Is Thomas Sowell right?

Although the anonymity of the internet is a huge problem when it comes to children and the internet (I’m thinking of sexual predators), I think it has a real virtue in the area of political blogging. People reveal what they feel is relevant about themselves for purposes of supporting any given position they take. Thus, you all know that I’m Jewish, a parent, a lawyer, wishy-washy about abortion, hostile to the media, etc. When you comment, I learn about your race, religion, lifestyle, etc., if you want to volunteer that information. I know many of my regular visitors are Christian or Jewish, young or old, male or female, although there are many visitors who leave great comments about whom I know nothing.

One of the things I don’t know is whether I have any African-American visitors. This fact occurred to me today when I read Thomas Sowell’s column stating his belief that Republican party policies would serve the average African-American better than do Democratic party policies. For example:

Most blacks are working people and taxpayers, who are not benefiting from the welfare state programs of the Democrats or from affirmative action. Many live in places where they are more likely than whites to become victims of the violent criminals that liberal judges turn loose and liberal governors pardon.

Blacks are also more likely to gain from vouchers that would enable them to pull their children out of failing public schools and give them a chance to get a decent education in a safer environment. Democrats cannot give them that because of the enormous influence of the teachers’ unions within the Democratic party. Since the teachers’ unions contribute millions of dollars to the Democrats, only Republicans are free to support vouchers.

Violent crime is another social problem that hits blacks especially hard. In some years, there are more blacks than whites murdered in absolute numbers. However, even in high-crime neighborhoods, most people are not criminals, but are more likely to be victims of crime. That is especially true of black ghettos. In some of these neighborhoods, the probability that a young black man will be killed is greater than the probability that an American soldier would be killed in World War II.

What do the Democrats have to offer? Aside from liberal judges who are forever finding flimsy excuses for turning criminals loose, the Democrats offer “crime prevention” programs that prevent nothing, except for preventing the criminal from being put behind bars. Nothing has a proven track record of preventing crime like locking up criminals. But liberal Democrats are forever seeking “alternatives to incarceration.”

Much of what Sowell says makes sense to me, yet African-Americans in huge numbers support the Democrats. From my position as a white American, I can make intellectual guesses about what seems to me to be an illogical voting pattern (closely related to the Jews’ obsession with the Democrats and fear of Republicans). I really don’t have any sense, though, whether Sowell is correct that Republicans are better for blacks (as I think they are for Jews), or whether there is something I’m missing in the African-American experience, aside from tradition, that makes the Democrats the only viable party. You’re all free to weigh in here but, on the off chance that I have African-American visitors, I’d be especially interested in your point of view.

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  • JJ

    Never understood it. What have democrats done to actually help – as opposed to lip service? Walter Williams agrees absolutely with Thomas Sowell.

    Consider some democrat history:

    They were on the wrong side in the Civil War

    George Wallace, Bull Connor, al those classic cornpone racist southern senators – all democrats

    The majority leader in the Senate was, for a number of years, an ex-Klansman (our pal Byrd)

    LBJ started civil rights legislation when he got into the White House – after twenty years of evidencing zero interest in the matter when he ran the Senate. Had JFK not been shot, would LBJ ever have cared at all?

    The democrat party, led by such luminaries as Byrd and Al Gore’s father filibustered endlessly against LBJ’s civil rights legislation; that legislation was passed by solid republican voting

    FDR – famous democrat – appointed Hugo Black to the Court in 1937, and Black of course was an Alabama Klansman

    Reagan, a republican, extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years – Carter didn’t

    GW Bush, a republican, has recently further extended it – Clinton didn’t

    GW Bush, republican, appointed the first blacks to major cabinet posts, both male and female – Clinton with all his BS about a cabinet that “looked like America” didn’t

    Reagan – republican, made Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday – Carter didn’t

    The senior democrat in the Senate remains that same retired Grand Kleagle, Byrd

    Maybe I’m disqualified from the discussion because I’ve not lived the experience, but as a matter of logic, I don’t understand it any better than Williams or Sowell do.

  • Ymarsakar

    I’m surprised you don’t see the connections, Book. Blacks are suffering the same problems and due to the same mechanisms, as Palestinians are under the PLO.

    Propaganda, tribal politics and identity, along with intimidation and social ostracization. Add in a bit of “mythology” and “hero worship”, historic revivionism, and you get a fanatically loyal population of cannon fodder.

    The tricks of the trade have been present for millenium. Probably ever since the Greeks came up with something called a “demagogue”.

    The science of psychological manipulation (or art if you prefer) has become more advanced and powerful with the onset of the 21st century, not less.

    Neo NeoCon has a post about this as well, an example of a black crypto conservative.

    My point is this. Mind over matter is real, when there is a will there is a way is true, and propaganda and psychological warfare creates its own reality. People make fun of mind over matter as being some kind of voodoo superstition practiced by kooks and gurus, believed in by Hollywood, but I don’t believe I am talking about the same things as what Hollywood believes in. Mind over matter is a philosophical principle that is not a whim or a hobby or some frivolous ideology. It is real, as much as a tsunami is real when it crushes the life out of people.

    When you obtain enough of an infrastructure and ability at propaganda and psychological warfare, the “facts” historically no longer matter. As it no longer matters to the Palestinians when they push their children to jihad. As it no longer mattered to the Japanese whether their entire country would be demolished because they never believed that their gods would fail them. Belief, especially by a large number of humans, creates its own reality. This is why the military version of winning hearts and minds is diametrically different from the Democrat version of the same name.

    Why do African Americans vote Democrat? Because voting for a Republican is dishonorable and shameful. Their families will be attacked by blacks if they become a “traitor” to their race. Just as Palestinians execute Palestinian informants that inform the IDF. They will kill you because that is the only way to extirpate the shame. If you diss them, they will decapitate you.

    Remember the term oreo? Black on the outside, white on the inside. It’s about loyalty, loyalty to an ideology, loyalty to a race. Human beings have never operated on the principles of honesty and logic and mutual benefit, they have always operated on the principles of hate, rage, distrust, and tribal loyalties.

    It has little to do with what benefits blacks or whites or whatever. It has almost everything to do with perceptions. If you can change people’s perceptions, and make it dishonorable and shameful to vote Republican, then it doesn’t matter what the facts are. Control a person’s heart, and it doesn’t matterwhat his brain tells him to do.

    There’s something else about the Canadian terror cell that was captured, that most people don’t talk about.

    I recall a black squadron in WWII, that was manned by black volunteers. They were segregated in the military. While a Nazi prisoner could use the bathroom of a white and eat at the same counter as a white, a black American had to go somewhere else. Was this fair? No. How did the blacks make it more fair, did they talk about being blaming oreos and fighting the white oppression by aiding the enemy? No, they joined the air force and fought for all of America. Because they believed, that you can’t get something for nothing, you can’t benefit yourself if you aren’t willing to do the right thing for everyone including your country. Their loyalty was not to race, not to tribe, but to to their countryman and their nation. This bought them respect, the military was desegregated a decade before the civilians allowed it. Because the military saw the bravery and sacrifice of African Americans and they corrected the injustice.

    Now, what is the Democrat’s position on blacks being in the military, do they want more blacks? No, the Democrats want less blacks, they advocate that blacks join the military because blacks can’t find jobs. Will they find jobs under Democrat power? Did they in New Orleans?

    The Democrat’s propaganda apparatus may not be as good as the propaganda of Palestine and the Arabs, but it is quite good enough given Republican counter-(in)competence at formulating counter-propaganda. Democrats do everything correctly to make people believe that they have the best interests of blacks and minorities. Only few individuals can see past the facade, and it is easiest for individuals who understand how to manipulate people through psychological and human emotions. Clinton understood it quite well, and I understand Clinton.

  • Kevin

    One can also ask why Jews vote overwhelmingly for Democrats when it’s the Republicans who consistantly support Israel over the Palestinians (i.e. Jordanians?) Bookworm blogged on this some time back and some of the reasons were very enlightening, albeit depressing.

    To offer an example that may be helpful, my father was a Naval officer (typically a rather conservative bunch) and even though he holds morally conservative views (honesty, integrity, respect for our country) he’s (*gasp*) a Democrat–and VOTES THAT WAY!!! I asked him why and he said it was because his father (a union steel worker) was, so basically, it’s because of the way he was raised. If I remember correctly, that was also one of the reasons for many of the Jewish Democrats.

  • Ymarsakar

    Naval officers are not in the same league as Marine officers. You can’t get any more conservative and Jacksonian than the Marine Corps.

    There are liberal Jews in Israel too. The ones that say peace is the course with Palestinians. Can you imagine a sizable percentage of Americans giving mercy to the enemy after suffering the same percentage of fatalities that Israel has suffered? Some political identitifes are formed during childhood, but there is also such a thing as a national identity that can supersede political identity.

  • jg

    Bookworm, you are saying the ghetto continues?? with the political subservience of blacks to the Democratic party!

    I do know that much black media have deliberately ignored the elegant figure (seen yesterday on TV in gray silk with pearls, I think) of Condi Rice.

    She represents a very powerful example that the Left/Dems would rather extinguish. That standard is the essential American belief that the best should govern. Not by reason of race, or gender, or background; but by virtue of moral character, intellect and training, devotion to country.

    She is all that, a graceful first among firsts, with a record and reputation forever denied to lesser female powermovers, be they Oprah or Martha.

    Secretary Rice quite often represents the face of America to much of the outside world. As with Iraq and the outstanding record of our multi-raced military, Secretary Rice is NOT just an ‘African-‘American figure. She is simply America, at its best.

  • Heather

    Example: Kanye West gets on live TV, and says that Bush hates black people and is sending soldiers to shoot them. I’m sorry to say it, but as ridiculous as it sounds, a lot of (uneducated) people believe that sort of thing. I know – I have been around a lot of uneducated people, black and white. That statement of West’s did incalculable damage among lower income black Americans.