State and Local Political Processes

This is Elvina Scott reporting to you live from Channel 12. I am here in Baltimore, Maryland at the national headquarters investigating an interest group named the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary an interest group can be defined as a group of persons having a common identifying interest that often provides a basis for action. We want to examine the connection and the relationship between the Republican and Democratic parties and the influence they have on the Texas government. The NAACP was founded in 1909 by a group of not only black but also white citizens. The interest group formed was in New York to help citizens fight for political, educational, social, and economical equality for African Americans. Prior to the Civil Rights Movement, the Republican Party saw separate but equal as fair and the Republican Party was molded by a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male perspective.

The Republicans see the NAACP as a threat and a black activist group with an agenda. In 2005, party leader Ken Mehlman made headlines with a speech to NAACP members apologizing for his party's history of using racial divisions in appealing for white votes (Thompson, 2009). The current Republican National Committee Chairman is an African American man named Michael S. Steele. Steele was a part of the campaign called the “Freedom Tour”, which was an attempt to build a relationship between black voters and the GOP. Steele challenged the NAACP to join him on his "Freedom Tour," which he described as a conversation he is to have with predominantly black communities to discuss issues such as poverty and entrepreneurship (Thompson, 2009).

The Democratic party being predominately black welcomed the NAACP. The Democratic Party partners with the NAACP on many controversial issues. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People claims to be nonpartisan, but it uses its millions of dollars to promote the Democrat's agenda (Miller & Seper,). The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama is also a supporter of NAACP. Each political party has differing effects on the state government. The differing effects stems from each party’s beliefs about each political topic.

The Democratic Party is more concerned about the blue-collar workers and will influence state government on issues that they believe will aid the blue-collar workers in their quest to be more productive and viable citizens. The Republican Party is more concerned with big business and those issues that they believe will help big businesses flourish. Republicans also believe the focus should be on helping everyone, the rich, and the poor alike. The Republicans influence on state government will be in the form of equal treatment for each citizen, regardless of economic or social stature. When it comes to the election and citizen participation process, Texas does thing a little different. Although, most other state have a primary or a caucus; the Democrats us a process that some call the “Texas two-step,” which lets them use both. The Democratic voters can choose two-thirds of Texas’ Democratic delegates from the primaries, and one-third from the caucus. The Republican or the GOP allows the caucus to determine which party activists get to go to state.

Primary voting allocates Republican delegates. If a voter votes in the Republican primary, then they can only vote in the Republican run-off and if any special elections during two-year cycle can only vote in Republican primary. The Voter’s Rights Act prohibited any government from using voting procedures that denied a person the vote on the basis of race or color. It was this extension of voting rights that ultimately led to universal suffrage. As a result, black political participation in Texas and the South increased. The NAACP has made major contributions to both sides of the political arena. Whether you are black or white, you can stand for the rights of others. The NAACP is the nations’ largest and oldest organization for civil rights. Although, NAACP has been around for decades, and has made great progress, they still have a long fight for social justice for all Americans.

References Miller, S., & Seper, J. (Ed.) (). NAACP tax status questioned. The Washington Times, Retrieved from Thompson, K. (2009, July 15). Republican National Committee Chairman Tout “Historic Link” to NAACP. The Washington Post. Retrieved from www.washingtonpost.com