WASHINGTON – If Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a rising star in the GOP, has a leadership role to play in his party, it apparently will include outreach to blacks.
Paul ended a decades-long drought Wednesday of Republican lawmakers speaking at Howard University, a historically black school.
He said his mission there was to "open the dialogue between blacks and Republicans," emphasizing the importance of examining the history of blacks in the GOP.
Conservative columnist and WND contributor Ann Coulter, in her latest book, "Mugged," elaborates on the history of "racial demagoguery" in American politics, conveying a similar mantra to Paul's: that blacks have been oppressed and exploited by Democrats, and uplifted by Republicans.
Paul's main point in his speech at Howard was to convey the vision of "a government that leaves you alone."
He believes that all benefit when the government plays little to no role in a person's life, saying "government is more just and efficient when it's local."
He attempted to find sympathy with the mostly black audience by championing the issue of civil rights, saying, "The Republican Party has always been the party of civil rights."
He dismissed the idea that the Democratic Party is the traditional home of blacks.
He explained that the Republican Party is the party that advocated emancipation, stood in opposition to Jim Crow laws and pushed for civil rights. Furthermore, he said his support for civil rights was not limited to skin color. He "wants to protect all minorities including ideological and religious."
Touching on poverty, Paul said blacks should support the free market message of the Republican Party as "equalizing economic prosperity through free market opportunities" in contrast to the statist policies of Democrats. He added that "big government is not a friend of African Americans," because of its massive federal debt, reckless interventionism and excessive regulation.
In an interview with WND, Peter Brimelow, financial journalist, author and founder of the immigration restrictionist website VDARE, took a swipe at the Republican's attempt to reach out to blacks, calling it "a complete waste of time."
"They need to talk about the white working class," Brimelow said.
Brimelow analyzed the last several election results, saying, if you’re a Republican, "you need a high white share to win, and low white share you lose."
He says that it will be impossible for Republicans to win the non-white vote for several reasons.
He said Democrats are entrenched in the black community because of the time spent engaging blacks in social welfare and affirmative action programs.
"Republicans will cut the programs so many blacks [and other minorities] are dependent on," so are viewed as a threat, he said.
Further, Brimelow said non-white voters consider the GOP a purely Caucasian part, noting Obama won the black vote in 2008 and 2012 with 95 and 93 percent totals.
Brimelow advises that future Republican candidates should "make an honest appeal to a white base and they will see people turn out for them."
About 15 minutes into Paul's speech, protesters barged in, displayed a banner implying Paul was a white supremacist. Paul quipped as the protesters were escorted out by police, "I didn't know we were going to get entertainment today."
He did get a negative reaction when he called voter ID efforts "reasonable." But he also said he thinks sentencing practices for first-time offenders for non-violent crimes such as drug possession need work so people "are not in prison with hard time offenders."
He suggested former President George W. Bush, as well as Obama, might have ended up in jail if they had been caught for simply making mistakes.
He also championed his new "Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013" with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., which would give judges greater autonomy by not binding them to mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes. He said laws today should show "compassion for non-violent crime."
Paul also said the American court system "disproportionally punishes blacks."
And he caused a stir when he said, "I have never wavered in my support for the Civil Rights Act." During his 2010 run for U.S. Senate, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, he said, "I don't like the idea of telling private business owners – I abhor racism. I think it's a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant – but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership."
See Part 2 of Rand Paul's speech at Howard University: