Mr. Paul, for his part, has courted younger blacks by visiting historically black college campuses, which is admirable. Less admirable is Mr. Paul’s decision to mouth liberal positions on voter ID, drug laws and prison sentencing in order to win black support. “I’m trying to go out and say to African-Americans ‘I want your vote, and the Republican Party wants your vote,’ ” he told a radio interviewer last year, explaining why he thinks the GOP should drop the voter ID issue. “We have to be aware that the perception is out there and be careful about not so overdoing something that we further alienate a block of people that we need to attract.”
That’s not black outreach—that’s pandering. Moreover, it’s off-base. A Fox News poll last year found majority support for voter ID laws among every demographic group, including 51% of blacks. A 2012 Pew survey put black support for voter ID at 62%. And law-abiding ghetto residents want the criminals who prey on them and their children locked up, not coddled. Don’t confuse the agenda of civil-rights groups and other black elites with the desires of most blacks.
The better approach is the one taken by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who launched his second bid for the White House last month and gave one of the campaign’s most poignant speeches last week. Mr. Perry is less concerned with making race-based entreaties than he is with appealing to blacks as fellow Americans. Imagine that!