More on the GOP Autopsy: Minority Outreach and Adam Carolla

One thing that came out of the poorly-named “GOP Autopsy” was the need for Republicans to reach out to minority groups.  That’s a positive point, and hopefully it will be done right.

It’s a good idea to recruit in inner city neighborhoods, and help candidates who champion free market answers to the big government corruption that has plagued cities like Washington, DC and Detroit.  It’s a bad idea to reach out to groups solely in the name of diversity.  That would be like introducing yourself to a black dude by saying, “Hey, do you want to hang out?  I need more black friends.”

A corollary to that is to avoid apologizing for policy positions, which is where Adam Corolla comes into this discussion.  The GOP’s messaging mea culpa came a week after Carolla railed on the Huffington Post for accusing him of racism.  The issue was Carolla’s stance that government solutions to social problems ignore the causes – such as the devaluation of family in black culture:

The family is the number one problem in the Black community. […] It’s simple. Fathers, stay at home, raise your family, do your homework with your kids, put an emphasis on education like the Jews, like the Asians, and let’s see what happens to the problem in 20 years.

Carolla’s response was even more direct:

But let me take this moment to now talk to all the p—–s that are out there trying to stir things up and turn me into a racist. I got news for you: Me saying parents should stick around and raise the children – me saying families and cultures should focus on education — is not radical or revolutionary. It’s the f–king truth.

Carolla isn’t going to throw his support behind the Republican party, but they can learn from his tone.  When reaching out to groups – women, young voters, or minorities – the message doesn’t have to start with an apology.  Support comes from trust – and trust can only come when people see you’re willing to “speak the f–king truth.”

Just be willing to speak it to their face.

Now’s a good time for minority outreach

President Obama is winning the majority of the American people with his rhetoric on the debt ceiling crisis.  But polls also show that he’s losing some support among key demographics – namely liberal and black voters, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll reported by Politico.

If you’re looking for clues, stop right here Sherlock: the unemployment rate for black men is twice that of white men.  Economic policies intended to elevate the less fortunate are failing, leaving certain demographics behind more than others.

The case for smaller government and personal empowerment has never been more clear.  And the polls that show minority voters increasingly distrustful of the President demonstrate that, at least on some level, voters are also in a position to reject the big-government promises they have been sold for generations.

But only if the case is made to those voters, directly and on a person-to-person basis.

With the 2012 elections over a year away, it’s a good time for campaign organizations, party committees, and non-profits on the right to begin trying to make inroads into communities where they haven’t had much success.  It may take the form of voter registration or straight party recruitment efforts.

Imagine if a candidate like Michelle Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, or Mitt Romney took the initiative to sat down with community leaders of black and/or Hispanic groups the way Herman Cain is doing with Muslim groups. It would likely be even more productive, since Cain is reaching out only after he seriously frayed his relations with that community.   The same outreach by key leaders of the conservative movement would be equally valuable.

It will still be low-yield; the cost per registrant will be high in the early going.  That’s the price of ignoring those communities for so long.  This wouldn’t be about volumes of new party voters, though.  Unlike many of the failing government programs that have been used to buy these communities’ votes in the past decades, this would be a legitimate investment in the future.

Cross-posted at PunditLeague.