of those votes went to Republican candidates; most African-American voters do not identify themselves as Republican. Exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and the networks showed that only about 6 percent identified themselves as GOP voters in 2004, and 4 percent did so in 2008 and 2012.
Once the party of choice for blacks after slavery ended more than a century ago, the GOP says it now wants those votes back. It is spending $60 million to court black voters, and a new initiative aims to recruit 300 women and 200 minorities to run for state and local office. (Source)
Here’s where I, as an ex-Republican, have to shake my head and watch as the GOP once again, just doesn’t get it. You see, during the post-2012 election autopsy, Bobby Jindal said that Republicans had to “stop being the stupid party” and then went and jumped into bed with the Duck Dynasty people and Big Oil. Time and time again, Bobby Jindal and the rest of the Republican Party have shown that they really don’t care what color your skin is, so long as you can write them a fat campaign check or get up on the stage for them and make a fool of yourself politically as Herman Cain or Dr. Ben Carson have done.
Now, I know you guys like to talk about being “fiscally responsible” and all that jazz, so here’s some free advice for any member of the Republican National Committee who might read this. If you want to actually get minorities on your side, how about actually doing things to prove you have their best interests in mind instead of spending $60 million to pander for votes and candidates? Instead of using racial dogwhistles and pumping up the irrational fear of “urban” people to pander to the The Villages crowd while stating that poor people need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, why not promote job training and job programs to help people get out of the cycle of poverty? Instead of allowing your politicians to turn up at every NRA convention to wave guns and scream about tyranny, why not promote reasonable restrictions on illegal firearms trafficking which is responsible for much of the violence in places like Chicago or New York? The GOP can actually promote “personal responsibility” and protect the 2nd Amendment (which is in more danger at the moment from the idiots at Open Carry Texas) in reasonable ways without coming across as a bunch of country club elitists and conspiracy nuts like the lunatics who just executed a couple of police officers in Las Vegas. Elitists and conspiracy wackos, that’s what many of America’s minority voters see you as now, and it is up to the sane members of the RNC to change that – if you have the guts to do it.
You can be the party of the people or the party of the rich people, by the rich people, and for the rich people – but you can’t be both. It’s time to make that decision on whether you want to remain relevant or go the way of the mastodon. But judging by the almost completely empty room back at CPAC 2014, I’m guessing that this will be more empty rhetoric and wasted money on your part.
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