Yeah, I arrived in DC on Wednesday night, my best friend from college picked me up, we “caught up” for a moment, then the next day we went to the event. In fact I could have sworn that we stayed until the absolute end before picking up Indian food and staying up to discuss the entire forum with two very conservative democrats — my friend and her husband. Both of them are Black, both from the Southeast United States, and both long time conservative Democrats — they have also been married for more than 22 years. I will also mention that four years ago, this friend and her husband would NOT have entertained this meeting. I am also going to mention these people are the 1 percent. They have been very successful in their respective fields, in their family business and have managed with ease to send their only child to one of the top private schools in the country —- an important member of the administration’s children were her classmates. Now she is is in one of the top universities in the United States.
And I think that this demographic represents an opportunity. People are searching. And they are open to new ideas, new ways of thinking. My college friends don’t represent the people struggling to get by nor aching to get prison reform so their relatives can get out. These people are the often overlooked “minorities”. Most of the people Allen and I went to school with are. Descendants of teachers, university professors and administrators, professional military officers, physicians and business owners, while we might feel OK with the candidates mantra of “compassionate conservative”, sometimes it comes across as “patronizing conservative”. Quite frankly the term indicates the “soft bigotry of low expectations”.
So, let’s get back to the RJC forum. I am going to add that my friend and I were the only people of color who took off from work to attend, rather than were actually working the event. I attended as an invited guest of a long time friend and sometimes “debating” partner. Our views are different, however, we are not enemies, we are friends. You don’t always have to agree with people, but you can listen to the other side of the argument and somehow you might learn a few things.
We understand this….. You can have differences but still allow for another view. Perhaps the only people who did not understand this were…… the candidates…. or at least some of them and the complicit media was there to twist, spin and lie.
So here goes, Donald Trump was not an anti-Semite, he indicated that he could “negotiate” just like anyone else in the room. Since my friend and I were also used to negotiating, we took it as a matter of fact. He also stated that he was not going to be bought, this was the first time that I have ever heard a politician mouth those words with such firm conviction. You might not like his style, but those words are important. I was looking forward to hearing Lindsey Graham because of the San Bernardino shooting that occurred the day before, instead of what I thought would be a good time for him to show his foreign policy chops, he came across as angry, disheveled and mean spirited. He extolled the crowd to embrace immigration – or they will lose the Hispanics, embrace abortion, or they will lose young women. Two points here, to assume that ALL Hispanics want open borders is to show that you know very few Hispanics. You only know stereotypes. Second, to assume that all young women care about is the ability to abort, means that you know only young women who think about nothing but their uterus.
Two candidates told the same “heartwarming” story about their family, they just changed the family member’s names. A bit embarrassing. Two candidates read prepared statements from their prepared papers – page by page. Christie showed that he is a born politician and he actually did address the San Bernardino shootings. Cruz was equally impressive. Santorum went on for a while, it was late. Huckabee was not only relevant in his speech, but affable and related well to the crowd in his presentation. Jeb, well, he was Jeb and when they asked him about his mother, father and brother……. I realized that this was HIS crowd. Jeb was the son, the Don Vito Corleone, the Hispanic and their guy. He had two epaulets on his lapels, I don’t know what they stand for but his poll numbers dropped two points afterwards. He also brought his own cheering squad. I lost my seat in the center and sat in the back so I saw them file in, disperse and then leave when he finished.
So, in the end…….. was my friend persuaded? I will tell you that she did not want to leave until the last speaker finished speaking….. I can tell you that she was open, because we discussed politics – the three of us — her husband, my friend and myself over the most delicious take-out and really good wine until the wee hours of the morning. Her last words? Angela, nothing was solved, no solutions given, just pandering with pie in the sky suggestions that make the audience feel good. Everyone is going to “tear up the Iran deal” – not possible, move the American embassy to Jerusalem (how?), bomb everything in the Middle East, and tell the constituents one thing but vote another on the issue of immigration and abortion.
They are looking into the Independent option.