Marvin Rogers challenges the GOPs "conspiracy of silence"

Black Republicans, while a smart part of the contemporary GOP, have drawn more than their fair share of attention as many Republicans seek to break the strangehold the Democrats hold over black voters. In South Carolina, two who have drawn considerable attention are RNC committeeman Glenn McCall and First District congressional nominee Tim Scott.

A lot of books written by political VIPs tend to focus on their views and experiences. Books written by Republicans from non-traditional GOP groups usually follow in those footsteps, but Rogers takes a more thoughtful approach in his book, focusing more on the broader issues, political identification in the black community, and the history of voter loyalties among black voters. It's not a terribly long book, but one which is well-written. It runs light on the kind of editorializing which most books of this genre engage in, putting a stronger focus upon "just the facts" so the reader can get the information they need and form their own conclusions. 

The Blogland has long been supportive of the Republican Party becoming more inclusive. Towards that end, we've argued that the biggest challenges are often symbolic ones, and challenged the GOP to consider how it presents itself. This is one of the more notable points in Rogers' book. For voters who have come to see the GOP as a threat to the civil and economic progress made in the black community since the 1950s, challenging these perceptions are important to building the party's credibility.

He observes that the two parties are often focused upon the same issues, believing that "rampant crime, floundering schools, terrorism, poverty and a moribund economy are enemies to us all". However, he argues that while the GOP often is focused on issues of concern to black voters, they often fail to connect with them on those issues.

Without that credibility, effective persusasion is impossible and the Democratic strangehold remains a fact of life - and a major stumbling block to building a lasting GOP majority. Rogers suggests that this often is due to the GOP writing off black voters, or simply engaging them in short-lived election year tactics which come across as insincere:

When candidates show up on election year, they're communicating their election agendas. When candidates show up in the same communities on non-election years, they are conveying their hearts; this is the terrain where aggrandized politicians become public servants in the eyes of the people.

Rogers discusses the first two "eras" of black voter trends in the United States have lasted roughly seven decades: the first being the post-Civil War era, where the overwhelming majority of black voters were Republicans until the 1930s. The second, the current post-Depression trend of heavily favoring Democrats, continues today. The factors which drove the first one faded, and Rogers suggests the underlying factors which drove the second one are fading as well, and such loyalties largely survive because Republicans have failed to present a constructive alternative which recognizes present realities and presents viable alternatives, which he calls "a conspriacy of silence".

For those enterprising Republicans who seek to get a better understanding of what is at the root of the current stand-off with black voters and want to begin realigning these political relationships, Rogers' book is well-written, challenging, and definitely worth reading.

1 Response to "Marvin Rogers challenges the GOPs "conspiracy of silence""

  1. Anonymous 22/7/10 09:44
    Marvin's debut book, Silence Makes the Loudest Sound, can be ordered here!

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