Tea Party Alive And Well – And Influencing Blacks|
May 12, 2014
What’s all the crowing about regarding North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis’
victory in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary this week? I’m talking
about the crowing that this is some kind of defeat for the Tea Party.
Sure, Greg Brannon was the Tea Party candidate and endorsed by Rand Paul. And,
yes, the Republican establishment big names – including, of course, Mr.
Establishment, Karl Rove - came out and backed Tillis with endorsements and lots
But let’s not get carried away, folks. Tillis is an experienced politician with
solid limited government, pro-family, pro-life credentials. And Rand Paul
immediately threw his support behind him after the election.
If this is a Tea Party defeat, we should have more bad news like this.
Furthermore, the obsession with the Tea Party both within and outside of the
Republican Party could not be better proof of the profound impact this movement
is having on the country.
Many battles are fought in a war. And war theoreticians point to commitment to
the cause as a decisive factor in the quality of an army and how it fights.
The Tea Party is in good shape and has good reason to glean satisfaction that it
continues to impact the public debate in America in a meaningful way.
On this note, the new highly publicized Pew Research Center survey, showing that
Republicans have a notable edge in the upcoming mid-term congressional
elections, contains an interesting surprise, which I believe the Tea Party can
also take some credit for.
Although it is surely premature, to say the least, to suggest that blacks are
becoming Republicans, the data reported in the Pew survey shows a meaningful
shift in black opinion in this direction.
The survey asked which candidate for Congress you would vote for in your
district if the election were held today – “…would you LEAN more to the
Republican or the Democrat?”
Seventeen percent of blacks responded Republican and 77 percent responded
In the last mid-term congressional elections in 2010, 91 percent of blacks voted
Democrat and 9 percent voted Republican. The average of the last three mid-term
elections was about the same – 90 percent Democrat, 10 percent Republican.
Seventeen percent of blacks indicating intention to vote Republican is big news.
Maybe even bigger news in that this is the Congress, as these black voters well
know, that will be serving during Barack Obama’s last two years.
Blacks and the Tea Party are supposed to be like oil and water. They don’t mix.
But clearly this is not true.
I reported a few weeks ago that in a recent Pew survey about the Tea Party, 25
percent of blacks expressed a favorable opinion about the Tea Party – just 6
points less than the favorability rating among whites.
No, I am not hanging out any ‘Mission Accomplished” banners.
But those who have been working, in good faith, and against aggressive and
well-financed opposition, to help black Americans appreciate that their future
lies in the ideals of freedom, are starting to see results.
No Americans have suffered more from the improper use of government and abuse of
political power than black Americans. No Americans will benefit more from
reforms that will permit greater freedom and ownership than black Americans.
The Tea Party movement, which sprung up from the hearts, minds, and common sense
of regular working Americans to restore American greatness by refocusing on the
ideals of freedom, has touched everyone.
The fact that the message is reaching and beginning to touch black Americans is
good news for everyone – maybe most of all blacks themselves.
America is about fighting for freedom. It began with settlers fighting a foreign
empire. The struggle continued against slavery and racism.
The Tea Party is but the latest chapter.
Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal
and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based
public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle
Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do