The winds of political change sent a chill up the backs of national Democrat leaders Tuesday when two long-time Chicago Democrat powerhouses announced their support for Republican businessman Bruce Rauner, in his attempt to unseat incumbent Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Reverend James T. Meeks of the 15,000 member strong Salem Baptist Church and Manny Sanchez, founder and managing partner of Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP, the second largest minority-owned law firm in the United States, both made their intentions public today in statements and interviews given to Fox News. Both men are respected throughout Chicago, particularly among the black and Hispanic communities and their defection in this Democrat strongholds marks a watershed moment in American politics.
Reverend Meeks, a former Democrat State Senator, pulled no punches as he voiced his displeasure with a Democrat Party that has received unprecedented loyalty from African-American voters, with little to show for it. “Our neighborhoods are deplorable! The Democratic party just assume always that 97 percent of the African-American vote will go to the Democratic party. If that assumption is true, they never have to work for our vote,” Meeks said.
In citing the gun violence that plagues Chicago’s West and South Sides, the poverty and the appearance that there is no end in sight. “Our schools are still broken and getting worse. We’re last in employment or business. ,” says Meeks. “And we still get the same promises from the Democratic party, but we don’t get any deliverable.” This sentiment apparently resonated with much of his audience, “The congregation is one hundred percent with Reverend Meeks,” said parishioner Eugene Harris outside the mega-church on Chicago’s fiercely Democratic South Side.
While some Republicans within the black community have felt the scorn of the Democrat political machine and been subjected to accusations of “selling out” and labeled an “Uncle Tom,” Chicago political analyst Thom Serafin warns that Democrats run the risk of inflaming an already embarrassing situation by attacking Meeks, a products of the South Side, with both street cred and respect among Chicago influence makers. “If you are going to challenge Reverend Meeks, you better have both feet planted on the ground. There aren’t too many people that are able to do that here in this city,” says Serafin.
While the conversions were unrelated and not coordinated, powerful Chicago attorney Manny Sanchez appeared on Fox today, announcing his endorsement for Rauner on Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record.” In citing his frustration with the performance of Governor Quinn and the Democrats, “We are dealing with a very serious fiscal challenge in the state of Illinois which he have to address and for the most part, its been ignored. Many centrists see Bruce Rauner as an individual who will bring some reasonableness back.” He went on to highlight the looming dangers facing many predominately Democrat states, high unemployment and a pension time bomb which threatens the economic stability of Illinois to appease a powerful bureaucratic culture, “We need someone who is not beholden to a certain ideology and instead responsible to the people.”
These two high-profile defections, in a solidly-Democrat city which President Obama calls home and began his political career should serve as notice to Democrats that they can no longer take certain constituencies for granted, and that their attempts at to bring a racial aspect to nearly every political debate is back-firing. This should also serve as notice to the GOP that their increased outreach efforts are beginning to bear fruit.
No lie can perpetuate itself indefinitely. The biggest lie in American politics today is that the Democrat Party is doing right by its most loyal constituencies. The Democrat Party has, today, firm political control over nearly every predominantly black and Hispanic precinct and district in the country. Their elected officials, aides, bureaucratic and union allies control every day to day decision made in minority neighborhoods, but rather than address issues of concern of these residents, they exert their energies on rhetorical class (and racial) warfare, bemoaning the very income equality they are largely responsible for.
For his part, the Reverend Meeks promises to keep the heat on Democrats, while encouraging white conservatives to become more aware of the issues facing minority residents subjected decades of liberal-progressive social engineering, “I wouldn’t call us victims, nobody is a victim. But the Lord knows these Democrats have victimized us.” Meeks acknowledged, however, that it will take the voices of strong, black conservative voices to open some ears of black Chicago voters that would otherwise be deaf to a wealthy Republican. “It does make me think twice. Maybe he knows a little more than I do, ” said parishioner Natasha Harris.
A parishioner leaving the service indicated that Meek’s message may be striking some chords and he turned quickly and quipped, “People say black folks vote Democrat because of the position we’re in. Maybe black folks are where we at because we vote Democrat.”
Originally posted at Dignitas News