There is a growing cynicism in America when it comes to politics. Many operate from the jaded perspective that no matter what the individual does to precipitate change, at the end of the day this nation will proceed with business as usual.
Many are concerned that the will of the rich will inevitably trump –– no pun intended – the needs of the poor. This pessimism and cynicism are somewhat rational. Progress in this nation has been painfully slow for people of color.
So, when you have a bombastic individual with no track record of service and no specific plans for enhancing the future come before Black Americans and say, “Vote for me…what do you have to lose,” a small percentage are willing to drink that lethal Kool-Aid.
Some have just decided to support an alternative to Republicans and Democrats that may surface. Disdain for the establishment, in their mind, marginalizes their ballots and the two major parties personify the contempt felt.
Still, others have wanted to opt out of the process altogether. America already has enough trouble getting traditional voters to the polls; especially in an off-year election. The problem is exacerbated by a mounting apathy and lethargy, making some people feel comfortable in their decision to drop out of the process altogether.
That is a dangerous proposition. No matter how disheartened anyone might be for the failures of the Republican or Democratic parties, the decision to become non-participatory is the worst possible, leaving people’s fate in the hands of their antagonists.
Those on the far right would like nothing better than eliminating people of color from the political process. They are trying to do just that with voting laws that disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color. The worst of it is, several federal courts are upholding decisions of states to purge voters.
It is a shameless ploy by a nation that no more believes in one-man, one-vote than it believes in the tooth fairy. If that thought was real, the overwhelming majority of felons would be allowed to vote after fulfilling their debt to society. If Democracy was what it should be, restrictive voter I.D. would be non-existent.
Why can’t voting take place on Saturday and Sunday when people are off? Why can’t churches be polling places with so many right there each week? Why can’t the courts or Congress reverse the racist practice of gerrymandering? Why can’t we do more to facilitate the inclusion of the elderly and the physically challenged?
No. The fact is, America does not believe in majority rule. It is the preference only when consistent with the agenda of power brokers. Exceptions to the rule are embarrassing; like when the Supreme Court gave George W. Bush the victory over Al Gore – or most blatantly when the incumbent lost the popular vote by three million people.
Despite the understandable suspicions of a system that too often designs the oppression of people of color, there are still some indisputable, some inarguable absolutes.
For example, folks need to stop saying Republicans and Democrats are all the same. In general ways, there are alarming similarities with the casual approach to dramatic social progress on the part of both parties. But if you have been following the news at all, you’ve seen literally dozens of stories about racist comments and actions taken by Republicans across the country.
If Democrats are doing the same, at least they are less conspicuous. My hunch is, it does NOT happen as frequently in both parties. Now let us not be delusional. No one is saying that Democrats are saviors while Republicans are the anti-Christ. There are some tangible realities we need to frame. We know the horrible ways in which the GOP treated the Obama Administration.
We know that in the Kavanaugh case, almost every Republican voted “for” and almost every Democrat “against.” We know that policies that benefit the wealthy and corporate America more quickly embrace Republicans. All I’m saying is tell the truth. Democrats have been embarrassingly weak and unimaginative in Congress.
But the GOP is vindictive and arrogant and has failed to distance itself from racism, misogyny, corruption, elitism and some of the most unpatriotic behavior in the history of the presidency.
Undoubtedly, the Democratic party needs work. Serious work. But the one unimpeachable difference between the two is that 45 is the undisputed torchbearer and leader for the Republican party in Washington and throughout America. Democrats have no equal for that level of incompetence, unaccountability, and evil.
The inhumanity of locking children in cages and embracing enemies while shunning allies illustrate the point. The two major political parties are NOT created equally and as we approach Election Day, we need to opt for the lesser of two evils. Bottom line.