Strategery is a comical word said by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live while playing candidate George Bush.  Voting with a strategy is no laughing matter for Blacks in the South.

As we know, most Black southerners who vote favor the Democrat Party however, I stay ticked off by the fact that many Blacks simply don’t vote.  Oh, hard working, church attending, clean nosed African Americans vote as part of our civic duty and to help form a more perfect union.  But, a shocking percentage of Blacks who live in part on public assistance can’t be troubled to go vote.  But, the same folks pay 8 bucks every Friday night to profile at the high school football game…in the cold….for hours.   Really?

If those folks voted, the Republicans wouldn’t run most of politics in the South outside the largest cities.  Strategery would dictate that Blacks Who Actually Vote (BWAV) come up with a fallback plan because begging cats to vote isn’t working.  The purpose of voting is to select elected leaders who best reflect your views and opinions.  So logically, if the Democrats aren’t even fielding candidates in most contests, we must select from the Republicans…I won’t say “the lesser of evils” because most of them aren’t actually evil and I have yet to see any horns.

Georgia has a special election in December in State Senate District 20 and Mrs. Vivian Childs is a candidate.  You won’t meet nicer people than Mrs. Childs and her retired colonel husband Henry.  They are deeply involved in the Houston County/Middle Georgia community and raised outstanding children.

Let’s talk about trump but not about presidential candidate Donald Trump. I mean the fact that candidate Childs’ membership in a prominent African American sorority “trumps” the fact that she is a Republican.  Yes, DST trumps GOP with me because we are cut from the same cloth and have a shared cultural history.  This blog often points out many southern Blacks are conservative in actuality because we think success comes from personal actions rather than governmental involvement.  Yes, the government should protect basic civil rights but the safety net has created a softness with citizens of all colors.

Of course, the far Right trips so hard that they have ensure that Blacks aren’t comfortable joining the GOP until the traditional conservatives retake the ship….that won’t happen soon.  But, putting a reasonable, positive person like Vivian Childs in the state senate would be a step in the right direction.  Mrs. Childs’ career always involved helping people through education or ministry.  District 20 Democrat voters should vote for one of the GOP candidates in this non-partisan election and Mrs. Childs is a wise move.

Donald Trump got rich in business by using leverage and the Black community has little leverage in state government these days because we are overwhelmingly with the losing team.

What the heck is the Black presidential plan relative to Donald Trump in the South?  Hillary is the Dem nominee and that reality frees us up for strategery in the GOP primary.  First, the Republicans hate it when Democrats vote in the GOP primary so I like that…let their heads explode but I want to vote where the action is.

We could vote for Donald Trump or Dr. Ben Carson because Hillary would have an easier time whupping them next November.  But, what if they actually won?!  As we say on my block, “don’t even play like that.”  The GOP nom needs to be a serious leader with a proven history of governing…a big state governor.  While Chris Christie is a “big” state governor who can lead, I mean a governor from a “big state” like Florida or Texas.  With Rick Perry gone, Jeb Bush is the guy and Ohio Governor John Kasich should be his running mate.

Bottomline, Black folks need to get behind Vivian Childs, Jeb Bush and John Kasich because the stakes are too high to let the GOP voters decide alone.


ESPN’s Steven A. Smith is catching heat for saying that Blacks need to vote for Republicans sometimes to keep the Democrats from assuming they will always have us.  I must be a political prophet because I have been saying and doing that for years.  The GOP in the South doesn’t really want Black voters and the Democrats mission of give, give, give isn’t reparations nor is it healthful for us.

Politics is different from governing and I am about the business of governing.  Politics is the science of winning elections for power and treasure.  A candidate/officeholder might be an idiot but the goal is to put him in place so he can get his supporters richer.  Actually, it would be easier if the official was an idiot.

The ultimate objective is a better America.  For me, that objective comes from elected officials telling the people that the role of government in their lives is limited.  So, the Democrats are doing broke folks wrong by having them wait for assistance when the better assistance would be knowledge and wisdom about personal conduct and actions.

Candidates are like brides while governors are wives.  You dig?  A woman can be a master of getting guys to marry her and an expert on planning and having weddings.  However, are the same women good at being a day to day wife/spouse?  The cool guy in the club would make a handsome groom but is he a take the trash out/pay the bills/don’t cheat/cook dinner every other night husband.

Former House Speaker Tom Foley use to say that any jackass could kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.  Black America could diversify our political portfolio or not put all of our eggs in one basket.

If the Republicans control your area, vote for the GOP candidate with the best comfort level with us.  Of course, this official is as conservative as the rest of them; however, he or she goes into every community to explain his votes and actions.  In Georgia, Rep. Sanford Bishop, Sen. Johnny Isakson and former Rep. Jack Kingston get down like that…Bishop from the moderate angle.

Between the Red Team and the Blue Team, you can’t vote “none of the above.”  However, you can support the candidates who agree with the “do for self” mentality as a secondary aspect of their political mindset.  Project Logic Ga’s Best Interest Initiative is a good starting point on the road to “do for self.”

Federal programs on rural housing should have options to suit the real world needs of the people.  President Obama’s UDSA is very active in improving the quality of life in rural America; so I tip my hat to everyone involve from Secretary Tom Vilsack to local office specialists.  We shouldn’t forget the authorization and appropriations of the U.S. House and Senate.  However, I would love to see a little flexibility in rural housing programs.

The Direct Rural Housing Loan Program seeks to get low income people into new homes.  We know that the economy is stimulated when new houses are constructed and that home-owning families are the backbone of our nation. To my understanding, this program would put a family with an income between 20 and 30K in a house between 90 to 124K.  The highest cost house would be a net zero home, a home with advance energy technology that zeros out the utility bill.

While that concept sounds wonderful, everyone can’t afford wonderful.  To me, your financial obligations reflect your pocket and that goes for car, children and homes.  If you grew up struggling, your mentality should be that of Scarlett O’Hara when she said, “As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again.”  Okay, invoking Scarlett is being a little dramatic but low income people should have a preoccupation with building wealth (nest egg) and living inside their means—everyone should.

When a family has more house than they can comfortably afford, it’s called house poor.  Of course, USDA has guys smarter than me calculating affordability.  However, 20 or 30 years is a long time for a person to service a “house note” when their income is from a job rather than a more stable career.  Current families are often single parent or one income so that’s one layoff from housing disaster.  Actually, the recent mortgage crisis was exacerbated by the fact that unemployed people with houses didn’t have the mobility to search for employment elsewhere.

I grew up in a small community of USDA and VA homes and the general rule to me is double your income—a house should comfortably cost twice a family’s income.   For example, a single mom with an income of 25K can afford a 50K home.  That amount won’t get you a new home other than a mobile home.  Mobile homes can be really nice but we are too close to the hurricane region.  If I had a trailer, you can best believe I would brick it up…I know, not a good look.

In rural Georgia, 50k will get you an older home but the headaches will come from concerns about the bones.  Bones of homes to me are the foundation, wood framing, roof, plumbing, electrical, etc. and that’s before worries about energy cost from HVAC, windows, doors, insulation and dated appliances.

USDA should better market their current programs to qualified citizens. If they find a considerable amount of surplus funding, a program should be created to help people retro-fit older homes…perhaps homes in the family.  Grandma passes away and the family wants 30K for her 1980s USDA house.  The new owner could do a 20K energy-based renovation and still have a house for half the cost of the earlier mentioned USDA program.  I think some agencies in the federal and state governments are doing this now.

I would take an older house on a concrete slab and go to work.  If the house has siding, I would remove it and put in state of the art insulation.  The best colleges and technical schools should be researching ways to blow foam insulation under the house, in the roof and into exterior walls.  The answer might be gutting the drywall inside the house to create a proper insulation shell from the inside.

In rural counties, more families are moving out into the county and that’s nice.  Often, the county seat is a town left to slowly decay but it shouldn’t be that way.  Those older homes could be a first step for some families and they can pay off that house then get a new home later.

My high school Economics teacher was a Vietnam bombardier and had a master’s degree.  When he looked into how much the house he wanted would cost, he went to the technical college at night and on the weekend to learn construction.  Mr. Tomlinson reduced the cost of his house considerably by putting in that work himself.  In Georgia, we have an excellent technical college system and the presidents of those institutions display amazing flexibility regarding community needs.

These schools and the four year regional colleges once had active continuing education programs.  We need a short-time certification program that would prepare a homeowner to do demolition, insulation and certain other tasks on a renovation.

I can read faces and some families are reluctant to tell USDA housing officials that certain programs are a little too rich for their blood.  These families don’t know that the Clinton Administration was and the Obama Administration is all ears….let them hear from you and let’s get working folks into affordable homes.


To be frank, Democrats in Dixie carry little weight for either major party.  The Republicans know Democrats aren’t for them.  National liberal Democrats tolerate moderate southern Dems unenthusiastically.

In a presidential general election, the Democrats concede the South and save their ammo for the so-called battleground states.  Dems also put up little fight in southern governors, U.S. Senators, and state legislatures contests.  However, the D.N.C. will hit up southern cities like Atlanta for fancy fundraising.


Republicans win White House = Dam those rural Dems

Democrats win White House = rural hick Dems didn’t help worth a dam

Not so fast: Southern rural Democrats who are moderate to conservative can support Hillary Clinton in the primaries.  Real city liberals on the two coasts (wine-sipping, tofu-eating, NPR listening) are feeling that Bernie Sanders socialism rhetoric.  Black southern moderates know “give me, give me, give me” is the last thing Blacks in the struggle need to hear at this pivotal time.  Deep inside, President Obama was a “lift yourself up” moderate raised by corn-fed Midwesterners.  The Clintons were Democrat Leadership Council moderates before getting “citified.”

Moderate Democrats should spend the next few months standing up for the center and convincing young Southerners that Sanders playing Santa Claus isn’t the move.


Political flirting is a very bad thing for our community.  Flirting in general isn’t cool because by nature it implies certain possibilities to elicit a certain response.  We are in the middle of a pivotal presidential campaign and Americans are flirting with feel good candidates.

It’s just like the girl in high school who flirted with the guy who said all of the right stuff but that guy wasn’t “till death do we part” husband material.  With the first primaries and caucuses quickly approaching, we need to focus on serious candidates who can enter the Oval Office and lead the free world.

Bernie Sanders seems like a smart and considerate guy.  His ideas and facts on wealth and income add substance to the debate.  However, he is an advocate or activist like Jesse Jackson and Ralph Nader.  Activist point out problems while leaders solved them.   Our community can’t let Sanders get into our system…it’s all about systems.  Sanders knows the economic system is tilted toward the rich but wealth redistribution gives our community more dreams of getting something for nothing.  Rich people design the system to benefit themselves but they did put in the work…most of the time.

The criminal justice/penal system seems like modern slavery to me but again did you commit a crime.  If you know the system is jacked up, you should avoid it.  The educational system clearly needs improvement but can your family and you honestly say that your best effort was or is being made.  Sanders and the real liberals have people feeling like victims.  Yes, you are a victim of the person in the mirror.  If the local school system is so horrible, why were so many focus kids able to learn there?

Sanders is a self-confessed socialist and to me that means he is half a step from being a communist.  What the hell?  The Democrat nominee will have to explain to the nation in the general election why her party seriously considered a socialist.

Let me talk “cash s” to my people for a second.  America has a capitalist system and a democracy.  For most of our nation’s history, people of color didn’t have a fair chance to participate in this system.  We built America for free before 1865 and for nearly free for 100 years after that.  When capitalism works properly, you get up in the morning and legally grind for your family while keeping liabilities balanced relative to income.  Young people shouldn’t jump up and have babies with the idea that the government or grandparents will provide for them—grannie stepping in financially for the sperm donor.

Friends familiar with Europe keep telling me that Sanders’ version of socialism is similar to our allies in Western Europe who pay like 25% in taxes but the government pays for health care, college etc.  I have a bad feeling about bring that crap over here…wait a second, we are half way there.

Here is a system for you: a kid listens to his or her parents and focuses in school.  After high school, the young person slowly learns a career from formal training or on the job.  A family is started with a person he knows well—a person who also is executing clearly defined goals and objectives.  This family has and raises children without stepping foot into the public assistance system because focus people don’t need the government telling them to care for their kids.

Senator Sanders will blow your mind with the stats on his videos; he is keeping Secretary Clinton on her toes.  We can take elements of his plans into consideration but plans on paper don’t always turn out well in reality.  Sanders could pull enough “want something for nothing” voters to steal the Democrat nomination.  If that happens, I can’t vote for him.  Dems can flirt with Sanders for a second but take Hillary down the aisle. Remember, Hillary might pull 20% of the women who voted for Romney.

Finally, Sanders’ views on the minimum wage have young voters dreaming of getting fatter checks.  These young people could struggle less if they put less on their plates.  The recent CNN video of the struggling young lady who works at McDonalds broke my heart.  However, who made her have a kid with that heading to jail guy before they established a constant income.  The government can’t save you from you—avoid their systems.


Young people today often lust for the expensive lifestyle of a rapper.   Without family wealth or marketable skills, the wrong path has been a horrible option. Donald Trump is right about the exportation of jobs and available jobs require knowledge of STEM subjects… Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  While these important fields involve many hours of studying, we should remember how many hours are spent trying to make the NBA or the rap charts.

President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are on a mission to ensure that kids from every rural area have the STEM opportunities to prepare them for the jobs of the future.  Southwest Georgia is one of the poorest areas of this nation but the students in five SOWEGA counties will have advanced distance learning connections with researchers at Georgia Tech “stemming” from USDA grants.  These young people will be ready to help keep America at the forefront of advancements and they will be able to purchase the nice life from using their minds.  I bet they will be more prudent with their dollars than most rappers and ballers.

The following press release includes a quote from my college classmate Quinton Robinson that reads

“This will exponentially expand effectiveness of educational programs and help ensure rural Georgia is workforce ready”, said USDA Rural Development Georgia state director, Quinton Robinson.

At Albany State’s homecoming this month, the fellows are going to say thanks for making sure kids today have resources we didn’t have.  As quiet as it is kept, HCBUs produce graduates who often advocate for people and communities that could use a hand up…not a hand out.


Keith McCants is my favorite young person in American politics.  This conservative/moderate blogs at Peanut Politics when he isn’t getting up “before day in the morning” to work as a welder at the bus plant in Fort Valley.  Oh yea, he is also seeking reelection to the Oglethorpe, Georgia City Council.  And the fellow was born two weeks after I graduated from high school in 1982.

When Democrats and Republicans want to know what a real working man thinks about an issue, they call Keith while he is coming from or going to build America.  Donald Trump says we don’t make anything in this country anymore but he should tell that to Keith’s aching muscles.

Too many young people are focused on sports skills, rap skills, shake dancing skills and I better stop right there skills.  My daddy would say that Keith has marketable skills and recently Keith put a video of a young lady on facebook that was too exciting.  This young business woman was finishing drywall; she has the skills to pay the bills on a HGTV style.

When I was a kid, John Travolta’s character on Saturday Night Fever did a bunch of dancing after he spent the day learning how to sell paint at the hardware store. In the old school, you burn off youthful energy by attending college, serving in the military or learning a career from the ground up.  If young people stay focus and patient, they will eventually make manager or start their own businesses.


President Obama’s UDSA is doing interesting things on the affordable housing front and thanks go to my Albany State University classmate Quinton Robinson for convincing me that working people can have new houses. We argued 30 years ago with our majormates about public policy but today Robinson and I still have healthy battles concerning the common good.

As state director of Rural Development in Georgia, Quinton executes directives on improving rural life from Ag Secretary Thomas Vilsack’s headquarters.  Because I am old school, I feel that low to moderate income people should move into homeownership by first buying an older house, paying it off and then getting a new house.

The housing team at USDA Georgia is supporting innovative energy research in net zero housing with UGA Tifton.  Yes, a family can rent or buy an older house but they must then consider the cost of utilities and those expenses can rival a mortgage payment.

Robinson and I have had heated debates recently with the concept of a low income family buying a $120,000 house.  While that seems like a big number, the terms and conditions under the USDA housing programs actually make good long term sense.  The public really needs to know about these opportunities because families owning homes is like a tree putting down roots.

To learn more about USDA’s homeownership programs contact their south Georgia office at:

Area 5 | Southwest Georgia | Fred Council, Area Director

  • Tifton Area Office | 229-382-0273 | FAX: 855-803-3870 | 2406 North Tift Avenue, Suite 103 | Tifton, GA 31794
  • Camilla Sub-Area Office | 229-336-0371 | FAX: 855-514-3344 | 30 West Broad Street, Room 101 | Camilla, GA 31730

Also, a non-profit organization called Total Free Inc. is working with USDA Rural Development to prepare families for the application process.  Hopefully, a group of co-workers and friends in an area will contact Millicent Hartwell-Cross and her team will come over and do a presentation for them.  What if this blog post leads to a new subdivision of first time homeowners.

Millicent Hartwell-Cross  http://totallyfreeinc.org/



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