It’s Time We Put People Aside and Do What’s Right! Rule #4: Caring must be at the core of conservatism.

by johndavis, January 28, 2013

If Republicans are serious about minority outreach, or “welcoming in” minorities, then they must begin by forming and funding committees and hiring consultants that are representative of the groups they seek to welcome. Only then will they be in a position to craft a message that shows women and minority groups that they care; that caring is at the core of conservatism.

Rule #4: Caring must be at the core of conservatism. Otherwise, what you are really saying is, “It’s time we put people aside and do what’s right!”

It’s Time We Put People Aside and Do What’s Right!     Rule #4: Caring must be at the core of conservatism.

 

“The typical Republican minority outreach program is a sham. It’s like the Republican ads with one or two African Americans or Hispanics standing around the candidate with a bunch of white people. Like the Minority Outreach staffer with no budget.”

John Davis Political Report, January 25, 2013

 Friday, January 25, 2013             Vol. VI, No. 4             1:13 pm

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, in his speech last night to the Republican National Committee at their winter meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, said, “We must reject the notion that demography is destiny, the pathetic and simplistic notion that skin pigmentation dictates voter behavior. …The first step in getting voters to like you is to demonstrate that you like them.”

Many American voters, especially minority groups, think that Republicans do not like them. Do not care about them. They think that Republicans are more about ideology than people.

When minority voters hear Republican leaders speak passionately about immigration, deficit spending, the national debt, taxes, entitlements, jobs and the economy, what they actually hear them say is, It’s time we put people aside and do what’s right.  Conservatism over caring.

Two weeks ago, I began a series of reports highlighting key rules for How the North Carolina Republican Party Can Maintain Political Power for 114 Years (like their predecessors the Democrats). The three rules highlighted thus far are:

  • Rule #1: Always remember that you are vulnerable
  • Rule #2: Criminal indictments scare off contributors
  • Rule #3: Keep your voters close, and your metropolitan voters closer

Today, I am writing about Rule #4: Caring must be at the core of conservatism.

The history of RNC minority outreach is a sham

Betsy Cochrane, from Clemmons, North Carolina, former GOP state Senator and first Republican woman to serve as Minority Leader (1985-1986), told me once in an interview, “The biggest problem facing Republican women today is Republican men.”

I thought about that this morning when I read that the RNC is planning to get serious about outreach to women, African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus plans to say to the RNC attendees in Charlotte, according to the text of his remarks, “Simple outreach a few months before an election will not suffice.” He adds, “In fact, let’s stop talking about ‘reaching out’ – and start working on welcoming in.”

If Priebus and the RNC are serious about diversity and “welcoming in” women and minorities, the critical questions they must first address are:

  • What is the gender, race and ethnicity of the strategic planning committee and consultants?
  • What is the budget for the “welcoming in” plan?

For decades, most Republican campaign committees and candidates have had a minority outreach program.  However, more often than not, the minority outreach program consisted of a “Minority Outreach Coordinator,” usually a low-paid, minority staffer, with no budget for outreaching.

The typical Republican minority outreach program is a sham. It’s like the Republican ads with one or two African Americans standing around the candidate with a bunch of white people.

Are white, male Republican leaders and consultants planning how best to reach out to women or African Americans? Are non-Asian or non-Hispanic consultants helping the RNC with their strategy for reaching Asian American voters or Hispanic voters?

It’s no wonder Republicans are having a problem with minorities in America.

The most important rule for minority outreach

The most important rule I learned about campaigning for minority voter support during my three decades as a political professional I learned from Bethel Nathan, an African American Republican consultant from Houston, Texas.

Bethel taught me in the early 1980s that if you want to understand what moves black voters, talk to someone black; don’t rely on white political consultants. Hiring someone white to plan your outreach to African Americans would be like hiring a Hispanic consultant to find out what moves Asian voters.

Minorities in America are still generations away from the day that unique cultural histories and sensitivities and nuances no longer matter.  If the RNC wants effective advice on how to communicate their “welcoming in” message to a particular racial or ethnic group, or women or young people, they need to make sure that their strategic planners and consultants are representative of that group.

Andrew Young, former Mayor of Atlanta and UN Ambassador, a Democrat, was so incensed by being kept out of the inner circle of the 1984 presidential campaign of Walter Mondale, the Democratic Party’s nominee who served as Vice President under President Jimmy Carter, that he described Mondale’s strategists as a bunch of "smart-ass white boys."

Mayor Young hit a home run with black voters by expressing his frustration with a fundamental flaw in far too many campaign organizations: White guys doing the minority outreach.

The fact is, most white consultants, Democrats and Republicans, are competitive entrepreneurs who do not want to share the campaign’s lucrative advertising deals. They guarantee themselves the greatest influence over the campaign and the largest cut of the campaign budget if they don’t have any competition in the minority outreach inner circle where the planning is done.

Throughout his professional life, until his death last December, Bethel Nathan tried to persuade white Republicans that they can break the lock-step loyalty of black voters to the Democratic Party if they will focus on two words: respect and recognition.

Nathan's message fell on deaf ears. White Republican leaders, including those at the RNC, guided by the advice of white Republican consultants, determined that white Republican candidates had no chance of getting black votes no matter how much effort was made or how much money was spent.

Thus, the Republican minority outreach effort has always been token; the budget minimal. A sham.

If Republicans are serious about minority outreach, or “welcoming in” minorities, then they must begin by forming and funding committees and hiring consultants that are representative of the groups they seek to welcome. Only then will they be in a position to craft a message that shows women and minority groups that they care; that caring is at the core of conservatism.

Rule #4:Caring must be at the core of conservatism.  Otherwise, what you are really saying is, “It’s time we put people aside and do what’s right!”

- END -

 Thank You for Reading the John Davis Political Report!

 JND Signature

John N. Davis, Editor

If you are not a subscriber, please consider subscribing.  The Premium Annual Subscription is $245.  Mail your check to John Davis Political Report, P.O. Box 30714, Raleigh, NC, 27622, or subscribe online at www.johndavisconsulting.com/subscribe  JND

P.S.:  Need a speaker?  Inquire about availability here  JND

 

Comments are closed.