Rand Paul continued his troubling charm offensive to court minority voters to the Republican party. After going before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and recitign Latin poetry, he went yesterday to Howard University, a predominantly African American college in Washington D.C. Things started off badly, when Paul assumed that his audience would not know that the NAACP was founded by Republicans (see video above), and continued in that condescending vein:
“How did the party that elected the first black U.S. Senator, the party that elected the first 20 African-American Congressmen, how did that party become a party that now loses 95 percent of the black vote? How did the Republican Party, the party of the Great Emancipator, lose the trust and faith of an entire race? From the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, for a century, most black Americans voted Republican. How did we lose that vote?”
Rand Paul hopefully knows that he has more than a messaging problem on his hands. Democrats, generally, support social services, starting with the poor and moving up. Republicans, generally, say, no that incentivizes freeloading, reduce regulations and social services, let everyone sink or swim on their own merits. The Republican argument ignores a truth that most minorities face every day: letting everyone sink or swim on their own merits ignores the advantages and disadvantages one is born into. Public school, public health and social security all help level that playing field, at least to the point of giving everyone a chance.
That's not a messaging problem for Republicans, that's a policy problem. Rand Paul doesn't plan on changing those policies, he just wants another shot at selling his plan to ignore advantages of birth and let everything else sort itself out.