Dangerous (to the Democrat Party) American “Sleeper-Cells”
In North Texas, conservative African American voters, a small but growing chorus of them, are finding their voice and their message. Even more exciting, they are talking about how that message can be conveyed, so it will be heard, contemplated and embraced.
On Tuesday I attended the monthly meeting of the African American Republican Club of Collin County (AARCCC), headed by President Angela Tucker. Ms. Tucker is a lawyer and also a candidate for State District Court Judge. The club’s website includes a Mission Statement and Club Goal that warms the conservative heart.
Linda Olden-Smith, Dallas area rising star black conservative political activist, and author, was the speaker for this February 21st meeting. She spoke about how to engage liberals and Democrats in conversation about conservative, Republican ideas. Her communication expertise, developed over the 12 years she has worked as a successful mediator, was evident as she spoke about communication strategies to avoid unpleasant verbal altercations over political differences, while still holding your ground on your beliefs. She referred to herself as the “Angela Davis of the conservative party”—a line that hints at her passion and her humor.
Fast Facts About Feasible Communication strategies when sharing your Republican Ideas (with liberals, Democrats, strangers and friends):
- One of her most heartening messages about why Republicans of all backgrounds should be able and willing to share our ideas is because, as she put it, “Truth is on our side.” She spoke of Republican values as based in the Bible, on a constant or consistent principle, and provable. She asked if conservatives ever feel the need to “argue” about whether the sun will come up tomorrow. She urged the same level of calm confidence in our political values as we have in the certainty that the sun will rise tomorrow.
- Republicans tend to be persuaded by facts, so we think that if we just lay out the facts clearly, our work is done, and we expect liberals to just jump on the bandwagon with us. But, as many of us have learned, explaining, preaching and even screeching at liberals does not persuade. So she offered analogies and examples of more persuasive communication methods.
- Remember the Farmer and how he grows his crops. He plants his seed, covers it with soil, waters the ground a bit, and walks away. He trusts the seed will grow without his standing over it. She made the analogy to planting a seed of a right idea in the thought of a liberal, and walking away and letting it grow. Periodic check-ins to weed, re-water etc. are needed for crops and people, but trust that the seed of truth has been planted. Let Truth do the work.
- When you lead a donkey to water---why can’t you make him drink? Because he is not thirsty at that time, because he doesn’t want to drink where you tell him, because he doesn’t want to drink in front of you, because he doesn’t want his donkey-friends to see him drinking out of a different watering hole, or because he doesn’t trust your intentions about why you brought him to this water. Show him the water, and now he knows it is there. As Linda said “Give that donkey the space to contemplate, on his own, the truth you planted.”
- Olden–Smith’s considerable mediation experience informs her views of how to have successful political conversations with those who do not agree with her. She advises that if you have engaged a liberal in conversation, follow his or her lead. Restate what he or she said, in very similar words, so you are sure of what he/she is saying. “So what I hear you saying is that you think that requiring a picture ID to vote is racist, is that right?” Ask politely for clarification. And ask “reality testing” questions—“so are you thinking that it is harder for lower income minorities to acquire a picture ID than for other low income people to do that?”
- After asking your clarifying questions, let him finish, and then ask, “May I share my thoughts on that subject?” And wait for the affirmative answer. Then calmly state the idea you want to state. No need to recite the entire platform, just a point or two.
- Linda encouraged—“Join the discussion!” On Facebook, online or in the newspapers. Find a liberal website and a subject that you care about, follow the online conversation, and interject a posting with a question or comment.
- When she reads online comments such as “The Tea Party is racist”—Linda replies with things like, “why don’t you come to my Tea Party—here is the next meeting---come and hear what is being said.”
- Remember how drastically, for Democrat African-Americans, Truth changes everything. Friends, family relationships, business dealings, religions affiliations, etc. Black politicians often tell how families and friends heap scorn and ridicule on black Republicans. Which makes it even more amazing that the AARCCC, Linda and other black Republicans have embraced conservatism and that they want to communicate—not hide.
- In other writings, Linda has expanded on her views, and there is simply no accurate summary possible, so I will offer one short “clip” of an online comment by Linda, to give the flavor:
“Because of the rantings of the self-imposed and illegitimate “Black leaders” such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the NAACP, etc. a distorted view of the Black community is presented to the media and to the world. The reality is that the Black Majority is not a part of this victimized image. Because the Black Majority that is comprised of moral, productive and constitutionally literate citizens, we are virtually silent because we don’t have much to complain about. The constitution and our morality provide a satisfying and successful life. There is a minority segment of the Black community that asserts its entitlements to these handouts. Truth is there is a minority segment of all communities, Black, White, Hispanic etc, that find it beneficial to live on these handouts and demonstrate this in their generational tradition of government assistance acceptance. The Black Majority needs to assert its voice and sit down these self-assumed illegitimate leaders so that the true picture of Black America can be magnified.”
Back to Tuesday’s meeting…. One audience member suggested near that end that Linda could title her talk “How to Engage without the Rage.”
This is not good news for the Democrats, whose national leader recently (and audaciously) crowed that the Party on the left is the “natural home” for all minorities in the United States of America. Sleeper-cells of black and other minority community voters, awakening to the reality that the Democrat Party has failed them miserably, and still offers no message or hope for them, may signal the start of a sea change.
Engage without Rage!