As there has been a lot of conversation about the framing of conservative messaging and how to deal with with race issues on this site, I thought I'd bring up two articles I wrote for another website today.
The first article deals directly with the first issue I'd like to raise. A host of elected Republican officials are rightfully calling for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to submit her letter of resignation. While I'm sure someone has, I've yet to see someone provide a politically viable suggestion to replace the DHS Secretary.
It's one thing to take political swipes at the opposition. It takes leadership to find a solution which might be acceptable to the Obama administration, Republicans and a general public that is generally more concerned with good government than with the latest political barbs.
My solution to this situation may not be the best one, but at least I've offered a host of reasons as to why Judge Andrew Napolitano could be a very suitable replacement for Janet Napolitano. The American public has been crying for solutions, not partisan bickering. The GOP could have easily stepped up to the plate on this one, but didn't.
The other issue I'd like to cover is race. On rare occasions, there is an element of truth to cries from the left about racism on the right. Most of the time these allegations couldn't be farther from the truth.
However, assuaging one's conscience by casting a vote for Michael Steele and then disregarding the black community for the next several years will not win Republicans votes from the African-American community. Like any other votes, these have to be earned.
In Alabama, two Republicans are making a difference in the African-American community on a solidly conservative issue: property rights. If you aren't aware, in the land of Rosa Parks, black people are frequently taken advantage of when it comes to eminent domain abuse. A few years back, nationally syndicated talk show host Neal Boortz heavily publicized one such case in nearby Alabaster, Alabama.
I'd like to quickly highlight these two Republicans who aren't afraid to step out of their own comfortable communities to help those with fewer political or financial resources. The first is Alabama State Senator Scott Beason, who will sit on a panel next week at an Alabama Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights panel entitled “Civil Rights Implications of Eminent Domain Policies and Practices in Alabama.” Senator Beason is highly respected throughout the state, and it's easy to see why.
A key driving force behind this panel is Shana Kluck. Shana is not only a member of the Alabama Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, but she also serves on her state GOP executive committee, is president of the Alabama Republican Assemby and serves as secretary of the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus. When she's not busy homeshcooling her four children, consulting on Web 2.0 projects, engaged in Eagle Forum activities, attending various political meetings around the state and working behind the scenes on a variety of conservative and libertarian causes, she is busy helping me on campaigns.
Considering Shana's schedule, very few of us have grounds to offer the excuse that we are too busy to become more involved in the African-American community.
Instead of sitting around complaining about how black people voted in previous election cycles, Senator Beason and Ms. Kluck are taking leadership roles in providing justice for members of the African-American community.
If I may be so bold as to provide two solutions for the conservative movement, they are:
- Instead of merely attacking the opposition with nuisance fire (appropriately called sniping) to exploit a weak spot in their battle line, maximize your attack by actually providing a viable politcal solution.
- If you aren't active in your local African-American community, you've no right to complain if you receive very few of their votes on Election Day.
Personal responsibility is a key component of conservativism and just stewardship should be a part of conservative leadership. Hopefully, Republican Party leaders will take these sorts of messages to heart. Otherwise, one can expect the GOP to walk through the wilderness for another 38 years.