Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 75–93 | Cite as

Compassionate Conservatism and African Americans: Politics Puts Faith to Work and Gains New Allies?

Articles

Abstract

Historically African Americans have been loyal to the Democratic Party; yet some discontentment may allow opportunity for the Republican Party to make inroads among African American voters. Situated within the context of the Republican electoral “compassionate conservatism” strategy, the purpose of this work is to demonstrate how Republicans are building political relationships with loyal democratic African American voters through cogitative tactics grounded in religion and moral values. We describe the relationship between African Americans and conservatism, examining alliances between Blacks and Republicans, highlighting “compassionate conservatism” and the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and then analyze two case studies from the 2002 elections to explore the question: Is the compassionate conservatism strategy a blessing or curse for the African American electorate?

Keywords

Compassionate conservatism African Americans Politics 

References

  1. Ashbee, E. (1999). The Republican Party and the African American vote since 1964. In P. Eisendstadt (Ed.), Black conservatism: Essays in intellectual and political history (pp. 233–262). New York, NY: Garland.Google Scholar
  2. Bendick, Jr., M., & Egan, M. L. (1993). Linking business development and community development in inner cities. Journal of Planning Literature, 8, 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. The Black Commentator (2002). Black Democrats urge media counteroffensive but media is no substitute for substance. Retrieved December 3, 2002 from http://www.blackcommentator.com (November 28).
  4. Bolce, L., De Maio, G., & Muzzio, D. (1992a). Blacks and the Republican Party: the 20 percent solution. Political Science Quarterly, 107, 63–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bolce, L., De Maio, G., & Muzzio, D. (1992b). The 1992 Republican ‘tent’: No blacks walked in. Political Science Quarterly, 108, 255–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bositis, D. (2004). 2004 National opinion poll: Politics and the 2004 election. Washington, DC: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, J. (1998). Incidents strain blind devotion to democrats. Headway, 10, 18.Google Scholar
  8. Bruni, F., & Goodstein, L. (2001). New Bush office seeks closer ties to church groups. The New York Times on the Web. Retrieved January 29, 2001 from http://www.nytimes.com.
  9. Calhoun-Brown, A. (2000). Upon this rock: The Black church, nonviolence, and the civil rights movement. PS: Political Science and Politics, 33, 168–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chandler, K. (2002a). ADC Taps Siegelman: Holmes Resigns. The Birmingham News, May 19, 2002. Retrieved June 1, 2002 from al.com.Google Scholar
  11. Chandler, K. (2002b). Fighting Words Set Tone Siegelman, Riley Spar over Ethics, Education, Tax Reform. The Birmingham News, August 6, 2002. Retrieved August 15, 2002 from al.com.Google Scholar
  12. Chandler, K. (2002c). Riley, Sophocleus Promise Diversity. The Birmingham News, October 13, 2002. Retrieved November 1, 2002 from al.com.Google Scholar
  13. Chaves, M. (1999). Religious congregations and welfare reform: Who will take advantage of charitable choice? Washington, DC: Aspen Institute.Google Scholar
  14. Clayton, D. (2003). African American women and their quest for congress. Journal of Black Studies, 33, 354–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Close Race Lessons for Black Turnout Efforts, NAACP Leader Says. Associated Press State and Local Wire. December 8, 2002, Sunday, BC cycle.Google Scholar
  16. Cosby, K. W. (2002). Will the real Judas please stand up? The Louisville Defender, p. A7 (November 14).Google Scholar
  17. Courier-Journal (2003). The debate about faith-based funding: Bush, GOP questioned about alliance with black ministers. The Courier-Journal, pp. D1, 4 (February 9).Google Scholar
  18. Cross, A. (2002a). Election 2002; Conway gets help wooing black voters. The Courier-Journal, p. B1 (October 28).Google Scholar
  19. Cross, A. (2002b). Election 2002: the Courier-Journal’s bluegrass poll; Northrup leading Conway. The Courier-Journal, p. A1 (November 3).Google Scholar
  20. Cross, A. (2002c). Election 2002: Northrup wins a fourth term. The Courier-Journal, p. X1 (November 6).Google Scholar
  21. Cross, A. (2002d). Election 2002: Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district; Northrup’s precincts had better turnout. The Courier-Journal, p. A1 (November 7).Google Scholar
  22. D’Agostino, J. A., & Park, S. (2000). Sharpton to Bush: Reach out to Blacks. Human Events, 56, 4–9.Google Scholar
  23. Dawson, M. (1994). Behind the mule: Race and class in African American politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Dedrick, P. (2002a). Riley Uses 70s Term Afro-American. The Birmingham News, August 7, 2002. Retrieved August 15, 2002 from al.com.Google Scholar
  25. Dedrick, P. (2002b). Riley uses Consultants, Woos Votes of Blacks. The Birmingham News, October 23, 2002. Retrieved November 1, 2002 from al.com.Google Scholar
  26. DuBois, W. E. B. (1903). The Negro church. Atlanta, GA: The Atlanta University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Dunham, R., Cohn, L., & Dwyer, P. (2003). Many blacks are angry—and not just with Republicans. Business Week, 38(17), 45–48.Google Scholar
  28. Edney, H. T. (2002). Black voter off-year turnout believed higher than usual. The Louisville Defender, pp. A1, 8 (December 5).Google Scholar
  29. Gahagan, K., Berman, J., & Yang, C. T. (2000). Conservative compassion: Bush addresses NAACP. Retrieved April 13, 2003 from http://www.ABCNews.com (July 10).
  30. Goodstein, L. (2001a). Bush’s call to church groups attracts the untraditional. The New York Times on the Web. Retrieved February 20, 2001 from http://www.nytimes.com (February 20).
  31. Goodstein, L. (2001b). Battle lines grow on plan to assist religious groups. The New York Times on the Web. Retrieved on April 12, 2001 from http://www.nytimes.com (April 12).
  32. Goodstein, L. (2001c). States steer religious charities toward aid. The New York Times on the Web. Retrieved July 23, 2001 from http://www.nytimes.com (July 21).
  33. Jones, M. K. (2002a). A year like any other? The Leo Weekly, pp. 14–17 (September 25).Google Scholar
  34. Jones, R. L. (2002b). Thirty pieces of silver: Queen Anne and her loyal black preachers. The Leo Weekly, p. 11 (November 13).Google Scholar
  35. Kort, W. A. (2002). African Americans reading scripture: Freeing/revealing/creating. A Review Essay. Christianity and Literature, 51(2), 263–272.Google Scholar
  36. Lacey, M. (2001). Bush meets with Black caucus, continuing a theme of outreach. The New York Times on the Web. Retrieved February 1, 2001 from http://www.nytimes.com (February 1).
  37. Leland, J. (2001). Some black pastors see new aid under Bush. The New York Times on the Web. Retrieved February 2, 2001 from http://www.nytimes.com (February 2).
  38. Lewis, A. (2001). Race, partisanship, and ideology: Is a convergence on the horizon? The American Review of Politics, 22, 157–174.Google Scholar
  39. Lugo, L., & Sargeant, K. (2001). Religion and social welfare policy. Faith-based initiatives strategy paper. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation (March).Google Scholar
  40. Meyerson, A. (1984). Conservatives and Black Americans. Policy Review, 30, 40–42.Google Scholar
  41. Miner, B. (2002). Politics trumps religion: Bush’s faith-based initiative. Retrieved November 5, 2002 from http://www.blackcommentator.com (November 4).
  42. Northrup, A. (2002). Louisville to receive over $3.4 million to construct and renovate facilities for community initiatives. Press Release, The Louisville Defender, p. A12 (October 31).Google Scholar
  43. Orr, M. (1999). Black social capital: The politics of school reform in Baltimore, 1986–1998. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
  44. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. (2001) Faith-based funding backed, but church-state doubts abound. Joint survey study prepared for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for The People and The Press. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2003 from http://pewforum.org.
  45. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2003). Faith-based initiatives and the Bush administration. Electronic updates prepared for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation. Retrieved April 13, 2003 from http://pewforum.org.
  46. Ponnuru, R. (1998). Minority party. National Review, 50(24), 24–27Google Scholar
  47. Raws, P. (2002). Black turnout critical for Siegelman once again. The Associated Press State & Local Wire, October 26, 2002, Sunday, BC cycle.Google Scholar
  48. Readers’ Forum: Church rally for Northrup (2002). Courier-Journal, p. A10 (November 15).Google Scholar
  49. Scott, J. D. (2002). The scope and scale of faith-based social services. Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy Series, an Independent Research Project of the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Washington, DC: Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation.Google Scholar
  50. Seltzer, R., & Smith, R. C. (1985). Race and ideology: A research note measuring liberalism and conservatism in Black America. Phylon, 46, 98–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Simpson, A. (1998). The tie that binds. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Smith, R. D. (2002). The public influences of African American churches: Contexts and capacities. Report submitted to The Pew Charitable Trusts by The Public Influences of African American Churches Project based at The Leadership Center at Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation.Google Scholar
  53. Smith, R. D. (2001). Social witness, “prophetic” discernment, and post-civil rights era churches. The Public Influences of African American Churches Project based at The Leadership Center at Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation (Spring).Google Scholar
  54. Smith, R., & Seltzer, R. (2000). Contemporary controversies and the American racial divide. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Little field.Google Scholar
  55. Spain, D. (2001). Redemptive places, charitable choice, and welfare reform. Journal of the American Planning Association, 67(3), 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Streb, M. J. (2001). A new message: Compassionate conservatism, African Americans, and the Republican Party. Politics and Policy, 29(4), 670–691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tenpas, K. D. (2002). Can an office change a country? The White House of faith-based and community initiatives: A year in review. Preliminary Report prepared for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation.Google Scholar
  58. Tryman, M. (1986). Blacks and the democratic party: The dissolution of an irreconcilable marriage. The Black Scholar, 17, 28–32.Google Scholar
  59. Vidal, A. (2001). Faith-based organizations in community development. Report for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Washington, DC: Office of Policy Development and Research (August).Google Scholar
  60. Welch, S., & Combs, M. (1985). Intra-racial differences in attitudes of blacks: Class cleavages or consensus? Phylon, 46, 91–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Welch, S., & Foster, L. (1987). Class and conservatism in the Black community. American Politics Quarterly, 15, 445–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (2003). Guidance to faith-based and community organizations on partnering with the federal government. Retrieved May 13, 2003 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/fbci/guidance/index.html.
  63. Woolhouse, M. (2002). Election 2002 turnout: 52 percent of voters go to Jefferson polls. The Courier-Journal, p. X10 (November 6).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science & Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of GovernmentUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

Personalised recommendations