The GOP’s African-American Problem

The more I think about it, the more I think the GOP’s going to pay a real and potentially long-lasting price for the discussion underway in Mississippi about race and party. So it’s the subject of my latest TPMCafe column out today.

I was particularly interested in this piece in isolating and highlighting the implicit argument of conservatives that the GOP was forbidden to reach out to minority voters on the basis of anything other than pure conservative ideology, lest either side of the bargain be corrupted by the suggestion government could do anything positive for them. To an amazing extent, Republicans seem to have forgotten (or want to forget) that the GOP’s conquest by the conservative movement at the same time the Democratic Party embraced civil rights laws and the Great Society programs radically reduced Republican support levels among African-Americans, and they really have never recovered. More of the same is not going to produce a comeback.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works —and how to make it work better. More than fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.


Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.