Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Thomas Sowell makes the following observation about the longstanding inability of the Republican Party to win support from black voters:
... In California, a substantial black population has simply been forced by economics to vacate many communities near the coast and move farther inland, where the environmental zealots are not yet as strong politically, and where housing prices are therefore not yet as unaffordable.Sowell concentrates on an acute problem the Republican Party faces in attracting enough votes to win elections, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why stop an outreach with just blacks, and why just show how harmful central planning is? There are votes to be had for any politician who would take an uncompromising stand for the benefits of freedom, rather than positioning himself as merely in favor of less government meddling in our lives.
With all the Republican politicians' laments about how overwhelmingly blacks vote for Democrats, I have yet to hear a Republican politician publicly point out the harm to blacks from such policies of the Democrats as severe housing restrictions, resulting from catering to environmental extremists.
If the Republicans did point out such things as building restrictions that make it hard for most blacks to afford housing, even in places where they once lived, they would have the Democrats at a complete disadvantage.
[N]one of this matters so long as Republicans who want the black vote think they have to devise earmarked benefits for blacks, instead of explaining how Republicans' general principles, applied to all Americans, can do more for blacks than the Democrats' welfare state approach.
Republican difficulties in attracting the black vote are not some historical peculiarity that the party can fix simply by showing how harmful a few Democratic policies are to a fraction of the population. Rather, their difficulties are a symptom of many factors, not the least of which is that the Republicans actually don't fully embrace or understand capitalism: If they did, they'd have, for example, vigorously opposed environmentalism (with its easily-foreseeable consequences) from Day One. Or they wouldn't have attempted to enact socialized medicine "lite" as Nixon tried to do, or offered plans similar to ObamaCare when they "fought" HillaryCare. And they would not now be talking about repealing ObamaCare only to replace it with another central planning scheme.
Sowell is completely right about the need for pro-caplitalist politicians to "make [a] case in the first place," but someone who inconsistently supports capitalism or fundamentally opposes it will be unable to make such a case convincingly, if at all. Unless the Republican Party becomes more consistently pro-freedom, it will continue ceding electoral and legislative ground to the left, and potential voters will understandably fail to support it.