mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, October 14, 2005

You had to go and make this a racial issue...

John Miller at NRO links this interesting article about Michael Steele, the Lt. Governor of Maryland, and many hope also the next senator from Maryland.

Michael Steele is unusual in that he is a black Republican. He was also the running mate of a Republican (Bob Ehrlich) who was elected governor of a state that usually votes Democrat, and who was able to beat a Kennedy for the job.

It is refeshing that the first African-American to become Lt. Governor of Maryland was a Republican, and it would be great to have a Republican senator. From the article, it looks like the fact that he is an African-American may help him win over some votes in Baltimore City.

I'm glad for that, and I'm glad that there is someone who is busting the sterotype that people on the right are racists (hey, it's not like we have ex-KKK leaders like a certain political party whose name I won't mention).

But at the same time, it seems like a lot of the reason that people are supporting him is soley because of his race. There is talk about the Democratic response - making sure they have African-Americans running as well.

I wish people were voting for him because they liked his ideas, liked what he stood for, and not just because of his race. Because people voting for him because of his race may get the Republicans to pick up a seat or two. But for the Republican party to make big gains, they have to convince African Americans their ideas are better, not just that they have some African-American candidates.

There are things that Republicans tend to advocate that I think would benefit many African-Americans - like school vouchers (where not being in bed with the NEA/teacher's unions is a good thing), lower taxes, and more protection of property rights. I also think it's good for the Democrats to have some competition instead of just assuming they will get the African-American vote (In the central Baltimore district where I live, my councilperson choices were between a Dem and a Green Party member. I went with the Green as a protest vote, since I knew they wouldn't win).

I do wonder if Steele will be as sucessful as Republicans hope. I think he'll get lots of votes outside Baltimore, but I wonder how many he will get in Baltimore - especially if Martin O'Malley runs. O'Malley is mayor of Baltimore right now and pretty well liked by most city residents (for not being nearly as incompetent and corrupt as some previous mayors- at least that's the impression I get, although as a non-native Baltimore resident I can't really opine).

Should be an interesting race. But I wish the race focused more on issues and less on, well, race.


At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that O'Malley is as well liked as you "believe". Many grassroots folks get the impression that O'Malley is for "big business". Consistent crime and a terrible school system also will hamper O'Malley in the Guv race if Duncan and Ehrlich are wise enough to beat that drum loud enough.


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