To double down is to significantly increase a risk or commitment. Well, welcome to the fantasyland of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. During a campaign stop to persuade more Blacks to vote Republican, Priebus met with Detroit-area business owners and community leaders and asked them to give Republicans “a chance to turn Detroit around.”
What city is more representative of a majority-Black population and urban enclave? After decades of one-party rule, extreme fiscal mismanagement and urban decay, the city of Detroit is the largest municipal failure in U.S. history. The demise of Detroit is a stain on Blacks’ abilities to govern. Turning the city and its voters around is a tall order for Priebus & Co. Did Priebus bite off more than he can chew when he penned an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press?
“As chairman of the Republican Party, I want our party to rebuild Detroit and advocate for the principles of enterprise that hold the keys to the city’s success. We can offer solutions to get Detroit back and on its feet,” he wrote. “It’s up to our party leaders to convince the people of Detroit to give our ideas a chance.”
“I came to see firsthand the city’s successes and struggles and hear directly from owners and community leaders about what they need to get the city moving and people working. I am finding out what we can do to revitalize urban centers across the country. Our discussion focused on issues such as increasing access to capital, economic empowerment and the importance of entrepreneurship in jumpstarting an economy. Too often, ambitious individuals can’t get their businesses started because they can’t get financing. Especially in minority communities, political leaders need to find ways to fix this problem. Michigan’s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, is doing something about it. He helped launch a program that will help women and minorities secure small-business loans.”
Priebus also said another barrier to urban economic growth is excessive government regulation. In some states, it can take three years to acquire proper licensing for jobs as a security guard.
However, people in Detroit want to work now. Snyder has been fighting for people who want an opportunity to work and a chance to achieve the American dream. Shortly after taking office, Snyder established the Office of Regulatory Reinvention to encourage entrepreneurship, cut red tape and restore economic growth.
“Republicans are committed to doing our part to revive opportunity and restore economic growth. The Republican Party believes in more people finding prosperity and success. Our party’s core values are freedom and opportunity. The Republican Party believes in the power of the free-enterprise system, which has done more to help Americans move up the economic ladder than any government program. In a free market, outcomes aren’t always going to be the same, but opportunity should be equal. There should be an equal, level playing field for each and every American,” Preibus wrote.
Can the Republicans make it rain in Detroit and elsewhere in America? Priebus’ “Free-enterprise” programs can drive growth and development there, but in Detroit Metro, Priebus finds himself dead center of the donkey’s den. The late Coleman Young, a Democratic, union-organizer, was Detroit’s mayor for 20 years. Despite the city’s deterioration, voters continue with Democratic leadership such as: the longest-serving member in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. John David Dingell Jr., and Congress’ second-oldest serving member, Rep. John Conyers, and Rep. Sandy Levin, who’s been there since 1983.
It’s time Blacks across the nation do a reality check. Isn’t it true that: “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always received.” Isn’t it time that more Black Americans consider Republicans when at the polls? In this land of capitalism, it makes sense to embrace free-enterprise concepts. As stunted as Blacks’ economic situations have been under Democrats’ government and guidance, the mindset among African Americans remains Democratic and dependent on the government. If Detroit residents change their voting patterns, they may very well change their future.
William Reed is head of the Business Exchange Network and available for speaking/seminar projects through the Bailey Group.org.