The Monolithic Black Vote — and My Republican Dad

1-Larry ElderNovember 15, 2012 — In 13 wards in Philadelphia, reports the Inquirer, President Barack Obama received 99 percent of the vote! A local Democratic ward leader outlined the strategy: “In this election, you had to point out to people what was at stake. And in many cases, they felt that the Romney doctrine was not going to favor the working man.”

Obama appears to have held on to most of his percentage of the black vote from 2008 — even though the black unemployment rate in October reached 14.3 percent. Emmanuel Cleaver, the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, admitted: “If (former President) Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House.”

Lower taxes, less government spending on domestic programs and fewer regulations mean a better economy for everybody. These were the policies of the ’80s under Reagan. The results for minorities? In late 1982, Reagan’s second year in office, the unemployment rate for blacks was 20.4 percent. By 1989, his last year, the black unemployment rate had fallen to 11.4 percent — a 9 percent drop. In late 1982, the unemployment rate for Hispanics was 15.3 percent. By 1989, it had fallen to 8 percent — a drop of over 7 percentage points. White unemployment, by contrast, fell “only” 4 percentage points.

Still, as one prominent black businessman once told me, “Voting Republican would be like voting for the Klan.” When I informed him that Democrats started the Klan, he replied, “That was then.”

In my latest book, “Dear Father, Dear Son”, I write about my Republican father. “No poor person ever gave me a job,” he would tell my Democrat mom in opposing tax hikes “on the rich folks who can afford it.”

John F. Kennedy, an icon of the Democratic Party who pushed for deep tax cuts, argued, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Urging a tax rate cut, Kennedy said: “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low — and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now. The experience of a number of European countries has borne this out. This country’s own experience with tax reductions in 1954 has borne this out, and the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget — and tax reduction can pave the way to full employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budgetary deficit but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which will bring a budgetary surplus.”

President Barack Obama calls getting a “world class” education is the “civil rights issue” of the 21st century. Yet the Democratic Party — and the teachers’ unions — fight against parental choice that allows one to opt-out of an underperforming government schools. This disproportionately hurts black parents who, according to polls, want the right to reject a bad government school.

And then there is the issue of what the welfare state has done to the family. My Democrat mom and Republican father did agree one thing: that government welfare made it “too easy” for the able-bodied to “get on the county.” And my Dad always said, “If you try to get something for nothing, you end up with nothing for something.”

In 1965, Daniel P. Moynihan wrote a book called: “The Negro Family Case for National Action.” At the time, 25 percent of black kids were born out of wedlock. Today, that number is 70 percent. Now 26 percent of white kids are born to unwed mothers. This is an indictment of the welfare state and a direct link to crime, drop-out rates and poverty. This is a crisis — but not a death sentence.

As I write in “Dear Father, Dear Son,” my “illegitimate” Republican father never knew his biological father. Raised by an irresponsible mother during the Great Depression in the Jim Crow south, my father was on his own from the age of 13. He worked two jobs as a janitor, and saved enough to open up a small restaurant in his late 40s, which he ran until his 80s.

My dad’s wisdom was simple. Don’t play the victim: “Hard work wins. Nobody owes you a living. You get out of life what you put into it. And no matter how you work hard or how good you are, bad things will happen. How you react will tell me if and your mom raised a man.”

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. His latest book, “Dear Father, Dear Son,” was released on November 13, 2012. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


About geneb527

Retired, but still spending an inordinant amount of time thinking about all things big and small. I am proud to be a strong constitutional conservative. I am also proud to have been married over 56 years to my wonderful wife, Louise. I continue to be amazed that she has put up with me for such a long time, but have been happy that she decided to do so. "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not," warned Thomas Jefferson.
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One Response to The Monolithic Black Vote — and My Republican Dad

  1. 12thstreetjd says:

    There is a way out of this downturn for all of us, blacks and whites and those in between. However, this President and his cohorts appear to have no idea what to do. If the consumer represents 70% of your GDP, common sense tells you you should be looking for ways to put capital into the consumer’s hands. The problem of job creation can be dealt with successfully by adopting the following plan This is, A DEFICIT NEUTRAL JOB CREATION PLAN. Caution: Some Political courage is required! It can be done by putting money into hands of retiring baby boomers. Consumers account for 70% of our economic activity or GDP. You just simply change how Social Security checks are paid. Let boomers have partial distributions of their Social Security principal in the amount of $20,000.00 or $40,000.00 dollars, and issue them a monthly check on the remainder of their principal. Look, let’s say it takes $313,000.00 dollars in principal at 6.9% interest to send me a monthly Social Security check of $1800.00 dollars. So, I say to Social Security, I would like to have some of my money up front, say $40,000.00 dollars. Now pay me a monthly check on the remainder, which is in this instance $273,000.00 dollars, which amounts to a monthly check of $1569.00 dollars. That makes this plan (the Davis Plan) deficit neutral. It’s their money! Presenting the option of taking a partial distribution of your retirement principal is common practice in the private sector. Yet, the largest payer of pensions, the Social Security Trust Fund, does not do this at a time when it will benefit our economy the most. The impact of allowing partial distributions, would pull, this economy out of this downturn. BOOMERS ARE RETIRING AT A RATE OF 10,000 PER DAY, and continuing for the next 18 years! (at 66, they receive full benefit payments) 10,000 x $20,000.00 = $200,000,000. million dollars. That’s right! They will dump that amount into this faltering economy each day for the next 18 yrs. That amount in effect is really $400,000,000.00 million dollars per day because money handed directly to the consumer turns over 1 to 2 times. There are 68 to 72 million boomers. With $400,000,000. MILLION DOLLARS coursing through this economy every day, the downturn ends! Add the incentive of waived or reduced taxes on the first $20,000.00 dollars taken down from any retirement fund, including Social Security, and we have reduced taxes on everyone.
    James Davis

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