Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Eloise Anderson and "The Great Racial Divide"

It won’t be out for a while but NLT readers should keep an eye and an ear out for a forthcoming Claremont Institute monograph from Eloise Anderson titled, The Great Racial Divide: Why Conservatives Fail to Pesuade Blacks. Advance praise for the piece comes both from our distinguished and fearless lead blogger, Peter Schramm who said:

"Eloise Anderson’s unflinching and common sense approach to understanding this quintessentially American problem is a must read for any serious person contemplating the future prospects of the Republican party--not just with black voters but across the board. It is a must read for any serious person who wants to understand the true nature of the racial divide in America and who is looking for practical ways to encourage its healing."

and from Shelby Steele who says the following:

"In The Great Racial Divide Eloise Anderson puts her finger precisely on what is missing in the new "compassionate conservatism:" the resonant understanding that black Americans come to modern conservatism out of an experience of betrayal and exclusion. She tells us that it is not enough now to just offer blacks the great truths of the conservative movement. Conservatives must examine their own indulgence in "states rights" arguments, the "southern strategy," the creation of majority-minority congressional districts, their accommodation to identity politics at the expense of integration, their occasional openness to the notion of black intellectual inferiority, and so on. More clearly than any other black conservative, Anderson articulates the racial challenge of modern conservatism: to be deepened by a fuller understanding of the black American experience. This monograph should become a manifesto of the Republican Party."

Further, having edited the piece myself and talked at length with Ms. Anderson about it, I can tell you that I think her ideas are some of the most original and thoughtful I’ve seen in years. I will keep you posted on the publication release date.

Discussions - 6 Comments

Sure, but if I say these things,then I get attacked! Am I mentioned anywhere? A footnote?

Seriously, good for you, Julie, and good for Anderson.


States’ rights is a substantial argument with considerable backing
from the American Founding. It also makes a great deal of sense practically in this always-problematic "extended republic." The only question for conservatives and constitutionalists is how far it legitimately goes. I presume, and certainly hope, this book grants these points.

The "Southern strategy" has been unjustly maligned. Southerners left the Democratic party for many more reasons than racism, and many weren’t motivated by racism at all. In addition, a party accomplishes little if it doesn’t win. Again, I hope the book acknowledges this.

Thanks for the heads-up, Julie. It should be a great read; part of a conversation that has to be had, with the various sides all having some good points to make/debate/defend.

The questions raised by Mrs. Anderson are ones that have prevented me from changing my allegiance to the Republican party. It is true that Democrats have not been a consistent, vocal, assertive advocate for Black people. However, neither have Republicans. But Republicans have carved up Black voting districts, severly reduced governmental college financing for the poor, given police more authority, cut Child Head Start programs, use State’s Rights to pass laws adversarial to Blacks that the Nation would not tolerate, etc.

Democrats have not PROPOSED too many measures that hurt Blacks. Can the same be said for the RIGHT? I choose to remain with the lesser of two evils and try to reform it rather than attempt to change one who SHOWS their distain for me by WHAT THEY DO NOT WHAT THEY SAY.

police with more authority would be a good thing, and in fact blacks would stand to benefit heavily, given the rates at which they are victims of crime in those cities.


Rattler, your comments make it clear that you do belong in the Democratic party. Republicans are not interested in recruiting someone who thinks the Democratic party isn’t liberal enough.

Maybe a few people at the top will take anyone who professes disappointment in the Democrats, for whatever reason. However, the actual Republican party -- the base -- will not.

In America, to the extent we are operating by American principles, politics is not about helping certain kinds of people. It is about defending the fundamental safety of "the people" as a whole, and their property. It is about other strictly defined general interests. It is not a substitute for self-reliance. Government has strictly limited purposes.

The American is supposed to be a citizen first, a member of an identity group second.

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