Brooklyn Republicans Need to Be More Like Cops— Go Where There’s Need
I was hanging out with some of my girlfriends earlier this year, and at some point, one of them hit me with this question: “You ever think you’d see a Republican in a bad neighborhood? They don’t care about the poor.”
At first, I kind of took offense and wanted to say something in response. But I really had nothing to say. Even though I’m a proud Republican, I had nothing to say.
While I know we have some amazing GOP stars from poor backgrounds or that are ethnic minorities, but let’s be honest: the stereotypical caricature of a “Republican” in popular culture is that of a fat, white man. Come on!
Dick Cheney. Rush Limbaugh. Pat Buchanan. Heck, I turn on a Sunday talk show, and there’s the GOP’s token fat white man. No wonder we get attacked by the liberals or by Democrats: we make it EASY sometimes!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing wrong with fat white men (I married one, and I’m very happy ;-)). And of course we have some excellent female Republican candidates and voices. But now let’s look at our local party. What are we doing to break down barriers? We have entire areas of the borough that we’ve ceded to the Democrats, even though we have strong arguments to make to attract people of all class and ethnic backgrounds.
How many people living in bad neighborhoods did Giuliani save by cleaning up the streets? How many lower income families would benefit from tax cuts and more police on the streets? How many minorities that are churchgoers hold socially conservative positions on many issues?
So why haven’t Republicans reached out? There’s no one reason, but there’s one that stands above the rest.
We’re scared and lazy.
That’s right. We don’t want to help people out in neighborhoods we wouldn’t walk through ourselves or live in. We think we can only make in it neighborhoods we “have a chance in.” Well, let me tell you, if that’s what you think or if that’s what our leaders think, then our party is either entirely selfish or, worse, doesn’t care. More importantly, we’re headed for disaster.
Why don’t you try telling that to our brave cops that go out and help fight the poison destroying neighborhoods out there? You think they get to choose? They go where they’re needed so they can keep us and our fellow citizens safe. They perform their duty and have brought this city back from the horrors of the 1970’s.
What we as Republicans don’t realize is that we’re no different than they are. We have a responsibility—a duty—as a party to fight for the best for our entire city and represent our entire city. And in our borough, we don’t get to choose where we represent Brooklynites: we must speak for all Brooklynites.
But the fact is we don’t want to fight for votes—convince people, persuade them—to come to our party. We don’t want to do the grunt work. We’re convinced “it can’t be done.” And so, we say, why bother?
“Are there potential leaders or voters in that district—you know what? Who cares?”
Well, all I’ll say is that if we don’t begin to care—and soon—we’re going to end up representing so little of Brooklyn that the “Kings County Republican Party” could be renamed for the one or two neighborhoods in which we actively campaign. As far as I’m concerned, we’re just about there now.