“. . . when this campaign was at its lowest ebb, the African American community stood up again for me. You’ve always had my back, and I’ll have yours,” – President Joe Biden.
Let’s face it – the chances of the democratic party holding on to their majority in the house in 2022 are slim to none.
Most pundits see our loss of the house and senate as a foregone conclusion. While I certainly realize that anything is possible I have to agree that it doesn’t look good.
As much as I would like to blame it on the republicans I have to admit that much of it has to do with the fact that the democratic party is at best dysfunctional in everything except – raising money and losing races.
As I have said before, – the Democratic Party nationally and in South Carolina is failing Black voters and promoting a misguided agenda.
While some may argue that they have not failed Black voters, I will let them have their opinion, but they must concede that the party is at the very least does not have a clear agenda or operating with an impaired strategy.
The impairment is two-fold in this case. The Party’s focus on fundraising and failure to formulate a coherent message that energizes and addresses the most important issues affecting each of its core constituencies – without which they cannot win, unless Trump runs again.
One of the great fictions of the democratic party and political parties, in general, is that fundraising is the key to winning elections. Wrong!
While it is certainly true that more money can buy greater outreach (more television, social media, etc.) it is not true that raising massive sums of money guarantees election. Witness the fact that candidates with little or no money have often defeated well-funded candidates. And candidates with seemingly unlimited funds have been defeated (Bloomberg and Harrison immediately come to mind). The reason this so-called strategy is continually advanced and pursued is that in politics the name of the game is raising money– winning elections is at best secondary.
Remember too that the while candidates arguably want to win (the jury is still out on that one). Political parties want to raise money. Again, winning elections is secondary – no matter what they say.
An example may be helpful here.
The South Carolina Democratic party has not won the governorship since 1999. We have not controlled the senate since 2000 and the house since 2003. That would be 23, 22, and 18 years respectively.
Yet we have raised increasingly astronomical sums of money with each passing election. The results speak for themselves.
The point here is that it is not the money but the message. Which brings me to my second point. The importance of the message.
First, the message must be developed for an audience. And contrary to popular belief – one size does not fit all.
Second, because of this, the message must be designed to resonate with specific audiences so that they will be energized and inspired to act in a certain way, i.e., vote and otherwise support, of their own will and accord, candidates and elected officials who address the issues of concern to them thereby diminishing the need for fundraising.
It is clear that we cannot win without the African American vote. As I have said many times there can be no blue wave without a black wave!
No Democratic president since FDR has won without the black vote. I’ll say it again we cannot win without the black vote! And our chances of securing that vote in the upcoming midterm election diminishes with each passing day.
When the audience is the African American community, the message must focus on their interests and concerns. Why? I’ll say it again we cannot win without the black vote!
This is not to say that we do not address issues that affect all Americans. Issues important to all Americans must be addressed.
It is to say, however, that the issues facing African Americans are unique and represent historic wrongs at the hands of the United States government and which must be addressed by the United States government.
Why this message is so important now.
For the simple reason that reaching more people with a message that does not speak to their real interests and more importantly does not show them how their vote can change their circumstances for the better, we are wasting time and money.
When the audience is the African American community, we must remember we supported Biden in the last election mainly because the alternative was Donald Trump. We are at heart pragmatists. Many of us held our noses and voted for Biden because it was the pragmatic thing to do. Very few of us were enthusiastic about Biden.
The bottom line is we are tired of having our issues raised during the campaign only to be abandoned after the election because of opposition that was well-known and existed before the election.
President Biden promised to have our backs because we had his. He promised several specific items referred to under the rubric of racial justice. These included updating the voting rights act, decriminalizing marijuana use, ending cash bail and mandatory minimum sentences, and support for reparations study. By the way these do not represent a black agenda developed by or endorsed by African Americans.
The problem is none of these promises have been fulfilled and all seem to have now been abandoned. To be sure we recognize that no one person can do it all. We recognize that the president gets no help from Republicans on issues important to the African American community. – we accept that and expected no less.
But we did expect that after 36 years in the Senate and eight years as chair of the powerful senate judiciary committee and his claimed ability to work with perhaps the most racist, segregationist, white supremacist senators in history (Thurmond, Talmadge, Helms) he might be able to get things done – like President Lyndon Johnson managed to do in 1965 with the voting rights act when those same white supremacist senators were in the senate.
President Biden’s strategy has been bipartisan support. Really? If it were not clear before surely now you understand that either your promise is impossible of achievement in which you lied to us. Or you are just not trying hard enough. I suspect it is the latter. Either way, Mr. President you have eleven months until the midterms. Use the time wisely and treat our issues with the determination they deserve. We will not continue to be taken for granted. Finally, to quote Albert Einstein, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” If you truly have our back now is the time to show it – before it is too late.
But no matter what the president or the parties do we as a people must come together Democrats, Republicans, Independents, LGBTIQQ, Radicals, Progressives, Liberals Conservatives, young and old must join forces now!
They cannot win without us! Which means that we have the power to determine the destiny of any person or party that we choose to support.
Let us begin by letting everyone understand that we will no longer be taken for granted. From now on our vote will follow our interests.
We do not owe allegiance to any party or person. The parties owe us! As does the United States government.
If you agree go to our website and join us www.sccommunityblackcaucus.org.“We are more than just a hashtag.”