It seems that every time I read about him, Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is saying something that’s indicative of a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease, if not some worse malady. Speaking to DePaul University students in Chicago yesterday, Steele made himself look bad and his party worse by talking about the GOP’s problem attracting black voters:
Why should an African-American vote Republican?
"You really don’t have a reason to, to be honest — we haven’t done a very good job of really giving you one. True? True."
True? Hardly. Black Americans have the opportunity to become very successful in this country. That sort of financial success, when obtained, will inevitably lead people of any race, creed, or color directly to the political party whose main platform plank for the last several decades has been one of lower taxes.
Yes, the GOP has an image problem. But it’s simply untrue for Steele or anyone else to say that the party of smaller government will not benefit black Americans as much as anyone else should they achieve in life.
How hard would it have been for Steele to say that rather than playing to the “Oh, woe is me, poor people don’t like us” mentality that seems to run the GOP lately?
The truth is that Democrats have the home-field advantage when it comes to courting lower-income voters simply because they are the party of big government and expanding entitlements. Their strategy is to buy votes with other people’s money.
Republicans need a leader who can credibly state the truth, which is that conservative political and economic policies will lead to the greater good in the long run by creating an environment in which more people can succeed than in liberals’ oft-envisioned nanny state.
That leader is evidently not Michael Steele.