Share This Page

The military option

| Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

Republicans seeking to connect with newly important demographic groups that re-elected President Obama should remind black voters of a strong U.S. military's economic importance for them.

Writing for The New York Times, Kiron K. Skinner — director of Carnegie Mellon University's Center for International Relations and Politics, research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and foreign-policy adviser to the Romney campaign — says recapturing the black vote, on which the GOP could rely for its first 60 years, is necessary for Republicans to “succeed with the emerging majority.”

With blacks' unemployment rate particularly high, the GOP should focus on the military's role in black Americans' lives, not on “classical-liberal” ideals — equality under the law, individual rights, liberty, democracy — that have benefited them so much. Ms. Skinner says 1944's G.I. Bill paved the way for “today's black middle class” and the civil-rights generation — and that blacks are 16.9 percent of the armed forces, with black women enlisting at a rate “twice their percentage of the population.”

Recalling Mitt Romney's call for 100,000 more active-duty troops, she urges Republicans to “make the case” that America's “defense posture has significant pocketbook implications for” blacks.

Framed that way, a bedrock GOP principle — strong national defense — should appeal strongly to black voters, helping Republicans make inroads with a constituency they can't afford to lose.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.