10 Things Republicans SHOULD Learn from Senator Rand Paul at Howard University
Senator Rand Paul is certainly making noise in the Republican Party. When I heard he would be giving a Liberty and Civil Rights speech at the historically Black Howard University, my first instinct was to pray for him. (REALLY) Second I thought, I wonder if he'll step on the stage with his chest out, full of confidence or a shell of himself under the pressure of political correctness.
Senator Rand Paul did not disappoint. Instead of quoting Senator Paul word for word, I would like to culturalize my top 10 highlights of his speech.
- SHOW UP!
- YOU WON'T WIN BASHING OBAMA! Senator Paul only mentioned Barack Obama once and that was to make a joke where policy, not Obama, was the punchline. Plus, if all we can do is blame Obama then how can we complain when all they can do is blame Bush. The focus of attack should focus on people and not the politicians.
- At the beginning of the speech Senator Paul says "African American" a lot. As a public speaker, I contend this was probably to get a feel of the crowd and the gauge the response of your message. But, as he gets more comfortable every thing becomes "Blacks" or "Black Americans". START THERE! When we talk amongst ourselves, we never use the phrase "African American".
- Senator Paul laid out an impressive history of the Republican Party and its role in the Emancipation of Blacks and the Civil Rights movement. He hit the nail on the head, however, when he asked what have you done for me lately. And that's the truth. If the only thing you can offer someone is a recounting of history and no modern day "accomplishment", then you deserve to hear that question. We don't want a population that judges all America for its racist past but we use the same reasoning to invite them into the Republican party.
- The Republican Party began losing the Black vote during The Great Depression. Why? Again, Senator Paul hit the nail on the head. The Republican Party was focused on Civil Rights and Equality but wasn't paying attention to the economic independence Black Americans were so desperately seeking. The reverse is true now. The Democrats are focused on class warfare, race warfare, and gender warfare. Why aren't the Republicans swooping in and selling the economic independence of Capitalism. History tends to repeat itself. (HINT HINT)
- Democrats love to use "The Kids" as a ploy to mark Republicans and Conservatives as heartless and detached. How do you approach this problem? Take it head on. One steadfast and sure fire way is to address the issue of school choice. Senator Paul spoke of the issue not in terms of teachers, unions, and pentions but the individual success of the children. "LOOK INTO THESE CHILDREN'S FACES" should be a line on all Republican tongues. Democrats are failing them and until the day we can convice people to value their children more than they value party alligences, we'll have an impossible battle.
- Many people oppose my constant meshing of Hip Hop and politics. Senator Paul provided me with response that may better answer your question. I don't really care what the old gaurd has to say about my new battle tactics. Some in the Republican party, some on my side of the isle, and both Democrats and Republicans were all "code words" that mean the new conservatives in the party aren't playing by the old, out dated establishment rules.
- Two men use drugs in their youth. One from prominent white family and one from a mixed single parent home. Both become President of the United States of America. Obama and Bush. Ususally, you get into a race discussion or a discussion on the legalization of drugs but what about the idea of "weighting one's future on one mistake". Senator Paul raised the question in terms of the justice system and the "War on Drugs" but what about the war on Capitalism? A lot of prominant blacks have been through the trifecta; the Socialism of growing up in Democratic bastions, the destructive Capialism of the street corner, and the creative Capitalism of sports, musics, movies, medicine, and every other category. WE did not let our past stop us and WE shouldn't stop reaching out to those with a past.
- Senator Paul offered a great explanation to the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Of course, he spoke of Civil Liberties and Freedom, two of my favorite subjects, but he also spoke about the weapons on each side of the war. Democrats offer tangible weapons and Republicans offer the materials to build your own weapons. Democrats offer you a house, food, healthcare, and free cell phones and we offer Free Markets and Supply and Demand. Democrats are sexier, so to speak. Unless, of course, you can hand someone a blank book and say "you write where you want to live, what you want to eat, what kind of care you want to have, and what brand of cell phone you want to buy. As a politician, that's none of my business." This won't work on everybody, some people are perfectly fit to be Democrats, but it will work on people who want to be left alone by government.
- On the issue of race itself, Senator Rand Paul made a statement totally ignored by both sides of the isle and among all the power brokers in political leadership; "I didn't grow up under Jim Crow. I went to school with whites, blacks, and hispanics. We all got along." The age of the race baiters is dying out. As the baby boomers, who hold Civil Rights as the mark of their age, die and are replaced with Americans who never experienced segregated schools, having to sit on the back of the bus, or drinking from seperate water fountains; we can begin to reshape the message of race in America. Yes we see color but we won't be ruled by it.