Kentucky's new star
President Trump said it best Monday night about Kentucky's new Republican Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, the brilliant young black lawyer: "a star is born." Republicans wound up winning every Kentucky election except governor, with Cameron on the road to being a national figure as a fresh young advocate for traditional conservative values and commonsense law enforcement.
While Gov. Bevin was not re-elected, it certainly was not in any way the fault of President Trump, who brought out a record Kentucky turnout for Republicans in odd-number-year elections. I thought this May, Gov. Bevin, despite all his amateur mistakes (he had moved here only in the late 1990s and entered politics just in 2014), could win if he focused the election on his Biden-like, corrupt opponent. Instead, he continued to needlessly offend people, engaging all summer in an idiotic feud with the lieutenant governor he dumped from the ticket, costing him many deep red counties, where she was a Tea Party favorite.
Anyway, it is interesting that despite his youth, Daniel Cameron was picked out as a star in the making in college, where he played football for the Cards, by Sen. McConnell, and then by President Trump, who met him a year ago. He has the natural talent for the consensus-building you need in politics to succeed — something the outgoing Matt Bevin never mastered.
As a high-profile black conservative, Daniel has already been getting the vicious slurs from the usual gang of race-baiters. That will only get worse as he becomes more famous, but I know him a little bit, and he is a cool customer. He learned to deal with this nonsense long ago.
In a lot of ways, Daniel represents what I call the "Bo Jackson" Republicans. Bo, as you might know, is a famous athlete who is not shy about his conservative politics or his love of hunting and outdoor sports. As a kid who grew up in the country, this all came to Bo naturally.
I find that most black Republicans I meet are like Bo or Daniel, from a rural or small-town area, or have served in the military or law enforcement or come from an old Republican family (we still have these in Kentucky). With that kind of background, it is much easier to identify with the American mainstream and take a rational approach to politics.
On the other end, black residents of big cities are told every day, from school to mass media to even in church, that they live in a horrible, racist country, where they have no chance. Brought up in a paranoid hothouse like that all your life, I suppose Maxine Waters would make as much sense as anyone.
The good news is, black America is leaving the inner city, especially the crummy, violent, Democrat-ruled slums like Chicago's South Side. Thirty years ago, about half of all black America was in the inner city. The next Census will likely see that reduced below 40%, and perhaps equaled by the number in rural and exurban communities. That's going to be good news all around, and the next generation of America's black politicians may be more like Daniel Cameron: smart and engaged on the real issues of our times.
Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.
Image: Lexington Herald Leader via YouTube.