Election Day Special: Vote and Live!
I am certain that I don’t need to write another piece bemoaning the apparent loyalty that so many of us offer to the National Democrats for negligible returns. Though it wasn’t pleasant to watch Reverend Sharpton trace the Donkey Party’s evolution from the girl we brought to the dance, who left the dance with someone else, to the wife, with whom we’ll work out our differences, I will get over it. Regular viewers of Black Electorate are well acquainted with the idea that “the Democrats take Blacks for granted” and how that point is used and spun by Conservatives and various Independents.
I am inclined to think that Black Electorate viewers are less likely to swallow the idea that a Black Person who supports the Republican Party is necessarily more of a free thinker because they have liberated themselves from the “Democratic Plantation” and presumed “liberal group think.” As individuals, we might be able to find valid reasons to support the GOP, but that does not mean we need to slander all of our people in the other camp as simple minded pawns. Whatever good it can offer, a party that benefited from the Southern Strategy and the exaggerated whines of White Victim Politics had to pay a cost in Black votes (don’t worry the first Black President will offer a substantial Reparations package to all Whites whose lives were destroyed by Welfare, Black History Month, and Affirmative Action). The GOP could have left the White Victim shtick to the Democrats since the Dems historically had a talent for it. Oh if only something other than talk radio had emerged as the primary medium for this decades-old stream of fine whines. Republican surrogates were the only ones left to take up the struggle as the free market naturally wiped out radio-challenged Democrats and they just couldn’t resist taking advantage.
We’ve been reminded not to fall for the “double reverse.” We can be mindful of the disadvantages that arise if we are unable to rise above our partisan attachments to the Republican Party, Democratic Party, or any of the x number of parties falling under the designation “Third Parties.” It should be clear that we should feel free to take what is useful from any source and abandon what is harmful or has no value.
All of the staff at Black Electorate.com has voted or will vote today, but like Florida’s Tampa Tribune we have opted to withhold a public endorsement of any candidate. I know this may disappoint some viewers, and might especially upset those who believe this is the “most important election of our lifetime,” but there is not a point of agreement or boon associated with any candidate that convinced us to offer our editorial support.
Let us be clear. For some of us, every Republican President or Candidate will automatically be considered the incarnation of evil. Also, while the numbers are small now, some of us will grow to manifest a parallel hysterical feeling on the other side. Personally, I can not advocate for Bush and I can not advocate for John "the second Black president" Kerry either. I truly dislike the way some of my personal associates and some African-American public figures have described the situation as if our lives depend on whether Kerry is elected. I can almost hear certain people saying, “if we don’t get Kerry in there we gonna be slaves!”
I find it interesting that many in the anti war wing of the "life or death" school ignore the reality that the Democratic nominee is not anti war and has hinted that Iran and North Korea were more worthy of American aggression than Iraq.
The national security wing of the "life or death" school may feel that a Kerry administration would leave this country more vulnerable to terrorist attack, but it could also be argued that policies and conditions, which contribute to the creation of terrorists, still exist and may even be bolstered under the "Bush doctrine" and its tenet of "Pre-Emptive Strike."
This election isn't the last chance to save the Black Man in America. This government is not the only power in this land or world, and we can continue, and even increase in health, even if the next 10 Presidents are Republican (or Democrat). And our overall well being would not be assured if the next 10 Presidents were Green, Libertarian, Conservative or any other "independent." I find it especially funny when Christians, Muslims, and other religious Black folk act like it is the government that is omnipotent. It is also peculiar to hear Black Liberals, Progressives, and Conservatives, who identify themselves as believers in God, warning against a Messianic complex in the Black Community, but championing their candidate of choice as if he was the Second Coming. Do we really need to believe that the indicators of Black health, wealth, and power are hopelessly tied to whichever party and person is in the White House?
Quite simply, vote and live. The vote is a tool that ideally allows us to have some influence on one of the many powers present in this world. That one power, on the federal, state, and local levels, is not the sole determining factor in our reality and outside of our vote we are still blessed with other means to “declare ourselves” and to participate in reality. Do not be afraid. However this one national election turns out, do not panic. Vote and Live.
Andy J. Solages is Contributing Editor of Black Electorate.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy J. Solages
Tuesday, November 2, 2004