Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will give a speech Wednesday at Howard University, the historically black college, about the history of black voters and the Republican Party. It will be interesting to see what version of GOP history Paul decides to tell. Since the 2012 election, Republicans have been looking to reach out to minority voters, but can sometimes show a bit of denial as to why their party gets so little of the minority vote in the first place. The Kentucky senator, who has said he's interested in running for president in 2016, makes a great case study. "I think sometime aways back we quit showing up and asking African Americans for their vote," Paul told Business Insider's Grace Wyler. Perhaps he could ask his father to clarify what happened.
Since the 2012 election, the GOP has been trying to figure out how to appeal to minority voters, following many failed attempts in just the last 10 years. But a fascinating aspect of this conversation within conservatism is that conservatives don't always want to talk about why that outreach is difficult. The most shocking moment was at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March, in which a panel titled "Trump the Race Card: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Called a Racist and You Know You're Not One?" was about how the GOP was the party that really supported civil rights. A segregationist then tried to correct the speakers, telling me he favored the GOP because Republicans supported segregationists in the 1960s and 1970s. "Trump the Race Card" was not making a novel argument! Kevin Williamson made the same case in a National Review cover story titled "The Party of Civil Rights" in May 2012. One bit of recent conservative history Williamson omitted was the time National Review founder William F. Buckley endorsed white supremacy.