Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Stop Taking Black Votes for Granted

If I weren’t black, would anyone care that I’m voting for Bush? Would two black GU footballers accost me in a White Gravenor hallway because of the College Republicans sticker I sport on my bag?

No matter how free and open-minded the so-called liberals on this campus claim to be, the answer here is a resounding “no.”

So I ask, why? Why must my race – not my fiscal, social and global views, or my experiences over the last 19 years, but the color of my skin – determine my political beliefs?

When you think about it, it shouldn’t. And for me, it damn well won’t.

I am insulted by the fact that the Democratic Party assumes it will have my vote and the votes of millions of other American minorities simply because of the color of our skin, without any consideration of the profound socioeconomic dissimilarities that are as emblematic of our race groups as they are of the greater American landscape.

No longer can the Dems rest on their laurels that theirs is the party of inclusion simply because 50 years ago a Democrat did a good thing for black citizens.

The political scene turns on the question, “What have you done for me lately?” Well Democrats, what have you done, other than assume that your liberal attitudes necessarily indicate social progress that will move us further away from a racist, polarized society?

What have you done besides demand more of my tax dollars to spend on a welfare state that robs the proud American citizenry of its self-determination and instead force dependence on the almighty government?

Like a small but growing minority within my demographic, I clearly fall on the right side of the political spectrum. It’s been a year since my first Viewpoint, which angered the blue blood of Dems and then-Dean boosters, and Bush is still my man.

Black voters shouldn’t head for the hills just because President Bush hasn’t proponed another obligatory piece of race-based legislation that reinforces our superficial differences.

In creating the No Child Left Behind Act, a piece of legislation from which I and my entire public school district markedly benefited, the Bush administration took the first measurable initiative to improve the squalid inner city schools from which minorities disproportionately suffer without using their race as a qualifier of their need for aid.

Respect must be paid to those students – black, white, Hispanic, Indian, human – who have decided firmly that they are Republicans or Democrats (or Green or Libertarian) based on their life experiences and their self-motivated education and discovery.

But let the many of us who are still on the fence not be swayed by catchy pop-culture campaigns and noisy liberal media.

Rather, we must do ourselves the justice of examining the party politics and the platform of President George W. Bush, as well as his successes and solutions from the last four years, in order to be sure that we have made a truly informed decision. Minorities must realize that they are owed at least that much by the party that assumes their vote by default, and so far only Republicans are paying us that respect.

John Kerry makes a big stink about the loss of jobs over the course of Bush’s presidency, largely due to an ill-timed recession that allowed Clinton to ride the boom and provoke the bust just as he left office.

Not to mention the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, which dealt a crippling blow to the travel and hospitality industries, and the continual advent of new technologies in the manufacturing sector that increase production efficiency but cost jobs.

The bungling of these clear economic facts on the part of the Dems aside, Kerry cannot dispute that since Bush took office, his “do-for-self” attitude toward the economy has resulted in a boom in black entrepreneurship.

Fortune Small Business magazine reports that, today, blacks are 50 percent more likely to start their own business than their white and Hispanic counterparts, due largely to the low-tax, self-motivated economic atmosphere that Bush’s fiscal response to Clinton’s recession helped create.

In July, the Bush administration undertook a measure with the National Urban League to create an entrepreneurship network, in order to nourish that small-business-friendly environment.

P.Diddy and J.Lo are running around on MTV urging young people to vote because their lives depend on it. But those of us with full names, who live in the real world, must realize that there is more to the electoral process than watching Choose or Lose 2004 and attending a rally here and there.

We are in the unique position where we can weigh in now on issues that will affect us – both as students and as graduates – in a single presidential term.

Such idealism professed by MTV and the teen counterculture has not-so-subtle liberal overtones, but the emphasis on choice requires new voters to sit down and deliberate on the issues, to discover their own personal political voice instead of swaying with the Fahrenheit 9/11-viewing, liberal-media-watching masses.

Minority students must look beyond the historical voting trends of those who share their skin color and decide for themselves whether they will let such a superficial element of their lives determine their party allegiances.

We can no longer vote traditionally. We are a new generation, with unique global and domestic problems that characterize the post-Sept. 11, information-based world. We must give equal weight to both candidates, and discover for ourselves that President Bush is a sound leader with the most to offer our young lives.

This card-carrying Republican certainly will.

L.A. Holmes is a sophomore in the College and a member of the Georgetown University College Republicans.

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