Bristol Palin says that Stephen A. Smith has it right when he declares that for one election cycle, every black person should vote Republican. She says that when you listen to his logic, it “just makes sense.” Tricks to get large groups to swap parties, without a solid political reason, aren’t exactly uncommon, but the logic Smith and Palin are employing here is mind-boggling.
Here’s Stephen A.’s idea, initially published by Breitbart.
Currently, the majority of black voters vote for Democrats. He believes this demonstrates that the average black person would never vote Republican, leaving both parties’ candidates thinking they needn’t make an effort for the black vote, since it’s unchangeable. Thus, neither party will do anything that would benefit the black voter, and black people suffer with no politicians meeting their needs.
Bristol Palin thinks this is brilliant — that it will “upset the apple-cart” and show politicians that things “aren’t the way they have always been.”
Presumably, the fact that it might sway the next presidential election in favor of a Republican candidate is not even on her agenda.
It doesn’t seem to cross Palin’s mind that perhaps the reason the black vote largely goes to Democratic candidates isn’t because, as she suggests, people assume that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 demonstrates that Democrats are pro-civil rights.
She seems not to have considered that it might be due to Republican leaders making references to black people as lazy, and openly admitting to trying to suppress the black vote.
Palin seems not to have considered whether a Republican leader posting racist images on Facebook might turn black people away from the Republican party. Montanafesto has a screenshot of just that: one county’s Republican leader posted an image on her Facebook page, depicting a box trap with a watermelon inside and suggesting it would be an effective way to capture President Obama.
Perhaps Palin and Smith also failed to recognize that both parties already make policies that affect black voters — and that these voters base their decisions not on one 1964 law, but on numerous policies being discussed today. These range from non-discrimination laws to voter ID laws to laws affecting the social safety net.
Bristol Palin and Stephen A. Smith seem to think that if black voters turn their votes to a Republican candidate, Republican candidates will begin to espouse values they currently decry, and Democratic candidates will scramble to re-earn the black vote. If Republican candidates were interested in the black (and minority in general) vote, though, it seems they’d already campaign on issues to benefit minority voters. At the moment, their stances on stop-and-frisk laws (NY Times reports that in a 2013 debate, GOP candidates shrugged off constitutionality of such laws and their inequal application), on voter ID laws (that have been shown to more heavily affect minorities), and on non-discrimination laws.
Stephen A. Smith and Bristol Palin have one thing right though: if in the next election, all black voters handed their votes to the Republican candidate, it sure would upset the apple-cart.
[Photo by:Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images]