Selling Conservatism to Minorities
I wonder if my hypersensitivity about attacks on the Tea Party may have caused me to embarrass myself during an interview on a Detroit radio program. The host asked, "What is the Tea Party doing to be more diverse?" I replied, "Nothing." I went on to explain that I did not see a need for the Tea Party to make special concessions or pander to me because I am black.
The host pressed further. "No, I am not asking for special concessions. I want to know: what is the Tea Party doing to be more inclusive?" I may have misunderstood his question.
Perhaps I suffer slightly from Battered Conservative Syndrome. I get annoyed whenever I hear suggestions that conservatives should be more "diverse" and "inclusive," because it usually means lowering behavioral and academic standards. When are you stuffy conservatives going to modernize, embrace an "anything goes" mindset, and appeal to the lowest common denominator? In essence, when are we going to be more like the Democrats?
I believe that a majority of Americans instinctively gravitate to the pride and dignity of earning your own way. We do not want cradle-to-grave government dependency and imperialistic control over every aspect of our lives. We want our schools back; kids learning reading, writing, and arithmetic rather than curricula designed solely to create good liberals. We want fiscal responsibility. We want freedom and liberty restored. For these principles, patriots of all races stand side by side at Tea Party rallies.
A popular belief is the word "conservative" has become toxic and polarizing. We are advised to spread our message subtly, without actually saying "conservative."
Hogwash! Educating Americans on the superiority of conservatism over liberalism can be achieved only by boldly touting conservatism's virtues, not by disguising who we are.
Back to my radio interview.
Well, I went into a rant defending the Tea Party. I called Democrat congressman Alan Grayson a despicable human being for comparing the Tea Party to the KKK. I chided NAACP president Ben Jealous for lying about seeing signs that read, "Lynch Barack Obama" and "Lynch Eric Holder" at a Tea Party. The host abruptly ended the interview: "So sorry, Lloyd, we are out of time. Thank you very much."
After the interview, I wondered if I overreacted and misunderstood the host's question. Perhaps he was simply asking what is the Tea Party doing in terms of outreach.
I do believe that it is time for the Tea Party/conservatives to seriously reach out -- to get our message to a broader audience. More Americans need to know that conservatism is the best route to all achieving their American dream with pride and dignity.
The Democrats are masters of low-rent "pandering politics" -- of sleazy, selfish politicians dividing Americans into weak, helpless, victimized voting blocs. Their message: You need me to protect you from rich white male racist conservative Republicans.
In my youth, President Ronald Reagan made me feel good about myself and my country -- inspired to be all I could be. And yet, I do not recall Reagan making any references to my skin color, or telling me I was a victim of anything. The Tea Party attracted me by simply touting wholesome, commonsense, traditional, all-American principles and values.
Word on the political street is that the GOP is getting "whiter and older." To attract young and minority voters, the GOP must kick out old fuddy-duddy conservatives. They should forever pander to blacks as traumatized victims of slavery.
I submit that decades of liberal Democrat pandering, of lowering the bar, has devastated the black community; over 70% born out of wedlock, over 70% school dropout rate, high incarceration, and nearly 50% of black pregnancies ending in abortion. How's that black monolithic embrace of liberal Democrat fixes workin' for ya?
However, conservatives must do a much better job of reaching dumbed down voters and our indoctrinated youths. In the war of messaging, liberal Democrats are kicking our butts.
At one time, I thought we were in a battle of ideas. We are not. History confirms that conservatism is the far superior idea. Liberalism fails everywhere it is tried. Ours is a war of messaging -- ofgetting the truth to the masses and countering the lies of Democrats, Hollywood, and liberal media.
Rush Limbaugh's new bestselling children's book, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, is a prime example of Tea Party/conservative outreach -- of spreading truth in a creative and entertaining way.
I would love to see "Reach Your Dreams" rallies brought to minorities, with successful conservative black and Hispanic speakers sharing their personal stories, supported with conservative rappers and singers providing musical entertainment.
Please note that I am not advocating pandering to minorities with a "liberal lite" message. I am talking about an unapologetic celebration of conservatism packaged to communicate to targeted audiences.
Though our messaging task may be Herculean, conservatism truly is "real" compassion. Thus, we have right and God on our side.