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Posts Tagged ‘moderates’

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On the movie Soul Food, the grandmother made a brilliant point about fingers coming together to form a fist that could strike a mighty blow.  Of course, the five fingers are the members of the family.  As southerners, we should consider five points that could greatly improve our region by changing how all of us “carry ourselves.”

Some of us are living smarter than others but we can’t sink while others float because we are all in the same big boat.  The actions and shortcomings of some prove costly to the taxpaying others.  In the Black community, we are transitioning from the civil rights era “marched with MLK” leaders to new leaders who recognized that personal development and financial planning are as vital as social justice.

The defining image of Project Logic Ga blog is a rural bridge that takes us from one place to a better place.  I think two rural bridges could be Senator Rand Paul and my former boss Sanford D. Bishop.   While Senator Paul’s international isolationism is questionable, he is the conservative/libertarian who is most open to dialoging with everyone about public policy.  I still feel that Republicans treat everyone else like children—making laws and policies without opposition input.

Rep. Bishop has had a nice political career but it has been in many ways too safe.  The guy is a brain and was an eagle scout.  I don’t think Sanford Bishop and President Barrack Obama have don’t enough hard talking to Americans about their personal growth and what young people can learn from their proper development.  I am one moderate/centrist who thinks the government has a limited role in everyday living and that leaders should say that.  As Justice Clarence Thomas’s grandfather said, you don’t need to government coming into your house asking if you fed your children today.

Bishop reads a page of text in 10 to 15 seconds.  So, he should take an afternoon to read this entire blog—all 500 plus post.  He could then singlehandedly craft the knowledge-based message about how we are wrong and what should be done about it.  Of course, he has always known what was wrong but Democrats are about the business of giving poor folks the impression that government can help them.  Liberals helping regular folks by pouring money into problems isn’t helping.  Actually, kids have kids far too early because they feel that the government will provide.  Mark my word, the Obamas post-presidential efforts on personal living of Americans will be as significant as their historic time in the White House.

I have always thought that candidate Obama learned more about rural America from watching Rep. Bishop than he learned from any other member of the Congressional Black Caucus.  The crowning achievement of Bishop’s career, his legacy, should be the bridge he builds to our southern future with his book and speaking tour.  You know Rep. Bishop will mention one of his favorite Bible scriptures, Luke 12: 48, For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.  That passage expresses Bishop’s public service and the best could be yet to come because a mighty blow must be struck first.

I want to outline the mighty blow mentioned earlier in bullet form.  In a discussion, I wonder if I could hit five points with five minutes each.  I bet I could do five points in five minutes total.

  1. Education: learn 24/7; education is formal and informal; informal involves good grammar at home, educational TV channels and life lessons from elders. Hard to unlearn bad habits.  All legal work is good; continue to learn on the job.

 

  1. Faith: You must believe in something or you will fall for anything. Life is God’s gift to you and what you do with your life is your gift to God.  Church kids know how to sit, listen and learn.  Bible is a manual for living.  Respect others’ faith.  Try to faith walk 24/7.

 

  1. Nature: Can’t break the rules of nature. Being free is natural; no jail.  Illegal drugs are unnatural and legal drugs should be limited if possible.  Committed relationships are natural…husband/wife.  Grow old together.  Free milk and the cow.  Avoid the struggle but adversity builds character.  Appreciate natural resources and wonders.

 

  1. Health: Eating right, exercise and rest. Much water.  Burn all of your calories.  Cut “To Die For” Foods.  Adjust soul food: Low fat, fatback.  Don’t self-medicate.  Respect emotional and mental health also. Bullets hurt.

 

  1. Loyalty: Mean what you say and say what you mean. Keep your vows or don’t make them.  Actions honor faith, family, nation, region, race and self.  Surround yourself with positive likeminded people.  Be loyalty to yourself with positive actions; don’t be your own worst enemy.

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Rep. Jack Kingston could have won the primary runoff easily in the Black community but the wrong cats must have been in his ear.  We are talking about the same Jack who has frequently visited and represented Savannah State University for years.

Military bases and the agriculture industry are the economic backbones of non-Atlanta parts of Georgia but no one had the idea to get 6,000 or so votes from Democrats who Jack has helped time and time again.  Look, I live in little Worth County and Kingston got 605 votes here but in huge Albany with a Marine base, Jack only received 655 votes.  Say what?

It’s the proverbial two-edged sword.  The consultants around the Kingston campaign knew that he needed  Tea Party support to win the primary and the Tea Party will not vote for anyone who gets any votes from moderates.

Was anyone in the Kingston camp watching the Thad Cochran Senate primary in Mississippi?  Cochran turned to the Black community for enough support to get over the top; he sought his old friends.  Jack Kingston has more old friends on the Democrat side than any House Republican from Georgia.

I just talked with Georgia Secretary of State’s office and they confirmed that people who didn’t vote in the primary election could have voted for either side in the runoff.  The right Black community leaders in Savannah alone could have gotten out 6,000 Black votes on the strength of Jack’s closeness to our community and long history of hiring Black staffers in key position. But, they decided to leave that on the table.

To be honest, Democrats wanted to see Kingston vs. Michelle Nunn because Jack has a long history of statement about President Obama.  Nunn will not say it nor think it but Black folks coming out to vote in November will be as much about helping the Obama administration have a Democrat-controlled Senate as much as it is about her….and that is okay.

When David Perdue’s cousin took the governor’s office from Roy Barnes, some people vote for Sonny Perdue but many people voted against Barnes over the confederate flag and a teachers issue.  You win how you can.  David Perdue shouldn’t say the word “Obama” until Christmas but he will…the far Right will require that he does.  The attacks on Obama will drive Obama supporters to the polls and if Nunn can secure a few percentage points from suburban GOP women, she wins and helps the Dems hold the U.S. Senate.

Mrs. Nunn must know that Get Out the Vote and street operations will be as important as T.V. ads.  Remember, if Jack had half the street operations that Thad Cochran had, he would have won.

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As President Nixon would say, I want to make one thing perfectly clear: Nunns and Carters can’t win in Georgia in 2014 without Obamas and Clintons.  Jason Carter is running for governor and Michelle Nunn seeks an open U.S. Senate seat.

The exodus of the Georgia Whites from the Democrats to the Republicans was completed when Congressman Jim Marshall was defeated by Austin Scott.  Marshall tried to paint himself as a non-Democrat Democrat by running from Barrack Obama and then Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  He basically tried to become Sam Nunn.  Sir, I staffed in the Georgia congressional delegation that was led by Sam Nunn…I met Sam Nunn during my high school years…we went to countless Hill receptions with Senator Nunn.. you, Jim Marshall, was no Sam Nunn.  You don’t run from Obama and expect my communities support.

Like it or hate it, the formula for November 2014 Dem success in Georgia is:

(n + ca)/(o x cl)=w         or (Nunns + Carters) / (Obamas x Clintons) = wins

 

First, Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn are good and decent candidates on their own.  However, Georgia is a Red State because the Democrat base is so very shaky.  The four pillars of strength that support the Dem foundation nationally are two Obamas and two Clintons.  To be honest, Michelle needs to be a flying Nunn crisscrossing the peach state with Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama or both.  As Bernie Mack would say, “you don’t understand”…. Michelle Obama still has rock star status with Dem voters; she could pack a college football stadium with only three days notice.

The reality is this: rural Whites are a lock for the GOP but suburban voters of all colors are on the table if the Dems come out with a moderate agenda focused on job creation.  Who can deny that Bill Clinton’s economy plan left the nation in great shape.  On Meet The Press this past weekend, the question was “would Hillary run as a continuation of the Obama years or restart of the Clinton years?”  I say it would be the beginning of the Hillary years.

The far Right should stop tripping on Hillary Clinton’s age because she would take office at the same age as President Reagan and a few years younger than John McCain would have been if he won.

Michelle Nunn is on that chill style like her father and that won’t get out the bloc of voters that almost won Georgia for Obama.  That’s okay because unlikely voters have a lot to think about this year….the motivation is there.  They just need a little knowledge and wisdom from the blogosphere; we call it “that fire.”  Don’t sleep: Nunn’s senate race will be studied by Team Hillary as they plan to take parts of suburbia back from the GOP.

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During primary season, the poll workers shouldn’t ask if I am a Republican or a Democrat in Georgia.  I am a realist who knows that there are very few contested elections in our divided state.  I am going to say “I will take the Republican ballot” but have that “I’m no Republican” look on my face.  Wise guys like me simply want to be where the action is or shall I say want our votes to have some meaning.

 

Democrat voters could save that little gas money by staying home in my area because Michelle Nunn will be the U.S. Senate nominee and Jason Carter will get the governor nod.  In Albany Georgia on the other hand, voters should take the Dem ballot to put professor Aaron Johnson on the school board—he is good people and smart as a whip.

 

Dems voting in the GOP primary could a) select a Republican who the Dem would have an easier time defeating in November or b) select a Republican who would respectfully debate issues across the aisle like the current two Georgia Senators.  In other words, pick the less crazy Republican because there is a strong chance the GOP will keep that seat in Congress.

 

Most Republicans in Georgia smiled and laughed when the nutty segment of their party talked about candidate Obama, President Obama, his wife, his kids, his momma, his daddy and his birthplace.  But, the same folks are surprised that the White House isn’t quickly putting funds into the deepening of the Port of Savannah, a project that means over 200,000 jobs indirectly in the South.  I am not saying the White House is in payback mode but I appreciate Senator Chambliss, Senator Isakson, and Rep. Austin Scott for keeping the debates fiscal and having some degree of respect for the office of the presidency.  Georgia’s congressional Dems generally respected the Bushes.

 

So, I am a moderate who will be voting for the coolest cat in the U.S. Senate Republican primary and the coolest cat in the Georgia state Senate primary.  Of course, there is no Democrat running for Senate District 13 so the primary winner gets the position.

 

(The following is intended for Black voters only)  When the Republicans win a position with few votes from our community, they usually ignore said community on that To the Victor The Soils style.  (Non Black voters please rejoin the post now.)

 

All kidding aside, there is a young man from my county running for state senate and people from my community have been friendly with him since high school or before.  But, I shouldn’t public say that I am voting for him because the purists in the GOP will get ticked that their selection process is tainted whose who haven’t taken the Red Team blood oath.

 

Of the other hand, Mrs. Vivian Childs is running for congress against my old boss Rep. Sanford Bishop and I wish I lived in that district because I would welcome the opportunity to vote for a GOP primary candidate who would have a robust and healthy debate on the issues with SDB.  While SDB will likely win against either GOP candidate, Childs campaign serves as a testing ground for improving the conservative approach to new demographics (People of color).  She might lose the battle but help nation win the war against partisan ignorance.

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The only Democrat state or federal elected official who represents me is President Obama.  I don’t think Georgia is overwhelmingly Republican as much as I think Dems help people who don’t take the time to vote.  With that being said, you can understand why I am a moderate Dem who often votes in the Republican primary.

In states like Michigan, voters register as member of a party and can only vote in the primary for that party.  I view the Georgia process as members of two major parties listing their candidates and voters choosing from those candidates more so than people self-identifying as R or D.  Oh, Republicans clearly function like GOP is second only to their church but Southern Dems aren’t about half that interested party politics.

If the selection of leaders take place in the GOP primary, that’s where the action is.  Michelle Nunn will be the Dem nominee for Senate and Jason Carter will be the nom for governor.  In most places, there is nothing popping for Dems in the primary except local elections (those locals need to be non-partisan but save that fight for another day.)

I voted for Newt Gingrich in the presidential primary before voting for Obama again in the general election.  Because some GOP candidates are board line zealots, I will vote for the most reasonable one.  Also, cooler candidates from the other side are the ones I want to see in constructive debates before the general election. 

In the state Senate race in my area, I will be voting in the GOP primary for a decent guy who attended my high school and there will be no Dem in the general election. 

If I lived in Georgia’s 2nd congressional district, I would vote for Vivian Childs in the GOP primary because she has a demeanor similar to Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator Saxby Chambliss and Rep. Austin Scott—less Tea Party, more sweet Iced Tea.  A contest between Rep. Sanford Bishop and Childs would actually help to explain how they are alike rather than what divides them…what divides us.  If both political parties hate cross-party voting, that makes me want to see more of it. 

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This election year is an important opportunity to change the mindset of policymakers and citizens.  Most elections aren’t contested and seem more like coronations.  But, fighters should continue to fight the good fight because the stakes are so high.  We should use the debates and campaigns as platforms to unveil new and better approaches to old problems and situations because status quo simply isn’t working.

Status quo:  To me, status quo with candidates, political parties and policymakers involves the far Right telling everyone what they should do as you would address children and the far Left trying to help everyone with their problems after the problems occur.

Solution:  We need lawmakers  and policy makers who speak clearly and frankly to the people about the role of government and about personal choices, decisions, and consequences.  We need a fresh and different mindset about how we carry ourselves.  “Carry ourselves” is old school Black heritage; it harkens back to the days when we knew who we were and whose we were; times when Black people sought the opportunities to achieve and strive without encumbrances. Today, many of our encumbrances and obstacles are self-made.

Most politicians know that their abilities to improve our nation are limited by reality and fiscal constraints but those so-called leaders are reluctant to say that.  Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and Obama basely said the same thing: ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for this country; government is the problem.  Some might be surprise that I put President Obama on that list but I think he is a “do for self” person who is hamstrung by party politics.  The post-presidential Obama will be so beneficial to the spirit of this blog post.

The good fiscal news is that my solutions are free, cheap or low-cost.  It’s all about K.S.A.  Oldheads will remember that Knowledge, Skills and Abilities requirements were once part of the federal government employment application process. But, I still think in terms of young people getting knowledge from those who went before them, developing skills to function smoothly in life and understanding their God-given abilities.  Politicians and candidates always speak to youth about soaring like eagles and bla bla bla—there is plenty of that “wind beneath my wings” talk out there.

But, it’s time for some substances…some tools….some meat.  I wrote a blog post years ago called “A and B before C and D” that asked leaders to encourage if not demand that government spend more resources and energy preventing problems and life crisis than addressing the growing numbers of people with messy situations.  To be honest, most people with troubled lives walked right into their circumstances.  Did momma, daddy, school, church, friends and the police beg them to get on the right track?

(Here is the part when a moderate Democrat admits that the conservatives are right about something.) You almost want to say forget them; they made their beds when they ignore the warning and stop signs.  But, you can’t because idly watching human suffering isn’t very Christ-like.  What about 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

U.S. Congressman and Senate candidate Jack Kingston is one of my favorite lawmakers.  I kicked it with Jack at a RNC Club one night for 15 minutes alone 20 years ago and he outlined his career-long efforts to advocate for Southeast Georgia.  It blew me away to learn that Kingston wants to consider having kids who eat free school lunch clean the school or cafeteria to pay off their tab or whatever.  Come on, Jack…that’s jacked up.  I think Jack is really thinking that parents without lunch money for their kids should be shamed into going to work…. “get off your fat behinds and provide for yours.”  What ticks off reasonable people are the fact that people who need help are sometimes the same people who are too good and too proud to flip burgers or harvest vegetables.

We are approaching this wrong.  We must find a positive way to encourage personal responsibility and achievement.  To be honest again, leaders need to speak knowledge and wisdom to help replace the home training that isn’t taking place anymore.  At the same time, that old school home training needs to take place and young people should delay starting families until they have themselves together.  The writers of this blog welcome the opportunity to talk with any campaign staffers seeking to mix our thoughts and ideas into their approaches.

And the first mindset change involves video games and hip hop music.

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There is more than one way to skin a cat and the Republicans have recently taken the worst ways to address outreach.  First, their outreach reeks because policy, techniques and branding is being driven by their most vocal and most angry.

For years, I have been telling conservative friends that 20% of the Black vote was prime for the taking and that those 20% were actually the head of the snake (the political, economic, faith and social leadership of my community.)  Without the deep thinking 20% of the body, the rest would be aimless. But, talk radio and the Fox News types get paid not for creating good policy and solving problems but for keeping up drama and mess.  I am starting to believe that MSNBC does the same thing on the left.

If the GOP conservatives listened to me years ago, they would have allowed a moderate, centrist segment of their team– a segment that would outnumber the far right and would counterbalance the centrists on the Dem Team.  I wanted to call them Red Dogs like the Dems’ Blue Dogs.  Basically, the Red Dogs would be the traditional conservatives who deliberate and compromise with others.

When I staffed on the Hill, Rep. Paul Ryan staffed and was a waiter a Tortilla Coast.  The guy is old school like me and we remember the days when lawmakers knew each other; when state delegations had a weekly meal together and the dean of the delegation was respected by both sides of the aisle.

During this holiday season, there are minorities and women sitting down with family and discussing the possibility of running for office as a member of the GOP.  Of course, many conservatives don’t realize that people other than those who look like them are also moderate to conservative.

You don’t need to skin a black cat because old superstitions are silly.  Cats are cats and if the GOP spent a little more time getting to know Blakc cats and less time being ticked off, they would have a new segment of their team.  That segment would be just right to approach my community about the sensibleness of personal responsibility and life choices.

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