There are 27 majority black Congressional districts in America. 26 of them have black Congressmen. There is something to the notion that black legislators have more in common with black constituents than those who do not share their experiential background – but Barack Obama does not share those experiences. He does not share common beliefs. And what’s most perverse, when his beliefs come into conflict with those of the black population, large swaths of the black population shift their views to meet his.
Why? It’s not because they’ve been convinced by him. It’s because he leads, and too many black Americans follow, no matter how they really feel about the issues.
This spells the death of deliberative democracy. Liberal republicanism is based on the notion of the non-tribal – it’s based on the idea that we vote for the politicians who best serve the country, not those who “look like us.” And more than anything else, liberal republicanism is based on the idea that we keep our politicians accountable. We are not led by them; they represent us. If they stray from the path we want them to take, it is they who must adjust, not we.
These polls should be very frightening indeed – not because a majority of blacks suddenly support same-sex marriage, which is their prerogative, but because of the reason for that shift. The reason is not rational. It is racial. And that is a serious problem.
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