Is the Republican Party forgetting minorities?
While watching the two conventions in September, it was remarkable to see how diverse the DNC convention was compared to the RNC convention. According to the U.S. News and World Report, 36 (1.5%) black delegates were selected for the RNC convention. This is down from 167 delegates, a 78.4% drop since 2004. Now compare that to the DNC convention where 1,079 (24.3%) black delegates were present. Statistics tell a lot, plain and simple.
Now some people may say that having a black candidate run for president plays a huge role in diversity at a convention. I completely agree. But one can not ignore the blatant fact that blacks have seemed to be all but ignored by the Republican party in this campaign. And do not think that this is a phenomenon simply isolated to this election. Frank Rich, who writes for the New York Times as well as authored the book "The Greatest Story Every Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina " on Countdown with Keith Olbermann this past week is quoted as saying:
"There hasn't been a new black Republican elected to federal office, I think, in six years. And so, what does that tell us about the party? And how does that look to voters? I think it looks like it`s the party of the last century. It looks bad. Not only is it morally bad, but politically. I think it`s idiotic because it`s against the whole demographics of this country and where they’re going."This is a shocking statement that one can not deny. I do give the Republican party credit for trying to get black republicans elected, Michael Steele in Maryland, Lynn Swann in Pennsylvania and Ken Blackwell in Ohio in recent years. Simply more times than not, they lose to the Democratic candidate. The question is why?
I believe that minorities feel that the Republican party has ignored them in recent years. While George Bush got a lot of black and Latino evangelical support during the elections of 2000 and 2004, it appears that those who voted for him feel as if the party forgot about them. And that disdain is clear to see as this election has went on. Looking at Republican rallies, there are black and Latino faces in the crowd. But they are not many. Compare that to an Obama rally and diversity is front and center. If only this can happen for both parties.
Some may ask why do I care if the Republican party is diverse if I am liberal. I believe that it is in the best interest of America for the two major parties to have as diverse a membership as possible. This is the only way to guarantee that all members of society are being considered when policy is being made. If the most powerful country in the world can not have a diverse electorate, then it makes us look bad in the eyes of the world. And we haven't looked that good recently last time I checked.