Poor political strategy: Why Republicans don’t waste time with the Black vote…

In Georgia, we are entering the last four weeks of the mid-term election silly season. Republican incumbent governor Brian Kemp is scheduled to face Democrat Stacey Abrams in two debates later this month. Ms Abrams, a black American, is expected to get a large majority of the black vote, an expectation the Democratic Party hopes to see come to fruition given that blacks have made for a reliable voting block over the past several decades.

Capitalizing on the pain and suffering

From what I have observed, the Democrats have relied on a narrative of inclusion to win the allegiance of blacks in Georgia. You should not discount the history of violence perpetuated on blacks since their enslavement in America, and the continued physical abuse and denial of access to capital post slavery. Democrats, first in the urban north and later in the urban and rural south, have been able to capitalize on this narrative in their hunt for votes.

The Republican withdrawal from the south left blacks open to increased violence by southern local and state governments. This sense of abandonment, I believe, gave Democrats a platform for a welfare narrative; one that offered police protection (ironically by an institution created out of the slave patrols); more social welfare support (even though at the cost of less reliance on family, disincentive for men to be in the home, and more reliance on the state); and increased access to the voting booth.

I should point out that it was the progressive wing of the Democratic Party (at least in the south) that introduced these goody bags in exchange for black votes. Southern Democrats were the bastion of racial segregation and denial of capital access and indicated that they had enough of social changes supported by their northern Democratic brethren when many decided to jump ship and become southern Republicans.

The Republican ground game …

But this southern strategy meant giving up national political power in exchange for more control of state houses and following a states’ rights, Tenth Amendment strategy to maintain it. It should not be surprising, for example, that one of the progressive left’s first attempts to attack the states’ rights veil was Roe v. Wade, a U.S. Supreme Court 1973 ruling that struck down a Texas statute that severely limited a woman’s right to have an abortion.

It should not be surprising that the political right would seek to reverse this flow in the environment. The 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, where the court reversed Roe, is indicative of the rights ground game, passing anti-abortion legislation on the state level and setting up a fight in the US Supreme Court. The southern strategy evolved and matured.

The political sense of ignoring the black vote …

Now, you ask, what does this have to do with Republicans ignoring the black vote? In a republic where officials are elected via mechanisms maintained by a small handful of people i.e., political parties, an electoral college, etc., and that small handful of people is made up of the dominant culture, i.e., Anglo, western European, etc., that is not represented by Democratic Party ideology, Republicans, accepting dominance in the states and willing to forego national power, can ignore the black vote.

This strategy seems “undemocratic” and “unequal”, but a republic is designed not to create equality, but to maintain balance. America is not a democracy. One man, one vote brings with it a risk of tyranny of the majority. It also runs the risk of creating tyranny by the minority whether ethnic or numerical. Republicans are okay with being a minority party as long as the political power surging through the federal system is balanced.

Black votes and the philosophy represented by that vote are at loggerheads with Republican philosophy. Should those philosophies draw closer then maybe we will see a readjustment in the flow of political power. Until that happens, Republicans would not be required to cede any political power to blacks.

Alton Drew

2 October 2022

Disclaimer: This blog post should not be construed as legal advice or an agreement to provide legal or political analysis.  To set up a consultation, contact us at altondrew@altondrew.com.