Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Wish For A Better Republican Party

I am an African-American male, and I am a liberal Democrat—not a surprise right? Even before the Democrats elected an African-American as their candidate the party knew they could depend on the African-American vote, and the Republicans knew this as well. Although the Republicans have selected Michael Steele to be their party chairman, it would be surprising for someone not to believe that the main reason he was chosen was because he could critically critique Barack Obama without being called a racist like a white man unfairly would possibly be labeled by some people. One of the reasons Democrats carry the minority vote in such a resounding manner is because the Democratic Party supports many social programs that “help” African-Americans. The Democratic Party pushes for things like affirmative action, and welfare that are meant to help minorities. So, when Republicans go against the Democrats on these issues they are portrayed as racists. The Republican Party believes the way to help minorities is to allow them to stand on their own, and then reward the ones that achieve success—which contrasts with many of the Democratic views. Cornell West in Race Matters stated that the best plan is a compilation of ideas from the Democratic and Republican Party. For example, when talking about the welfare program I do not believe that I should have to pay taxes for people who do not want a job. I do not believe I should have to pay for people that cannot keep a job because they are irresponsible, and I do not believe I should have to pay for adults that consciously make decisions that are not in their best interest. I believe everyone has the right to live how they choose, but that I should not be obligated to pay for someone who constantly makes bad decisions because they believe the government will support them. I do however believe welfare is a program that should not be done away with. The way it is structured hinders more people than it helps though. The program encourages people to live off the government, and makes it easier for a people to become complacent and not advance in society. These are all arguments that Republicans bring up, but because they are seen as the party against minorities people who disagree with them easily refute these claims. The welfare system in America should be restructured to reward people who are trying to make a living for themselves, but because of certain circumstances they need a little help. Here is where the mixing of Republican and Democratic ideas come in: the system must still monetarily support people as Democrats believe, but it must only support those that are making a true effort to support themselves as the Republicans believe they should.

I think both parties have good ideas on a range of issues, but on most fundamental issues I believe the Democrats are correct. I do hope that the Republican Party can become more inclusive, and relinquish some of their alienating ideas. I hope the Republican Party can do this because it is better for the country and for African-Americans if the Democratic Party has to fight for the African- American vote. Right now for an African-American to be Republican is taboo, and to me it creates this environment where the Democrats can take the African-American vote for granted. Right now the two parties are fighting for the large, and growing Hispanic vote. I would like to see a restructured Republican Party that has a chance to steal some of the African-American votes so that the parties fight over their vote as they are over the Hispanic vote. Now, with that being said I am a Democrat and want my party to always be the stronger and more successful party. I am not hoping for the Republican Party to win any elections, but if they can steal African-American voters then the Democratic Party would have no choice but to evaluate how they can serve the African-Americans as they do other demographics when they are fighting for their votes. I do not think it would be hard for Republicans to initiate this battle since most African-Americans are socially conservative (Religious, against gay marriage, support “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”), but the Republican Party would have to get rid of voices like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dick Cheney, and other Republicans that represent nothing but alienation. If this new Republican Party is ever created it will no longer be taboo to be a black Republican.

--
Corey Jones' 12
BMI Leadership Board

6 comments:

Samuel Collins Jr. said...

Great argument Corey! It's up to AA's to hold President Obama accountable all the time and make sure that he works for the things he said he would in the course of his campaign. Any other scenario would mean a total disregard of our importance and a mockery of our vote. All Republicans should take a play from the Democrat Party's handbook and be more inclusive so that their party represents the true diversity of our country.

Rob Noel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob Noel said...

Corey whats up!
Sam sent me this article I loved it. Speaking as a conservative (keep in mind that a Conservative is different than a republican, unfortunately) I was appreciative of your fairness. For the sake of argument, I'd like to add these points:

Conservatives advocate ideals that have nothing to do with any race or demographic (I.E. smaller government, personal responsibility, individual liberty). And we advocate conserving these principle's because America was founded on them (hence CONSERVatism). Principles like these should not favor white people, black people, asians, indians, or martians. That's what's behind the idea of the individual, that we try not to see issues as racial but rather as the natural rights we ALL have as unique people. Therefor, I hate that people see us as racially exclusive.

I understand, however, that African Americans have been mired down by a lot of unfair history (actually in most ways i never will understand) and that in many instances it is fair and just to provide a boost to this new generation who are still struggling because of race-related injustices. But most people agree we are getting very close to equality of rights and opportunities for black people (and it's equality of rights that our constitution promises, not equality of outcome, the rest is up to the individual not the gov). So I believe the final step to true racial equality will require policies that do not favor African Americans or any race. This should help relieve tensions between races and help white and black people alike see African Americans not as some lower class of welfare recipients that need support - but rather as what they are: peers socially, politically, professionally, and economically.

Correct me if you think I'm wrong on anything!
But it sounds like overall we're on the same team in that we have everyone's best interests in mind.

Corey said...

I agree Sam. Rob, I think we agree on what we are saying which kind of scares me haha. I think what we disagree on is how we should go about. I for one do not agree that we should follow the Constitution as strongly as Conservatives tend to think.

More importantly though,"it's equality of rights that our constitution promises, not equality of outcome, the rest is up to the individual not the gov" that is the best statement and I think it sums up your argument. It really angers me people that live off the system. I think we will get to a point where we do not need laws to help any racial group, and that will be the time when race is no longer an issue that is even worth talking about. I think right now though we are not at that point, but to me there is a LARGE difference between welfare and affirmative action.

I really have never challenged Democrats on issues like social programs because I have always just assumed them to be good because of what they are on the surface. I think that is something we can agree on though. I think Obama is correct when he says that Americans are more connected than divided, but politics divides us like a big sports game. We both want our party to win the championship, and we pretend like we hate everything else about the other side and if politics wasn't like that I think it would be much better for America. Too many people that do not take time to really think about what they believe just unfairly judge people on whether they are Democrats or Republicans.

That is probably the greatest problem about our political system that because of how the system is politicians actually do not work for the people but for their party. They know most Americans do not care about politics, so they just vote on the R or the D so if they work for their party then they most likely will get re-elected. I don't know but how do you change something like that? You cannot make everyone get involved, and care like us three. Good entry though Rob. I will send this to Victor; I know yall have had heated arguments about politics I wonder if he has common ground on this one issue.

The Ace said...

Just read it, good article b
Honestly I wonder why black ppl are so quick to jump with the Dems. Historically it was the other way around, until Dems started supporting the Civil Rights Movement. Honestly, the GOP needs a YOUNG chrismatic leader..hmmm sounds familiar, we'll just haveto wait till 2012

Alix Montes said...

Very interesting discussion. I feel that unless these parties are willing to work together and find a middle ground, then, and only then will they be able to successfully help African Americans and other minorities while gaining their loyalty. I think both parties have good ideas. I am all for the entrepreneurial mindset of man Republicans, but at the same time I feel that as a country that was made "for the people" and "by the people" has a responsibility to provide for its citizens (i.e. programs supported by Democrats). Bring these to ideas together and implement them correctly, and I think we will see some upward mobility amongst disadvantaged minorities.