The 2022 Primary Election season is in full swing. With the Alabama Primaries scheduled for May 24, Republican candidates are committing their time and spending their money to gain support from Alabama’s Republican voters, in an effort to become the Republican nominee for the 2022 General Election in November.
Except, maybe, for one or two Black Republican candidates, I would be very surprised if ANY other Republicans spend time campaigning in the Black community during the Primary season ─ asking for their votes.
The truth is that most Blacks have a lot in common with Conservative principles and the Republican Party message. These voters share the values of former slave turned statesman Frederick Douglass instead of those of Karl Marx, the poster child for white privilege.
Hence, Republicans need to step up their efforts to engage a key block of ignored voters during the Primary: African-Americans. To not solicit votes from this low-hanging fruit would be a huge opportunity lost.
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been told by Republican candidates and political strategists that campaigning in the Black community has a zero return on investment, especially during the Republican Primary. They believe emphatically that “going after the Black vote is a complete waste of time and money.”
This failing, closed-minded view of “campaign-avoidance” has become the GOP’s standard operating procedure for diversity engagement. Not campaigning in the Black community during the Republican Primary is a failing strategic direction. In fact, Republican candidates who employ this campaign strategy are known as “Turkey-Republicans” among Blacks. The phrase “Turkey-Republican” is a derogatory term that refers to a Republican candidate who is too hesitant to learn what works to campaign in the Black community.
It is thought that if a Republican candidate is able to win the Primary and get to the General Election in November (around Thanksgiving), only then will this Turkey-Republican make the effort to engage the Black community. Thus, the phrase “Turkey-Republican!”
The failure in NOT sowing any seeds of engagement during the Republican Primary means no candidate can expect to have any Black votes to harvest at the time of the General Election.
In my conversations with Republican political operatives, they often refer to a quote by the former Arizona senator and 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater to justify their strategy for the Republican Primary. Goldwater once told Republican campaigners to stop wasting time going after the declining Black vote. He advised them to, “Go hunting where the ducks are.” This meant campaigning to white voters.
Most Republican/Conservative political operatives advise their candidates to avoid campaigning in the Black community during the Primary and the results are predictable.
Instead, of “hunting for ducks,” candidates must become “fishers of men.” The phrase “fishers of men” was expressed by Jesus when He called two of His disciples, Simon Peter and Andrew, to follow Him. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
The thoughts behind “fishing” include knowledge about the fish you want to catch, what fishing gear to use, water and weather conditions, as well as the type of bait to use to attract the fish.
Just as you need to know what it takes to be fishermen, you also need to know what it takes to be “fishers of men.” Candidates must invest the time to understand the people they are engaging ─ in this case, the deep political perceptions that motivate African-Americans. You must know exactly what to say and how to say it to win the narrative ─ creating trust and credibility for yourself. Most importantly, you must know how to trump the race card.
To “go hunting where the ducks are” is a mindset that is deeply embedded in the flawed thinking of most Republican candidates and campaign strategists, leading to limited understanding and no solution to win the Black vote. This has resulted in a complete rejection and unwillingness to campaign in the Black community during the Republican Primary.
The moniker “Frederick Douglass Republican” is an oxymoron that fuels successful diversity engagement and ignites America’s passion for liberty, the missing elements of far too many Republican campaigns, until now!
Knowing how to employ the Frederick Douglass Republican Engagement Strategy™ makes all the difference in the world to gain the support of women, young people and especially Blacks.
Learn what works and do it! What are you waiting for?
A former member of President Trump’s Coalition Advisory Board, KCarl Smith is the President and CEO of KCarl Consulting Group, empowering freedom advocates with the confidence, knowledge and skills to trump the race card. His column appears every Thursday in 1819 News. To contact KCarl or request him for a speaking engagement go to http://kcarlinc.com/bookingsandfees. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].