I abhor identity politics, but I embrace Black conservatism

“Bidenomics” is doing little to quell Democrats’ fear of a loosening grip on the “Black vote” ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Disillusioned with the notion that loyalty to the Democratic Party would better their lives and economic standing, Black Americans — specifically, Black men — are defecting to the Republican Party or are looking to alternative candidates.

A marginal defection of Black Americans from a 65-year Democratic rule could spell real hope that progress toward a more perfect union is once again afoot.

A Black conservative movement is essential to the political empowerment and intellectual liberation of Black Americans. If one party believes it will always receive the Black vote while the other believes it will never gain the Black vote, then where does Black political empowerment lie? Black Americans are stuck between feckless overtures by the Democratic Party on the one hand and derelict attention by the Republican Party on the other. It’s the quintessential “rock and a hard place” dilemma.

For too long, progressives have offered Black Americans the politics of victimhood. Today’s villains, according to the left’s elites, are “White privilege” and “institutional racism.” And in their opinion, these villains must be combated with systemic entitlements and reparations for their victims.

Conservatism, however, offers Black Americans the politics of values. Rather than promote reliance on the government to solve personal and financial problems, conservatism embraces personal responsibility and encourages one to make no excuse for himself.

The ancestors of African Americans, after all, relied on religion, not the government, through their centuries of struggle for freedom. It was Scripture that served as a strong moral code and guidance for some of the most successful African American trailblazers in education, justice, and overall empowerment. It was Scripture that taught those ancestors to value their identity beyond their skin color, even as their color was central to their struggle.

Victimhood is a condition; values are a choice.

Progressivism doesn’t have any values. Instead, it pushes the poisonous idea that America is divided into classes of oppressors and the oppressed. After that, they’ve got nothing by way of ideas.

Let’s say progressives succeeded in eliminating the “structural bias” they are obsessed with. What would be left of progressivism? What would justify any American’s decision at the ballot box to give them the power to govern? Reliance on Bidenomics or the cliche that “democracy is on the ballot” may prove insufficient to stop or slow democrats’ hemorrhage of Black voters or motivate turnout.

This brings us to progressives’ most viable option: division. One of the most virulent and volatile areas of division is race.

Maybe progressives need the idea of a racialized, gender-obsessed, victimized world because it is the only way they can retain power. And as long as they can convince well-meaning voters that they are victims of invisible oppressors — or that they are unconsciously guilty of oppression themselves — progressives will hold power.

Such was the case in 2020, when Black voters played a crucial role in resuscitating then-candidate Joe Biden’s flailing presidential campaign and sent him to the White House amid some of the country’s biggest racial justice and civil rights riots in decades. Black voters expected meaningful criminal justice reforms post-inauguration but instead saw free spending, vaccine mandates and broken promises.

Moreover, Democrats’ focus on LGBTQ and abortion rights alienated some Black voters and caused others to feel politically used.

That was then, and this is now. Black conservatives see this gigantic political con job and are ready to call it out. They are ready to tell their fellow Black Americans: “I am not a victim, and neither are you. Expect more of the people you vote for. Expect them to treat you as equals, not as victims.”

Conservatism stands for the still-radical proposition in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. And that in a truly free government, such a government protects those rights equally for all Americans, irrespective of race.

The most empowering economic opportunity is the American dream, not Bidenomics. The more progressives push an agenda based on racial victimhood, the more Americans will believe they are excluded from the American dream. And the more Americans believe they are excluded, the less will realize the freedom that comes from participating in the American dream, and eventually their liberation from the Democratic Party.

The sooner we come to this realization, the sooner we can achieve that more perfect union our Founding Fathers hoped for.

• Rod Dorilas is a Navy veteran, first-generation American, Palm Beach international business attorney, and former Florida Republican congressional candidate who served as counsel to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross from 2020 to 2021.

Source: WT