March 1, 2011
Presidential Candidates and Demographic GamesBy Chidike Okeem
With the 2012 presidential election fast approaching, conservatives have begun strategizing as to whose name should sit on top of the Republican ticket. Many have articulated that a black candidate would neutralize the left's dependable race card; a woman candidate would countervail the symbolism of progression that half-black Barack Obama embodies; and others have argued that a black woman would be completely unconquerable in a presidential race against Barack Obama.
These arguments all miss the broader point: the liberal media has decisive influence on the narrative that is portrayed to the nation. There is zilch a conservative can do that would ever impede liberals from tenaciously attempting to make 'conservative' synonymous with 'racist.' Thus, it is my contention that conservatives should focus less on finding gimmick candidates to be used as pawns in the rigged game of demographic chess, and instead divert their concentration to the more important purpose of finding an electable, knowledgeable candidate that can confidently articulate the complexities of conservatism and its marked superiority to the far-left liberalism of the Obama administration.
If the candidate that is best equipped to make the argument for small-government conservatism is an ethnic minority or a female, then, indisputably, that person should be the Republican candidate. However, merely nominating a minority candidate for the sake of outmaneuvering Democrats in the race for achieving progressive milestones is wrongheaded, particularly considering that racial- and gender-related achievements of the Republicans are, at best, ignored by the mainstream media and, at worst, counterintuitively treated as substantial steps backwards in the progression of the nation.
When George W. Bush packed his administration with tremendously credentialed minority appointments, from black Dr. Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State to Harvard-educated Hispanic Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, the left saw no reason to celebrate the realization of such ethnic- and gender-related triumphs. Rather, the left advanced their traditional racist narrative of minorities working under the Bush administration being sellouts.
Even more recently, as Tim Scott became the first black man elected as a Republican in the South since Reconstruction; black Allen West cruised his way to the House; Hispanic Marco Rubio became a senator; and Hispanic Susana Martinez became both the first female governor of New Mexico and first Hispanic woman governor in American history, the media carefully glossed over these significant stories and diligently focused on reporting the fact that there was no black person elected to the Senate.
As reported by Dana Loesch at Big Journalism, liberals have already started attacking Herman Cain with viciously racist slurs. The evidence is stark: a black conservative candidate does not stymie the left's ability to use race to advance their agenda. If Cain ends up as the Republican nominee, we will see some of the left's most flagitious, no-holds-barred rhetoric launched at the man -- including using his former bout with cancer in utterly ruthless ways.
Conservative Colorblindness Miraculously Cured?
Forgive me for noticing, but, puzzlingly, some conservatives claim to enthusiastically champion a colorblind society, yet find nothing contradictory about supporting candidates based, in small or large part, on race in an attempt to one-up the Democrats vis-à-vis Obama. So, just to ensure I understand this position, we have to be colorblind to race when it comes to pointing out the left's malefic abortion policy that amounts to genocide of black babies; colorblind with respect to the left's purposeful dismantling of the black family via big-government liberalism; and colorblind to a disproportionate amount of black crime because of the decline of the black family, but we are allowed to be color conscious when it comes to choosing presidential candidates that can ostensibly give the edge to Republicans?
Logically, we really can't have it both ways. It's either we are colorblind or we are color conscious. Colorblindness posits that race never matters -- that is, you can never consider race for any reason; color consciousness leaves the door open to discuss and acknowledge race, rebut the arguments of race-baiting liberals, and argue when race is and isn't relevant. Color consciousness is not tantamount to racism, but colorblindness is the perfect societal condition for liberal racists to stealthily operate.
If the instinctive way in which some conservatives expressed ebullience over Herman Cain's candidacy, in small or large part, because of his race does not overwhelmingly belie the preposterous myth of colorblindness, then I am unconvinced that anything will. My point is not to diminish Mr. Cain as a presidential candidate; rather, it is to highlight that according to purportedly "colorblind" conservatives, race matters in order to defeat Obama. I -- a black man -- am arguing that it patently does not.
Understandably, there needs to be diversity among the people articulating the conservative message; however, I reject the notion that the nation needs an African American conservative in the White House to advance conservatism and defeat Obama's agenda. It would be commendable if it occurred, but the fundamental point is that race is far from being an important criterion -- in point of fact, it's a red herring.
Clever Packaging versus Productive Content
The liberal approach to politics is clearly about emphasizing packaging over content. Democrats have to focus on packaging because their fundamental message is no different than the socialistic policy positions printed on the editorial pages of the New York Times. The left's cherished political beliefs are anathema to the American people. Conservatives, conversely, have a message that wins whenever it is articulated with vigor and clarity.
As much as we conservatives adore mocking Barack Obama's excessive use of the teleprompter and inability to speak in an autoschediastical manner without exposing his socialistic ideals, there's no denying the fact that the man is a skilled sophist when he is on his game. He can recklessly spend trillions of dollars on "stimulus" and have unemployment increase as a result, yet still professorially oppugn facts and argue that his Keynesian economic policies have worked. Conservatives underestimate Obama's expert ability to prevaricate at their own peril.
Who is Afraid of the Big Bad -- Liberal -- Wolf?
As seen from the 2008 presidential campaign, atrabilious mainstream media reporters will savagely interrogate whoever the Republican candidate is, while transforming into truckling pussycats when interviewing Barack Obama. We need a candidate who is an all-rounder and a fearsome debater that can maintain complete sang-froid sitting across from any hectoring liberal reporter. Simplistic clichés and cute talking points have been enough for Democrats, however, Republican candidates, by and large, need to know the names of every despot to ever exist on the African continent, the main exports of every country on the planet, and the Byzantine political doctrines of every president in U.S. history, or face being caricatured as a blithering jobbernowl deprived of the privilege of ever seeing the inside of a college classroom.
In essence, the candidate nominated by the Republicans needs to be someone who can answer liberal reporters with knowledge and confidence, speak better than Barack Obama, and someone who has studied David Limbaugh's Crimes Against Liberty -- an indispensable treatise on the failings of the Obama administration.
From my perspective, the candidate best equipped to beat Barack Obama in 2012 would be Marco Rubio. This is because he is arguably the most articulate Republican and true conservative in a good position to run. It's also an advantage that he has minimal political and personal baggage to be fixated on by liberals.
Clearly, conservatives should stick to the issues and leave the demographic political games to the liberals with wretched ideas.
Mr. Okeem is a fledgling writer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His blog on politics and culture can be read at voiceofchid.com.