Where is the multiracial GOP going? | The American Conservative
Black voters in Georgia have no reason to take Republican officials at their word.
I have nothing to add to the conversation about Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver in response to a bill recently passed by Georgian lawmakers and signed by state governor Brian Kemp has been. The arguments of the pro-baseball commissioner (whom I will not name, according to a practice generally reserved for school shooters and other terrorists) are incoherent. I expect something like this to continue to happen, just as I expect I will continue to be one of the 50 or so non-Septuagenarians alive who watch baseball on television.
One question that I find more interesting than these meta-debates is the legislation itself. What it actually prescribes (with the same piece of paper you need to buy a six-pack or board a plane) and prohibit (drinks to voters to distribute) is less important than the very real strategy behind it.
There is no point in parting. Republicans in Georgia are reacting to the loss of two Senate seats and the results of the last presidential election by trying to undo the electoral advantages granted to their opponents through universal postal votes and other changes. In particular, they hope to dismantle the remarkably efficient Stacey Abrams turnout machine, who dismissed too many of them as unfortunate fools after insisting that their own defeat in the 2018 gubernatorial election was due to widespread irregularities.
If 2020 showed us anything, Abrams was right to insist that the Democrats would be able to win nationwide office in Georgia if the conditions on the ground changed. In response, Republicans have chosen to live up to their established public image by passing laws that (whatever their proponents say otherwise) are straightforwardly designed to suppress the African-American electorate who will ultimately be responsible for their losses in the Herbst was responsible.
Whether it succeeds is less important than what it tells us about the nature and scope of Republican ambitions. Here I should say that I have no naive opinions about the value of the franchise or the metaphysical dignity of participating in what is affectionately referred to as “our democratic process”. But it seems strange to me that, after months of talking about Trump’s extraordinary accomplishments, Republicans would effectively turn down their own advice on this with black and Hispanic voters.
It’s a thing too say that the future of the GOP is a “multiethnic, multicultural working class party”. It is another thing to act as if you expected it and another thing to still act to make you wish it. As far as I can tell, most elected Republican officials in Georgia have absolutely no interest in attracting African American voters who tend to agree with them on social issues ranging from abortion to same-sex marriage to gun rights. Instead of trying to compete with the new Abrams machine By reaching out to marginalized communities (especially black voters in rural areas) and forming the kind of broad coalitions that require nationwide victories when the turnout is high, Georgia Republicans would rather lose black votes on their own familiar terms .
That is why I am not blaming the vast majority of black voters in Georgia and elsewhere for refusing to take the GOP at its word. “We would prefer you sit out on election day because you forgot to change your driver’s license or because you had to work and had better things to do with your life than filling out some online forms. However, if you vote in any way, feel free to think about this coalition that does not want to make ideological concessions to your priorities! “Is not a promising overture.
Republicans may consider themselves a party of the working class, but as the party of white America, and especially white men, they are understood by most of the country (including what I at least implicitly think most GOP voters are). No number of speaking positions for football legends at the RNC or (canceled) CPAC engagements for Soundcloud rappers will change that perception. The same goes for catchphrases and memos that are ignored by party staff and the grassroots. (I wonder how many Georgian voters have even heard of the breed Platinum plan, for example).
What a conservative machine policy that woos black and other minority voters would look like is a difficult question. It’s also one that Republicans might be expected to be more concerned about than, say, the good name of Derek Chauvin, given all the rhetoric we’re used to hearing.
Matthew Walther is editor of The lamp Magazine and a contributing editor at The American Conservative.
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