December 28, 2009

Charter Schools: Why Republicans Can’t Make This Issue A Winner ......

Thats the answer that Vladimir posits a question to in a post at Redstate (the conservative blog that would swiftly ban me for this point of view...if they hadn't already). Vladimir asks a question that really should be examined by the GOP as a party and conservatives as a movement, namely why don't we make any headway with this issue with blacks? He points out....

The conservative solution is demonstrably the better solution. And it doesn’t take a generation to prove it. Republicans do a lot of hand wringing, trying to figure out how to make the Republican Party and conservative governance relevant to the minority community.  Charter schools are a way to do it without pandering.

I completely agree with the above statement. Nonetheless, conservatives get nowhere with the black community on this.  Commenters on the issue at Redstate respond with a variety of excuses: its because the constituency that benefits most (poor and working class urban blacks) are not swing voters, or the GOP is made up of moderates with no passion for the issue and some other equally lame ideas.

As is depressingly the case when talking about the GOP and blacks, everybody keeps ducking the real issue and consequently, it never gets addressed. Republicans make no traction with minority communities with charter school initiatives because as a party, the GOP has not made a decision that it considers blacks a necessary or essential political constituency to its aspirations for governance.

The political constituency that most benefits from pushing charter schools as a political strategy are urban, black voters and the GOP has demonstrated no true interest in making inroads with this group. The GOP would be hard pressed to reconcile its manifest disinterest in this group politically with an agressive effort to advance a charter school education agenda, because it would mean championing the interests of blacks.

The GOP certainly has the conservative platform from which to do this, with education and charter schools being an excellent launch point. But we get no value or traction from this excellent advantage we have because as a party, we have yet to decide that we are serious about engaging blacks as a political constituency. Its like fighting with one hand behind your back and its stupid.