The Grand Old Party is at it again. They are still trying to kill Michael Steele because he is different. They hate the fact that he is trying to bring the party into the 21st century. My advice to Michael Steele is stop apologizing to these ignorant Christians/conservative activists who cannot even begin to figure out why there is a steep decline in church worship. Maybe they need to figure out why their congregation is leaving not just the party but the church as a whole.
While the religious right-wing of the party thinks social issues are the issue of the day take a look at this:
CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Feb. 18-19, 2009. N=1,046 adults nationwide.
"How important is it to you that the President and Congress deal with each of the following issues in the next year?
The economy - 70%
Terrorism - 51%
Education - 48%
Health Care - 41%
Social conservative issues such as stem cell research was at 17%.
CBS News/New York Times Poll. Jan. 11-15, 2009. N=1,112 adults nationwide.
The economy - 60%
Moral values - 3%
Pew Research Center survey. Jan. 7-11, 2009. N=1,503 adults nationwide.
"Right now, which is more important for President-elect Obama to focus on: domestic policy or foreign policy?"
Domestic Policy - 71%
Foreign Policy - 11%
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 47% trust Democrats more on the economy, while 40% trust the Republican Party more.
Despite some strong opposition to his recent decisions on the economy, President Obama still earns positive ratings on his handling of the situation from 51% of voters nationwide.
The Democrats continue to hold double-digit leads on the issues of health care, education, and government ethics and corruption.
The reason why I am pointing all of this out is because we have no plan. We have no agenda. It is ridiculous for Democrats to continue to run in traditional conservative areas as pro-gun and pro-life and win elections. Meanwhile, the GOP are still afraid to go into traditional pro-union, inner city areas. So when Michael Steele wants to appeal to the hip-hop crowd (which he should do) he gets scorned by other Black Republicans and mainstream conservatives.
The GOP not only have abandoned the inner cities but also have abandoned the college campuses. Now, students are being taught if God really exists on college campuses across America. The campuses are so liberal that we have no balanced perspective from undergraduate to graduate school. Between the Democrats controlling entertainment (another area we have abandoned), K-16 education and the inner cities and the decline of people going to church we have a very serious problem and Michael Steele is NOT the problem.
The problem is we still have people clinging on to the old ways of the party. We are hoping that Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater will come up from the grave and put things they way it was back in the 60s and 80s. Leave these people alone. They are dead. They are not coming back. Therefore, you need another approach to the situation.
A GOP urban agenda fused with urban conservative ideology is necessary to build trust within the inner cities of America. Urban conservatism has removed itself from individualism to communalism. If you think communalism is socialism then you do not have a clue what family development is or how families operate. There is a big difference.
Family is a huge element of urban conservatism. If social conservatives are so obsessed with abortion and gay marriage then where is the outcry from these same people who have witnessed the destruction of the Black family. Here is the problem. Social conservatives point to failed liberal policies that destroyed the Black family. I'm with you on that. You poke fun at the Black woman on welfare. As a Christian FIRST did it ever occur to you that the woman you are poking fun at on welfare could have been your mother?
We need to utilize our non-profit organizations and faith based organizations to capacity to deal with this crisis. We cry to be pro-life but we stop at the importance of life with babies. What about the strivingof life PERIOD by putting the gun down and embracing you fellow man and woman. All people deserve to live and we should have a message about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Domestic abuse is a severe crisis in ALL communities. I do not see the right wing religious folks o the GOP even speaking out against that. Yet, we cry for the life. I don't think beating your man or woman shows any signs of life.
It is the job of urban conservatives to create a silver rights movement to correct the wrong. We are about wealth creation through education and family. A GOP urban agenda should not be solely stuck on social items but also policy items that we can lobby for and discuss in focus groups in our local communities.
The beauty of urban conservatism is it deals with the person not just the person's issues. Urban does not mean Black. It means those who live in the demographic of a particular area. This means Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians and other groups can be considered urban conservatives. We live in the inner cities or communities that are dominated by minorities who have concerns about the quality of life.
Urban conservatism is also connected globally not just domestically. Just like Asians and Indians connect globally urbanites should connect globally as well. For Blacks who consider themselves urban conservatives we should do business educationally and economically across the Diaspora.
But to bring the point home this is a time to rebuild and reconsider some of our positions. Change is good for the better.
Education should be the driving force for the GOP today after Congress pulling the plug on vouchers for inner-city children. The next thing Obama is going to do is give additional funding for charter schools that unionize. What ever happened to the free market?
The economic stimulus bill is bad according to the GOP. So what is the alternative? Cut programs that people need including your family? I have yet to hear a serious alternative to the economic crisis from the GOP. Oh, I forgot we are more interested in Rush vs Steele debates.
Some things to think about if we want to push a GOP urban policy agenda.
Green technology and environmental issues. This is important to discuss because environmental injustice occurs in most inner cities. In Southwest Detroit people have breathing problems because of the pollution levels down there. For mainstream conservatives to think that environmental issues are for liberals and you drink well water tells me that you do not think.
Green jobs are a billion dollar industry that we are not taking advantage of. An environmentally sustainable Detroit brings with it the prospect of economic benefits and good jobs: green collar jobs. For sustainability to generate widespread prosperity, a green collar job must be more than simply a job in an environmental field. Green collar jobs must provide family sustaining wages, safe working conditions, and chances for advancement.
Bolster Energy Distribution Systems. Ensure that our existing energy distribution systems are adequately maintained and upgraded to prevent future blackouts and secure public safety. Make certain that the inner cities maintains its competitive edge by ensuring a consistent and reliable power supply. Promote distributive sources of energy by enabling their access to the grid.
Develop Transit Alternatives. Increase mobility, job access, and transportation and reduce congestion, environmental toxins, and waste by investing in effective multimodal networks including bicycle, mass transit, and non-polluting vehicles.
Education. We should always strive for improving traditional, charter, homeschooling and private education from a free-market perspective. I'm clueless on why the GOP is silent on this issue. Our goal for education in urban America is to increase academic achievement and equip our children for the future. This focus is critical to our success as a city and a region. In
order to ensure a strong future for urban America, we must connect residents
with high quality education and training opportunities that will allow them to compete
for jobs in the emerging economic sectors.
Lowering Insurance Rates. This includes lowering the premium of car insurance rates as well as elimination of redlining.
Improving Urban Health Care. Urbanites must become leaders in the fight for the health and well-being of families living in impoverished communities.
Improving Public Safety in Urban Communities. The current economic climate, the availability of guns and drugs, and abandoned properties have a negative impact on public safety in urban America. Crime reports and the perception of unsafe city streets deter new investors from locating in the city, new residents from living in the city, as well as discourage existing residents and businesses from staying. Every citizen, commuter, business owner and visitor should be able to feel safe while they are in their community and should expect top-notch police, fire and emergency medical services. In order for this to happen, we must recognize the root causes of crime, the condition of our neighborhoods, the health of our community and utilize all resources available to us.
International Development: Detroit’s location, transportation infrastructure and
public-private partnerships make it an ideal location for international companies
to invest, have their U.S. headquarters and serve as an entry point to the Midwest
and Canada. This is why we need to utilize our Port Authority.
Rebuild the Inner Cities Workforce: Key to the success of the any urban community is the success of its residents. As we work to transform the inner cities economy, support emerging economies and attract new investment, we must have a workforce that is capable of meeting the demands of the jobs that are available now and the jobs of the future.
Investing in Urban America's neighborhoods: A GOP urban agenda should also outline the need to create neighborhoods where people choose to live, businesses choose to locate and people choose to visit. We should work with lawmakers and community organizers to help rebuild all neighborhoods by addressing their weaknesses and building on their strengths. This includes removing blight from our neighborhoods, rehabilitate housing stock and brownfields, support neighborhood retail and develop new ways to reuse vacant land.
Investing in Urban Infrastructure: Like many of America’s established and historic cities, urban America's infrastructure is aging, yet still crucial to the quality of life and economic vitality of the entire region and the nation. Fixing urban transportation infrastructure before investing in new areas will support
urban economies, minimize sprawl and help the inner cities reach its goal of becoming a sustainable community, while ensuring the safety of our residents and commuters. In addition, urban utilities support the economic health of a region, provide for basic needs of residents, and lessen the impact of natural and man-made disasters.
Housing Policies: Rather than concentrate poor families in a few square blocks, local, state and federal housing policy must aim to create neighborhoods of choice that give urban residents access to functioning markets, attractive amenities, good schools and other essentials of community life. To this end, federal programs should expand housing opportunities for moderate- and middle-class families in cities and close-in suburbs, create more affordable, "workforce" housing near job centers, and give low-income renters the opportunity to move to areas with high performing schools.
Silver Rights: Another element to any urban policy is financial education. This leads to equip children with the knowledge and skills to become economically self-reliant citizens and empowers them to break the cycle of poverty. April has been declared Financial Literacy Month by Congress. The need to make this more than a slogan is especially apparent this year with unemployment on the rise. Silver rights is what fuels urban conservatism.
Women: Part of an GOP urban agenda is our women. Our women have issues that must be addressed including breast cancer, domestic violence, rape and incest and single-parenting. While women are part of the solution in our party men still hold an advantage over them in core leadership roles.
If I was Michael Steele I would embrace silver rights through urban conservatism as a platform and stop wasting my time with Rush Limbaugh and others who are trying to destroy the party with their nutty ideas. In fact, and GOP activist who want to salvage the party and move into a new direction should embrace this platform.