Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Bush Needs To Flip Kerry's Script

For every election since Martin Luther King Jr. endorsed John F. Kennedy, black voters have voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party. It's not just coincidence that leads GOP activists and even some individuals outside the Republican Party to urge George W. Bush to attempt to connect with African-American voters. Several reasons factors collude to make this so practical that it almost becomes imperative.

These reasons include the likelihood that Election 2004 will prove very close, the high concentrations of African-Americans in several large states that pollsters project to be toss-ups (e.g. Florida, Ohio), the rise of powerful African-Americans in the GOP ranks, and finally there is the Democratic Candidate President Bush faces in the election. If it were possible for a major candidate to bleach himself whiter than I am, Senator Kerry has actually managed.

The newest election polls auger a tight finish. Electoral vote counts currently show incumbent George W. Bush with anywhere from 175 - 225. Senator Kerry is polling within a range of 190 to 285. This suggests the President has fallen slightly behind his challenger and needs to get on his horse and ride.

The question becomes one of where should he ride. There are fewer undecided voters in most surveys than during past election campaigns. The average voter has decided and those decisions are running at close to a 50-50 split. The President cannot pull well ahead of his opponent unless he changes the electoral dynamics. Going into a solid Democratic Party bailiwick and carving out even a small niche of his own would change the game in his favor.

This would particularly hold true in states such as Florida, Michigan, Virginia and Ohio. Each state carries at least 12 Electoral Votes and each state has an African American population that exceeds the national median as a percentage of the overall state population. If Bush could carry about 25% of the African-American vote in all four of those states, he would improve his performance in each location by 1.5 to 2 percent.

People say these things every election cycle, and each time in the past they have been true, but not actionable. This time, however, important things have changed. President Bush has entrusted some of the most important functions of the Legislative Branch to African-American Secretaries.

Democratic Presidents may include a certain quota of African-Americans to produce a cabinet that looks like America. President Bush has placed General Powell and Dr. Rice in positions where they actually make important decisions about America. If Colin Powell were Secretary of State in a Democratic Administration, this would have been advertised far and wide as a Civil Rights triumph.

In a Republican administration, there is no need to advertise. If an African-American carries an impressive portfolio of personal and professional achievements and has the President's endorsement, the assumption is that that person can perform. No special status need be attached to that individual's race.

Intelligent African-Americans will sense the obvious difference. Republicans assume properly-qualified blacks should hold responsible positions, the Democrats feel we all should still be amazed when a black professional lands a top-flight job. Mature adults don't require adulation for doing what is required of them at their jobs. They are smart enough to realize that high expectations are a compliment. That, right there, should swing a certain number of votes in the direction of George Bush.

Then there is the candidate attempting to unseat President Bush. The man makes me wonder whether his chemical treatments involved Botox or Chlorox. He has no sense of what motivates anybody who isn't Caucasian, professional and worth over $40 million. He has held the African-American community at arm's length. He wants their votes, he wants their swag, but he doesn't want them around to lower his property values.

John Kerry embodies limousine liberal condescension. He wants to help African-Americans, but he seems to want to wash after he shakes hands with one. He campaigns to them like an over-eager Peace Corps volunteer. He loves them to death as long as they accept his implicit superiority and stay in their place. This has grated.

President Bush should open shop in several traditionally black communities. When extremely liberal activists such as Bakari Kitwana are inviting Ralph Nader to speak because the Democrats don't seem to care, that is a sign that portions of the African-American vote have gone back in play. Even making the Democrats condescend to a few extra visits to their fiefdoms would take away a little more time and money from their campaigns.

The Bush campaign will probably still fail to crack 20% nationwide among African-Americans. Some of his own supporters will prove crass enough to suggest that any time and money spent in black America neglects the GOP base. He should ignore this chorus of doubt and campaign to African-Americans anyway. He should know John Kerry will win the overall popular vote if Bush wins no better than 8% of the black vote.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by