Nuggets of Wisdom

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why African Americans Vote Democrat

Lately, the following Lyndon B. Johnson quote has been spreading across social media faster than the Zika virus: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

The implication, of course, is that this is the alleged political strategy used by Republicans to garner the “racist” white vote. The irony, however, is that LBJ, who was an actual racist who opposed the Civil Rights Act, was also infamous for saying this: “These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference... I'll have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.”

Ever since LBJ, Democrats have used his very strategy to garner the African American vote, promising them government programs and policies that would allegedly help them. More than half a century later, those very same Democratic policies have done more harm than good for the African American community—and yet they remain loyal to the political party that have done them that very harm.

Black conservative columnist Thomas Sowell had previously elucidated how Democratic policies, which were paved with good intentions, managed to pave the road to hell for African Americans: rent control has kept blacks homeless, minimum wage has left them unemployed, affirmative action has turned many into college dropouts, and gun control has turned many into victims of gun violence. As Sowell laments, "Many liberal ideas about race sound plausible, and it is understandable that these ideas might have been attractive 50 years ago. What is not understandable is how so many liberals can blindly ignore 50 years of evidence to the contrary since then."

Actually, it’s very understandable: Democrats have long since convinced African Americans to vote against their own best interests by supporting Democratic politicians that pretend to support their best interests; and when their policies fail to live up to their promises, those same politicians point their fingers at the Republicans and blame them for their mess. Democrats are literally rich white people telling poor black people that other white people are to blame for their misery. This tactic has worked since LBJ, and it very well could work for another two hundred years.