Blacks have generally avoided the Republican Party like the plague for decades. But that may change with the help of Tim Scott.
Scott, a favorite of the Tea Party, secured the Republican nomination to represent South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District this summer against the late Sen. Strom Thurmond’s son, Paul Thurmond. Since then, he’s become a bit of a Republican national star.
If Scott wins the general election—which he is almost certain to, given that the district swings heavily in favor of the GOP—he will be the first black Republican member of Congress in seven years and the first in South Carolina since Reconstruction.
Scott has said in past interviews that he’s not a black Republican, but simply a Republican who happens to be black. Even so, race isn’t a subject he can avoid and he knows he has a role in expanding the GOP’s reach across demographics.
“The fact is that the conservative movement is consistent with the African American community,” he told HUMAN EVENTS. “I hope to be a champion of all people who want to hear a message that resonates in their hearts.”
That message is America’s promise of a chance to succeed. Scott sees that as something people of all races have.
“We should find like-minded people,” he said. “Black, white or Hispanic; whatever. And go out to where they are and not ask them to come where we are.”
Given Scott’s approach to racial politics, it’s no surprise he may have reservations about joining the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which is currently comprised of only Democrats.
Only one black Republican has ever joined.
“I’ve often pondered that question (about joining the CBC),” Scott said, “but it wouldn’t do me any good to answer right now.” His current focus is solely on winning the general election in November.
Accusations of rampant racism within the Tea Party have circled through the media for months. But Scott says the grassroots movement, along with a handy endorsement from Sarah Palin, is largely responsible for his success.
“I agree with the Tea Party as it relates to free markets and don’t spend money you don’t have,” he said.
On the Sarah Palin effect, he said, “her endorsement increased our lead, without any question.”
Scott’s platform essentially is the Tea Party’s vision for America.
Assuming he wins, during his first term, he wants to defund Obamacare. He wants to roll back the “growth-stifling” regulations the federal government has placed on the financial industry. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, he wants to “live within the revenue streams” of the government rather than “budget arbitrarily beyond.”
Scott sums up his candidacy in three words: “Driven, optimistic, disciplined.”
As he continues to campaign throughout District 1, “driven” and “disciplined” are appropriate for Scott’s campaign. And his shoo-in odds to win certainly warrant optimism.