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A Road Less Traveled Essay, Research Paper

The Road Less Traveled

The two main political parties in this century have contribute a great deal to the development of African-Americans. As America has develop so has African-Americans. Since politicians control everyday life, they can change history completely. In the upcoming state of America, African-Americans were at the lowest social status. But as time progressed, African-Americans obtained the opportunity of freedom, a new hope for ?life? that they never had experienced in this New World.

The Democratic and Republican Party has been the foremost political parties for the last two centuries. The Republican Party, which was founded by a coalition in 1854, changed history for America and African-Americans. The Republicans opposition to extending slavery into the Western territories made great dissension between the two foremost political parties. Lincoln, who was a prominent Republican, became president and proposed containment of slavery, but the Democratic Party had other plans dealing with this troublesome issue. Many authern Democrats had planations, so their slaves were vital to their life. The southern Democrats belived that the industrious north was trying to hurt them finiacial as they had did in the past. Later, these types of debates lead to a break out of Civil War. After this catastrophic event, many slaves clung to the Republican Party when they were freed. Robert L. Vann, publisher and editor of the Pittsbugh Courier said, ?[African Americans were offered options of ] between a party that gave them civil and political rights and a party whose stock-in-trade was racist demagoguery.? ( page 111) The Republican Party remained dominant throughout the late 1800?s and early 1900?s.

The Democratic Party can be trace back to a coalition in the 1790?s. This old party believed in local control and popular sovereign dealing with the spread of slavery. In congress laws were being pass in order to expand slavery terrioties to other regions of America. The Republicans has a contrast of ideas for they thought an expansion of slavery would destroy the ?backbone? of the United States. Increased southern demands for the protection of slavery drove to Civil War. The lost of the Confederacy lead to Reconstruction and a revamp of the South and the Democratic Party. The old Confedrate leaders were not allowed to run for future offices. Many new laws were enforced on the southern states so that they could never rebel against the Union or their country again. The Democratic Party did not regain power until ?The New Deal?.

As a new century awakened, so did a new Democratic Party awake. There was a change in political ideas by African-Americans dealing with political parties. ?The New Deal? was a massive and costly social reform started by Roosevelt to help the United States recover from a great depression. Some of these programs actually benefited African-Americans such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, Civil Works Adminstration, and the Social Security Act. There was an increase of outreach to the African-American community, and some social programs provided jobs for the poor (mostly minorities). African-Americans started to get a sense of being welcomed by the Democratic Party: ?the old ?pro-slavery? party? (page 2), says Valerie Burgher, a Howard University Student and author.

Political errors by the Republican Party cost them the ?black vote.? Their errors ranged from inconsiderate speeches to a lack of new benefitual policies for African-Americans. Increasing amounts of blacks were leaving the ?Lincoln? Party. African-Americans started to feel Republicans didn?t care about their personal issues. Robert L. Vann, publisher and editor of the Pittsburgh Courier retorted, ? My friends, go turn Lincoln?s picture to the wall. That debt has been paid in full!? (page 115) Republicans,in essence, were throwing away the ?black vote?. Loyal African-American Republicans were not mentioned, for the Republican Party started to seek white southern voters. Men such as Robert Moton, the successor of Booker T. Washington as president of the Tuskegee Institute, worked for Herbert Hoover. Many influential black newspaper remained faithfully conservative. ?And they had their reward: Hoover made no mention of blacks in his many addresses,? says Deroy Murdoch. ( page 199) There were no clear explanations for ignoring the African-American community?s voices. African-Americans migrated in droves during the late 1930?s to the Democratic Party; as a consequence, African-Americans started to find hope in the Democratic Party which started to notice them extremely more than the Republican Party at the time.

Several problems within the Republican Party in the 1970?s and 80?s caused a even more downfall for the Republican Party. Republicans had difficulties with changing their methods of getting minority voters. Republicans had poor communication with minority communities, disbeliefs in Affirmative Action, Civil Rights Bills vetoed by radical Republicans, and ?pay lip? service to the idea of reaching out to black votes. African-Americans were faced with certain personal issues, such as unfair treatment, wide spread unemployment, and a lack of proper education. Democrats started take African-Americans for granted ,and Republicans simply ignored African-Americans. Republicans were ?out of step? on key minority issues such as health care, gun control, affirmative action, racial profiling, and undeveloped public education systems. Countless African-Americans chose their political affiliation based on those latter things. J.C. Watts, Sr., father of Representative J.C. Watts, Jr. affirmed, ? A black man voting for the Republicans makes about as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.? (page 3) And Garry Sprauve alleged, ? Historically, the party has been for big business and for whites and has not made African-Americans feel welcome.? (page 5) Less than 20% of African-Americans identify themselves as Republicans because of the sense that African-Americans weren?t welcomed by this political party.

The ?new parties?, which evolved during the 1990?s, started addressing issues that mattered to African-Americans. The Republican Party finally awakened to see the ?black vote? as important and worth going after. Several programs set up to recruit minorities, especially African-Americans. Republicans spread their philosophy to all aspects of life. During the past seven years, some major Republicans speakers have targeted African-American communities such as President George W. Bush, Representive J.C. Watts, Jr., Sectartary of State Colon Powell, T. Sowell, A. Williams, Chairmen M. Racicot, and many more. G.W. Bush stated, ?? the Party of Lincoln hasn?t always carried the mantle of Lincoln.? This means that the Republican Party has not lived up to what Lincoln thought the party stood for. More and more African-Americans are distinguishing Lincoln as being a great man but not a Republican Which is why a type of alteration is necessary since Lincoln was a founding father of the Republican Party. Republicans started to try and appoint minorities in more political levels. Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Ragers said, ? The days are over with when one party [Democratic] took you [African-Americans] for granted and the other party [Republicans] simply ignored you.? ( Times Picyune) Republicans candidates started to issue forth minorities by being a part of their propaganda. Following the 2000 Republican Convention, the Republican Party spent over $1 million on radio advertisements targeting African-American voters. In New Orleans on April 18th. 2002 the Republican Party tried to recruit team leaders. ?Team leaders are responsible for helping spread the Republican message, using the opinion-editorial sections of newspapers, radio talk shows and other resources?, said Leslie Williams, a writer for the Times Picyune. Most African-Americans relate to Republicans on many social issues except some racial policies. In a survey, taken by U.S. News & World Report, found 75.8% of African-Americans favor school prayer, 73.4% favor $500 per child federal tax credit, and 72.6% favor ?3 strikes and you?re out? laws. This shows that the majority of African-Americans share the same ideas as mainstream Republicans. An attribute of the Democratic Party is that they commonly get the ?black vote,? but an overwhelming majority of African-Americans consider themselves conservative but not Republicans which show it is possible for the Republican Party to regain and take away the ?black vote? from the Democratic Party.

Democrats during the 1990?s benefited African-Americans greatly. One forth of African- Americans in on Democratic National Committee has an important affect in the African- American community. This ripple effect shows African-Americans that the Democrats believe blacks have much to offer to the development of the United States. African-Americans? ideas about certain issues are important and shouldn?t be ignored. Recent support of affirmative action, civil rights legislation, and gun control laws has led to a type of loyalty to the Democratic Party from the African-American communities throughout America since issues concerning African-Americans are being taken serious.

African Americans and the GOP are starting to establish even more connections but are still faced with difficulties. The GOP must now try to break this loyalty that the Democratic Party had gained, for the Republicans must admit their past wrongs of ignoring the African-American communities. Racicot, Chairmen of the Republican national Committee, said, ?we have not done as much as we could have to make certain that we are as open and as welcoming to?our African-American communities.? (Times Picyune) In a U.S. News & World Report less than 10% of African-Americans are registered Republicans. Numerous African-American Republicans are running for political offices and winning. More prominent ones are J.C. Watts,Jr. and G. Franks. A total of two black Republicans have been elected to represent Oklahoma and Connecticut on Capitol Hill, respectfully. Leslie Williams wrote, ?The philosophy of the Republican Party is self-help, economic development and entreneurship all issues from which black people benefit.? ( Times Picyune) More young educated African-Americans are observing the Republican Party as a voting option. In a recent survey 12% of blacks are considering registering as Republicans. ?These days, the right has a lot more to offer finically than the left, with think tanks willing to throw money are minority conservatives,? says Valerie Burgher, author of To Be Young, Republican, and Black.

Since African-American Republicans was not typical I commonly wondered who are the African-American Republicans? First, African-American Republicans are more likely to be younger. However, unlike the general electorate, they are not more likely to be male or from the more affluent classes of the African-American community. Second, African-American Republicans are surprisingly more likely to be found residing in Southern states as opposed to non-southern states. With regard to issues, the research indicated that African-American Republicans are less likely to view Social Welfare and Racial issues as the most important issue facing our nation. Moreover, they are more likely to support a limited role for the federal government with regard to improving the social and economic lives of African-Americans. Finally, African-American Republicans are more likely to hail from the ranks of the most religiously conservative groups. While there are not significant differences in the role of religion in the lives of African-American Democrats and Republicans, the latter?s moral issue preferences are significantly more conservative. The good news for the Republicans is that they seem to be attracting the greatest number of Republican identifiers from the ranks of the largest African-American populations, younger voters and those who live in the South. Moreover, conservative social issues, issues important to the most active base of the current Republican Party, are most important in the enlistment of African-American Republicans. The bad news is that the impact of these issues and demographic factors is quite limited on the probability of African-Americans identify with the Republican Party. Based on the various graphs and surveys observed, even African- Americans with the most conservative issue preferences and demographic characteristics have a small probability of identifying with the Republican Party. No more astonishing political error has ever been committed in the past century by the Republican party that the throwing way of the black vote which has had everlasting results. African-Americans who are Republicans is like taking a road less traveled.


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