Democrats are lying about their past and overwhelmingly winning minority voters, and a prominent black conservative says they will keep winning until conservatives learn how to win the propaganda war and champion the story of slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglass as an outreach to black voters.
K. Carl Smith is a rising star among black conservatives. He recently addressed the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference and is author of “Frederick Douglass Republicans: The Movement to Re-Ignite America’s Passion for Liberty.” He told WND conservatives have the right message, but their approach to voters is deeply lacking.
“The Republican Party has done a horrendous job of talking about a message that unites people. They don’t talk about liberty enough, and that’s the all-encompassing message that you want to put out there. That’s not happening. It’s not being done in a very effective way,” Smith said.
“We’re so badly losing the propaganda battle. Whenever we try to express our conservative values, we have already been discredited, so our message falls on deaf ears. I contend that the No. 1 problem facing the GOP and the conservative movement is not the problem of messaging per se, but this whole idea about winning a propaganda battle so your message will connect with people and resonate with people. So when you talk about conservatism, they don’t see you as a sellout. They don’t see you as a racist or that you don’t care about the poor. We’ve got to start winning that propaganda battle first, and that’s what we’re not doing a very good job of,” Smith said.
He said Democrats are very effective in the propaganda battles, largely because their message to black voters and other solidly Democratic voting blocs is built on a glaring lie.
“They have massively co-opted the history of the Republican Party. If you go to the Democratic Party’s website right now, go to the ‘About Us.’ Go to the link that says ‘Our History.’ On that page, the first sentence says for the past 200 years, the Democratic Party’s been the leader of civil rights. That’s not true!,” Smith exclaimed.
“Two hundred years, that’s what, 1813? The slave masters were Democrats. The Democratic Party started the KKK to suppress black votes. So they’re co-opting the history of the Republican Party and have gotten away with it,” he said. “The way we have to counter this is we have to speak the truth. We have to get in the trenches. We’ve got to let people know in a very non-condescending and non-confrontational manner, the true history of both parties and let them know that we need people in both political parties with a Frederick Douglass perspective,” Smith said.
So why does Smith hold up the brilliant 19th century orator and writer Frederick Douglass as the key to rekindling Americans’ passion for liberty among all races?
The best way to understand what conservatism is and how it improves your quality of life, you’ve got to bring Frederick Douglass into the equation,” he said. “Nobody can out-victimize Frederick Douglass. You’ve just got to elevate his life. He was a man who was born below poverty and rose to be very prosperous. He had $300,000 in the bank, which is the equivalent of $25 million today. So when you think about it, being on the plantation as a slave and depending on the master to take care of him, Douglass was a 47-percenter. But upon discovering his God-given gifts and talents and becoming an entrepreneur, he became a one-percenter.”
Smith said clothing the conservative message in the success of Frederick Douglass will take the steam out of accusations that conservatives look down on people of other races or the poor.
“With Frederick Douglass, that’s off the table,” he said. “You can’t call a Frederick Douglass Republican a sell-out. What we’re saying is, we believe, and we are in lock-step, with the values of Frederick Douglass, who respected the Constitution and respected the Founding Fathers.”
Smith said he grew up in a Democratic household and only later discovered that his core beliefs actually lined up with the conservative movement. He said conservatives must patiently reach out to those who have been convinced Republicans are responsible for the ills they suffer.
“I could care less about a person’s political affiliation. What I’ve learned matters most is not the party that you’re in but the way in which you vote. The way in which you vote doesn’t show your love and your faithfulness to the God that you say you serve. Once you make it a values thing and not a party affiliation thing and you can express that in a non-confrontational way, when people realize that they have been lied to and betrayed, that when they change how they vote,” said Smith, who detailed the pain of discovering how he had been politically deceived.
“When I grew up in Alabama, I thought George Wallace was a Republican. I thought Bull Connor was a Republican. I believed the people that bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., were part of the Republican Party. All that was not true. When I realized this was not true, I went through a period of depression because all of the things I believed to be true I found it was a lie.”