Grand New Party
These are not your father’s Republicans.
Jan 28, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 19 • By NOEMIE EMERY
They are living examples of upward mobility: Rubio’s immigrant parents educated four children; Haley’s immigrant parents started a successful business; Scott was a boy from a one-parent home ready to drop out of high school when a restaurant owner took him under his wing and taught him how to think like a businessman, which launched his successful career. His swearing-in was live-streamed into his old high school, and he is returning there soon to talk to the students about the free market system, and how they can rise in it. This was enough to make NAACP president Benjamin Jealous rush to declare he would give Scott an “F” on his “civil rights issues report card,” which defines “civil rights” as the Democratic agenda, and grades on such things as abortion and green jobs. Tim Scott, of course, is the Democrats’ nightmare, which is why Republicans should hope he visits not just his own old high school, but schools across the country, the living example of what can be done, not on the NAACP’s model, but the conservatives’ way.
Can Tim Scott and the like swing the black vote in his party’s direction? Probably not. But then, they don’t have to: They just have to reach the entrepreneurial subset and detach a part of it, get a hearing from the young and ambitious, present an authentic alternative vision, and turn a few people around. They don’t have to get most of the black vote. Any erosion of the lop-sided margins by which Republicans now lose minority voters would be a gain.
If you were a student in high school, who would inspire you more—Tim Scott or Ben Jealous? This is a new chapter that’s only begun.
Noemie Emery is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a columnist for the Washington Examiner.