Diary

The two fatal flaws in Ted Cruz's campaign strategy- Part 2

Let me start this diary by saying that for those who don’t already know, I’m a Cruz supporter.  I believe he’s run the best campaign out of all the candidates by far, and is the most principled and consistent conservative in the race.

But there are reasons why I wasn’t always his biggest fan, and I’ve been critical of him in the past.  That won’t change just because I support him now.  I firmly believe we have to criticize the candidates we support just as strongly as their opponents do-   when they deserve the criticism.

A while back I came across an article about the Cruz campaign’s general election strategy.

It confirms my biggest concern about Cruz and his campaign, and one of the main reasons (the other being his style of reaching out to voters) why I was hesitant to support him in the first place.

First of all, his campaign appears to be completely devoid of any black or hispanic people, which is ironic considering he’s half hispanic. But more importantly, he appears to have completely written off minorities all across this country:

“In a plan detailed by a senior strategist, the Cruz campaign says that it aims to obtain only 30 percent of the Hispanic vote and 10 percent of the African-American vote, a mere 3 percent and 4 percent increase from 2012, respectively. They will allocate their resources to boosting turnout among more reliably Republican voters: whites.”

I wrote about this way back in the summer months and was assured by some Cruz supporters that he would eventually get around to reaching out to minorities in the general election. Others said he didn’t need to, we just need to turn out the base and we’ll win without them.

This is beyond foolish. The irony here is that Cruz often talks about how Romney ran such a bad campaign, yet he appears to be repeating one of Romney’s biggest mistakes, which was his strategic decision to completely abandon minorities and write them off, making no attempt to do any outreach to them or try to earn their votes at all.

Not only is this politically stupid, it’s insulting to minorities. It’s basically saying either   a)we don’t need your votes and can win without you, therefore you don’t deserve the time and effort it takes to try and win any of your votes, or    b)You’re not smart enough to change your mind and vote for a republican, so we shouldn’t even bother to try and convince you to do so.

Let me be clear:  The GOP nominee can’t beat Hillary without increasing our share of the minority vote. The demographics are against us. Romney won white voters but still lost to Obama in part because he got destroyed among blacks and hispanics, doing much worse than George W. Bush among those groups.

If this article is accurate, and it appears to be, Cruz is deliberately going down the same path Romney went down, which I believe will end with the same result.

What I don’t get is why Cruz apparently doesn’t have enough faith in his own abilities of communication and persuasion to make the case to minorities that conservative principles, values, and policies are what’s best for them.

By not going after minority votes, Cruz is essentially saying he doesn’t wanna expand the party.

Seriously?  I don’t get it. You wanna remain the party of middle aged and elderly white people?  You don’t want more Republican voters in the future?

This is one reason why I initially supported Rubio.  He at least talks about expanding the party and taking the conservative message of freedom and opportunity for all Americans to places and people who don’t typically vote Republican or see themselves as conservative.  He hasn’t written these people off, and he believes in his own ability to persuade them to abandon the Democrats once and for all and vote Republican, just as Reagan did in 1980 with the Reagan Democrats.
Many conservatives can’t relate to black or hispanic americans because hispanics and blacks have problems that aren’t particularly unique to them, but are much more pronounced in their populations, particularly the out of wedlock birth rate and percentage of kids who are raised by single moms, which is around 70% in the black community.

I can relate to this because I was raised by a single mom.  My father left us when I was born.  I grew up in a poor community that had a large minority population, and several of my friends growing up were black.  I spent time with them and got to know how they think and how they view the rest of the country.

I know the average black kid growing up today in America is at a huge disadvantage, and by the time they reach adulthood, they view any institutions or people of authority with cynicism, often rightly so.

They’ve been used and abandoned by Democrats for decades, and have been written off and ignored by Republicans that entire time as well.

We need to completely rethink our approach to these communities.  I believe we need to take a conservative message to them, and actually spend time in their communities, getting to know their leaders through churches, community organizations, and more.  We need to open campaign offices in their communities and find at least some minorities to staff them, so when we go door to door to try and win their vote, they’ll be able to talk to people who they at least have a chance to relate to.

Our nominee should give at least one speech that explains why our policies and values are a natural fit for blacks and hispanics in this country, and how their lives will be improved if they vote Republican.  This is one reason I was such a big fan of Rick Perry.  He actually gave this speech and addressed the concerns of the black community.  It was a great speech and I encourage everyone to watch it here.

Unfortunately it was given at a time when most Republican primary voters weren’t even paying attention to the presidential race, and after that Perry was completely drowned out by the Godzilla we know as Donald Trump.

But that doesn’t take anything away from the substance of the speech, which explained the legitimate concerns of the black community in America, but also explained how conservative policies and ideas can alleviate those concerns and solve their problems.

It’s time we have a nominee who changes the status quo with respect to our relationship with minorities and turns the political paradigm upside down.

It’s disappointing to me that apparently Cruz has decided he won’t be that kind of nominee.  But Rubio still has a chance to be the nominee, and at least I have hope that if he does win the nomination, he’ll follow through on his promise to bring our message to more people than ever before and expand the party, because we simply can’t win in November if we don’t.  More importantly, we won’t deserve to if we don’t even try.