Thursday, September 3, 2020

The GOP’s Wide-Open Arms

Photo: republican national convention/Reuters
A marginal increase in Trump’s minority support could swing the vote in key states.
The Republican Party that presented itself to the nation this week had a wide and welcoming look. Some in the GOP think that look could make the difference in November.
Following the 2014 election of Mia Love, the first black Republican woman to win a seat in Congress, the Washington Post said: “For at least half a century, the party of Lincoln has battled charges that it is racist, sexist and anti-immigrant.” These “charges” weren’t true, of course; they were the pronouncements of media bean counters who measure morality in terms of racial percentages. Yet the “racist” chorus has only grown, and the election of Donald Trump sent the left to new levels of hysteria.
This week, Americans got to choose between that version of the GOP and their own lying eyes. The party on display was an array of African-American officials, sports icons and civil rights leaders, Latina businesswomen, Native Americans, Cuban refugees, powerhouse female politicians, dairy farmers and loggers, newly-sworn-in immigrants, union workers, and an openly gay former acting director of national intelligence. It was an optimistic presentation, too—a celebration of the party’s width and depth.
And the GOP didn’t just celebrate its minority voices, it led with them. Speaker after speaker on opening night explained their reasons for supporting the party, and invited others to test the waters. There was Kim Klacik, a young black woman running for Congress, who decried Democratic policies that have run Baltimore “into the ground.” Madeline Lauf celebrated her Guatemalan mother and warned what Joe Biden’s tax and regulatory policies would do to small businesses like hers. Maximo Alvarez, a Florida entrepreneur, told of escaping Cuba’s death and starvation, explaining how Castro’s promises of “free education” and “free healthcare” “totally destroyed” the country of his youth. Sen. Tim Scott gave a moving speech about his work with the administration to direct private investment to distressed communities. Daniel Cameron, Kentucky’s first black attorney general, on Day 2 eloquently reminded African-Americans that no party deserves a monopoly on their vote. And so it went all four days.
This level of outreach is new for Republicans. It’s not that the GOP hasn’t long had minority supporters, or that prior campaigns didn’t court minority voters. It was that the pitch was more perfunctory than a priority. The GOP has a bad habit of assuming all it needs do is say “free markets” and the converts will come. Past campaigns would dump money into Spanish-language ads, hold the occasional set-piece in a neighborhood, and hope to grab the 10% of the black vote that it usually does.
Read the rest from Kimberley A. Strassel HERE.

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