Denounced by liberal icon Jesse Jackson as the “suburban wing of the Democratic Party, ” the Democratic Leadership Council ( DLC ) was created in 1985 to (shhh!) woo White voters away from Republicans.
Its enviable zenith was electing Bill Clinton twice to the White House by offering Whites moderate policies while drawing majority shares of a stalemated liberal Black base.
The rise of President Obama seems to have ended its relevance. It officially closed its doors in 2011 and offers a GOP scrambling for diversity a valuable case study.
Republican reformers claim that the party needs more non-Whites in order to be competitive. The DLC won on the opposite premise.
Their centrist appeal aimed at White independents and conservative Reagan Democrats who were painting states red alongside straight-ticket Republican voters.
I’m curious to see how far Republicans will go to make their brand of conservatism appealing to hardcore liberal constituencies like American Blacks and, as of the last election, Latinos.
Appealing to the super-energized Ron Paul Republican libertarian youth movement seems a better bet. While cosmetics are nice, at day’s end, White Republicans and liberal American Blacks have found few reasons to unite.
American Blacks are individually choosing to be Republicans based upon shared values. This centrist and conservative demographic stands in stark contrast to Democrat peers who want more government in our lives.
That’s not a dynamic that even the much vaunted Heritage Foundation nor the RNC can alter. American Blacks must weigh liberal policy and conclude ourselves that it’s worthless.
I could be wrong, and a hitherto unseen army of new Jack Kemps could cheerfully march across America re-connecting the moribund GOP/Black alliance.
That would be a very welcome development- but unlikely. Latinos will likely be the outreach target given their more recent record of voting Republican for George W. Bush.
While not holding my breath for that day, nor for large numbers of American Blacks kissing liberalism goodbye, I do suggest that GOP planners study the demise of the centrist Democrat Leadership Council closely.
There are game-changing lessons waiting to be learned.
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