Namely, the big 4 candidates: Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, and Romney. The hosts and candidates at the “All American” forum at Morgan State did spend good amount of time
addressing those absences in the beginning, highlighted by Sam Brownback’s suggestion that everyone in, say, South Carolina, register Republican for the sole purpose of casting a primary vote for one of the 6 candidates that bothered to show up to speak to the heavily African-American audience.

Most of the questions involved race, and some candidates highlighted race, while Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Alan Keyes insisted that the issues were not about race, but about problems inherent in the tax, welfare and criminal justice system which were harmful to the poor, and thus, disproportionately harmful to minorities. Onto the highlights:

Ron Paul was met with roars of applause ever time he spoke. He stated that the employment disparity (i.e. that more white high school drop-outs are employed than black graduates) was a direct result of the minimum wage law, and that before it, there was no such disparity. Likening them to Prohibition, Dr. Paul called for a repeal of the drug laws, and cited them as reasons for some alarming statistics: though blacks are 14% of drug users, they make up 36% of those arrested for drugs, and an astonishing 63% of those who are put in jail. Paul also called for an end to the war in Iraq and a repeal of taxes.

Alan Keyes, as loquacious and eloquent as ever, was constantly being cut off by the moderator for going over his alloted time. Keyes preached morality, marriage, family and a return to God-fearing ways which were threatened by the “hedonism” of today’s society. On the issue of residents of DC not being able to vote, he simply said “They can move!” One interesting proposal Keyes suggested was that for its members, each community should have a large role in the justice system, which sounds too much like a system that results in honor killings.

Predictably, Tom Tancredo blamed every problem on illegal immigration, though he railed against the welfare state which is doing more to keep poor people poor rather than help them improve their situations. In a moment that Stephen Colbert would be proud of, Tancredo stated that people in DC can’t vote because DC is not a state.

Duncan Hunter had good moments and bad. He cited the absurdity that one can not purchase health care across state lines, and said he would be more supportive of suffrage for DC residents if DC would recognize the second amendment. On the other hand, Hunter stated that young blacks needed to be shielded from pornography, and when asked what he would do to improve/fix the criminal justice system he failed to respond, subsequently adding that the right to a trial by jury was great. He also related that his 6-year-old grandson has been stumping in the classroom for him.

Pity poor Sam Brownback who, given his place on the podium, always had to wait for the cheers for Ron Paul to subside before he could speak. Brownback said the government should apologize for slavery and segregation. He said the US should intervene in Darfur by providing food and medicine, but not provide troops. Brownback idea the US should simply support the AU troops makes little sense, as they are there while the genocide continues.

Mike Huckabee advocated a creation of drugs courts, to provide rehab and an alternative to prison for those convicted of non-violent crimes. Then, when asked about whether the US should intervene in Darfur to prevent the continuing genocide, he said that we needed to end abortions in America. Quite a leap.

Thanks to vocal readers (BoruJudasDedrich) who demanded this coverage.