Voters this week said a resounding "No" to appeals to racism and race baiting by thoroughly trouncing Democrats in a wave of Republican victories including the historic election of black Republicans in South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
Criticizing race baiting campaigns for the U.S. Senate by Michelle Nunn in Georgia, Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, and Kay Hagan in North Carolina, I recently wrote, “The best way to send a message of these ‘New Daughters of the Confederacy’ and those like them that race-baiting doesn’t work is to defeat them at the ballot box!" And so it was.
The message was sent — Nunn, Grimes and Hagan lost outright and Landrieu was forced into a runoff and will most likely lose to her Republican opponent. Also noteworthy was the defeat of another Democrat whose campaign played the race card — Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown — who is black. This very blue state elected a Republican as its new Governor.
Although most pundits had a field day election night discussing the shellacking of Democrats, few if any discussed the impact of the election on the really big Democratic stakeholders — black voters.
In terms of political access, assuming they had any in the first place given gerrymandered apartheid like Congressional Districts, they are really out in the political cold. They were the big losers.
As usual, blacks, unlike Asians and Hispanics, put all of their political eggs in the Democrat’s basket and have nothing to show for it — other than failed race baiting campaigns which died on the vine.
After going all in for Obama and the Democrats in 2008, 2012 and now in 2014, can blacks point to any benefits or positive actions that they have gotten from Obama or Democrats — other than a big government dependency state?
Not so for most other voter groups who collect on their IOUs — women, Hispanics and advocates for same sex marriage. If that were not bad enough, rumor has it that Obama might grant amnesty to millions of illegals at a time when black unemployment is a chronic level. But, by their votes, blacks keep telling Democrats, “that’s ok, we don’t mind being your step children.”
Ironically, it’s likely that Republicans, who now control Congress, will push for programs that create the very jobs that blacks and other minorities so direly need. If Democrats, and certainly black Democrats, have nothing to cheer about with the election results, Republicans do.
In addition to the gains in statehouses, the Senate and the House, they made history by electing Mia Love, who will become the first-ever Black Republican female member of Congress; Will Hurd, the first Black Republican to represent Texas in the House of Representatives since Reconstruction; and Senator Tim Scott, the first Black to win statewide in South Carolina since Reconstruction.
This is a great achievement and major strike for GOP inclusion. You can bet that these three black Republicans may turn out to have more influence on programs impacting black Americans in a positive way than the entire Congressional Black Caucus.
Don’t expect them to receive any congratulatory messages from the black political and civil rights establishment on their elections. In fact, get ready for the same old name calling and derogatory comments from black and white liberal Democrats and civil rights groups that were hurled at Scott when he first was appointed to the Senate, and at other black Republicans like Condoleezza Rice, and even Colin Powell — before he endorsed Obama.
Unlike most Democrats who believe that success is determined by how many people are on food stamps and dependent on the government, these three believe that success is dependent on how many people no longer need such assistance. To a large extent, that is what the election was all about.
There is also a larger message in this election for the Republican Party. It came from Ed Gillespie who came from behind but narrowly lost his bid to win the U.S. Senate seat in Virginia. His concession speech was a challenge to the Republican Party.
In outlining how he came so close to winning, he said that he, "went places that Republicans have too long written off and Democrats have for too long taken for granted . . . their concerns are my concerns and my concerns are their concerns . . . as a Party, we need to carry them forward.”
If only the Party, its candidates and victorious governors would listen. Many may have won without black support this time around, but the demographics of the country may not allow that to happen for too many more election cycles.
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns and has appeared on many national and local media outlets. Read more reports from Clarence V. McKee — Click Here Now.
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