Saturday, November 26, 2016

Diversity for Diversity's Sake? Not Working

For the past twenty years, the Republican Party has lamented its seeming "lack of color."

I find that kind of odd, considering that as far back as 1984, Southern Republicans were winning more black voters than most modern political history books will document.

While CBS news was covering the near unanimous victory of Ronald Reagan, they noticed that "old, white" Southern US Senate candidate/incumbent Jesse Helms scored a massive win in 1984. The researchers and pollsters expressed surprise at the higher-than-expected percentage of the black vote.

Was anyone else paying attention to the fact that Ronald Reagan drew in an unprecedented rainbow coalition of support across the country.

He targeted communities based on their ethnic background, but the goal was not merely scooping up voters based on a surface connection with their backgroun.

Reagan reached out to all Americans, and helped US citizens participate in the prosperity that makes this country great.

Here in California, have Republicans fallen into the trap that the name of winning the game is "Diversity at all costs"?

Consider the current list of potential RPLAC Executive Board nominees for Dec. 10, 2016:

Chairman: Richard Sherman
1st Vice-Chairman: Mark Vafiades
2nd Vice-Chairman: Howard Hakes
Treasurer: Gary Aminoff
Assistant Treasurer: Jacqueline Loza
Secretary: Janice Webb 
Assistant Secretary: Andre Hollings

I have heard rumblings from the background that this slate of nominees was selected in greater measure to demonstate a growing element of ethnic diversity in the County Republican GOP.

Honestly, I have nothing against selected individuals who have diverse, enriching culture heritage.

I do have a problem with evaluating the value of leadership based exclusively on the color of a person's skin.

Martin Luther King Jr., himself told his supporters: "I have a dream one day my children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Judgement, whether good or bad, based on skin color is wrong.

I also recall Chairman Mark Vafiades commenting on the widespread diversity of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County's Executive board in the past.

Representation on a executive committee should above all stand on the content of the character and ideas of the people who represent all Republicans in the region.

Once again, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to people within each district and encouraging them to run to represent their citizen-peers.

I do believe, however, if the Republican Party in LA County or elsewhere (anywhere) in the state is looking for diverity for diversity's sake, they are making a mistake.

Donald Trump is as "white" as can get, and yet he earned a record percentage of the black and Hispanic vote compared to Mitt Romney.

George W. Bush too in 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, but to the best of my knowledge, he did not connect with voters based on race. He connected with voters based on his skill to keep the country safe from terrorism.

Republicans in California are making a mistake if they campaign and engage in outreach based on skin color alone.

Throughout the country, men and women of differeing cultural backgrounds wanted an American President who would help Americans and make them proud to be Americans in their own country. That value, that need goes far beyond culture clashes and connections.

Some Republicans, I fear, are trying to connect with Hispanics constituents by speaking Spanish, or with Asian communities by speaking the languages of their ethnic origin.

That sounds kind of condescending.

Candidates should speak the language of family, hard work, education, basic public safety, security and freedom.

These values transcend language barriers.

A language which communicates "I care about you" makes the difference, not speaking from talking points in the native language of a voter.

Conservatives are speaking in high tones about cutting debt and spending, reducing the size and scope of the state, but are they talking about the Main Street concerns which resonate with Middle America in simple terms?

"Make America Great Again" is a basic yet winning statement.

"We are going to start winning again!" resonated with voters.

Don't give me a plan. Tell me the outcome.

We have the plans, but let's let people know that they feature YUGE-ly in future gains.

RPLAC, or the state party, orany Republican political community can .place people "of color" in places of leadership. That kind of gesture does not communicate "I care about you."

What will?



A willing ear.

A clear demonstration of principle, and how that operates in the lives of all Americans--all Californians.

What are their concerns? Do we know? We need to show that we care!

We can show that we care about people when we treat them as individuals, and not just subsets of an ethnic group. How about speaking the language of their concerns?

And how about we stop assuming that just because someone has a different colored skin or speaks a different language, or talks with a different accent, that therefore we have to engage with those individuals with the same precise manners and mores?

This kind of thinking is illiberal and regressive at its core. This is identity politics, and it made our coutnry worse for eight years. Voters elected President Obama because he was black.

That's unsound and insensitive. Should any Presidential contender be judged based on his skin color? How would you feel if someone looked at you and decided what capacities you held, what capabilities you demonstrated based on your skin color, but never asked any questions about who you are, what you believe, and what you care about?

I don't know about you, but I don't like it when people  think that they can read my mind and know my heart just by looking at my skin color.

Republicans, then, should give up identity politics as the first stop toward accomplishing anything. The diversity game is a set of rules devised by the Left

They divide people into race and ethnicity as main features. It's time for Republicans to reject those stupid paradigms and reach out to others based on their value as individuals in their own right.

No comments:

Post a Comment