Friday, May 25, 2007

How To Re-Populate Detroit: New Strategies for Conservatives by Akindele Akinyemi


I have been reading the news this week and I have heard from leading conservative analysts that we are seeing something new and powerful emerging: We are seeing the beginning of a three-way split in American politics among Old TimeRepublicans who do not understand change is needed, a leftwing grassroots machine that wants to impose the wrong changes, and those Democrats, Republicans and Independents who understand that Detroit is truly being challenged by historic forces and that we must find real solutions large enough to meet those challenges.

Let me begin with the patterns of power in Detroit that convinced me there is a new power structure on the left. There is an emerging alliance of leftwing activists and union leaders that will change the pattern of politics and government. These groups have worked together before, of course, but never before have they been this well funded, this well organized, and this determined to impose their will on the City of Detroit.

Their strategy isn't to work collaboratively with all Detroiters to develop solutions to the challenges that threaten our future. Their strategy is to work together as a machine to mutually benefit themselves -- at the expense of the Detroiters. They want to impose their leftwing agenda from the top down. And their tactic isn't to encourage debate, it's to stifle it.
If the 2006 mid-term elections taught us anything, it's that "Old Time Republicans" are no match for this leftwing machine.

Who are the "Old Time Republicans"? They are those in the Republican Party who don't recognize the need for large-scale urban solutions to deal with challenges of the aging baby boomers or the unending effort to drive God out of the public square. If the leftwing intimidation machine here in Detroit believes in the wrong changes, Old Time Republicans don't believe in much change at all. But business as usual isn't what our party or our country needs.

The City of Detroit wants real change when it sees bureaucracies failing as they have in New Orleans, failing to control the crime, failing by graduating only one out of every five entering freshmen in the Detroit Public Schools on time, failing in the Michigan prison system that potentially may have to release a large number of convicted criminals before serving their full sentences, and failing to win in the economic sectors.
Detroit wants its values defended on issues such as English as the official language of government, teaching American history, and protecting the right to say "one nation under God" as part of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Old Time Republicans fail to offer real leadership on both implementation effectiveness and on successfully defending classic American values.

The leftwing machine here in Detroit actually wants the wrong changes.

For real change in both our politics and our policy, a third coalition will have to emerge: Detroiters who know we need change and who understand that standing around and doing nothing will fail and that the left actually wants the wrong changes. I believe there are thousands of these Detroiters, in fact a vast majority, who want the values of classic American civilization and the solutions necessary for our country to successfully win the future.
Here at One Network we have supporters who are Republicans, Democrats and Independents who have had enough of negative, trivial politics and pork-barrel-payoff governing. Their real allegiance isn't to any political party but to the belief that we can and should be doing much more to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren.

One Network supporters believe in entrepreneurs, productivity, the power of technology and innovation to transform our healthcare and our retirement, and the traditional American values of hard work, optimism and acknowledgement of the self-evident truth that our rights come from God.

The goal of this organization I have co-founded is to be the political and educational home of those Americans who know success for our country and for our children and grandchildren will require real solutions to our challenges. Our Network will spend the next seven months developing real solutions to challenges such as health care, educational choices, securing our borders, fighting adult illiteracy in our community, economic development and protecting our national security.
Last week brought even more evidence of an emerging leftwing machine of powerful unions and leftwing activists -- aided and abetted, at times, by activist judges.
For example:

In Detroit, the City Council originally voted against a policy to have Wayne County Sheriffs to patrol city buses. The reason? Fear of regionalization. The Council re-voted to have the Wayne County Sheriffs on the buses.
Who was the ring leader of preventing Wayne County Sheriffs on city buses? Jo Ann Watson.
In California, an attempt to ease dangerous overcrowding in state prisons by transferring inmates to other states was blocked by the powerful prison guard union. Even though a judge has threatened to begin releasing criminals back onto the street if the overcrowding isn't eased, the union found a state judge to rule against the transfer plan. So the leftwing machine -- in this case the unions, allied legislators in Sacramento and activist judges -- would prefer to see criminals released back into communities, threatening innocent citizens rather than have prison guards lose some overtime pay.

And finally, leftwing activists, whose disdain for the Fox News Network knows no bounds, succeeded in intimidating the Congressional Black Caucus into canceling a Democratic presidential debate to be broadcast on Fox in August. The desire of the leftwing machine to oppose Fox evidently outweighs their desire to have open and honest debate.

These are just a few examples of this leftwing machine, but they illustrate how large a threat this machine represents.

The leftwing grassroots machine isn't merely an example of governmental failure or incompetence. Like any greased machine, the leftwing grassroots machine actually functions quite well, and therein lies its danger. The culture of political payoff and mutual benefit that defines the leftwing machine serve many powerful political interests. And they will not be defeated by business-as-usual, Old Time Republicans.

If Republicans are going to continue the same old thing with the same old social conservative message then the leftwing machine here in Detroit will roll right over the Old Time Republicans.

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