The time has come for the United States to decide what direction she will travel in the next four years, and whether it will be closer or further from the rhetorical north star that is democracy.
Though our government is often considered to be the oldest democracy in the world, she is far from the most perfect. Indeed, within the last 20 years, the so-called Americans of voting age have participated in some of the most hotly contested political contests of the last 100 years.
It took 100 years from the country’s founding until the first instance in which the electoral college and the popular vote picked different presidential candidates when Rutherford B. Hayes (R) won the election despite Samuel J. Tilden winning the popular vote.
This took place again 12 years late when Benjamin Harrison defeated Grover Cleveland, despite the latter winning the popular vote by 90,596 in 1888. It was another 112 years before this “glitch” would happen again when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore after a contentious Florida affair in 2000.
Donald Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton in 2016 represented the largest popular vote deficit for a winning candidate in history at 2,868,686.
The Reason for the Election Season
Our current societal tumult is representative of poor leadership and the eventuality of a pandemic of this sort, which had been predicted by many health thinktanks dating back decades.
Additionally — as has been witnessed at the onset of our current situation when the hoarding of toilet paper and Lysol were offenses upon which millions risked their moral code and dignity — people become unrecognizable when pressed up against incredibly hard times.
Thus, a fearful populous is then made malleable for infection by presidential demagoguery perpetrated against the vulnerable, disenfranchised, and marginalized.
Though Trump’s name is but the latest to be emblazoned with horns and fangs in the minds of his American victims, the pandering toward, and attempted scapegoating and gaslighting of Black voters has been disgusting to witness yet again.
One gets the impression from the numerous news articles and opinion posts that are circulating regarding the impact of the Black male voter being key to a Trump win, that if the Orange one wins this election, Black men who either voted for him or didn’t vote at all, will be blamed.
Setting The Stage For Blame and Praise
I mean, that’s kinda par for the course as far as America goes. The brothers that checked off Trump are said to have made up 13 percent of all Black voters in 2016. Yet, 53 percent of white women voted for this man, and they ain’t get nearly as much heat.
Maybe it’s because the Oval Office’s attempts at employing Black male celebrities to carry his message gives the illusion of some massive Black male abandonment of all things progressive, which is statistically and literally false.
Yet, the narrative being projected says otherwise.
Conversely, Black women are being positioned as the saviors of the Democratic party and harbingers of a Biden presidential victory.
It’s true that the influence of Black women on national politics has increased exponentially from Clinton through Obama. And the “Black Girl Magic” influence of VP Kamala Harris, campaign strategist Symone Sanders, and a national army of energized AKAs is indeed an invigorating injection with influence that dwarfs their actual numbers.
But their efforts are sensitive to election day chicanery, intimidation, voter suppression and legal “fraud” perpetrated by the conservative judiciary in potentially contested states.
Enough Blame To Go Around
In other words, in my opinion, and from my vantage point, for Black efforts in support of Biden to bear fruit, White, “Latinx”, and Asian-American people must act like they don’t want another four years of Trump. And thus far, I get the feeling that most voting-age White women and men are indifferent at best, and that’s just not gonna cut it.
But they’re not the only ones, though the Black voter turnout dipped to 59% in 2016, it still was higher than Asian-Americans and “Latinx”, at 49.3% and 47.6%, respectively.
Yet, I have seen very few editorial efforts aimed at admonishing either of these demographics for their failed turnout, yet Black folks get it every time the Dems lose or come close to it.
To overthrow our collective reality, it’s going to take a combined effort to remove an ostensible madman from the White House, and prayer that we’re replacing him with someone who’s at least not a petulant, jealous child. But what does a “sane” president look like for the average Black man, woman and child? Is the measure of his sanity the continued preservation of American ideals deemed obsolete?
Yes, I’m Voting But I Wouldn’t Blame You If You Didn’t
In the immortal words of Seal, “we’re never gonna survive unless we get a lit-tle crazy!”
Indeed, a sane president will go right back to the deliberate speed rate that prior administrations took toward legislation aimed at Black betterment. Usually, we see shotgun overtures aimed haphazardly at “working class”, “people of color” or “education” and, only very recently, the “prison industrial complex”. They almost never address institutional racism or anything aimed directly at closing the wealth gap between Black and White American families.
Yet, some want to act like this election hinges upon the participation of Black people, ignoring the hard, numerical fact that this power is only manifest successfully when mainstream voters do what THEY’RE supposed to do.
But, then again, when was the last time that actually happened?
Yeah, I’m voting. But don’t act like me not voting, or voting for Trump, is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Indeed, that camel should’ve been put down years before my straw was even a factor.