Danny Cardwell's picture

    We Don't Owe The Democrats Our Vote!

    Attention Wolf Blitzer and President Obama: Black people don’t owe the Democrats our vote on November 8th. I found myself in the familiar position of yelling at the television like a madman. President Obama was a guest on the Tom Joyner Morning Show (11/2/16) when he said, “I’m going to be honest with you right now, because we track, we’ve got early voting, we’ve got all kinds of metrics to see what’s going on, and right now, the Latino vote is up. Overall vote is up. But the African-American vote right now is not as solid as it needs to be…” My question was: how excited should Black people be? Wolf Blitzer added to my agony with his constant droning about early voting numbers for African Americans in key battleground states being below the 2008 and 2012 levels. At no point did Wolf Blitzer or his panel of "experts" consider the idea that the lack of support some in the Black community are showing for Hillary Clinton might be connected to the overall lack of support the Black community got from the first Black President. President Obama is a great symbol of Black excellence. He was a great choice to be the first President of color. He comports himself well, he’s very measured, and he’s excelled at making historically difficult subject matter easier to digest for racially sensitive allies. But what specifically has he done for someone living in what Donald Trump likes to call “hell” or we call neighborhoods?

    There are plenty of reasons to support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, but what does this election look like to someone who doesn’t have one? If you’re a twenty something black male or female who’s paid any attention over the last few years, what’s the strongest argument Hillary Clinton can make to convince you that you would be safer from discriminatory housing practices, human resources practices, and police practices than a president who looks like you? Donald Trump’s call for nationwide Stop-and-Frisk is the worst kind of racial politics, but his soft fascism isn’t that much different from what too many people of color deal with every day. Bernie Sanders was the best candidate for Black America, but he failed at making that case with enough voters his age irrespective of race: it also didn’t help that Debbie Wasserman Schultz had it out for him. I've watched Hillary Clinton pander to African American voters in every imaginable way over the course of her political career: hot sauce! She, like every Democratic candidate in my lifetime, has done the necessary toe tapping and sermonizing to "prove" their commitment to the Black community and social justice, but what makes this time different?

    The same narrative Northern Progressives and the media used to explain Bernie Sanders’ primary defeat has already started making the rounds on the cable shows. African Americans are being set up as the patsies should Hillary lose the election next week. Instead of asking what’s wrong with a majority of the white voters who support Trump, African Americans are being asked to explain the lack of enthusiasm in our communities. In a warped way, this is a typical American response to issues that stretch across racial lines. When crack was destroying inner cities, the response was to criminalize addiction; now, suburban and rural communities are suffering from opioid addiction and the response is treatment and understanding. There have been thousands of articles written by liberals explaining the economic hardships some of Donald Trump’s supporters are feeling. You can find articles explaining away xenophobia, misogyny, and bigotry, yet these same journalists can’t accept the fact that a person of color could be carrying the same level of economic resentment towards the system plus the burden of systemic racism. Maybe not voting is our version of voting Trump? I’m tired of explaining this to my well-intentioned allies, but it gets old having the political failings and electoral shortcomings of the left’s chosen candidate dropped off at the doorstep of Black America.

    President Obama’s pleas to the Black community will have an impact, but he’s 7 years too late for some. For the most part the black community has gone above and beyond what could be reasonably expected considering how little we got in return for our support. Louis Farrakhan said it best in September, “But I just want to tell you, Mr. President, you’re from Chicago, and so am I. I go out in the streets with the people. I visited the worst neighborhoods. I talked to the gangs. And while I was out there talking to them, they said ‘You know, Farrakhan, the president ain’t never come. Could you get him to come and look after us?’  There’s your legacy, Mr. President. It’s in the streets with your suffering people, Mr. President. And If you can’t go and see about them, then don’t worry about your legacy… We put you there. You fought for the rights of gay people. You fought for the rights of this people and that people. You fight for Israel. Your people are suffering and dying in the streets! That’s where your legacy is. Now you failed to do what should have been done.”

    There are people in the Black community who are ready to concede the 2016 election in lieu of more political capital in 2020. The Democrats have blackmailed us for so long with the threat of horrible Republican policies that many have stopped listening. Maybe, the best way to leverage our political power moving forward is to sit out 2016? This isn’t that crazy of a thought to someone living through hell. How much worse can life get for someone trapped in a failing neighborhood, in a failing city under a Trump Administration? I don’t subscribe to this line of thinking, but I know some very smart people of color who do. Some live in solidly blue states and some live in deep red states, but there are some in battleground states who have decided they will vote Jill Stein or avoid the long lines and stay home. The political landscape has changed. The Republican's biggest problem moving forward is demographics, but what if the left's biggest problem moving forward is a lack of enthusiasm?



    Better Trump's hell than Obama's paradise, smart people are sayin....

    Well I'm sick of all the get-elected carnival show and gotcha-coverage. Hillary's managed to play trained seal, to approach holding audiences close to Obama's or Trump's or Sanders' size. To figure out to say "$15 minimum wage" if that's what the more vocal organizers say. To apologize fairly quick for "predator" when taken out of context 20 years later. To not flinch when they attack your lone allowed tear because you "didn't cry for Katrina". Because everything's out of context - it's a rolling, juggling traveling show.

    My fandom of the Clintons came out of what seemed a Big Tent approach which largely came out of Jesse Jackson's 2 runs (before he tripped up with his Hymietown comment, and who's largely supported the Clintons since). The message was "let's get things done" and they went after tough, previously unapproachable issues, and catered to previously neglected constituencies. This included gays (trying to carefully update the military), blacks (everything from the laughed at midnight basketball to affordable home ownership to more job opps in government to welfare reform in a booming economy to decreasing the horrid murder, crime & drug toll) to women and poverty issues (including Hillary's watershed speech in totalitarian Beijing and health care reforms to cut across all society) to smart new business in the new economy rather than demonixzing capitalism but still going for tax hikes to make government strong. Even early environmental efforts.

    I didn't feel like they had to "pander" - it all made sense, it was inclusive, it just seemed to be "do what needs doing...for everyone". We had some military conflicts but tried to limit them. We talked more about global trade and development and helping the 3rd world produce and join the global economy rather than more precarious handouts that feed corruption.

    I criticized Gore for abandoning his Administration's successes, but Hillary largely isn't even allowed to run on them. A booming economy (that greatly lowered black poverty and unemployment) has been reduced to the hated and misused "NAFTA" and "Glass-Steagal". Work with black leaders (to decrease the horrid murder rate by 2/3 along with all the drug dependency and gang activity) is "predator" and "incarceration". The attempt at health care that at least produced S-CHIP despite Democratic foot dragging is the maligned "Hillarycare". Hillary's support for feminism became a supposedly elite "white feminism", while her decades of work on rural poverty paled in the face of not putting a $15 price tag on labor. Her years of foreign policy with an end to go-it-alone cowboyism has been reduced to "Libya" and "Iraq" and "Benghazi", ignoring any of the qualifying details (like "popular support" or her nuanced speech with the AUMF) in all of these. As SoS, she even instituted the first department-wide benefits for gay employees globally, but because she didn't come out for gay marriage "soon enough" and because of Biill's political stopgap of DOMA against a GOP Congress in the 90's, it's all for naught.

    So Hillary's not black, she won't be doing hip-hop karaoke in the White House, but she'll be putting body cams on police and probably doing much more to ensure fair unobstructed voting at the polls, helping focus on weak parts of black participation in the workplace and economy, make education more affordable without usurious loans, improve int'l environmental agreements and new energy, put a bit more humanity in trade agreements that largely benefit both us and the 3rd World, help with rural participation that's hurting both whites and blacks, and otherwise pushing her usual assortment of practical policies that in a large way benefit the black and Hispanic populace much more than ending fracking and stopping a particular pipeline.

    Water problems in Flint? She'll be there. Union protests against Republicans in Wisconsin? She'll be there. She's active, she remembers, she cares, she keeps lists and follows through.

    If that's not enough to get blacks to the polls to vote, maybe we can hire some trained seals, since the other side already has a monkey.

    PS - Hllary got beaten by Obama, but instead of laying low or fighting him, she's worked with him. Much is not how she would have done it,  but since she didn't win, didn't get to push her program and list of things to do, she actively and full-throatedly backed the guy who did - and would have first black president or not. My boss used to say, "to get where I am I had to kiss a lot of ass... right on the lips". Blacks should know this one by now, and appreciate someone who's eaten a ton of shit just to survive, yet still persists. She's been publicly humiliated so many times, but still manages that friendly, goofy laugh, even when worn out or under another vicious attack. Inauthentic? oh well, can't please  everyone. Smiling's not good enough, you gotta step up and show enthusiasm, and jump thru 3 more hoops to acceptability. Sure, why not.

    PPS - maybe blacks can identify with Hillary as a largely quota candidate who doesn't really belong there - following on Bill's coattails, or by women just "voting their vaginas". Or maybe they can commiserate that everything she does is suspicious and criminal - hurricane relief in Haiti, vaccinations for the 3rd world, microloans for poor women - all somehow just to make her rich despite it being an audited charity organization. Or maybe they can appreciate the hostile, overt insults like "cunt", the not-even subtle calls to violence (brandishing the "2nd amendment"), the continual cries to "lock her up", the already streamrolling effort to delegitimize her presidency and block any law or judicial appointment even before (hopefully) elected. No, she's not black nor does she suffer anything like that level of discrimination, but many of the GOP's methods in attacking her the last 25 years are similar or even tied to the way they eliminate or marginalize black voices from the public sphere. Take ACORN - a valid, public good - but set up and bulldozed off the map through obvious, hokey but somehow still effective lies, hysteria, a malicious public relations campaign. This is the backdrop of our political reality - not a "marketplace of ideas", but a bunch of bastards fighting for turf and unfair advantage with propaganda, legal tools and even physical threats, like the current post-voting rights intimidation at the polls and continual gerrymandering nationwide despite lost court cases. Hillary more than anyone can appreciate blacks' knowledge that that the "vast right-wing conspiracy" actually exists.

    Nice job PP. You know what I'm sick of, The Man Done Me Wrong meme. I've had my complaints about Obama over the years. Mostly about his naive belief in the good will of republicans and his foolhardy attempts at bipartisanship. But even if he had fought like I wanted it would likely have been no better against entrenched republican obstructionism.

    Democrats have a tendency to vote for the man and sit out the mid terms. Then they blame the man for not getting anything done. What do you think will happen if Hillary wins and the democrats take the senate? She'll lose the senate in two years because republicans vote in mid term elections. The only difference is people will blame the women if nothing gets done.

    Politics is a team sport. No matter how good the quarterback passes it means nothing if there isn't a receiver down field. No matter how good he runs he's getting no where without a defensive line. People gave Obama the presidency and because they couldn't be bothered to vote in the mid terms he didn't have a team to fight for his policies. They gave him the lead without the power to do anything with it. And now you blame him.

    No blacks, or whites, don't owe the democrats their vote. They owe it to themselves to vote for the person who will do most of the things they want and stop the opposition from doing things that hurt them. They owe it to themselves to vote every two years. Not just for the Man at the Top but for senators and representatives and governors and state legislatures and local mayors and city council. If they don't do that they have no one to blame but themselves. If people decide not to vote they can be damned, as they surely will be. And that goes especially for black people if the party of racism wins.

    PP, wow! thanks for your thoughtful response to this post. I haven't bought into the trendy hatred of Hillary by the left. I have defended her so much that it has become exhausting, but I can't pretend like life will be dramatically better for someone living in Detroit if she wins. I can't pretend like the first black president and the first black attorney general dramatically improved the lives of people in the streets. I give them credit for sentence reduction measures made for federal drug offenses, but there are people who are tired of jumping through hoops. I can't allow the media and progressives to pin the outcomes of elections on the 12.9% of the population that looks like me. The Republicans aren't a viable option for the long-term health of African Americans. I know this, my peers know this, but so do too many politicians who take our concerns too lightly. 


    Thanks for taking the time out to read and respond to this post!

    And why is it that Obama didn't get more done? Does he just not give a shit about black people? Why is it that he couldn't get legislation passed by the republican controlled house? Is it because he's a bad leader? Yeah, let's blame the man and not the congress. Because the man should be able to do it all alone.

    You know, why the hell am I defending Obama to a black man? Don't vote, I don't care. Punish the democrats. As a straight white male nothing Trump or the republican congress does will hurt me at all. See what it gets you.

    I, like you, am tired of the nonsensical position that ignores the damage the Republicans will do and have done.

    Edit to add:

    Blaming Hillary for lack of black voter enthusiasm is easy. It means that the open suppression of votes in states like North Carolina has no impact.


    Blacks voters are fighting for the right to vote.

    I'm saddened by your anger. If you read the post you would have known that I don't hold this opinion. I am relaying opinions I've heard while traveling throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Your life might not change that much in Trump administration, but neither will the lives of people already subjected to arbitrary policing. This is an opinion I've heard more than one time from more than one person. Maybe we should try to better understand the circumstances that causes informed and intelligent people to feel this way? My point is that Black people shouldn't bear the political grief if Trump were to win. At most Donald Trump gets 8% of the Black vote. 

    Again, I never said I wasn't going to vote. Obama faced historic obstruction; everyone knows that, but being upset people felt let down doesn't deal with the disappointment people have!

    It's amazing that after everything's that's happened since 2014, so much of it this year, that Black Lives Matter didn't matter enough to factor much into the debates.  It did matter during the Democrary primary, as Sanders took seriously his deficiency as a white, rural northeastern liberal unknown to many black Democrats nationally and Clinton dealt with her role in the over-policing that came out of the 1990s. With Trump, the debate became truncated, though, because he seems to think that all black people (except Mike Tyson) live together in the same East St. Louis housing project.  One of the major issues of the news cycle has not really been a major issue of the general election.

    They demonized #BlackLivesMatter, to be more precise - suddenly they were the enemy of all that's good with Americe (tm), and some attacks on police carried out be non-BLM members were attributed to them. This then transformed into "support the police" (apparently our new "support the troops"), and thus into more "law and order" (a crowd favorite since Spiro Agnew days). You can just feel the chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" pealing out, especially as Colin Kaepernick had the audacity to kneel in a House of Worship sacrosanct football game.

    It's typical of the rule that any black concern will either be overridden by a more important white concern, or merged into one so it's no longer a black issue. #BlackLivesMatter gives way to #PoliceLivesMatter, blacks' access to fair voting by the millions comes in 2nd to the chance that someone somewhere may fraudulently vote by 2's & 3's, post-2008 jobs programs for the harder-hit black community have to be more tied into any jobs efforts that targets the unemployed equally across the board complexion-free, that hard-gained government jobs for blacks would be massively sacrificed at both state and federal level in order to handle the belt-tightening to bail out GM & Wall Street, and righteous anger about over-the-top police violence against blacks overridden by the need to sing the National Anthem unsullied at all-important football games and somehow to better respect the troops, and so on and so on.

    I was also thinking of the myth that apologies make things better. Bill Clinton apologized* in April 2015 that the Crime Bill had gone too far in incarcerating blacks, repeating what he'd said in 2012, along with what he said in 2008, that drug sentencing was out of whack, that the War on Drugs should be ended. Yet still Hillary's 20-year-old "predator" term became a cherry-picked anchor around her neck, that the Clintons were unrepentant (and the '94 Crime Bill was completely unjustified) and the whole issue became freshly topical, but with no actual context. (Bruce Dixon had taken down some of the flaws in Michelle Alexander's milestone thesis, including the use of "the New Jim Crow")

    Oddly Hillary came out better in the early engagements with #BLM, as Bernie was seen as a largely old-fashioned unclued-in old white guy, while Hillary at least tried to engage (even though there was some unsuccessful attempt** to thrash her for "talking down" to a BLM rep - certainly part of the M.O. was to create some outrage, not necessarily to solve any particular issues aside from the more general need to address police state violence in black neighborhoods).

    *Bill also apologized for their agricultural policy towards Haiti & elsewhere - pretty gutsy to lay out your mistakes - most people don't.

    **this paints #BLM as amateurs - no one could possibly fail in an attempt to slur Hillary - it's like shooting fish in a barrel or drowning kittens in a sack - even a kid can do it - though trashing Hillary undoubtedly draws a bigger crowd, more like Vick's dogfights.

    I agree Michael, After two debates when the issue didn't come up I knew Chris Wallace wouldn't broach the subject. I've had disagreements with people I love and respect about these issues. Race is hard. Too often I have alienated allies; too often I've had my pleas for understanding fall on deaf ears. We are here and we have to learn how to deal with these issues.

    There are people in the Black community who are ready to concede the 2016 election in lieu of more political capital in 2020. The Democrats have blackmailed us for so long with the threat of horrible Republican policies that many have stopped listening. Maybe, the best way to leverage our political power moving forward is to sit out 2016? This isn’t that crazy of a thought to someone living through hell. How much worse can life get for someone trapped in a failing neighborhood, in a failing city under a Trump Administration? I don’t subscribe to this line of thinking, but I know some very smart people of color who do. Some live in solidly blue states and some live in deep red states, but there are some in battleground states who have decided they will vote Jill Stein or avoid the long lines and stay home.

    Seriously?  When health care, including Planned Parenthood is gone and police are even further militarized, when it's even harder to vote at all, those very smart people might find that they have far fewer options in the next cycle.  I disagree completely with the notion that by saying that Democrats will work harder for the rights of all people, that it is blackmail.  It is simply truth.  Can we get everything done that we want and try to do?  Have you taken a look at Congress lately?

     Staying home this year, or any year is just plain stupid.


    There are people who are fed up with what's going on. If you take a checkers approach to presidential elections then maybe this is a bad strategy, but if you look at this like chess then maybe losing one election will be worth it if you can get some real concessions moving forward. I know people who are going to struggle on November 9th no matter what.

    I'm not supporting this strategy, but the issues I hear people discussing are every bit as valid as the points you raise.

    Thanks for reading!

    Who would be making the concessions?  Democrats who would have been stung by a 2016 loss after running the most progressive campaign ever?  Republicans who would have learned that they can win without black votes, and would also have figured out that they don't really support Democrats either?

     Sitting out this election will doom so many programs that help all people, and sine blacks are included in "all people,"  if by some miracle, a Democrat could win the next time, that poor soul would have to rebuild the skeleton of government programs rather than addressing anything for any group that is a part of the whole.

    I understand that you don't support that strategy, but your headline suggests that the strategy is a reasonable one.

    When Democrats take a stand, they punished. Democrats lost votes after passing the affordable care act. Democrats lost seats when Johnson signed Civil Right Acts.A significant number of our fellow citizens are happy with Republicans running roughshod over everyone else. Republicans don't want minorities to vote. The GOP doesn't want judges who disagree with the Republican agenda. They are boasting about blocking appointments to the Supreme Court. What drug are people smoking that makes them believe that suffering a Republican administration is not going to be bad?


    Most moderate Republicans are no longer Republicans. The quasi-sane Republicans who remain will follow the leads of the wingnuts, Ryan, McConnell, etc have already blended to Trump's will. The Republican Calvary is not coming. The wingnuts will take measures to block any opposition.  

    One disagreement.

    Hillary's work for the Children's Defense Fund went so far beyond tap tapping and sermonizing that all of us  should give that deserved consideration in deciding whether they "owe her a vote".

    I think "all" includes the black community. It will of course draw its own conclusions.

    Mine is that the fact that she didn't fix some of the multitude of other disgraceful   abuses which my white community has inflicted  on our fellow black citizens is no reason to withhold from her the respect she deserves for that work for the CDF

    Hillary is leading in the polls. Hillary will get the same portion of the black vote as other Democratic Presidents. 

    Republicans are impacting black votes by defying court orders in states like North Carolina. The NAACP has taken the GOP to court, just days before the election. Blacks are aware of what is happening.

    Take a deep breath.

    As Republicans control Congress and most state legislatures and governorships, might a dissatisfied articulate voice like yours perhaps achieve more concrete results for cities like Detroit by active membership in the GOP?

    Republicans seek diversity in their ranks, and you have blogged on your concern and dialogue with moderate Republicans.

    J. C. Watts comes to mind. He was also a Baptist preacher prior to becoming an influential Republican in Congress.


    Danny, I respect your opinions but this you have to explain to me. When Obama was elected, Mitch McConnell vowed to make Obama a one-term President. The GOP has been openly hostile to most of the things Obama wanted. A President is not a dictator, he/she has to get bills passed in Congress. The GOP blocks legislation.

    I expect that a good number of disappointed people you talk with are paying lower taxes than they paid under Bush. Why are they disappointed? I suspect some are receiving health benefits they could not get before. Whey are they disappointed? Regarding Stop and Frisk, especially in NYC, active citizen pressure got the practice in court. The ruling of a judge sharply curtailed Stop and Frisk in NYC. Why is the threat of bringing back a policy that takes away civil rights not a big deal? If people do head for the polls, even to vote for Jill Stein, many may find that their ability to vote is challenged by the state. The black people I talk to wonder why the GOP is not seen as a clear and present danger. Why should we have to suffer because others want to engage in a temper tantrum? Explain how others overlook things that have been done despite opposition.Did it go unnoticed that the DOJ is still battling voter suppression despite the wingnuts on the Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act.

    Regarding the media, I suppose I am numbed to their recurrent inability to proper report on the black community. When Minister Farrakhan organized the Million Man March, if you remember the media did not realize anything was happening until the actual weekend that buses were headed to D.C. When "only" 80 % of blacks in Ohio voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate, blacks were accused of losing the election. Now the press wants to rinse and repeat a prior meme by reporting low early turnout without mentioning Republican voter suppression efforts in many states. 

    I and others simply do not understand why blacks who see the GOP directly attacking black people, blame the Democrats and are willing to accept Trump as a result of wasting a vote.

    I would note that Republicans are able to maintain control of Congress because Democratic voters are vocal during Presidential elections, but hibernate during the midterms. Midterm elections resulted in gerrymandering and voter ID laws. What should the black community be doing about low midterm voter turnout or is it all on the Democrats?

    Recently, I worked with social services and the County's health department to help sign people up and administer flu shots. Everyone got flu shots, but those flu shots do nothing for someone with diabetes. We can point to a number of issues that benefited everyone, but what specifically did the Black community get? This might be an unfair question, but people are asking it. 

    Being upset with me or wantin answers from me doesn't deal with the issues people a facing. I gave a talk at the IX Art Park in Charlottesville last Friday and met a number of dissatisfied college students who felt like they weren't being heard. Attacking them for how they feel or me for writing about it does nothing to fix the issues they are dealing with. I have friends on faculty at Washington and Lee University who face a tremendous amount of racism. Bernie Sanders always had an uphill battle to get the nomination, but he made some fatal mistakes in trying to earn the black vote. There are real issues to be resolved no matter how the election turns out. 

    I didn't mean my question as an attack. You are encountering people who cannot get health care other than free flu shots?

    Edit to add:

    Is the lack of coverage do to limitations a Republican Governor and legislature placed on Medicare expansion? Again my question is not an attack, but an attempt to focus on why the ACA did not improve the situation for the people who have no health care. The ACA passed with little Republican support. The Republicans in Congress had multiple attempts to destroy health care. Again I see the source of the problem as the GOP not the President. Blacks benefited from the ACA.


    Edit to add:

    Here is one chart on the de erase in the number of uninsured black people after the ACA. Again, I don't mean my questions as an attack. I am confused by why the anger is directed at Obama.


    Here is a list of things that Black Enterprise magazine notes helped African Americans.


    Obama faced the racist birtherism of Donald Trump. He is not going to solve the racism among faculty at a Virginia university. The large best segment of racists who vote are in the Republican Party.

    Edit to add:

    We are obviously communicating with different groups of black people. Most of the black people I know have a response to Republicans that is visceral. We can remain civil with Republicans, but we have lost respect for them. Most of the black Republicans II know are vocal about their disgust with the GOP and are openly voting for Hillary. 

    Republicans, not Democrats, are views as public enemy number one. The GOP is being sued for voter suppression in North Carolina and had a ruling go against a GOP plan to monitor votes in black neighborhoods in Pennsylvania. 

    My questions are not attacks. They are the result of absolute amazement that people are willing to endure a Trump Presidency. 

    We are talking to different groups of blacks. I looked for polling data that should correct for our individual sampling errors. Hillary has the majority of the black vote, whether they are voting for her or against Trump. The lowest level of support is among millennials, where "only" 80% are voting for Hillary/Against Trump. My sample skews slightly older than yours. The young people I come intact with seem to be a mixture of pro-Hillary/anti-Trump voters.


    You are correct regarding the media scape-goating black voters. White voters are the group with the lowest support for Hillary and would be the ones responsible for electing Trump.


    Again apologies for sounding like an attack. I do not understand the concept of saying that Hillary is as bad as Trump held by 20% of black millennials anymore that I understood the 20% of black Ohio voters who were homophobic enough to vote for George Bush.

    No need to apologize. These are tough issues and tricky subject matter. I respect your critique. There's a segment of people who have embraced the idea that their life can't get any worse. They are willing to risk 2016 to win the next 4 or 5 elections. They are thinking more chess than checkers. I think Trump's soft fascism is horrible, but I'm not in their shoes!

    I think that they are the ones playing checkers. Trump would select judges that would make their lives worse. The friggin' FBI, Russia, and Wikileaks are work to rig the election. The Klan and other white supremacists are supporting Trump. Trump says that he will not concede the election. I don't see how this is not a persistent threat at the end of four years. Republicans will block Supreme Court nominations.

    I view this like John Lewis views things.Trump can usher in worse times.


    ​I view the so-called moderate Republicans voting for Trump as no better than those who let the Klan and white citizen's councils run wild in the past. I am disgusted that people are willing to tolerate a Trump Presidency. The subset of black people I talk to share that view. We see a long tough road recovering from a Trump Presidency.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    They're not playing chess. They're gambling on a wish and a dream. Might as well buy a lottery ticket. How bad do you think things have to get to win the next 4 or 5 elections? Bad as things got under Bush after people threw their vote away on Nader he was re-elected.

    Think things couldn't get worse? They could get worse not just for a four year Trump presidency but for the next 40 years. Scalia was appointed by Reagan and was still a scourge for most of Obama's terms as president.

    You claim it's not your view but you're making "their" arguments and defending "their" views without making any counter arguments or any pushback.

    I respect your opinion. I'm relaying the arguments I've heard. I spend a lot of time talking to people who have been treated less than by a country that demands their loyalty. I know people who are routinely victims of the worst kinds of racism. They have seen their peers harassed, they've been the victims of housing and economic discrimination, and for the last few years they've been bombarded by images of police brutality. How can things get worse when you are ducking crime in the streets, failing schools, and can't get a job? They aren't supporting Trump. I value your opinion because your opinion is as valuable as mine or theirs. This weekend I'll travel to Northern Virginia and Washington DC. I'll spend time in the neighborhoods where everyday life is a struggle. I understand people not getting where these people are coming from, but that doesn't diminish the feelings they have.


    Thanks for responding! 


    It is not a point of not getting that they feel abandoned. The fact is that historically things have been much worse. Fannie Lou Hamer was poor and abused but she wasn't willing to be disenfranchised. She risked life and limb by defying the racist Southern Democrats of her day. Trump wants to roll back advances that Hamer sought. 

    If the Republicans challenge the intelligence and citizenship of a Harvard graduate like Obama, they care very little about all black people. We are all n-ggers to them. The FBI is in open rebellion. They notified the Trump campaign about the false email scandal days before the emails were released. 

    What is frustrating is that giving up and letting things happen is not an option. Again that strategy is not a chess move. After 4 years of Trump the ability of several black communities to vote may be non-existent. Black people are battling for voting rights in 2016. Waiting until 2020 to voice complains is too late.


    Following up on ocean-kat's observation that you don't seem to be pushing back, what do you plan to say to the folks you meet in northern Va. and DC?

    Once I give my talk about the ACP (Atlantic Coast Pipeline). I'm meeting with some friends who are members of the clergy and we are trying to get out the vote out. I'm not going to chastise people who live in situations worse than mine. It's always been a more effective strategy to listen to them. Then Sunday I'll cover an ABA basketball game for my job and come home.

    Vox makes the point that the black vote in NC has been hampered by the hurricane as well as the GOP opening fewer polling places around black communities. Potentially this week's turnout could be much higher, will see.

    In one on one discussions, I point out that things could be worse under Trump. It is not chastising, it is discussing face-to-face.

    When an acquaintance talked about possibly voting for Bush because he would prevent Gay marriage. I understood their religious rationale, I disagreed with their rationale. I did not chastise, I explained why I thought that Bush's views on other things outweighed any concert of Gay marriage.I  am sure that you have had discussions with rightwing people and offered your opinion without chastising them.

    Perhaps your role in your particular GOTV effort means you have to be neutral.


    Danny, I don't think anyone is talking about chastising people for their views.  I'm certainly not.  And listening is always a positive way to begin a conversation ... but the idea that listening without trying to inform others of your points - asking them to listen to you - is somewhat akin to simply being a sounding board.  You've said several times that you don't personally agree with what you're espousing on behalf of others, yet you've also neglected to mention whether you express your own beliefs to them.  If you truly believe that there is another option, another way of looking at things that they may have overlooked or eschewed, don't you owe it to folks that may value your opinion to give it to them when you have the opportunity? 

    Then again, perhaps I'm overlooking your position as a member of the clergy.  Do you consider that a factor when advising others politically?  If so, I'm somewhat puzzled considering your writings here at Dagblog.

    I've organized and hosted voter registration drives and hosted forums for candidates in our church. In Virginia we have off year elections. I moderated the largest public and private political events in the 24th district last year. I have made arguments for Hillary Clinton here, in several articles in local papers, and at other events I've been part of over the last few months. I'm not going to pretend like she's the best candidate the left could have produced, but we have her. I am not going to carry water for her. I'll do an event this weekend. The people who know me know I'm out in the streets. I was in Charlottesville when Martese Johnson was beaten by ABC officers. I was in Baltimore on April 26th- on my anniversary (days before the CVS burned). I don't just blog I go to where people are suffering. I've been able to meet and work with some of my heroes. My pastor has two arrest on his record both protesting for civil rights in Virginia. The head of our Deaconess board was one of many who helped force integration at East Kentucky University. My wife was responsible for the campaign to honor and memorialize the Rosenwald schools in our area. This is all fact. I have a record that I'm proud of. 

    If I gave you any reason to feel the need to defend yourself or your record, I apologize.  That was not my intent.

    I am responding to your blog here and what you've stated in subsequent comments, and am curious regarding your conversations with those in neighborhoods not like your own.  I understand that you support Hillary over the other viable options for President - with your own misgivings and question marks.  My query was regarding your response to those who have such fears and helplessness in their lives that they feel (based on what you've expressed) that either not voting or turning away from the Democratic party is their last best option for the future.  You're clearly empathic to their concerns, Danny.  How do you attempt to assuage them?  How should we? 

    I have been a stronger advocate for Hillary Clinton than I believe she would ever be for me. I have made some of the same arguments people in this thread have made. I live in a Lilly white community in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I can open my front door and see a half dozen Trump signs. When I lived in Richmond I knew Black people who did know any white people. I live in a community where at any given time I could be the only person of color within a few miles. I've noticed that one of my central arguments has gone all but unmentioned in the very fair and astute critiques of this post: why does the left feel the need to scapegoat  black voters when their preferred candidate doesn't win? Jason Johnson wrote an excellent column for the Root a day after I published this blog. Am I being unreasonable for wanting my fellow progressives to go after the aunts, uncle's, and cousins who are actually going to vote for Trump with the same vigor they are going after people who are committed to sitting out the election? I've written here about the filth I see on a daily basis only to have some of my colleagues excuse their embrace of a virulent racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic candidate because, "trade hasn't worked for them." These comments are still up on the site. Why are people of color called on to fix issues like these when obviously we dididn't put Trump in this position? 

    The "left" is not scapegoating black voters - the media is. ... see comment at bottom.

    Danny, do you feel that this election is different than ones that came before? Trump attracts white supremacists. He refuses to say that he will concede the election. He receives aid from Russia, Wikileaks, and now rebels within the FBI. The Republicans are blocking black votes. I consider Trump and his followers Fascists. Fascists do not give up power once they take over. Do you feel my concerns are unwarranted and that Trump is just another wingnut? I don't see Hillary as the real problem here. Sanders sees Trump,as the threat, he is wrong as well?



    Vox says don't worry, black voters see this election as much more important than 2012. Maybe not "enthusiastic", whatever that means, but will be there. And not traditionally early voters. Hope they're right.

    And by 1 Florida survey, 28% of early Republican voters were voting for Clinton. That seems like a high margin to maintain, but I do suspect there's a much larger crossover vote than usual, and the way the toxic debate is going, I imagine a lot of people wouldn't say this publicly.  

    You were the first to deal with the issue of blaming the Black community for losses in primaries and general elections. 

    The media collectively is not very bright and is still essentially white bread. We cannot expect media to deal with issues of race. Melissa Harris-Perry was repeatedly replaced by white bread nonsense on MSNBC until she quit. Joy Reid is doing a good job pointing out racial aspects to issues now that she is in Harris-Perry's former time slot. I never have time or remember to record Al Sharpton. CNN's Don Lemon seems pretty much an idiot to me, although some friends appear to like him.

    The media can't cover serious issues, so they fall prey to nonsense. Donald Trump asked Russia to intervene in our election. Donald Trump considers Vlad Putin a friend. One high official is being investigated for ties to Russian. Newsweek just released a powerful article showing Trump ties to Russia. None of this is a big Trump story in most of MSM. 

    I view what happens with the Clintons as being similar to what happens when the police repeatedly follow and pull over the same car. The driver is repeatedly let go. The police are convinced that the driver must be guilty. The neighbors suspect something is wrong, otherwise the driver wouldn't be stopped repeatedly. We had Vince Foster "murder". We had a bogus story about wrongdoing at the Clinton Foundation. We had multiple Congressional investigations of Benghazi. We have a private server that went unhacked, unlike the State Dept system that did get hacked. 

    I see the FBI working with Russia and Wikileaks. I see the leaks going to the Trump campaign to damage Hillary. I am pissed, but I am not pissed at Hillary. 

    If I did it right this is an interesting idea. Since Hillary's emails were released as part of the

    email "scandal" here's someone who read them.


    Of course perhaps they should be discounted as  very early posturing in preparation for her next

    run which was clever  enough to take in a former antagonist turned supporter.

    Either way

    A. It was an interesting idea to read them and see if they provide some unusual  insight into

    the mostly impregnable HRC. And

    B. Why hasn't the mainline press  already done this? Or did it in fact do it and I missed it ?

    My default position is to start by believing whatever I read  until I'm disabused  by some  chilly reality.

    That hasn't happened  yet with the "damn emails" so I still take them at face  value. And am


    (moved down)

    The "left" is not scapegoating black voters - the media is. They're pumping up the FUD that Hillary's base isn't there for her, that she still has a millennial problem that includes blacks, that she can't count on what Obama could count on, that there's no enthusiasm, even as Republicans actively try to lower black registrations and voting.

    Last night Beyoncé was rocking Cleveland, noting cheekily that she "could have stayed home baking cookies", the line that 25 years ago gave Hillary so much shit and today is just an obvious statement of women's right to choose what they do.

    She gets it, blacks get it. They were Hillary's unflinching support back in March when some said Southern states don't matter, back in 2008 even when there was a black dude to compete for her affection, even back in Little Rock when it was the same issues as always, why she became a Democrat and political junkie to start with. We're good.

    I watched a film on Chess Records last night ("Caddilac Records" with Queen Bé giving a fine performance ), proud of the white pioneers like Leonard Chess who built up black dreams in black neighborhoods when it wasn't acceptable or allowed and black pioneers like Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf who created early rock and roll out of blues. We're not fighting today, we're taking progress and culture one step further.

    Leonard Chess died of a broken heart literally as he was closing down his studios in 1969. What could be cooler than that.

    If Trump wins, it will be because of white Republican voters, period. Barack Obama only got 38% of the white vote in 2008. 

    22% of all black voters have voted early.. Almost half of registered black voters have already voted in Georgia and Nevada. Over 85% of registered black voters who have not voted plan to vote. There are black voters who feel that the system does not address their issues. The needs of those communities have to be addressed. The majority of black voters are under stress. Some are recovering from the housing crisis. Some have found new employment. The majority are voting for Hillary. Most fear a Donald Trump Presidency.


    The Republican Party has made itself a cesspool of racism. They have lost the millennial black, Latino, and Asian vote.

    Ruining the meme, dude - isn't there something blacks are doing or not doing that we can pin this election on? Just in case? Don't worry, in 4-8 years we can blame it all on Hispanics, so you guys are off the hook, but for the moment we're hurting for scapegoats....

    PS - that was a pretty great rundown on state of things (if that's his condensed version, can only imagine what the War & Peace version looks like). Maybe he'll be discussing with his Turkish friends how they can get their country back too.

    Our Captain in Orlando today. Not perfect,  but so much better than we deserve.

    LOVE this ^^^^^^^^^^^

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