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30 May 2012

Black Democrat Comes Home to the Republican Party

Shortly after I switched to the Republican Party, a longtime GOP activist came up to me and said, "Welcome home."

For years, blacks called the Republican Party home. The GOP was the home to black Americans because Republicans had a history of championing black causes.

The Republican Party was founded by those who opposed slavery. In the 1960s, while the Democrats filibustered civil rights legislation, it was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois who cobbled together the coalition that passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While Democrats were busy nominating racists like Lester Maddox for statewide office, black Republicans like Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts were calling them extremists.

Long story short, blacks called the Republican Party home, and the Republican Party welcomed blacks with open arms.

Somewhere along the way though, blacks started leaving their Republican home for Democrat waters. But gradually, blacks are returning home to the Republican Party.

I came home in 2010. Former Congressman Artur Davis came home this week.

As I told a reporter last week, this is not Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can’t say it). If you have read this blog, and taken the time to look for a theme in the thousands of words (or free opposition research) contained in it, you see the imperfect musings of a voter who describes growth as a deeper problem than exaggerated inequality; who wants to radically reform the way we educate our children; who despises identity politics and the practice of speaking for groups and not one national interest; who knows that our current course on entitlements will eventually break our solvency and cause us to break promises to our most vulnerable—that is, if we don’t start the hard work of fixing it.

Taken together, these are hardly the enthusiasms of a Democrat circa 2012, and they wouldn’t be defensible in a Democratic primary. But they are the thoughts and values of ten years of learning, and seeing things I once thought were true fall into disarray. So, if I were to leave the sidelines, it would be as a member of the Republican Party that is fighting the drift in this country in a way that comes closest to my way of thinking: wearing a Democratic label no longer matches what I know about my country and its possibilities.

Davis, Artur (2012-5-29). A Response to Political Rumors. Official Artur Retrieved on 2012-5-30.

So as the seasoned Republican Party activist said to me, I say to Artur Davis, welcome home.