Earl Hutchinson of the Huffington Post says that Jeb Bush played the race card when he said Democrats buy African Americans votes with free stuff. Bush was asked about Republicans chances of gaining more of the African American vote when he said “our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff.” Was Bush’s comment a racial slur designed to win over racists whites or just a statement of reality? Let us look at history for the answer.
African Americans had voted solidly for the Republican Party since the end of the Civil War. This was a natural reaction to the fact that Republicans freed the slaves and passed the 13th 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. This pattern continued until the 1930’s. At this time the Democrats were still the party of segregation and the KKK. FDR even appointed a KKK member to the Supreme Court. So what motivated Blacks to support them? The New Deal. The system of Government jobs programs and welfare and social security drew their support. After 1936 no Republican candidate for President received over 40% of the African American vote.
The Democrats continued to oppose all Republican civil rights legislation until 1960’s. It was then that President Johnson realized that Democrats could gain the African American vote for good. Combining their change of tune on civil rights and their expansion of the welfare state with Medicaid and Medicare Democrats have received the overwhelming majority of the African American vote.
That is the the history but what about today? If the economic benefits the Democrats dole out aren’t the reason African Americans vote Democrat what policy is? The Democrats support of higher minimum wage laws leads to higher unemployment among the young and unskilled. The black youth unemployment rate is over 50% today. Democrats support for unlimited immigration doesn’t help African Americans, it leads to less jobs and lower wages for them. Liberals energy policies lead to higher energy prices which disproportionately affects African Americans. The Democrats oppose school choice despite the fact that the majority of African Americans support it. Most Blacks agree with Republicans on the social issues like gay marriage. Despite all of this they still vote Democrat. Even Hutchinson said in his article that the GOP nominee will receive only a negligible amount of the Black vote. Why?
People on Government assistance have been shown to vote overwhelmingly Democratic. A Maxwell Poll survey on the political affiliation of those receiving Government aid showed for example that 81% of those in public housing vote Democrat while 63% of those on welfare vote Democrat. This explains why the Obama Administration pushed an expensive new entitlement program while all the other entitlements are going bankrupt, removed work requirements for welfare and why there are more people on food stamps now than there were during the recession.
Jeb Bush was only explaining the reality Republicans face in appealing to African Americans. People will not support something they believe goes against their interests. The truth cannot be an insult but it could set African Americans free from the Democrat plantation.