Stefani Carter - USA Today
Blacks should reflect on conservatism
President Bush won four more years after an election marked by serious divisions, real choices and record turnout. The president and first lady likely have a long thank-you list to compile. Unfortunately, blacks - who gave Bush just 11% of their votes - won’t make that list.
As a young black person, I long for the day when conservative policymakers like Bush will be able to make true inroads in the African-American community. Democrats have long taken the black vote for granted, talking the good talk, yet failing to offer meaningful reform in their communities.
When I talk with other blacks about their view of the GOP, they see a party that harms African-Americans. I see a party of personal responsibility, values and smaller government that acts to make all people self-reliant - a goal of our nation’s finest black leaders, too.
Take Booker T. Washington. He described a conservative as one who owned his own land and raised his own crops. His definition of conservatism asserted that all people, blacks included, could stand on their own two feet. But today, people don’t think of Washington when they think of a conservative. They think of Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond, unconventional conservatives
who antagonized the black community.
But beyond simple impressions and long-held stereotypes about the party lie the facts. In four years, Bush has scored points in the black community with:
School choice, which gives poor inner-city kids a chance to receive vouchers for private education.
Tax credits and child-care subsidies, which help disadvantaged Americans advance in the labor force.
Cabinet diversity. Bush has blacks in prominent positions: Secretary of State Colin Powell, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Education
Secretary Rod Paige, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.
I haven’t always bought into conservative principles: This was the first election in which I voted for a Republican for president. I was raised in a Democratic household in which my parents touted President Clinton as the good guy, and Ronald Reagan and the first Bush as the bad guys. I didn’t understand why. That’s when I began to study politics, including a stint working in the Clinton White House. I came to find that many blacks vote
Democratic based on tradition, not ideology.
You don’t lose your blackness, or reject it, when you vote conservative. You simply believe that liberal policies have failed people too often.
Stefani D. Carter is a student at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
|Quote (pete @ Nov. 06 2004,06:59)|
|You simply believe that liberal policies have failed people too often.|
One area in which Bush gets high marks is diversity. Everyone agrees on that.
But let’s not mistake this for being representative of diverse communities. Bush’s policies are hurting everyone in the groups which have been democratic. Take a look at what the attack on affirmative action has done to diversity in the relevant sectors. 400 years of slavery and Jim Crow and we can’t even see our way clear to a little bit of incredibly modest reparation. Then again most people are ignorant of the relevant history, economics, or social philosophy behind that sort fo thing, so I guess it should be no surprise.
|Quote (TomS @ Nov. 06 2004,08:10)|
|Then again most people are ignorant ...|
Elite Alert !!!
|Quote (Ali bin Gali @ Nov. 06 2004,09:51)|
Elite Alert !!!
The whole quote was: "But let's not mistake this for being representative of diverse communities. Bush's policies are hurting everyone in the groups which have been democratic. Take a look at what the attack on affirmative action has done to diversity in the relevant sectors. 400 years of slavery and Jim Crow and we can't even see our way clear to a little bit of incredibly modest reparation. Then again most people are ignorant of the relevant history, economics, or social philosophy behind that sort of thing, so I guess it should be no surprise."
You, however, are an ass, and an ignorant one to boot, my foolish friend.
In any case, what I said is true - how many people in the US really know anything about the relevant history, economics, or philosophy behind this sort of thing? That is not elitism, that is a charge of ignorance. The next interesting question is: who is to blame for this? In your case, you are to blame for your ignorance, I think, for on occasion you have demonstrated that you are an intelligent person.
Bush has done this? The Democrats have fought for years for things like this.
I'm against school vouchers - I rather just fix the schools.
But this is a perfect example - this guy supports the party that will least likely protect him. The Republicans would completely remove affirmative action if they had their way. Bush showed that his last term & he'll do more this one - just wait and see.
I know a black attorney around here that cannot get a job in a white law office. Try & try he does, but he never gets a job. I wonder why?
Yes - for the blacks who manage to break into the "white" business world, they'll do well (not as well as whites but well), and they'll think that conservatism helped them, but I maintain they are wrong about this.
What's helped them is the Civil Rights act, and the Democrats that fought for it, and affirmative action, and lots of other things to long to mention.
And this author doesn't think that Democrats put more blacks in office when they're in charge.
How many blacks served in Clinton’s cabinet, Mike?
How many were involved at the high end of Kerry’s campaign at the onset? What happened to change that - and how far along was the campaign when it happened?
Why don’t you explain just how the Democrats have benefitted those of African heritage here in the US, Mike? Under Clinton, say? Or Carter? Spell it out.
Riddle me this too… What party was behind those firehoses in the photos being circulated by the Democrats in the south last week? Do you know the history or REAL politics of that era?
Tom… should I add some smilies?
Oh, yes, smiles matter…
For starters, there was that Civil Rights Act thing a while back…which not incidentally gave the south to repubs…
How many were involved at the high end of Kerry's campaign at the onset? What happened to change that - and how far along was the campaign when it happened?
Not enough & I'm not sure about the answer to your last question.
Riddle me this too... What party was behind those firehoses in the photos being circulated by the Democrats in the south last week? Do you know the history or REAL politics of that era?
The southern Democrats are a different breed. They're basically Republicans who became Democrats after the civil war as I understand it. Later the Dixie-crats were against the civil rights as I understand it. As far as I'm concerned, I don't care that they're all gone now (most of them anyways). We need some new Democrats, like Edwards, IMO.
Good, interesting and honest answers, Mike. Thank you.
You might find the answer to the one you don’t know quite telling, by the way.
Illucidate, please, Tom. How did that happen? Which party was the key in getting the Civil Rights Act passed? Which stood opposed to it?
Oh, C’mon, Pete, you can’t seriously think that the repubs are a better choice for people who get screwed in our society. I understand that you voted for Bush on “values” in the rather tortured sense of the term that has become current, but a party which is against doing anything to address unjust forms of hierarchy is not even in your best interests, much less members of historically oppressed groups.
We’ve discussed this before here, but I believe it’s the Democratic party that got the Civil Right’s act through, with the help of some key Republicans.
By posting this article, I’m not sure Pete is saying that the Republicans are better for minorities than the Democrats?
Speaking of Clinton, here’s what I found on the web (two different sources):
|President Clinton appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history. Over the past eight years, he has appointed seven African American Cabinet Secretaries, and women make up 44 percent of Clinton Administration appointees, including the first woman to serve as Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, and the first to serve as Attorney General, Janet Reno. The President also appointed the first Asian American to serve in a Cabinet, Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta. The President has appointed more African Americans to federal judgeships than were appointed during the last sixteen years combined and 14 percent of all Clinton Administration appointees are African American, twice as many as in any previous Administration. President Clinton appointed three times as many female judges as the two previous administrations and the most Hispanic judicial nominees of any President. Record numbers of people with disabilities are also serving in the White House and throughout the Clinton Administration. |
During the first term of the Clinton Administration, Edley stood out as one of several hundred African Americans holding appointed political position. Yet from the ranks of faculty and administrators at American universities and colleges, Edley found himself belonging to a much smaller category of black appointees. This small but well-placed group of academics-turned-public servants included others such as Drew S. Days III of Yale University Law School, Dr. Walter Broadnax of the University of Maryland, Ron Noble of New York University Law School, Dr. Joycelyn Elders of the University of Arkansas, and current Assistant Secretary of Lahor Dr. Bernard Anderson.
The Clinton Administration has gotten high marks from diversity advocates for its record in hiring minority political appointees. African Americans, in particular, held a record number of political positions – more than 600 – in the first term of the Clinton Administration. According to Dr. Yvonne Scruggs, executive director of the Black Leadership Forum at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies that is double the number of African American appointees who served in the Carter Administration, another presidency credited with hiring Blacks in significant numbers.
The Clinton Presidency: Building One America
Do you dispute these facts?
I’m not disputing anything - just asking questions. But Tom has suddenly stopped using smilies.
We could argue about Janet Reno being… ooh - stop me. ####… I’m afraid I’ve been listening to Garrison Kiellor’s bitter, nasty post-election program a bit too long.
Back to playing nice. I just slapped myself.
Oops - sorry!
I think statistically Bush’s cabinet is the most diverse in history - both Clinton and Bush got high marks for this from watchdog groups of all stripes.
Edit: On Bush on civil rights, this is something one should read:
Look for the link to the report on Bush on CR - it’s a pdf document of about 1.5 megs, called “Redefining Rights in America.”
We've discussed at length long before the election why I decided to vote for Bush. No need to rehash it, but please be careful about how you present my motivations. I hope you feel as free to discuss YOUR motivations as you apparently are discussing mine.
Let me re-ask two questions… one re-stated, and the second because it was ignored.
First, Look at all eight years of the Clinton cabinet “power positions”;
Chief of Staff
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense
National Security Adviser
White House counsel
Fill in the blanks. How many blacks occupied these positions throughout Clinton’s eight years?
And I’ll re-ask the question that was skipped… what have the Democrats really delivered to those of African descent here in the US? It seems to be the “natural” assuption that any minority who doesn’t vote Democrat must be an idiot… and that I am a fool to think otherwise.
One of the rules I live by… a definition, really:
The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing while expecting different results.
|Quote (pete @ Nov. 07 2004,19:20)|
|I understand that you voted for Bush on "values" in the rather tortured sense of the term that has become current, but a party which is against doing anything to address unjust forms of hierarchy is not even in your best interests, much less members of historically oppressed groups.|
We've discussed at length long before the election why I decided to vote for Bush. No need to rehash it, but please be careful about how you present my motivations. I hope you feel as free to discuss YOUR motivations as you apparently do discussing mine.
No problem - I voted for Kerry in order to better secure the world's economic future, political stability, environmental health, and quality of life in general. Not that he could ahve done all that, but his values are in the right place; Bush's are not. I would have voted against Bush even if the alternative were not worth voting for, since most of Bush's success is the result of the backing of several dangerous groups and tendencies: fundamentalist Christians who want to impose their values and religion on me (values that are anti-democratic in the same way that other religious extremists are), and the ultra wealthy - Bush's other self-admitted "base" - who want Bush so they can reap vast enconomic rewards at the expense of the vast majority. These people do not care about the future (in one case because of the inherent apocalypticism in the tradition, in the other b/c long-term well-being conflicts with relatively short-term profit motives). One wonders why the profit seekers at least are not rational enough, or don't love their kids enough, to think about how stupid it is to sacrifice their future. No point in having more than everybody else if the neighborhood is crumbling around you. Totally irrational. As for the religious sector supporting Bush - well, they have fundamentally misunderstood their own tradition, and have become nearly the opposite of what the founder of that religion taught. Again, I cannot fathom how one gets from a message of love to a message of hatred.
Oh, I am not ignoring the second question, but the answer is soooo long that I’m putting it off for the moment.
|Quote (TomS @ Nov. 08 2004,07:20)|
|I voted for Kerry in order to better secure the world's economic future, political stability, environmental health, and quality of life in general. |
Bush's success is the result of the backing of several dangerous groups and tendencies: fundamentalist Christians who want to impose their values and religion on me (values that are anti-democratic in the same way that other religious extremists are), and the ultra wealthy -
Your views tend to be so absurd, they are laughable.
No doubt premised on the belief that if one does not agree with you they are extremist and dangerous.
It would be interesting to hear your views on how ( "I have a plan" ? ) Kerry would --
"better secure the world's economic future, political stability, environmental health, and quality of life in general "
Here's a few things to ponder from the poster boy of
modern liberalism -- ( America's first black president )
Clinton to Nuke North Korea
Documents: U.S. had plan to nuke N. Korea
Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Newly declassified documents revealed the United States planned as recently as 1998 to drop nuclear bombs on North Korea if the country attacked South Korea.
As part of "scenario 5027," 24 F15-E bombers flew simulation missions at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina to drop mock nuclear bombs on a firing range between January and June 1998, the Korea Times reported Sunday.
The revelation followed claims by a South Korean lawmaker that the U.S. drew up plans to launch preemptive strikes on key targets in North Korea in 1994.
Nuclear weapons ?? preemptive strikes ?? Oh my !!!
Is this the "world's economic future, political stability, environmental health, and quality of life" you refered to ??
Clinton urged Kerry -- Back gay ban
"Mr Clinton, correctly sensing that “values” would play a crucial role in voters’ minds, urged Mr Kerry to back local ballot initiatives calling for a ban on gay marriage" (Mr Kerry refused).
The party of 'Diversity' non-judgementalism and acceptance ....... Mmmmmm ??
“I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”
..... the gift that kept giving !!!
The Democratic challenger repeatedly shot himself in the foot:
By Tim Reid
JOHN KERRY constantly squabbled with his difficult and hypochondriac wife, ran a campaign team riven by internal feuding, and repeatedly begged the Republican senator John McCain to become his running-mate, according to a riveting inside account of his doomed presidential bid.
The Massachusetts senator was so obsessed with getting advice from a multitude of rival advisers ( the term is "paralysis by analysis" - tends to affect the intellectual elite ) that one aide confiscated his mobile telephone. His wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, became such a moody distraction that in the closing weeks of the campaign another aide instructed her to stop whispering advice in his ear and back off.