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A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage

Herbert Hoover

Yes we can

Barack Obama

Blacks voted two-thirds for Herbert Hoover in 1928 but then flipped to vote in the same numbers for Franklin Roosevelt in 1932

Rand Paul

Hoover did make a variety of optimistic statements during the campaign, such as, “the slogan of progress is changing from the full dinner pail to the full garage,” and “given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, and we shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this Nation,” but Hoover never promised “a chicken in every pot.” However, the low information voters of that time did take Hoover literally at his word, and turned away from him in 1932 for failing to deliver on his slogan. They did not take his words in the context of a concept.

Obama meant in the Yes we can slogan that he can give out benefits to the needy. It isn’t a concept but a promise to give out free cell phones, free food stamps, free health care, etc. etc. Obama is now failing to deliver on his promises, but he’s trying to avoid being blamed. He’s trying to look like someone who’s working real hard to deliver but unseen forces beyond his control are stopping him. With the benefit of a lapdog media, Hollywood, and academia he believes the excuse for not delivering will succeed. Maybe this plan of his won’t work.

The Rand Paul quote comes from an answer he gave at a press conference breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor about the “Southern strategy.” The left is upset with him because he refuses to accept their meme that the Party of Lincoln changed in 1968, and that is the reason blacks do not vote Republican. When asked by a Howard student if he considered himself a member of the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln or “post-1968 Republican Party — Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan,” Paul disagreed with the premise that there is a difference.

The argument that I’m trying to make is that we haven’t changed. There are some of us who haven’t changed, who are part of that party that you liked, who truly believe that Reagan was still part of that. Who don’t see an abrupt difference.


There also those on the left accusing Rand Paul of being insulting and condescending when he asked the students at Howard University if they knew that the founders of the NAACP were Republicans. Paul said he didn’t “mean to be insulting,” adding “I don’t know what you know” and “I’m trying to find out.” He said he still didn’t think the “general public” knew that fact, and it was up to the GOP to make that argument. Paul said a perception exists that Republicans don’t like people of color. “It’s not true, but that’s the perception we have to overcome,” he said, adding that Republican candidates should at least “show up and ask for their vote.”

On the right the critique of Paul’s speech at Howard University is not as harsh. Mary Katherine Ham wrote

Next time out, Paul will know to couch the civil rights issue in a different way. Even if right on facts, Republicans should be very careful about talking about the civil rights movement in a way that seems presumptuous, adopting long-past events as proof of their own dedication. When you’re introducing an idea that doesn’t jibe with what your audience has heard for decades, and is this emotional, it’s best to introduce it delicately.

It’s best not to make too much of the reception by the media that Paul has received. He has the courage to try to win the argument instead of capitulating to whatever meme his political opponents assert. We need more like him who are articulate and have this courage instead of resorting to pandering. Perhaps more important than the media’s reviews are the thoughts of a Howard University student who attended this speech.

Kwanda Trice, a Howard graduate student from Paul’s native Kentucky, asked a question during the event about drug sentences and state hemp laws. She said although she didn’t get a full answer to her question she said she has “to give him props” for coming to Howard.

“This was a hard crowd, but he decided to come here and basically bridge the gap between African Americans and the Republican Party and that says a lot,” Trice said. “To come here to Howard University where students are progressive, they are educated, they know the issues and they know the policies back and forth and to be able to actually face them head on I have to commend him for that.”

Cross=posted at Unified Patriots

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