Conservative ideas can break into urban areas like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Miami. Here’s how.
Check out one of those maps of the county-by-county results for a recent presidential election. The Democrat counties are in blue, and (perversely) the Republican counties are in red. What you will see, no matter the year, are islands of blue engulfed by a sea of red.
The typical interpretation is that the islands of blue are the urban areas where all the people live, and the seas of red are the rural areas where all the rubes live. But that is not the real story these maps tell.
Yes, the blue counties are more urban and populous. They are politically dominated by African Americans, more recent Hispanic immigrants, younger single people, government employees, and welfare dependents. If these groups were not overwhelmingly Democratic, there would be no Democrat party.
But the most salient point about these enclaves of blue is not that they are populous, but that they are virtually monolithic. Democrats win many of the blue counties with 70, 75, or 80 percent of the vote. That is how the urban islands of blue match the surrounding seas of red.
The opinions in these urban fortresses creep out into less monolithic but still predominantly Democrat suburbs, which reflect the pervasive left/liberal media of those areas. But these urban fortresses that make a political difference are surprisingly few: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, Philadelphia, the Miami to West Palm Beach corridor, New England. (Other towns like Atlanta present the same urban core and extremist media, but they don’t swing their entire states as a result.)
This concentration of the liberal/left vote is a vulnerability, not a strength. If their wins in these strongholds can be reduced just from around 80-20 to something along the lines of 60-40, the Democrats would cease to be a nationally competitive party. Maintaining such culturally monolithic majorities requires keeping alternative ideas out and demonized. Tough to do in a still (for now) free country, with aggressive conservative advocates.
Cracking these left/liberal fortresses is all the more possible because Democrat politics are not thoughtful, but reflexive. Hispanics and even African Americans have many more conservatives in their ranks than voting patterns would indicate. This is even more true of Asians. Even American Jews are more conservative than their ballots suggest. All these groups vote so predominantly Democrat because the Democrats tell them the Republicans hate them. The Republicans and conservatives tell them nothing, which seemingly reinforces the Democrat narrative.
Note that there is no significant conservative organization focused primarily on taking free market, pro-growth economics and family values social conservatism into these minority communities. I am not talking about political outreach for the Republican Party, or for particular campaigns, though there is far too little even of that. I am talking about an organization focused on spreading conservative values, ideas, initiatives, reforms, and proposals among African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other minorities.
The opening to reach African Americans and Hispanics is through the churches, whose attendees are already the more conservative of the population. Imagine this: A conservative organization, call it Empower America (which was never nearly aggressive enough in these communities), hosts a meeting of African-American pastors in Philadelphia or St. Louis to present a dynamic speaker on school choice and the parent trigger. He or she explains how these reforms shift power to African-American and Hispanic parents and away from failing education bureaucracies. The speaker then offers to talk on the same subject at a meeting at each of the churches the pastors and priests represent. No one brings up politics or candidates or campaigns. The discussion is only about ideas and reforms.
Or the organization calls a meeting of Asian small businessmen in San Francisco to discuss how tax reform would boost business, increase employment in their communities, and make more capital available for their companies to grow. The speaker explains the boom in minority businesses produced by Reaganomics. The presentation is all about logic and facts, not politics.
Another speaker talks to Hispanic entrepreneurs in Miami and Los Angeles about how a personal account option for Social Security was implemented in Chile, and how in American similar reforms could empower working people for the first time to accumulate substantial nest eggs that could serve as springboards for the next generation. The organization could even fly in José Piñera, who crafted Chile’s plan, to speak about it in Spanish.
Others could talk about how the welfare reforms of 1996 reduced poverty in New York City. They could explain how extending those same reforms to Medicaid would empower lower income families to get market health insurance through vouchers, which would greatly expand access to middle class doctors, hospitals, and health care.
The focus would be ideas, not politics. But political leaders who campaigned on policy innovation, rather than personality, would be effective in leading one or more such organizations. These include Newt Gingrich, who knows this outreach is necessary for conservatives, and Herman Cain, who the public recognizes as a straight talking man of ideas.
Are We Really That Crazy?
New England presents a different problem. There the issue is white liberal guilt, as too many people are ashamed of the wealth they have created and earned. They don’t do the right thing as dictated by their supposed values, which would be to get that filthy wealth off their hands (I would be glad to hold it for them!)
Instead they cast ballots for Democrat soft Marxists, confident that such irresponsible voting will never have any real world implications for them. Across the country, the most left/liberal districts are found in either the poorest neighborhoods and in the richest ones, where limousine liberals vote Democrat the same way sinners once bought dispensations from the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online