Anyone who follows politics knows that African-Americans are perhaps the most loyal voting bloc in the nation. Black voters here in Georgia and nationally give better than 90 percent of their vote to the Democrats. Maybe it is time for blacks to re-evaluate their loyalty to a party that has not been particularly loyal to them. Blacks were not always so loyal to the Democrats. After the Civil War and the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, newly enfranchised blacks were almost exclusively Republican voters. Hundreds of blacks were elected to political office after the Civil War, and almost all of them were Republicans. Blacks were Republicans because the Republican Party was the party that ended slavery and treated blacks as political equals.
Why did blacks move from the Republican to the Democratic Party? To a great extent, it was because blacks felt that they were being taken for granted and they were not receiving the benefits that their support of the Republicans merited. With the end of Reconstruction in the South in the 1880s and the withdrawal of Union troops from the South, white Democrats were free to eliminate black voters with devices such as the poll tax, white primary and literacy tests. Even apparently benign policies such as residency requirement, proof of age and proof of residency were used to exclude black voters. Blacks were primarily agricultural workers who moved from one area to another to plant and harvest crops. Because of their migration, they were not able to meet the long residency requirements the South imposed. Most blacks did not have birth certificates, and there were usually no street addresses in black neighborhoods, so they could not establish proof of age or residency.
Many blacks retained their Republican Party allegiance even though they had lost the right to vote. This would change when Republicans no longer pursued policies that were beneficial to black interests. FDR and the New Deal Democrats provided jobs through the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration, and also provided economic benefits that were available to both blacks and whites in the midst of the Great Depression. The Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and '60s solidified the bond of blacks to the Democratic Party. In other words, Republican neglect combined with national Democratic Party appeals to blacks resulted in black voters changing their political allegiance.
Republicans, if they have any sense, will continue to reach out even more to blacks instead of waiting and hoping that a political conversion takes place.
If even one-third of blacks voted Republican, it would fundamentally change the political dynamics in Georgia and across the nation, and blacks would be in a better position to win concessions from both parties.
But politics reflect the times, and the times, they are a-changin'. Increasingly, but slowly blacks are beginning to realize there is another truth about the ethnic group's loyalty to Democrats: It hasn't been a resounding success.
Former Rep. J.C. Watts, (R-Ok)., once called the Democrats' chosen black leader Jesse Jackson and his ilk "race-hustling poverty pimps" for their continual support of Democrat-leftist policies that keep blacks on the government's dole, Other have also noted that Democrats who say they are the champions of black civil rights have really only led blacks down a road of poverty.
For example, it was President Lyndon B. Johnson whose "war on poverty" and "Great Society" programs led to today's massive welfare system, which author Perryman and others argue has kept blacks in poverty, in poor neighborhoods with bad schools, and left them with few options to improve themselves
Poor, Inner-city blacks, who have given their vote to the Democrats for the past forty years, are left wondering what that party has done to remedy the still-prevalent problems within their community.
Democrats claim that they care about diversity, but readily demean black professionals who do not toe the Democratic Party's liberal line, slandering blacks as "vile," "Uncle Toms" and "Sellouts," including Dr. Condoleezza Rice, General Colin Powel, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Janice Rogers Brown and Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele. Democratic Party operatives even insulted black independent Juan Williams, calling him a "Happy Negro" for daring to expose the failed policies of the Democrats in his book Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America
SO SHOULD BLACKS DITCH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?
Well it depends......
Nothing is more important to the to the future advancement of blacks than the quality of their children's education. But any attempt to give black parents real options as to where they can send their children to school runs into a brick wall because the teachers' unions are the 800-pound gorillas of the democratic party. Others include Housing & Crime.
Another great problem for blacks is crime. Liberal Democrats have long resisted efforts to crack down on criminals. Instead, the great liberal dogma is that we seek out the "root causes" of crime and set up government social programs to,salve the problem by "prevention" of crime.
Democrats cater to blacks are largely symbolic issues, such as naming streets for Martin Luther King or throwing money at the pet projects of various community "leaders." So long as Democrats can get the votes of blacks by promoting symbolism, and the support of other groups by substantive policies, they are in good shape on election day. But blacks are not, because symbolism does nothing about education, housing or crime.
If Republicans ever come off some of their hardline positions & begin to address some issues that are the root problem for African-Americans living in poverty stricken, high crime, economically disadvantaged areas, believe me more Blacks will begin to vote republican, which will effectively spell the end of the Democratic Party as we know it. Here in Georgia we've already have a few black democrats switch to the GOP, while we have also seen the election of Tim Scott of South Carolina & Allen West of Florida get elected to congress as republicans. Two of my closest friends WHO ARE CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS LIKE MYSELF, both who won local races last year (CityCouncil, County Commissioner) almost ran as republicans because they was "Very Discouraged" with the Democratic Party, but remained with the party because of "LOYALTY" & "the sharp move to the far-right of the GOP". But they are open to running as republicans in 2014 if the Democratic party doesn't get its act toegther & fast
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