argues that though McCain has virtually no chance of winning the black vote in this election, it speaks volumes about his seriousness and his integrity that he means to address the NAACP in Cincinnati next Wednesday. Blackwell also argues that this is no mere pointless exhibition of (correct) principle; McCain can, if he does it right, make real and important inroads with this audience. He should, at any rate, operate on the assumption that he can. If you understand the real interests of these Americans in the same way that you understand the real interests of all other Americans, the argument for voting for Obama boils down to little more than racial pride. That can be a powerful argument (particularly given our history) but this does not make it a good argument. McCain should not make the patronizing mistake of seeming to grant that it is. Blackwell offers solid advice.
In a similar vein, I'd like to reintroduce the subject of William Voegeli's fine essay in the CRB, "Civil Rights and the Conservative Movement." He was right to caution in his post about it that reading it would take a while. It's not the kind of thing you can do on the fly or after four hours in the sun by the pool with active children. It demands attention and hard thinking. If (like me) you didn't live through the period it may be an eye opener. There are a dozen things that could be said about the piece (and I hope will be said) by folks who are smarter than me, but one inescapable conclusion is a more mature understanding of why so many black voters still believe they cannot trust Republicans or conservatives. And, perhaps, there is a bit of old-fashioned American tragedy involved in that story. Do check it out.