Alright y'all, newsflash. I'm tired of the national political campaign.

Already.

Yep, a year ahead of the elections, I'm already sick and tired of the campaign and the campaigners.


Why you ask?

Well, mainly because the issues that are important to me just don't seem to be the positions being carved out by the candidates of both major political parties. The war in Iraq dominates the discourse, and it is a major issue. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The issues that most affect us like voting rights, healthcare, persistent poverty, unequal justice, racism, gun violence, etc., etc., are basically absent from the platforms of both major parties and I don't expect that to change.

There is one constant however in American politics. With the electorate so closely divided, national elections pretty much hinge upon one side turning out the Black vote, and the other side suppressing it. To our disadvantage, we've seen this process play out in myriad fashion over the past few cycles with every trick in the book used to accomplish both goals.

But it's nothing new.

Now instead of counting as 3/5 of a person who's votes are cast by the slave master, we have voting machines that seemingly only count Republican votes. Instead of poll taxes we have broad-brushed disqualifications, a la Florida 2000. Instead of night riders intimidating voters to not show up at the polls, we have voter intimidation at the polls themselves. And instead of a "Southern Strategy" to convince racists to switch party affiliations, opposing candidates concede while voters are still standing in line, obviating the need for such subtle tactics.

I'm a registered Independent but my votes pretty much lean Democrat, and I'm really beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin that have the exact same political goals in mind, but disagree on who controls the process (aka, the money)? Needless to say, listening to the debates, and watching this political show play out once again has me rolling my eyes in disgust at the supposed "issues" being debated. In other words, the more things change the more they stay the same.

That said, I will take the time to go vote for whatever stuffed suit or (skirt) the Democrats put forth, despite their lousy track record of actually acknowledging the issues and concerns of our community.

Why?

Well, it's like your cell phone service. All of the companies make big promises to get you to sign up, and the service is good for a few months, but then you start to realize that all of the reasons you switched from your last carrier are happening again with the new company. The only thing you can do is wait out the contract, and switch again. Same principal applies, and in this case the alternative is four more years like the past 8.

And like my prior cell phone provider, I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

2 comments
  1. Francis L. Holland Blog November 26, 2007 at 9:35 AM  

    Based on what I've seen, I think a lot of people in the AfroSpear agree with you in a general way. Many in the AfroSpear are straining to see the parties as anything but two sides of the same coin.

    But, I would urge you to think of two things: Considering that women were not allowed to vote at all until the early 20th century, just as all Blacks were denied the vote, so electing a woman president is a victory for the expansion of sufferage. White women AND Black women couldn't vote until the 19th (?)Amendment, in 1921 or thereabouts. (I'm no history buff, but this is important enough for me to remember about in a general way.)

    If you think that victories for women's participation in society don't matter, then just ask yourself, "How many of your present activities you could have been engaged in under the male chauvinist rules that obtained in 1907 instead of 2007?"

    Another difference between the Democratic candidates and the Republicans: There was no war for the United States when the Clintons were in office. If you think that's not very important then just think of all of the brown people who have died in the Iraq war, including those Black American soldiers sent to die there. Doesn't the difference between war and peace make any difference?

    Now let's compare the Clinton Justice Department to the Bush Justice Department. Would the Clinton Justice Department have prosecuted Marion Jones and stripped her of all of her Olympic medals while turning a blind eye to a 7% increase in hate crimes? Would the Clinton Administration even have permitted a 7% increase in hate crimes?

    This is an issue about the priorities of the Clintons versus the Republican opposition.

    It's true that the United States will continue to be the United States regardless of who is elected. We will still feel excluded when whites sing about "liberty and justice for all." The difference between the Democrats and the Republicans might be like the difference between stubbing your toe and amputating it.

  2. DP November 26, 2007 at 1:31 PM  

    Francis,

    Thanks for dropping in. In response to your comments I never disagreed with the idea of electing a woman (or a black) to the presidency. I'm all for either scenario as in all likelihood the Democrats are going to put one of the two forward as their candidate and as I said, I'll be voting for whoever they run.

    Regarding the war, you're right in a certain respect that there was not a war of the magnitude that we have now, however, the ground work for this war was definitely laid during the Clinton Administration through the sanctions regime and periodic airstrikes that served to degrade the capabilities of Iraqi defensive. This in turn enabled the cakewalk mindset of the Bush crew when they came to power. Nowhere near the level of death and destruction being leveled on Iraq now, but militaristic just the same. While war and peace make a difference, there's no guarantee we wouldn't be at war under a democratic administration too.

    In respect to the rise in hate crimes and the shenanigans of the justice dept., what can I say. This administration is blatant in their disrespect of civil rights, yet it was under Clinton that mandatory minimums for prison sentencing came into effect, basically doubling the number of Black men in prison. So which has had a more negative impact on Black people? Remember welfare "reform?" Or how about the Kosovo War? Or Somalia? The war on drugs? All were initiated or zealously prosecuted under the Clinton administration, and how many people suffered as a result of each?

    My point is that America is America, and that while there may be short term relief within certain aspects of our lives under Democratic presidents, we always end up paying for it other ways.

    Six of one, half-dozen of another.