Monday, October 26, 2015
By Raynard Jackson
My friends sometimes jokingly refer to me as the John the Baptist of the Republican Party.
John the Baptist, who was an itinerant preacher in the days of Jesus Christ, is one of the most historic religious figures the world has ever known. He constantly warned his people to repent of their sins because the Messiah’s, Jesus Christ, appearance was imminent.
People thought he was crazy because he kept preaching and preaching and preaching about the coming messiah until Jesus finally appeared on the scene; and John the Baptist’s prophecy was quickly forgotten.
Likewise, I have been preaching and preaching and preaching about the need for the Republican Party to become serious about getting more Blacks involved in the party.
But instead of imploring my party to get ready for the coming “messiah,” I have been preaching about the coming diversity of the American population; thus the necessity of not relying only on the White vote to win elections, especially during presidential cycles.
Many of my followers think I have simply been wasting my time for decades and that the Republican Party will never get serious about the Black community.
As with John the Baptist, many also think I am a madman and have lost my mind; but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Giving up would have been the easy thing to do; but I have always been reminded that dreamers possess great powers untold; they build worlds that others cannot see.
For the first time in decades, deep down inside, I see that a change is gonna come.
I am currently in the midst of travelling across the country meeting with Black entrepreneurs, Hollywood actors, and major music artists about a major project that I will announce next month.
Many Black entrepreneurs feel simply left out of the political game all together. The Democratic Party is anathema to many of these businessmen on issues like government regulations, minimum wage, Obamacare, access to capital; many in Black Hollywood are becoming increasingly concerned with the extreme left-leaning turn of the images coming out of Hollywood regarding “values;” there is also an increasingly vocal movement against the lyrics being promoted within Hip-Hop/R&B.
Republicans constantly assert that they don’t know who these Blacks are and were not aware that they are already in synch with our values on a myriad of issues. Well, they will no longer have that as an excuse.
I will deliver these individuals to the party to begin cultivating some type of relationship to explore the possibility of forming some basis of moving forward on issues of mutual concern.
Of all the decades I have been preaching the gospel of inclusion, I have never seen the Black community so ripe with a desire for engagement with the Republican Party.
One only need look at the pathologies in every Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member’s district to understand why. Every conceivable economic or values index in these districts are well above the national average of worst indices: unemployment, crime, drugs, murder, pregnancy, school dropouts, etc.
The Black community is already in sync with the party philosophically and politically; the question is does the Republican Party really want a relationship with the Black community or do they simply want to continue to use our community as a wedge issue?
One of the main reason Blacks constantly vote again their own interests is that the Republican Party does not make the Black community feel like they are welcomed within their party.
If the party wants a relationship with the Black community, they have to send a strong signal that the party is looking long term and are willing to indicate that with specific actions.
Our congressional leadership must invite these businessmen to sit at the table with them and their staffs to discuss issues like: reducing or abolishing capital gains taxes as a means of stimulating small business growth, accelerated depreciation, access to capital, Obamacare, and foreign taxes; they must invite Blacks in Hollywood to discuss with them the role of negative, violent images and its impact on the culture of violence that is pronounced within the Black community; they must invite Hip-Hop/R&B artists to discuss copyright protection of their intellectual property (their music) and the need to end the raunchy lyrics in our pop culture.
Remember, the goal is not to make them Republicans; but rather to get them to work with us on specific issues that we all can agree on.
If we can do this, I will no longer be called the one who is crying in the wilderness; but rather the one who is now crying for joy.
Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC is an internationally recognized political consulting, government affairs, and PR firm based in Washington, DC. Jackson is an internationally recognized radio talk show host and TV commentator. He has coined the phrase “straticist.” As a straticist, he has merged strategic planning with public relations. Visit his website at: www.raynardjackson.com.