By CURE Founder and Columnist Star Parker
What’s all the crowing about regarding North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis’ victory in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary this week? I’m talking about the crowing that this is some kind of defeat for the Tea Party.
Sure, Greg Brannon was the Tea Party candidate and endorsed by Rand Paul. And, yes, the Republican establishment big names – including, of course, Mr. Establishment, Karl Rove - came out and backed Tillis with endorsements and lots of money.
But let’s not get carried away, folks. Tillis is an experienced politician with solid limited government, pro-family, pro-life credentials. And Rand Paul immediately threw his support behind him after the election.
If this is a Tea Party defeat, we should have more bad news like this.
Furthermore, the obsession with the Tea Party both within and outside of the Republican Party could not be better proof of the profound impact this movement is having on the country.
Many battles are fought in a war. And war theoreticians point to commitment to the cause as a decisive factor in the quality of an army and how it fights.
The Tea Party is in good shape and has good reason to glean satisfaction that it continues to impact the public debate in America in a meaningful way.
On this note, the new highly publicized Pew Research Center survey, showing that Republicans have a notable edge in the upcoming mid-term congressional elections, contains an interesting surprise, which I believe the Tea Party can also take some credit for.
Although it is surely premature, to say the least, to suggest that blacks are becoming Republicans, the data reported in the Pew survey shows a meaningful shift in black opinion in this direction.
The survey asked which candidate for Congress you would vote for in your district if the election were held today – “…would you LEAN more to the Republican or the Democrat?”
Seventeen percent of blacks responded Republican and 77 percent responded Democrat.
In the last mid-term congressional elections in 2010, 91 percent of blacks voted Democrat and 9 percent voted Republican. The average of the last three mid-term elections was about the same – 90 percent Democrat, 10 percent Republican.
Seventeen percent of blacks indicating intention to vote Republican is big news. Maybe even bigger news in that this is the Congress, as these black voters well know, that will be serving during Barack Obama’s last two years.
Blacks and the Tea Party are supposed to be like oil and water. They don’t mix.
But clearly this is not true.
I reported a few weeks ago that in a recent Pew survey about the Tea Party, 25 percent of blacks expressed a favorable opinion about the Tea Party – just 6 points less than the favorability rating among whites.
No, I am not hanging out any ‘Mission Accomplished” banners.
But those who have been working, in good faith, and against aggressive and well-financed opposition, to help black Americans appreciate that their future lies in the ideals of freedom, are starting to see results.
No Americans have suffered more from the improper use of government and abuse of political power than black Americans. No Americans will benefit more from reforms that will permit greater freedom and ownership than black Americans.
The Tea Party movement, which sprung up from the hearts, minds, and common sense of regular working Americans to restore American greatness by refocusing on the ideals of freedom, has touched everyone.
The fact that the message is reaching and beginning to touch black Americans is good news for everyone – maybe most of all blacks themselves.
America is about fighting for freedom. It began with settlers fighting a foreign empire. The struggle continued against slavery and racism.
The Tea Party is but the latest chapter.
Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Contact her at www.urbancure.org