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Why @large?


Over the weekend, I got this in my e-mail from someone named Bill…

This is crazy. You don’t feel uncomfortable playing the Democrats game of racial politics. Why not a meeting for white conservatives as well. Aren’t they the heart of conservatism?

Bill was, of course, protesting the fact that we at the Hayride are helping to organize @large, the conference for black conservatives which is taking place in Baton Rouge May 30-31.

We’ve discussed @large previously on this site here and here. Most of our readers don’t need the long version of what it is. It’s a two-day gathering for folks who would like to do something about the fact that the black community, which is scandalously poorly served by the Democrat Party and has been pretty much since that party’s inception, votes Democrat in a more or less monopoly fashion.

Our theory is this is so largely because the Republican Party does a singularly poor job of asking black people for their votes. The GOP sincerely does want to fix the current 93-7 deficit it has in the black community, a deficit so pronounced that the Romney campaign went without a single vote in lots of black-dominated precincts in places like Cleveland and Philadelphia last year without even challenging the vote totals for fraud and/or suppression, but right now it struggles to get the white vote much less made headway with the black vote.

But because the GOP doesn’t know how to fix this problem we think maybe an independent approach might prove effective. Our theory is, we want to empower and inspire black conservatives to fix it from the ground up. We think that if we spend some time training folks who recognize the damage Democrat policies and governance do to the black community – their community – and giving them some resources to question the establishment, we might begin to move the needle.

Black districts vote Democrat for lots of reasons. One main reason is that Republicans aren’t going to win those districts when they don’t offer candidates in them, or when they don’t give support to the candidates who do run.

And since this hasn’t been done in a very long time, the GOP has no organization, no machine, in the black community.

It’s time to build one – or more to the point, it’s time to build lots of them.

So what we hope is that folks will come to @large with an eye toward maybe running for office back home in Tupelo, or Cape Girardeau, or Winston-Salem or Toledo, and get inspired by some of the best speakers the conservative movement has to offer – a C.L. Bryant, a Star Parker, a K. Carl Smith, a Bill Marcy, a Dr. Tim Johnson or a Deneen Borelli – and then pick up valuable training on how to run a campaign back home from…

  • Jason Hebert, who’s one of the brightest up-and-coming political consultants in America, on campaign organization;
  • Jeff Landry, a former congressman and current president of Restore Our Republic PAC, on fundraising;
  • Pastor Shannon Wright, a Democrat-turned-Republican political activist and author and once and future candidate, on Get-Out-The-Vote operations; and
  • Anita Moncrief, a former ACORN leader-turned-whistleblower who helped take down that organization, on community activism and The Permanent Campaign;

…that they’ll be armed with a good fundamental base on how to play the long game and build a political organization which can make a difference. Maybe not this year or next year or the next election cycle – but with some persistence and effort, over time those organizations can make that 93-7 number more like 73-27, or 63-37, or even 43-57.

Understand, of course, that even if the number never gets beyond 73-27 the Democrats are finished. They can’t win elections without the status quo in the black community remaining set in stone.

And 73-27 is realistic. Under any definition of accountability, the Democrats don’t merit 93 percent of the black vote. Their policies are disastrous in the black community.

Detroit isn’t what it is because black people have run Detroit for a long time. Detroit is what it is because Democrats have used that city as their political playground and laboratory for decades. Democrats have destroyed Detroit, just as they destroyed Chicago, St. Louis, Newark, Cleveland, Philadelphia and lots of other cities – and just as they’re destroying the whole state of California now. That’s not a race thing, it’s a policy thing.

And as it happens, black people know it.

Polls indicate the black community isn’t on board with the Left’s policies, regardless of how often they might vote for Democrat candidates – because, again, Republicans don’t even ask for black votes. And on issue after issue there is ground to be gained in the black community. At @large, attendees will see provocative and candid explorations of many of these in workshops by…

  • Tom Borelli, who’s an expert on energy and economics, to discuss how Democrat policies have slowed the rise of Black America into the middle class;
  • Ryan Bomberger, one of the best speakers you can see on the damage the Left’s abortion policies have done to the black community;
  • Eric Lewis, whose presentation on school choice is nothing short of electric; and
  • Someone else we can’t name just yet on how gun control policies put black families and households in criminals’ crosshairs.

And along the way, our attendees will be networking with people who hold the key to accessing fairly significant resources – organizational, financial and otherwise – for building campaigns and effective advocacy and activism.

We’re even building in a fun surprise we can’t talk about just yet that will make, we think, a little bit of national news.

Will this conference move the needle all by itself? No. What we hope is that this will make enough of a splash that others will emulate it, and also that when we come back next year for @large Round Two, we can make an even bigger splash with a longer program, more speakers and more attendees. And that the work we do here might empower a few of our attendees to go forth, surprise the competition and get elected. And we’ll start all over again each year, fighting for every inch of what’s now enemy territory.

Bill’s question is a good one, though – why play Democrat racial politics?

Well, when you’re getting beat 93-7 it’s time to recognize that the other guy is doing something right. Is identity politics of the brand demonstrated by Democrats evil and destructive? You bet your sweet bippy it is. For all the excrement the Left feeds us about how GOP “Southern Strategy” is responsible for polarizing and dividing American politics on racial lines, it’s Democrats who use race on a constant basis to get elected.

Race, and racism, is the mother’s milk of left-wing politics. If it wasn’t, you’d be able to criticize the President the same way every one of his predecessors was criticized without some cretin coming along and calling you a racist. If it wasn’t, you’d be able to, say, oppose Obamacare without some cretin coming along and, lacking the stones to call you a racist, accuse you of pandering to people who might be.

And they wouldn’t be doing it unless they had evidence it works. The Democrats wouldn’t invest as much rhetorical capital as they do in making every white Republican out to be a racist and every black Republican out to be an Uncle Tom unless they felt, and they do, that it’s their best strategy.

You can’t destroy this reality unless you recognize it and actively work to dismantle it. So that’s what we’re doing. We’re going to work to develop so many outspoken, aggressive conservative voices in the black community that the Democrats can’t Uncle Tom all of them. Not that they won’t try.

But it’s like Gandhi, who was a completely overrated historical figure but once in a while came up with a good turn of phrase, said: First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you and then you win.

And as for a meeting of white conservatives, there are lots of those. We’re here trying to address a specific problem. Maybe one day we’ll be working on something more general, but it takes little steps to lead to giant leaps.

Incidentally, if you’re not of Bill’s attitude and you’d like to see this thing succeed, we’d really like your help. At the @large website, you’ll see a place where you can register to attend the conference, which is something anyone is welcome to do (you don’t need to be black to come by any means), and you’ll also see a place where you can donate to help make it happen. Small donations, large donations – this is very much a startup project at present, and we can use all the help we can get.

Also, please feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and tell your friends about it as well.


1 Comment

  1. Randy Hebert says:

    Sounds like a workable idea. Good luck!

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