- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 5, 2004

Did black voters swing so far to the left in 1964 that it is impossible for them even to hear what Republicans have to say?

Some Democratic personalities think so, and those who want more black voters to ride the donkey’s back — like a monkey rides an addict — are pleading for more blacks to climb aboard.

While I won’t name names (for now), few conservative blacks of prominence are asking folks to think twice. Few are urging folks to consider the No. 1 question: WII-FM (What’s in it for me?)

Instead, black Republicans,conservative black Democrats and conservative independents are surprisingly quiet.

The mainstream media aren’t helping. Day in and day out they quote polls of their own design that draw the same conclusions. George Bush is leading John Kerry, John Kerry is leading George Bush or George Bush and John Kerry are tied.

It is critical that blacks and conservatives who have something to say — something respectable and responsible, beyond the rhetoric — speak out.

Ever since black voters jumped on LBJ’s civil-rights bandwagon in 1964, blacks have acted as if there is no other mode of transport to progress. Liberal labor bosses further exploit the cattle drive. By the time Bush 2000 rolled around, the Republican nominee was essentially persona non grata.

Indeed, American voters cannot afford to wait until November for a double-take of Dubya and or to pretend we know what the JFK wannabe stands for. Times, to be sure, have been tough since September 11. The cost of living is higher now than it was four years ago. But that would be the case even if Al Gore were now in the White House.

I’m hardly a Bush apologist. I think politicians speak for themselves vis a vis their policies and practices.

I have yet to see John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts, do anything that has improved my life. He had a long time to show me. Twenty years. Now the Democrats — who are not the same Democrats as even the Clinton Democrats — are handing out his calling card. But, if you look closely, you will see thatMr. Kerry has littlein common with black folk.

According to a new poll of black voters by the Black American Political Action Committee (BAMPAC):

• Sixty-nine percent oppose the legalization of “same-sex marriage.”

• Forty percent say the Democratic Party “has taken them for granted.”

m Thirty-seven percent say Bush appointee Colin Powell is the most influential black political figure.

The top three issues when choosing a candidate are the economy/jobs, health care and education.

When asked “who should bare the greatest responsibility for a child’s education,” the overwhelming majority (58 percent) replied “parents.”

As Alvin Williams, president of BAMPAC, said, “In the backdrop of this presidential election season, the results definitely give a glimpse of where these voters stand on the issues and how this may affect their decisions in the upcoming election.”

Indeed, blacks and other conservatives must remind voters — especially black, Hispanic, American Indian and Asian voters — of these and other issues, such as school choice, tax breaks for low-income and fixed-income earners, small-business and job-training subsidies and faith-based initiatives.

If the Democrats are going to push voters to the polls, then conservatives need to make sure their perceptions do not spin around the September 11 blame-Bush game. Fingers should be pointed at not just the White House, but the Senate, too.

To what extent the media participate in spreading the facts depends, to a large degree,on what happens today and tomorrow in Washington. That is where Unity 2004 — the joint convention of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Native American Journalists Association and the Asian American Journalists Association is taking place. The largest contingent is the black journalists group (5,000), and the key speakers are President Bush, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Powell.

Last year in Dallas, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice literally graced our presence. While her acceptance was certainly a coup, the reception was lukewarm.

The Kerry speech drew applause throughout. But his was not a fresh speech, although it was sprinkled with rhetorical panderings. He never even bothered to speak to the facts.

And that, dear readers, is precisely my point. Displaying the victory sign to John Kerry before he even pretends to work with black America on his “agenda” for black America — and before the Republicans hold their own convention — would be a huge mistake.

After all, it’s not like blacks and conservative whites don’t share common ground.

More importantly, while Mr. Bush urges blacks to not let the Democrats take the black vote for granted, Mr. Kerry and Democratic leaders issued explanations instead of denials.

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