An invitation to attend a luncheon lecture book event sponsored by The Heartland Institute (the first of a continuing series in 2014) featuring author C. Douglas Love and his book, Logic: The Truth About Blacks and the Republican Party, And Why They Need To Work Together To Improve The Party, The Black Community, And the Country), piqued my curiosity in a big way.
About C. Douglas Love, the invitation spoke of Love "as an amateur polymath and avid reader with a keen interest in politics." Describing himself as a conservative -- which I'll discuss later -- Love strives to be a champion of the truth. He believes that both political parties do the country a disservice in their rhetoric. Having been raised in Gary, Indiana, where his upbringing mirrored that of many black children, Love now lives in Chicago with his wife where he runs a political site and an organization whose purpose is to galvanize conservatives and educate people on the conservative principles and the dangers of an overreaching government.
Given Love's credentials and the intriguing, promising title of his book, I was all ears to hear what Mr. Love had to say as a black Republican and also as an author. For it seems logical to believe that blacks, even though voting Democrat 95% in the last election cycle, might be receptive to the GOP message if Republicans knew how to reach blacks and didn't tend to write off the Black community.
This led me to consider the following question: Why then are Republican pundits and those in House leadership positions currently convinced that a larger slice of the Hispanic vote is essential to winning elections, and that working with the Senate to pass immigration reform (amnesty) will produce the means to win future elections? It seems evident that Republicans have no inkling that amnesty is not popular outside the beltway in the hinterland of America where securing the border before all else is top priority. Granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants is illogical, to say the least, and is not popular with the base of the Republican Party given the millions of Americans unable to find jobs or who are underemployed
History does tell us that blacks and Republicans once had a strong relationship. From the creation of the Republican Party in 1856 to the election of Franklin Roosevelt, blacks voted exclusively for Republicans. For it was Lincoln as the first president to be elected under the Republican mantel who freed the slaves. While black allegiance started to shift during Roosevelt's presidency with his "New Deal" programs, it was with the election of President Lyndon Johnson and his anti-poverty legislation that blacks went from voting exclusively for Republicans to voting exclusively for Democrats.
Entertained was how the biggest shift of black allegiance from Republican to Democrat possibly took place when Barry Goldwater came on the scene with his book "The Conscience of a Conservative" in 1960. Goldwater's book rubbed black people the wrong way. With the Barry Goldwater/L.B. Johnson presidential match-up four years later in 1964, blacks eagerly embraced Johnson and later on his War on Poverty
Mr. Love's remarks zeroed in on what many blacks believe about the Republican Party and the correlation those beliefs have on the way they vote. Love also had advise for Republican in reaching out to black Americans for their votes.
Introduced by Jim Lakely, Communications Director and co-Director of the Center on the Digital Economy, author C. Douglas Love draw upon his knowledge and experience as a former black Democrat. It was nice to personally mix with a fair number of blacks who were on hand to hear what Mr. Love had to say.
Writing the book was not a sudden epiphany for Mr. Love. Like most blacks, Love started out as a Democrat with his transformation evolving over a period of time. It has been established that blacks vote the way they do because of the way their parents or family voted in the past. It is also more than likely that nasty remarks about Republicans are passed around within the black community that tend to forever poison the well for Republican candidates.
In explaining the nature of his book, Love noted how Logic differed in two essential ways from those written by other authors about the not-so-puzzling black conundrum in light of past happenings.
- Logic's goal is to abandon the use of labels and instead listen to what all have to say before forming opinions. Arriving at personal conclusions is why Mr. Love chose Logic as the title of his book.
- Logic doesn't address many issues, as its object isn't to create black Republicans as such. The use of logic, however, should result in a self-discovery (an awakening) by blacks to show that their former misconceptions are faulty and that being a Republican makes sense.
As with many blacks, Love's interest in politics evolved with the election of Barack Obama. Love remembers listening to people talk and watching the news on TV as John McCain and Obama exchanged angry responses. The same tone of anger was heard four years later in the retorts exchanged between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in the 2012 match up, which prompted Love to ask: "Why can't people just disagree instead of calling each other names?"
Since those disagreeing most with Obama were Republicans, it came to be accepted as truth in the black community that all Republicans must be racists because they didn't endorse Obama for president. Even after six years as president, it is pathetic that Obama is still using racism to explain why support for him and his programs aren't more popular.
According to Mr. Love, this perceived racism toward Republicans among blacks developed at the time Barack Obama became the first back candidate to vie for the presidency. With the entrance of Obama on the national scene, blacks at last took an interest in politics, with this one drawback: Any knowledge they gained was based solely on Obama's candidacy and his subsequent election. Overnight blacks became experts on Obama, never questioning Obama's policies or his actions, lacking as they did prior experiences to draw upon in order to evaluate or compare stated policies. Romney's policies in 2012 would have been better for blacks, but lacking any background on which to base their votes, blacks voted for Obama's wrong policies which sounded better to them, but which didn't work.
Using logic Mr. Love explained how to dispel the common notion in the black community that blacks can't possibly be racists as power and control must be present for racism to occur. Is it really possible or logical to conclude that only Republicans can be racist and that Democrats are blameless? Is racism perceived to be present when a white candidate is selected over a less qualified black candidate? Or what if a more qualified black candidate is selected over a white candidate?
Other black misconceptions about whites:
1. All white people are rich, which refutes logic as the wealthiest people in Congress are Democrats. Consider also that movie stars are wealthy and most often vote Democrat.
2. All whites love war and Bush was a war monger, when about an equal number of wars were started under presidents of both parties.
3. All whites are right-wing zealots, which comes into play because many blacks are one issue voters (same as in other ethnic groups). If a Democrat legislator is in sync with the views of a voters on a key issue -- be it for gay rights, abortion, or immigration -- voters must support that legislator, yet not all Republicans are anti-gay, pro-life or for amnesty.
And what about the stigma placed upon black conservatives by other black Americans? As blacks are expected to vote Democrat or they are "off the plantation", black conservatives are accordingly racist. Not so says Mr. Love who didn't grow up wealthy, but neither did Dr. Ben Carson who was targeted by the IRS in 2013 after daring to criticize Obama and his policies at the National Prayer Breakfast.
In response to this question, Will Republicans ever again be able to capture a goodly portion of the black vote? Love suggested that 30% of the black vote is about all Republicans could hope for in future elections. Even so, why do Republicans write off half of the voting population? While Democrats can count on Jews, women, and Hispanics for support, they continue to take the black vote for granted because of its huge readymade majority. Might this indifference by Democrats to woo blacks be an asset to Republicans?
It's not enough for Republicans to show up in black neighborhoods once every four years and then to be perceived as opportunists in the aftermath. Republicans need blacks, for blacks live in mega cities like Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles. This is where the votes are. Blacks need the Republican Party, because Republican polices are better for blacks in the long run.
But as selfishness is a definite factor in how blacks vote, how to break the chain of dependency that blacks have come to expect from Democratic politicians? Logic comes to the rescue. Has the leadership in your black community serve you well? What about the promises that were made over the years? Have they been kept? Are you better off since President Obama became president?
A brief discussion of Adam Smith's book, The Invisible Hand, brought to a close the Heartland event. Reference was made to how personal self-interest always comes into play, even while trying to suppress it. The result of this self-interest has creating what now exists in the black community, poverty, unemployment, and crime.
Politicians would be well to remember: Good intent has consequences which should be based on results, not on interests.
I would highly recommend Mr. Love's book, Logic, although I had one point of contention which riled me as a conservative Republican. It occurred when Love spoke about not being a fan of name calling, specifically the use of the term RINOS by conservative Republican and Tea Party members. As stated by Mr. Love: "Democrats don't call Democrats DINOS."
About Love's evaluation of Tea Party members, he spoke of them as refusing to compromise their beliefs for the good of the Republican Party. For conservatives like me and other Tea Party members, the good of the party does not rest with establishment Republicans in leadership positions who are trying to silence conservatives and Tea Party member so they can continue to compromise with Democrats with an agenda that is Democrat-lite in its continuation of big government and massive spending.
It was suggested that individual groups in Chicago that are small in numbers should combine forces to from a sizable group to work together in reaching out to the blacks.
In speaking about Heartland's inclusiveness, President and CEO Joe Bast is proud that Heartland has always hired based on talent. Regarding outreach, Bast spoke about making a stronger outreach effort to the black community in 2014, which marks the 30th anniversary of The Heartland Institute.
For more information and to register for upcoming luncheon lecture events, call 312/377-4000 or visit heartland.org.