Stephen Kokx is a ConservtiveHome College Columnist winner. He studied Business Administration at Aquinas College and received a MA in Social Justice and Community Development from Loyola University Chicago.
The charge most frequently leveled against Republicans is not that they are unsympathetic toward the poor. George W. Bush, after all, is widely recognized across the ideological spectrum as a hero to those living with AIDS in Africa. What Republicans are largely mischaracterized as is that they are increasingly becoming a party of intolerant white males.
With the help of organizations like the NAACP, NOW and GLAAD, liberals have claimed the advocacy rights to the poor, oppressed and marginalized – often citing their efforts as those which are on the “right side of history.”
Paradoxically, however – as ascertained in Myron Magnet’s The Dream and the Nightmare – the “historical” revolution ushered in by 1960s radicals has had a devastating effect on minority populations and has resulted in more single mothers and food stamp recipients than any other time in our nation’s history.
To conservatives, the notion that liberal social policies lead to liberal fiscal policies is not new. But to many on the left, it’s a fact that often goes unmentioned. That’s why, in President Obama’s recent twitter town hall, I was shocked to hear him admit that “some welfare programs in the past were not well designed and in some cases did encourage dependency.”
How, then, can the far left continue to label conservatives as the party of exclusivity while Joe Biden is out threatening teamsters by telling them they’re on their own if they vote Republican?
The truth of the matter is that the Republican Party, fueled by traditional values and a belief that all people – even the unborn – possess dignity, has been the real party of equality, freedom and diversity over the past half century.
For instance, just take a look at the last three Republican Presidents.
In 1981, President Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor to serve as the first woman on the Supreme Court. President Bush the elder, in 1988, nominated Clearance Thomas, an African American (whose nomination was actually opposed by the NAACP), to serve on the Supreme Court as well. Then, in 2001, President Bush the younger appointed Colin Powell, also an African American, as the Secretary of State. And in 2005, Bush appointed Condoleezza Rice, the first African American woman to that same seat and Alberto Gonzales, a Hispanic, to serve as the Attorney General.
What is even more striking is that the “largely white” Tea Party helped usher in Nikki Haley, an Indian-American, to the Governorship of South Carolina; Susana Martinez, a Hispanic, to the Governorship of New Mexico; Marco Rubio, son of Cuban exiles, to the U.S. Senate in Florida; and Tim Scott and Allen West, both African Americans hailing from the deep south, to the United States Congress.
Democrats typically discount these gains among Republicans for one reason or another, preferring instead to resort to class warfare rhetoric that is often charged with racial undertones. Of course, it would be best if they ceased their class warfare attacks and sought out bipartisan solutions with Republicans like Paul Ryan so that future generations, especially minorities living in abject poverty, can inherit a brighter, debt-free country. But seeing how that is highly unlikely, the 2012 election is shaping up to be a paradigmatic moment in American politics.
Given President Obama’s evolving views on gay marriage and inability to produce a meaningful immigration bill in his first term, the Hispanic vote, with their socially conservative tendencies, presents an opportunity.
As Bill Kristol and Cal Thomas have already mentioned, Senator Rubio appears to be the best vice presidential option in this regard. The Republican National Convention is being held in Rubio’s home state of Florida and putting him on the ticket could help steer a significant portion of the fastest growing voting bloc in America into the Republican corner.
Following the tradition of those seeking high office, Rubio has decided to write a book. Perhaps this is a sign that he's at least preparing for the possibility of seeking higher office himself.
But is electing a young, rather inexperienced, Senator to the second-highest office in the country a wise choice for the American public?
This time around, it probably is.