Better than hiring George and Weezie to spearhead an air campaign for the hearts and minds of black voters, the GOP would be better off getting familiar with the existing black media. If it had any compass at all for attracting new voters the GOP would have known about the plight of Kelly Williams-Bolar from its friends in the black press and had an opportunity to show its commitment to school choice was more than rhetorical bait for the middle class.
As chronicled here before, Ms. Bolar was arrested for the Soviet sounding crime of “educational theft”. She had the audacity to use her father’s address in order to enroll her daughters in a better performing public school. For that she was thrown in jail. After a public uproar (led by disingenuous Left wing groups) she was eventually pardoned by late to the party, Ohio Governor, John Kasich. Still, Ms. Bolar had the indignity of having restrictions placed on her travel and having to pay for the court costs for her own outlandish persecution.
An alert and functional political party ( in a critical swing state no less) would have been in the courtroom fighting for Ms. Bolar and her children. It would have exposed the corruption in the Democratic Party/education union alliance and how that axis is active in lowering the life outcomes of poor and minority children.
A genuine political movement interested in winning converts as least as much as arguments would have begun a scholarship fund for similarly placed parents named after Ms. Bolar. Instead of issuing another turgid, 15,000 word report on school choice it would have launched a campaign that would have made the Bolar girls as least as famous as the sisters currently living in the White House. The Bolar girls, right now, would be attending the school of their choice.
None of that happened because the GOP thinks hiring two black and, apparently, mediocre media advisors is the jump start needed for returning blacks to the party of their emancipation. And the conservative movement is ideologically committed to winning theoretical dogfights with the left that have no practical consequence for large blocs of the populace living in the dark ruins of a morally debased welfare state.
Spending time in the Bolar’s neighborhood and uniting with people around conservative strategies to undermine the government-union education complex is seemingly too much to ask of the professors on the Right. They can’t risk damage to their tasseled loafers on the uneven bricks of tough city neighborhoods.
The Right demands radical action on the financial problems faced by the nation but is frustrated and surprised when polls show no one supports or even understands its agenda. It pours its hope and anger on a weak party incapable of bearing such a political and psychological load. As a movement it is blind to the insular and self-reinforcing nature of its isolation.
Conservatives need more friends. We need coalitions in places we currently do not go. The Republican idea of taking out ads in Ebony magazine, or whatever the plan is, won’t gain conservatives any influence.
Ms. Bolar is off her Kafka-esque probation now. Go talk to her. It’s not too late to begin a conversation. I guarantee it will cost less than a 30 second ad on BET.