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Worry over increasing government entitlement programs and a fear that they will lose the right to right to bear arms are just a few reasons Republican voters give for disliking today's Democratic Party, Courtland Milloy writes in his Washington Post column.

It's deer hunting season in Virginia, and customers at Clark Brothers Guns in Warrenton were talking ammo, tree stands, how to lure a buck in close enough for a kill. Given the setting, my wanting to talk about luring more blacks and Hispanics into the GOP tent did have a certain cultural incongruity.

But Steve Clark, owner of the store, obliged me anyway.

"I've been hearing talk like that on the news," he said as we chatted across a glass countertop, firearms for sale underneath. "They're saying the GOP needs to change, become more diverse in order to win. Change, meaning pander for the vote, is that it? I just don't see us pandering."

Clark was born in Warrenton in 1956, the same year his father, Jim, and uncle, John, started Clark Brothers, which he took over when they died. He is staunchly conservative, representing the unvarnished, straight-shooting grass roots of the Republican Party. And he wasn't about to change.

"The way I see it, the country does not have enough money to take care of everybody's every need," he said. "So let me do as much as I can for myself, work for myself and don't tell me what to do for other people. If the jobs are there — and we do need more jobs — and people are working hard and still coming up short, I will help. If they aren't trying, I won't. That's the deal."

The gist of Clark's philosophy — that entitlements should not be allowed to erode personal responsibility, sap initiative or bankrupt the country — is a view shared by more than a few African Americans and Hispanics.


Read Courtland Milloy's entire piece at the Washington Post.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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