I get asked this question often: "why do blacks tend to vote for democrats when their social commitments tend to be more traditional and conservative?"
Here's the reason: white conservatives dropped the ball in the 1970s. The black middle-class in the 1970s was built on the following: government jobs (public education, postal workers, etc.), government forced minority contracting (construction, etc.), the Nixon administration using government programs to guarantee loans for black businesses, various affirmative-action programs mandated by government agencies, and so on. This creates a certain type of loyalty.
Who were the most resistent to racial integration in public schools? Answer: white conservatives--many of whom started private schools in the late 60s and early 1970s in quiet protest.
Who were the most resistent to voluntary diversity initiatives in the public and private sectors?" Answer: white conservatives.
Who were the most supportive of Jim Crow? Answer: white conservatives (whether they were democratic party or republican party conservatives).
Who opened up more job opportunities for blacks in the 1970s as told in the social narrative? Answer: the public sector.
These voting trends have more to do with political economy than social mores. Blacks have not had the luxury of choosing presidential candidates who are consistent with their moral values because the economic and liberty issues took priority. Issues and values voting [on themes related to personal sanctity] comes with a certain amount of cultural privilege.
Pay attention to this from the Department of Labor:
Black workers are more likely to be employed in the public sector than are either their white or Hispanic counterparts. In 2011, nearly 20 percent of employed Blacks worked for state, local, or federal government compared to 14.2 percent of Whites and 10.4 percent of Hispanics. Blacks are less likely than Hispanics and nearly as likely as Whites to work in the private sector, not including the self-employed. Few Blacks are self-employed -- only 3.8 percent reported being self-employed in 2011 -- making them almost half as likely to be self-employed as Whites (7.2 percent).
Do you expect blacks to vote themselves out of a job?
Think: what was it that set blacks up to be so tied to government in the 1970s in the first place? Answer: the "War on Poverty" programs of President Johnson announced in 1964. Richard Nixon increased the coupling of blacks and government by expanding these programs during his administration. America has wasted trillions of dollars on programs that don't work. Trillions.
So my question is this, "Given that most people vote according their perceived economic advantage anyway, why would anyone NOT be surprised that most blacks vote for democrats (given recent history)?"
Two things to keep in mind: (1) Conservatives often ask, "but what about all the failed government social programs that have destroyed urban cities? Why don't blacks see this?" Answer: conservatives since Nixon have done a pathetic job of telling stories that connect those dots and, instead, have chosen to argue ideologically. This approach makes no sense. For example, conservatives believe that The Moynihan Report (1965) "The Negro Family: The Case For National Action" [Office of Policy Planning and Research United States Department of March 1965] appeals to the heart. Seriously? You'd be surprised how many times conservatives today refer to this report. They seem to have not yet figured out that the document is not persuasive as literature; (2) Through the 1980s and 1990s democrats and progressives were successful at crafting the narrative that republicans were against black progress for reasons of race and class. In fact, progressives should be noted for successfully creating a narrative that government programs fail (now and in the past) because Republicans sabotage their success. Republicans have yet to shake that stigma.
In the end, then, a far more important question is, "why do blacks vote for libertarians and republicans at all?