Here, I explain…
Liberals and conservatives should unite to oppose federal spying on the Tea Party and allied groups. Today, it’s their party; tomorrow, it could be yours!
Sunday’s shooting at a New Orleans second line celebration underscores Black America’s (literal in some cases) crying need to launch a two front war against thugs in blue jeans I call “chocolate Klansmen ” and thugs in blue uniforms, instead of either/or choices.
There was only one Jack Kemp. God knows we need his all-American appeal to conservative and urban audiences at a time when the GOP is attempting frenzied “minority outreach.”
(I put “minority outreach” in quotes because involvement is more my cup of tea.)
That aside, Senator Rand Paul’s Howard University speech set the outreach march on steadier ground.
Instead of sounding like a Democrat with a removable “R,” he was himself, which is all American blacks (pro and con) should ask of him.
I don’t think I’m alone is saying I don’t need White folks adopting minstrel show phony drawls (see Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden), nor drop obvious applause lines based upon our religious or civil rights experience.
Just talk to us.
From the podium and during Q & A, he addressed his stance on issues like the Civil Rights Act that got him in hot water in the past.
One mistake I think Black folks make is demanding that those far removed from our community magically address us as if they’ve been lifelong insiders.
Rand Paul is obviously a White male libertarian and Republican US senator. Some of his conclusions on the GOP or icons like Ronald Reagan differ from those of the Black liberal mainstream.
That his conclusions differ from those of the Black liberal mainstream doesn’t necessarily make him a villain.
American Blacks of Paul’s generation should focus less on what happened in the past and more on what can be done now to distance ourselves from the limitations of yesteryear.
Rand Paul was born in the South three years ahead of me. We came of age in a region forced to confront its Apartheid by federal troops and legislative leveraging from the White Hosue and Capitol Hill.
A lot of Black liberals will charge that he doesn’t “get” Black folks. I wonder: does “Mt. Negro Dialect” Harry Reid “get” us any better?
I’d argue that Rand Paul’s decriminalization of what he calls “victimless drug crimes” alone has the potential to liberate several generations of Black men who chose drug-dealing as a profession.
That stance resonates far more with the Black liberal (and parts of the conservative) mainstream than with anti-drug hardliners like myself.
I consider crack, heroin, meth, and other chemical angels of slow motion death to be nothing less than satanic in their design and impact.
Drug decriminalization is a big libertarian coalition builder, and within it lies the glue for adding American Blacks who feel that the War on Drugs is racist.
This topic, along with libertarian aversion to intrusive policing and an aptly named “warfare state,” were rightly shared by Paul at Howard University- just like he does elsewhere.
I think he did ok during his Howard University speech, precisely because he remained himself and didn’t deviate from trademark philosophical positions.
I expect White folks to be themselves and not put on patronizing productions designed to pacify us.
Rand Paul did ok at Howard University and thus far is ok by me as someone offering the GOP political viagra if they’re willing to take it.
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The GOP Establishment is moving at warp speed to reload itself to attract a more liberal voter than what was once considered its base.
The term “libertarian” is being bandied about, but perhaps “liberal-tarian” is more accurate.
Establishment Republicans don’t want to appear liberal. Seeming openly socialist is the last thing they want – at least until the 2014 midterm results are tallied.
That’s why so many warm to libertarianism, at least on social issues like gay marriage and drug legalization, where they feel they can woo away Obama voters.
They fear the president’s two victories presage a post- modern, Roosevelt-style coalition that will have Democrats in the White House for generations.
The irony is while socially liberal, libertarians are frighteningly anti-government by progressive and even mainstream conservative standards. They make Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan look like Hippies on fiscal matters.
I guess the Republican establishment wants liberal-tarian street cred on social issues while stuffing the more fiscally unpleasant aspects of libertarianism in their proverbial back pockets.
How or if this 21st Century version of 1960s fusionism (traditionalism plus laissez-faire economics) can happen is a magic trick to test the legerdemain of David Copperfield.
What worries GOP purists and pragmatists alike is whether an internet edition of Roosevelt-era “Me Too” Republicanism will save a nation they feel has abandoned all that made it great.
In their minds (mine included) is the sinking suspicion that the GOP has morphed from meaning “Grand Old Party” to “Genuflecting Ourselves Party,” before the altar of political expediency.
(Originally published in The Bold Pursuit)
© TBP Publishing 2013, The Bold Pursuit®. All Rights Reserved
Photo credit: DonkeyHotey (Creative Commons)