Cain and GOP Can't 'DeBrainwash' Blacks

New America Media | 10/5/2011, 11:50 a.m.
This week, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain dredged up the stock GOP racial attack canard...

This week, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain dredged up the stock GOP racial attack canard that blacks are brainwashed into blindly backing the Democrats. Pat Robertson wasted no time in jumping in and agreeing with Cain. He added the other stock GOP hit piece that the Democrats practice a modern day form of plantationaism by keeping the black vote in perpetual lock down mode.

Cain and Robertson's point is that blacks have supposedly been so one dimensional in backing the Democrats that they are blind to the fact that the Democrats for the past nearly six decades have promised blacks everything, and delivered almost nothing.

Blacks still have the highest failed public schools, unemployment, poverty, mortality, and incarceration rates. The Congressional Black Caucus have certainly not been shy about prodding President Obama in the past year to do more, much more, to combat the colossal program of black joblessness and poverty.

But they can do that and know that they'll still get a listen from Obama and the Democrats. Blacks know that the same can't be said of the GOP.

The GOP's long, blatant, and infuriating history of racial exclusion, neglect and race baiting, and polarization has insured that the door remains tightly slammed to any kind of dissent or complaint or appeals from blacks to address their issues. Endless foot-in-the-mouth, racially-insulting gaffes, racially-loaded campaign ads by Republican officials and politicians, and the refusal by mainstream GOP leaders to loudly condemn them, ignore, downplay, or worse defend them hasn't helped.

The endless racist taunts, mockery, depictions, and ridicule of President Obama has been a textbook example of how a party that claims to want to break the clamp that the Democrats have on the black vote does everything to ensure that the Democratic clamp is even tighter.

Cain doesn't help his case for de-brainwashing blacks. His positions on the issues are well-known: federal taxes and government services (virtually none), labor unions (further weaken their power), health care reform law (repeal it), Social Security and Medicare (massive privatization), education, (vouchers, school choice), and financial reform (calls it "deform" and says we should untie corporations' hands).

For the majority of African-Americans, working class, and poor, this would ensure even more poverty, need, and even speedier erosion of their hard won gains of the past two decades. It doesn't take brainwashing to realize this. This is pure, pragmatic self-interest, and that's the driving force of politics.

Despite the shots they take at the Democrats for taking them and their vote for granted, most blacks still look to them to fight the tough battles for health care, greater funding for education and jobs, voting rights protections, affirmative action, and against racial discrimination. And then there is their retrograde nominees to the Supreme Court appointments -- Clarence Thomas being the Gold standard of proof of that -- that would roll back the civil rights clock, and peck away at affirmative action, civil rights and civil liberties protections.

The GOP understands the fundamental political axiom that self-interest rules politics as well, if not better, than the Democrats. Party leaders have long known that blue collar white voters, especially male voters, can be easily aroused to vote and shout loudly on the emotional wedge issues; abortion, family values, anti-gay marriage and tax cuts.