Towns admits that the GOP can’t win over black and Hispanic voters by preaching the party line of limited government, low taxes, individual responsibility and opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.
But also credit him for being an idealist.
Instead of appealing to the head, instead of explaining ad nauseum the tenets of conservatism, the ordained preacher has declared that Republicans will “have to go after the heart,” he told AL.com. It is a noble aspiration.
How, asked John Anzalone, a Democratic political consultant and pollster, can Republicans reach the heart of people they have demonized as moochers, people who they have advocated building fences to keep out, people whose president (and his wife) they deride with personal attacks and insults?
The GOP needs to make friends with blacks and Hispanics when so many political careers in this state have been built on not only opposing programs and policies that would make life better for blacks and Hispanics, but by calling into question the motives of the people who favor those policies and who make use of those programs.
How does the GOP make friends with blacks and Hispanics and at the same time attack “their” president?
A good example of how the GOP’s anti-Obama strategy does not resonate among black and Hispanic voters is how Towns intends to use the president’s statement about people not having to change their insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Here, the director of minority outreach declares, is an opportunity to attack the president’s character and paint him as a liar. The problem with this approach is that some of the people the GOP is trying to reach never had health insurance in the first place, unless it was Medicaid, which Gov. Robert Bentley will not expand to help more poor people — many of whom are black and Hispanic.
There is much to be said for encouraging people to get out of what Republicans call government dependency, but the GOP must offer more than pious platitudes. It is easy to tell people to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, but it does little good if they have no bootstraps to pull on.
By opposing programs that help minorities to lead a better life, to pursue the American dream, and by insulting people who use those programs, the GOP does touch the hearts of blacks and Hispanics. Just not the way Troy Towns hopes.