October 16, 2008

Black Republicans Must Be Lonely...


For most of my adult life I thought that my Dad was a Republican. He voted for Ronald Reagan during the 1980 election. I never asked him about it until last year. He told me that he voted for Reagan because he didn't like how Jimmy Carter was running the country. Reagan won 489 electoral votes to 49 for President Jimmy Carter that year. I guess that alot of folks agreed with my Dad that year.

Anyhow, it turns out that my father was not a Republican. He laughed out loud when I told him that I always thought he was republican based on his vote for Reagan.

The odd thing was that we never had that conversation from 1980 thru 2007. It wasn't until the advent of Barack Obama's candidacy that I broached the subject with him. I think that I was embarrassed with the (incorrect) knowledge that my father was a Republican. I loved that he was in a 50-year marriage with my Mom. I loved that he worked as an aeronautical engineer on the Space Shuttle program. I loved that he was tight with his high school and college buddies from Oklahoma. I loved that he was corny enough to show us the Super-8mm films of past family vacations whenever I was in town. I loved that he listened to jazz and Malcolm X speeches on reel-to-reel tape. I loved many things about my father ...

....but, it embarrassed the heck out of me to think he was a Black Republican.

I wonder how lonely and embarrassing it must be to be a Black Republican in this election year? I watched a Black guy at a Wisconsin rally for McCain sitting up in the front row as he dissed Obama. He seemed to be enjoying his notoriety as the token brother in the room. Is that the thrill?

The New York Times wrote an article about a young Republican blogger in New York recently. Is that the thrill ... getting publicity for being unique?

Michael Steele almost became a US Senator ... he invented the 'Drill Baby Drill' chant ... and he recently substituted for Hannity on the Fox News television show. Is that the thrill ... getting speaking engagements at right wing shindigs?

Ken Blackwell almost became governor of Ohio ... and he is a hero of right wing zealots for his role in stealing the election for George W. Bush in 2004 ... and he is seen regularly on Fox News as a political analyst. Is that the thrill ... having an open invitation to barbeque outings down in Crawford TX?

African Americans in this country are likely to give over 95% of our vote to Barack Obama next month. Can someone tell me why any self-respecting brother or sister would vote for the Republicans this year? What is the thrill for nubians in a party that never respects them?

17 comments:

Janet Shan said...

I have to be honest. I have voted Republican before and it was on the basis of the candidate's record. I don't care what the party affiliation is, but if a candidate is good, addresses my needs, has a bipartisan flavor, has a stellar resume and is a person who has achieved tremendous feats, then I would vote for that person. For example, as a person who lived in New York City for many years, I would have voted for Mayor Bloomberg, an independent. The Democratic Party has turned its back on the black voters in many respects. The Republican Party is in a tailspin right now and it has to be rebuilt from the bottom up. I consider myself a conservative Democrat, if there's ever such a thing. There are many views that I share with the Republican Party. I guess, a Reagan Democrat, if you will. I was not for Barack Obama initially, but I came to respect his policies, though I disagree with some.

Jabriel Ballentine said...

As Brother Malcolm said, the Black man was sickest of all politically, he allowed himself to be caught in such foolishness as a Black Republican or a Black Democrat...

How can any self-respecting Black person justify toeing any Party Line? That's the bigger question, brother! We are better suited by voting for initiatives and politicians of any Party - so long as they support Black Empowerment, and Liberty for Black People.

Everyone: Come and Get Your Reparations!

Villager said...

Janet - You give the example of Mayor Bloomberg. I don't recall his opponents, but, no question that Bloomberg had a skill set that would make him a good person to support.

He wasn't a Republican when he ran. My memory doesn't bring to mind many Republican candidates that meet your stated needs. That is a shame ... and that is why I think Black Republicans are lonely...

Jabriel - I appreciate your comments. Have we ever seen a candidate for national or state office who supported Black Empowerment or Liberty for Black people? More to the point of this blog post ... have we ever seen a political candidate with those aspirations running under the aegis of the Republican Party?

Esquire said...

The problem for me isn't a black person being a republican in and of itself. The problem comes with people that seem to just be doing it for...well, like the original post said, you really can't figure out why they are doing it. I happily supported the new Republican governor of Louisiana because I thought he could bring about the changes the state needed. That was only the second time I have supported a Republican, but it really does come down to a person's record.

And that's what is kind of perplexing with the race for president. I guess I'm just not seeing how people could rally around some of McCain's policies. They really do seem like more of the same typical Republican talking points. Down with Big Government. Socialism. Cut taxes. Every new idea, especially with regard to health care, is one I oppose.

Free said...

One of my brothers is a Republican *sigh*, but he doesn't seem to be thrilled with McCain. We don't really discuss it. (I think he's a closet Barack-er!)

Villager said...

Esquire - Thanks for sharing your village voice with us. I hope you come back often.

re: the new Louisiana governor. How is he doing in your view? I wonder how things would be going for McCain if your governor had been placed on the ticket instead of Palin?

Free - If the opportunity presents itself ... ask him about it. I wish that I had asked my Dad about it many years ago. Perhaps your brother is not a republican after all?!? (smile)

MrsGrapevine said...

I found out two of my closest friends voted for Bush. I was hurt not knowing. I just assumed they were Democrats because we shared so much of the same life. Well it turns out they are Democrats, they just didn't know it, until this election when their values were challenged. This is probably the most informed election and the most informed vote people will ever cast.

Aaron + Alaine said...

I'm not lonely. I'm a conservative, nominally a republican. I voted for Bush...twice. I'm supporting Obama. The current crop of republicans have abandoned conservative principles and consistently failed to apply superior conservative concepts to solving or even seriously addressing problems in black communities. Black folk are conservative and a would be a natural constituency of the republicans if they were really about the conservative ideals we proclaim. But we're not and we don't and this crop of GOP leaders does not deserve another term.

Villager said...

Mrs. Grapevine - I agree that the electorate is much more engaged this year than ever before. Personally, I don't think we can afford to be blind about who we are electing. Frankly, I didn't feel any enthusiasm about voting for Al Gore (2000) or John Kerry (2004). I just felt that George Bush was worse.

This is an election (2008) in which I can be proud of my choice for POTUS. I used to love watching the West Wing. In my imagination ... that is the type of president that Obama will be. A highly intelligent president who will surround himself with talented staff and cabinent. I simply am unaware of any Republican candidate for POTUS (since Abe Lincoln) that had a real or perceived interest in people of African descent living here in America...

That is why I think Black Republicans are so very lonely this year...

Villager said...

Aaron - When was the last time that a GOP 'deserved' the vote of Black people ... even conservative ones?

You indicate it was George Bush. What was in the George Bush resume that gave any Black Republican the notion that his presidency would serve the needs of African Americans?

msladydeborah said...

I voted Republican once. Simply because in that particular race the candidate for governor was better than the Democratic runner.

Usually I consider who will be the best individual for the position.

I have also voted for a Marxist candidate for POTUS, and independent a couple of times because neither party had a candidate that I felt was suited for the offices that they were seeking.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if a large number of black voters pulled out and went independent. What impact would that have on the two party system? Would they try to get their acts together?

I have a good friend who is a Republican. He has been pretty mum on the whole state of the GOP. He did make mention of his angst over Palin's place on the ticket. But ever since things went haywire in the nation and the Weapons of Mass Destruction were proven to be non-existant...he has been pretty quiet.

Esquire said...

In my opinion, the governor is off to a pretty good start, but it is really too soon to tell. The corruption in LA government runs so deep that it will take some time to get things back on track.

I definitely think that he (and a host of others for that matter) would have been much better VP candidates for the GOP. As I watched Mitt Romney eloquently explain the financial crisis and several methods to address it, I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief that he was not on the ticket. I really don't know what McCain was thinking with his pick. All flash. No substance.

Tariq Nelson said...

My problem with the guy in Wisconsin was not so much that he was Republican, but that he was "begging" McCain to race bait. That was disgusting.

They just seem to have no principles

Villager said...

Lady D - I voted for an independant back in 1980 (John Anderson). I considered voting for Ken Blackwell as governor in Ohio ...mainly because he was African American and had some history here in Cincinnati ... however, the more he talked the less attractive he was to me as a candidate ... so I ended up pulling the lever for the Democratic candidate.

I encourage you to ask your friend about his thoughts on the presidential race this year. Better to ask before ... it might encourage him to vote for Obama (smile)!

Villager said...

Esquire - Thanx for the update on your new governor in Louisiana.

re: Mitt Romney. He would have helped McCain avoid looking so strange during the 2-3 early weeks of our current financial crisis. McCain wasn't ready to handle someone who could be his equal. Instead, he chose someone he didn't know (or respect)...

Tariq - No principles. No policy ideas. No respect for issues that impact on the Black community. No votes here...

Iya said...

Free...
I'm smiling at your "closet Barack-er". If this election is a landslide, that'll be one of the reasons! Then we'll have overcome the (Califnornia) "Bradley" efect.
Remember that one?

MacDaddy said...

I have black republican friends. They are a sad lot indeed. After seeing what white republicans really thought of Steele, their great black hope in the GOP, they don't talk about politics at the coffee shop anymore...Lonely indeed.

Villager: You said you're looking forward to my series on dealing with crisis at daddyBstrong. It has already begun. I invite you and other Villagers to check it out and leave a comment. Blessings.