White, middle-aged activists at the annual CPAC rally in Washington agree that the Republican Party needs to turn toward diversity, but differ over the ways and means to do it.
John Bloom and Kevin Williams – two white, middle-aged conservative activists wandering CPAC, the conservative movement’s annual bacchanal for white, middle-aged conservative activists – want the same thing: to bring more African-Americans into the Republican Party.
The two, however, diverge wildly about the paths the party needs to take to get there. Mr. Bloom envisions attracting black voters by holding up deeply conservative African-Americans such as former Rep. Allen West of Florida and long-shot candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor E.W. Jackson. Mr. Williams believes the answer is for the party to become more inclusive and temperate, to reach African-Americans where they are now.
In other words, the two men are pretty much where the Republican Party is today: older white guys who know what needs to happen (make the party younger, more diverse) but who can find no agreement on how to get there.
Bloom’s calling card at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is a small square of paper with three rhinoceroses on it. Whenever conservatives invoke the horned megafauna, the implication is clear: It’s a vehicle for the derogatory title, RINO, or Republican In Name Only.
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