Outspoken conservative author and frequent Blaze guest David Horowitz believes he has an answer for why Republicans lose elections: the race consciousness and prejudice in America sowed by progressives has created a “racial Teflon” that protects Democrats.
Horowitz asserts that while leftist policies damage the very minority constituencies — “human shields” as he puts it – on which their political coalition relies, the racial Teflon the left has developed by disparaging their opponents as racists and bigots insulates them from paying a political price for the disastrous consequences of their policies.
In his new book, “Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left,” Horowitz writes:
No one [neither John McCain or Mitt Romney] would confront [President] Obama the way he deserved to be confronted [for his various policy failures], because he is black. Actually, Obama is half-black, raised by whites and one Indonesian–but no matter, since racist liberals have made the color of a person’s skin decisive. Because Obama is a man “of color,” no political figure will hold him to the standard to which others are held or confront him with his failures. Every Republican consultant will advise that this can’t be done. That is how race conscious and prejudiced America has become under the influence of Progressive ideas…
When all is said and done…racial Teflon is the reason Republicans lose elections. For what is true of Obama is true of the Democratic Party and progressives generally. They succeed in presenting themselves as the defenders of minorities, whom they use as human shields to protect their own vulnerabilities while they go on the offensive and portray their critics as racists. If conservatives are unable to repel and neutralize these squalid Democratic attacks, they can’t hold Democrats accountable. They can’t hold Obama accountable, and by extension they can’t hold any progressive accountable. Because this is how they fight.
The Left’s campaign narrative is always the same: We are the defenders of the underdog, the advocates of equality and fairness. If you attack us, you are really attacking minorities, women, children, and the poor. If you oppose us, you are racists–the people who supported segregation and lynching…Kathleen Sebelius…said exactly this about opponents of Obamacare, glossing over the fact that segregation, like slavery, was once a plank in the Democratic Party platform. [Link and emphasis Horowitz's]
But as the title of his book indicates, Horowitz has an action plan to counter this narrative:
Title: Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left
Author: David Horowitz
Any effective counterstrategy to these Democratic offensives must take the form of an attack. The attack must expose the Democrats’ hypocrisy, tarring their character in the same way and to the same degree that current Democratic attacks taint conservatives’. It must pack the emotional wallop that will neutralize the assaults…
How can believers in individual rights and free markets expose this charade and repel the attacks? How can they neutralize the slanders and show that it is actually conservatives who defend opportunity and independence for minorities and the poor, for working Americans and the middle class? How can conservatives turn the tables on the Left? It’s not rocket science: Turn their guns around. Fight fire with fire.
Remind people that in the real world, progressives make the lives of poor and minority Americans worse–much worse. Shove this fact in their faces every time you open your mouth to speak. Here is the mantra: In every inner city, the selfish exploiters of the poor are Democrats, progressives, and so-called liberals, and they have been for fifty to a hundred years. Democrats fatten themselves on the votes of the poor while blocking their opportunities for a better life.
Echoing in many ways the arguments of Jason Riley’s “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed” (top quotes here and author interview here), Horowitz bolsters his argument by citing a number of examples of the negative effects of progressive policies, from the dramatic decline of Detroit, to pervasive black and Hispanic unemployment under Presient Obama, to the sacking of former Washington D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty, who fought to reform the city’s public schools with great effect — only to lose his seat in large part due to attacks from unions and others on the left.
Summarizing the argument that Horowitz believes needs to be put forth in order to turn the tide against the left, the author writes:
The winning strategy is this: Attack the Democrats and progressives for their war against minorities and the poor. Use the same morally infused language that they do. Expose their empty promises and their hypocrisy. Subvert their message by focusing relentlessly on their betrayal of the very people they pretend to support. In attacking Democrats as enemies of minorities and the poor, conservatives will show that they care what happens to minorities and the poor. This will put the Democrats on the defensive and neutralize their malicious attacks…
The winning strategy is this: Attack the Democrats…for their war against minorities and the poor
Going negative is important…But people also need hope, and they are looking for change…the positives should highlight the negatives. Positive proposals should spotlight the way progressive policies specifically hurt minorities, working Americans, and the poor…
Even if [initial reform campaigns don't] win on the first or second offering, it will still change the perceptions of everyone in politics. Conservatives will no longer be seen as defenders of the rich but as defenders of principles and policies that benefit minorities and the poor, along with everyone else. And progressives will be seen as oppressors. If campaigns like this are conducted correctly, they will change not only the way conservatives frame their message but the political landscape and the prospects for the nation’s future.
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