On ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell caused a stir in conservative circles with his statement that he still sees a “dark vein” of intolerance within the GOP, as well as other aspects of the country. While I don’t necessary appreciate how he goes about his critique of Republican Party politics, on a number of issues. I will defend him by asking all conservatives how we can say, in all honesty, that he is not to a certain degree correct?
I’ve gone on record on numerous occasions pointing out the self-righteous hypocrisy of the left, who speaks insufferably of their “tolerant goodness” while they defend policies of the Democratic Party that screw over black Americans on a regular basis, and are in fact racist in result. But simply because these things happen to be true, and that Republicans currently have no real power to affect change in black communities, we conservatives cannot ignore the racism in our own circles.
Can any of us say that we haven’t had conversation, or come across online comments or tweets (on a daily basis) from fellow conservatives that cause us to cringe and are nothing less than hateful? While ours is not a pro-active form of racism, we have in our midst those who, be it from pure ignorance or having been alienated by the corrosive nature of the national discourse, take a “Godfather” (the movie) attitude of “they are animals anyway, so let them lose their souls.” You’ve seen it and I’ve seen it, we are lying to ourselves should we deny it.
For those who fit into the latter category, it is incumbent upon conservatives of pure heart (which I honestly believe is the vast majority of our movement) to challenge their viewpoint, and point out the forces that benefit from a divided America and are the true enemy of brotherhood. For the sincerely ignorant, I see we have no other recourse but to turn our back on them, and let it be known our movement has no place for them. We must do so primarily because it is the moral thing to do, but also because these elements are a hindrance in our attempts to chart a conservative direction for our nation’s future. Liberals like George Stephanopoulos will never grow tired of playing racial politics, hand-wringing moderates like Powell (and numerous white Republicans) will acquiesce out of fear and find themselves on the defense, while many true black conservatives will feel it necessary to enhance their ideological bona-fides by marginalizing themselves to pointing out Al Sharpton’s racism or rattling off black-on-black crime statistics. All of this distracts us from a succinct attack on the dangers of government infringement on self-determination, much to the delight of the liberal-Progressive.
In further defense of Colin Powell, he was baited by Stephanopoulos on a quote he made about the GOP over two years ago, and he did attempt to navigate to a broader sense of intolerance and social inequality, noting the progress of America as a whole. That said, I do reproach Powell for his lack of clarity on the differences between conservative and liberal direction, and the undeniable truth that the Democratic Party’s Great Society programs have a disproportionately negative impact on the black family and economics of the inner-city. As much as conservatives need deal with the aforementioned streak of intolerance within our circles, it pales in comparison to the damaging result of liberal programs which have increased the black single-parent household from 24 percent in 1965 to the 70 percent levels we see today. The Progressive left need also answer for their celebration of abortion, which disproportionately is now rendered on black and Latino mothers-to-be (69 percent of all American abortions), including the chilling fact that more black infants are aborted each year in New York City than are born. Add to this the devastatingly inept management of inner-city public schools (which Democrats control with little or no competition) and job-crippling local economic policies in urban centers and one wonders why Powell’s self-proclaimed Republicanism does not find cause to point out these facts when they are posed to him.
Simply because we conservatives can rightfully take comfort in the knowledge that as a party we do not profit from the reversal of black progress, as do our Democratic Party opponents, it does not negate the work we have to do within our own movement. Nor does it absolve us of the responsibility of ensuring that a conservative direction can and will be of benefit to all Americans. My defense of Colin Powell should be in no way interpreted as a surrender of charting a course toward a more conservative GOP. Rather they should serve as a rallying cry to not only engage African-Americans and the inner-cities in a discussion about the repercussions of Democratic Party hegemony, but the benefits of Republican Party ideas on education, job creation, welfare reform and family. Maintaining control of the black American vote and the subsequent race baiting of Republicans is all liberals really have left in their political arsenal. By purging ourselves of negative elements within our circles, we can once again lay claim to the mantle of the “party of Lincoln.” When we can rightfully make this claim, not only will we begin to break the Democratic Party “Maginot Line” that is the black vote, we will be worthy of it. And we will also be worthy to take our rightful place as the undisputed leaders of America’s renewal.
Opinion by Paul M Winters
Managing Editor, Dignitas News Service