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I appreciate President Trump and his supporters for leading us to a collective, national enema which was a long time coming. Shall we–once and for all–get it all out. Metaphorically, America is a lovely mansion built on a shaky, corrupt foundation.  Republican sista Dr. Condoleezza Rice says that America’s birth defect is slavery.  This nation grew strong faster in part because it had free and systematically discounted labor for most of it’s existent.

 

Those who romanticize the Confederacy as a noble cause and wish for a return to days when everyone knew their role insult current and past African Americans. A popular Facebook poster reads “No White person alive today ever owner a slave. No Black person alive today was ever a slave.  We can’t move forward if people want to keep living in the past.”

 

That poster isn’t from a Klan site. Oh, no. There is no need for Klanning when these bold folks say what is on their minds point blank, straight No Chaser from a national political party…from the Oval Office. The same uninformed people declare “Go Back To Africa” as if, we came here voluntarily.  They love to mention that some Africans sold other Africans into slavery. But, those were warring tribes.

 

No Black person today was ever a slave but we should take a realistic look at the true timeline of Black oppression in what is now America. The first African slaves arrived here in 1619; 150 some odd years before the birth of this nation. In addition to brutal forced labor, we should not forget about childhood rape, reading being illegal and generally every effort made to turn humans into beasts of burden.

 

The horrible institution of slavery was justified by Christians from Genesis 9:24-27. Noah’s son Ham laughed at his father drunken state but his other two sons Shem and Japheth backed over him with a blanket as to not see him like that. Noah cursed Canaan, Ham’s son, to be a servant.  In the Black church, we say that Jesus cleaned the slate for any previous drama but when the Native Americans didn’t workout in the fields, someone had a bright idea about Africans/Canaan’s grandchildren supposedly.

 

The timeline on slavery for me doesn’t end until July 4, 1976, because the shackles of Jim Crow were simply an unofficial form of slavery. The Civil War saw the end of slavery but not the full citizenship of Black people and economically former slaves had no choice but to become sharecroppers or servants became a Black person could never have an opportunity until all White people prospered first.

 

For the White folks declaring that they never owned slaves, I ask if they want a forensic financial examination of their wealth. The connection between current Blacks and Whites who forced them into Jim Crow sharecropping is very fresh and involves the local, state and federal governments.  Also fresh is the land and wealth enjoyed by the ten richest families in most rural southern counties now….generational wealth or ill-gotten gains. We know who our folks/we worked for in the 1960s and 1970s.

 

So, can you as a Black person understand that if you were born blond and blue-eyed, you would likely support any system that provided advantages to your future grandchildren.  Can you as a Black person see that committing crimes which get you locked up is insulting our ancestors who were enslaved.  Author Ta-Nehesi Coates wrote that in the South before the Civil Rights Movement, Black incarceration numbers were low because the whole South was basically a prison to us. That’s deep.

 

America is so very much my country because my people labored here without compensation or under low-wages for most of history. Will I see this nation treat citizens of color correctly in my lifetime? The answer is no and we are actually going backwards. If we are to make it as a nation, we should take this opportunity to thank President Trump for inadvertently getting all sides to open up about how we truly feel….the good, the bad and the ugly. President Obama represented what a positive America should…unrealistic. President Trump reflects what America actually is….a racial mess.

For my Black Republican friends, I want to offer some Moderate Democrat insights that you’ll rarely get because we are in constant battle. But, as a member of the national honor society from Black college, I am committed to our motto “I make not my head a grave but a community of knowledge.” The “if/then”conditional statements from computer programming will be my tool.

 

Background

In in the Summer of 2020, Democrats and Republicans will select the overall tickets or teams for the November elections that include the presidency.  From president to vice president to congress to the state legislators to local candidates, the selection process is complex and involves reality and what the other side is offering.

 

Vice-President

The Democrats must balance Joe Biden with a VP running mate to gets the base to the polls.  Hillary Clinton picked Senator Tim Kaine who would have been an excellent VP. However, we will never know what Kaine would have been because the selection didn’t help get out infrequent voters in swing states.

 

Winning the White House might come down to Black women voters in 10 swing states tipping the scales.

 

If Black voters knew that Biden would seriously consider selecting a non Black woman, then we would have been better off supported a Black woman or man for president in the first place. I acknowledge the fact that VP nominees normally are big state Senators (the states are big, not the actual Senators), big city mayors from swing states or governors. But, we aren’t in normal situations.

 

If Biden selects a Black woman or Latina for VP, then she must be someone who can energize the crowds better than he can.  She doesn’t need to be the DNC’s favorite person as much as she needs to be a person who can connect with people who voted for Obama but blew off Hillary for whatever reason. Again, the party leaders aren’t as important as regular folks across the heartland and in Deep South.

 

Trump Relative To The Democrat Ticket

It’s not a good look for a national party to not look like the nation. It’s like a ruling class of people lording over the servant class. The DNC and GOP feel like modern plantations to many Black voters.

 

If Biden selects a Black or Brown woman for VP, then the GOP should use Black and Brown congressional and legislative candidates as regional diversity leaders. Indications are that the previous sentence is a joke. Many GOP voters are pleased to be unapologetically in a party primarily of people who look and think like them only.

 

Georgia’s Second Congressional District Race

Rep. Sanford Bishop has served the agriculture and military communities well for decades. If he is defeated, then his power over UDSA spending could cost the peach state billions.  However, the GOP will field a candidate of their selection. If policy expert, ultra conservative Don Cole wins the primary next month, then it will be par for the course and consistent with the notion that the Republicans want aggressive far Right conservatism even in a Democrat heavy district.

 

Is the far Right’s effort to unseat Bishop actually Don Quixote tilting at windmills? If Bishop is unseated, then the Big Ag industry will be sadly dealing with a Democrat controlled House of Representatives without Bishop….be careful what you wish for, GOP.

 

Vivian Childs is the other GOP candidate in the 2nd Congressional District and is a Black woman with deep roots in the GOP and Black community. If she was the GOP nominee, her nature and grace soften the otherwise rough, tough style of the southern GOP in some places.

 

If Biden selects a Georgia Black woman for VP, then Vivian Childs as a congressional candidate from south and central Georgia is good optics and hopefully she could privately get the president to chill on some level with his fiery rhetoric and drama.  If Cole is the nominee, then the Democrats will have a field day pointing out that the GOP couldn’t find a Black candidate in this very Black district. Of course, the vast majority of Blacks in the 2nd district will be voting in the Democrat primary. So, the question is will White GOP primary voters select someone like Childs who can get some new Black voters in November for their team.

 

HOWEVER

If Biden slights Blacks by not picking a Black woman after Blacks saved him in South Carolina , then unfortunately some disillusioned Black voters might wrongfully stay home or protest vote for Childs and Trump if she come out of the primary.

 

Who knows what will happen. Cole is similar to most of the voters in that primary while Childs would garner national attention and help Trump. We will see.

Blacks in or near the political center are at an awkward crossroads.  The situation is as dramatic as the Southfork Ranch on the T.V. show Dallas. If you aren’t old enough to remember this classic, you likely don’t realize the danger of flirting with socialism on the far left or tyranny on the far right.  Baseball great Yogi Berra famously quipped “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

 

I am writing this anthology of my blog posts as a guide map as Black voters decide which political south fork to take. Yes, Black Republicans are as much a part of our community as Black Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialists are. We all want a better, more fair America but how to get there isn’t clear. You know you can arrive at the same place from different directions.

 

Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken started “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both” and ended “…and I- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

 

Black conservatives basically took the road less travelled. While most Blacks would say its less travelled because it is wrong, I think these brothers and sisters serve an important purpose. They diversify our political/public policy portfolio. Daddy taught me not to put all of our eggs in one basket; backup plans are needed. If President Trump wins a second term, Blacks who don’t vote would have been complicit. We can’t continue to break our necks to work for people who aren’t working for themselves. I think the following blog posts could be useful:

 

The Best Interests Initiative

https://projectlogicga.com/best-interests-initiative/

I wrote a monthly blog series for most of a year called the Best Interests Initiative. The mission of the project was to outline how the Black community could or possibly should function with secondary governmental involvement. Do we really trust a local, state and federal government that sanctioned our oppression until recently and wonders why we are still upset. To me, old school Black conservatism (Country Club/pre-T.E.A. Party) was based on moving forward with a fair opportunity for all for the first time and not based on the government ensured that everyone has a nice life. That would be socialism.  Socialism would create a lazy and entitled segment of the population. My error-filled, unedited blog posts are a raw reflection of what the Black majority says in plant breakrooms, church parking lots and barbershops.

 

In the 25 some odd years since I returned to Georgia from Capitol Hill, it has been Black Republicans who sought a dialog with this Blue Dog/Centrist Democrat. During that time, the urban elites from the two coasts pulled the Democrat Party more and more to the left. While I appreciate their liberal well-intended actions, I knew that some of them views Blacks as children who need constant assistance. What’s more, Washington and Atlanta policy wonks decide what is important to the Black community then go about the business of “teaching” us what that is. Wrong move.

 

If any Black candidate for Congress from any political parties wanted to “flip the script,” he or she should use the Best Interests Initiative as a starting point for a discussion about what we can do for ourselves. It could be a game-changer because we must play chess rather than checkers–always thinking three moves ahead. If the GOP can’t be corrected by voting them out of power, we need to appreciate the reasonable brothers and sisters in their ranks. Personally, the Blacks on the far right aren’t my cup of T.E.A. but those near the center are straight enough.

 

Southern Black Muscle: P.E.C.S.

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/07/23/southern-black-muscle-p-e-c-s/

I love the PECS blog post because it outlines a comprehensive strategy for improving our community.  Voting and public policy are just part of the problems and solutions. P.E.C.S. spell out the issues: Political, Economic, Cultural and Social. It’s about addressing actions and concerns before they become problems. Old school personal responsibility is the foundation of the moderation.

 

OPEN 2020

 

https://open2020blog.wordpress.com/

OPEN 2020 is my unfunded baby.  OPEN stands for Our Policy Education Network.  Every two years campaign people run around trying to get the right 20 people in a room to meet their candidate and hear their points.  I thinking a network of the right 20 people should be in place and cultivate. But, I am not taking about the usual crowd. OPEN 2020 seeks to find and dine the real local trendsetters from the community and social media. We selected 20 towns in the Georgia south of Macon in which candidate Obama received over 4,000 votes. If OPEN was in place, Stacey Abrams would be governor. Also, OPEN 2020 believes that all political sides should have opportunities to make their points in our communities. Listening to the other side might be the best motivation to stay woke and vote.

 

 

Farm Bill: Everyone’s Glance

https://projectlogicga.com/2019/05/07/farm-bill-everyones-glance/

The Farm Bill is the most important bill/law to rural America.  From different angles, the Black community in Georgia should stay abreast of food and fiber issues relative to a safe and affordable food supply. The Black community surprisingly has more jobs connected to the Farm Bill than you might think.

 

Georgia Democrats: Normandy Style

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/12/20/georgia-democrats-normandy-style/

In December 2018, my vision of a military campaign style approach to the campaigns of 2020 was outlined in a blog post. Of course, the Democrats aren’t working like the well-oil machine I sought. Will Rogers said “I am not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.’ While that is cute, there is nothing funny about losing to people who would turn the clock back to the Jim Crow era.

 

Political Money Maps vs. Kids

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/06/26/political-money-maps-vs-kids/

Why why why can’t people realize that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Elected officials read the voting results by areas and if your area blows off voting, they often blow you off.  So, you attend every home high school football game to support the team, the cheerleaders and the band but you don’t register and vote to support those same young people by picking better councilmen, mayors, sheriffs, state legislators, judges, congressmen and presidents. Those same kids in high school uniforms last Fall might soon be drafted into an unwinnable war—wearing a camouflage uniforms on the other side of the world because a president has an itchy trigger finger. My road gets paved first because we vote.

 

5 Hot Issues: Weed, Schools, Military, Health-care, Jobs

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/04/24/5-hot-issues-weed-schools-military-healthcare-jobs/

A 2018 blog post showed my selection of five issues that could get our community voting. The issues driven by Democrat Party activists don’t reflect the interests of heartland Blacks. We should give Trump credit for asking his people what they wanted (albeit crazy stuff) then trying to deliver said twisted promises. We must make it plain and clear to reach and move the people. Okay, I am tired of begging grown folks to vote for or against candidates making decisions impacting our world.

 

In summary, the Black community is at a political fork in the southern road. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Southfork on Dallas wasn’t real; Trump’s America is very real. If the Democrats can’t get organized to defeat this president, we deserve whatever he brings next. I still believe that privately some old school Republicans are saying “this nation is on the wrong path…this can’t be good.”

If Pookie and Ray Ray voted, Stacey Abrams would be governor.  If their sisters would vote also, Abrams would be the next Vice President and two years later have the Oval to herself.  The margin of victory in most southern elections would be erased by these unengaged potential voters.  But, the government touches so many aspects of their lives.

My outline for getting them to the polls and involved in general starts with a few unedited blog posts—just add time and money.  Who has a Bloomberg connect?

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/07/23/southern-black-muscle-p-e-c-s/

https://projectlogicga.com/2017/06/03/open-2020/

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/08/16/georgia-dems-spinal-tap-hwy-441/

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/04/24/5-hot-issues-weed-schools-military-healthcare-jobs/

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/05/14/rethinking-blacks-in-america-with-ta-nehisi-coates/

Thanksgiving Democrats Dinner

We should have a Thanksgiving look at the Democrats running for president—a “feel of the field” if you will.  Next Generation Democrats must cook up a meal that satisfies the whole family.  Unlike a feast in a conservative Republican “Make America Sedate Again” home, we must please a range of taste and interests or else.

The objective of the Democratic ticket is to remove President Trump and maybe tie his drama/mess to those who put him there.  So, the cooks looming over shoulders in the kitchen are Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams…with Trump peeping in the window.

Biden is ready now and a safe bet for success.  At times, he seems old.  The heartland wants change but Trump is so wild that change from him is a welcomed “plain.”  Of course, the Whole Food shoppers in the family like the Progressive agendas of Sanders and Warren.  Sanders is really an advocate like Ralph Nader and Jesse Jackson; presidents should be bridge-builder/governors.  Warren’s wealth tax and erasing student loan debt sounds good to the family but her healthcare plan “for all” troubles those happy with their current situations.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is as smart as a whip but Cory Booker was mayor of a bigger city AND is a U.S. Senator.  Kamala Harris won statewide several times in a nation called California but seems a little happy at times.  The game changer could be which Black leader is selected as Vice President—Booker, Harris, Abrams, Andrew Gillumman or Deval Patrick.  Black America is studying Mayor Pete’s relationship with our community in South Bend while gauging his reception with southern church folks.

Yes, at Thanksgiving dinner, dilemmas come up.  The family divide is often between old school and new school.  We have boujee kinfolks who are solidly in the middle class—the Black Elite.  Oh, the Republicans should have cannibalized them with Michael Steele but they chose to go the Neo Confederate route.  The foundation of the Democrat Party is hard-working, clean-cut brothers and sisters.  We are talking about military enlisted personnel, federal workers, labor union members and plant workers.  Of course, we need to mention the hip hop culture young people who put “being down” in front of employability (‘no what I’m sayin’).

A primary issue (pun intended) concerns the idea that Progressives in the Blue party break their necks to help the lowest income Americans but those struggling families don’t necessarily take responsibility for their actions or vote.  Then, Sanders or someone similar promises the pie in the sky and if he isn’t the nominee, they stay home on election day.  Thanksgiving dinner is often awkward because the family spent the last year addressing problems created by one family member while positive family members were ignored.  Did Hillary let her liberal staff pull her away from rural Americans?  Did she really skip Wisconsin?  Mayor Pete and Senator Amy Klobuchar are trying with agriculture issues and rural development.

We thank Stacey Abrams for raising a zillion dollars alone.  In the past the Democrat campaign industry would raise money and spend it with their friends on T.V. ads.  Abrams put that money on the street with Get Out The Vote grassroots efforts and she has learned to use more locals next time.

We wish we could take elements and aspects of everyone mentioned above and create a composite candidate—add some Julian Castro in the mix.  The old saying goes “nothing brings you more pleasure and pain than family.”  The Democrats and Republicans shouldn’t feel like two different families on Thanksgiving.  Then again, if the Native Americans knew then what we know now…go back to Europe might have been the chant.  Around some GOP Thanksgiving tables next week, some conservatives will admit privately that Trump is dangerous to this nation and plain Jeb Bush looks pretty good right about now.

Heavy Blacks Need To Vote

America and South Georgia have always been awkward for Blacks.  You know the history or do you.  If you don’t, you might experience “back to the future” literally.  For some, that turnaround would be welcome—Make America (my version of) Great Again.  I hope your Black behind knows that this version requires the systematic subjugation of a servant class.

In the past, that servant class was determined by birth.  We should hope that in the future one’s condition in life is fairly determined by grit, drive, effort, focus and achievement.  So, the adjusted American dream could be that every child has a level opportunity to create a good life for themselves.  Sorry well-intended Socialists, this nation can’t and shouldn’t guarantee a good life for everyone—a minimum decent humane life, maybe- but not a good life for a slacker or a couch potato.

Driven Blacks have been in a constant struggle for fairness since arriving here in the hulls of ships before America was an America.  We are battle-weary.  But, the strange battle is with other Blacks who have and will benefit from our efforts who don’t seem to help themselves. I am amazed at the low voter registration and turnout in our communities.  We are talking about communities where local, state and federal governmental actions are direct (public housing, free school lunch, proper police protection, good schools, healthcare, etc.)

If the needy in our community can spend countless hours on sports and internet screen time but can’t take ten minutes to vote, they deserve whatever the Trump types will do to them on all three governmental levels.  Yes, I said it.  A reoccurring theme of this blog is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  As we monitor voter turnout over the next 13 months, we might determine that negative elements of our community are like cancerous cells in a human body.  We might determine that government isn’t fair and can’t be the primary agent for our success. Our success is mostly determined by life choices, decisions and consequences.

We should first help those trying hardest to achieve—those who listen and stay focus.  Do we have compassion for the rest?  Of course but you can’t save people from themselves.  We must expose every child to a constant diet of healthy life choices and options.  Hell, the struggle itself should be a major motivating factor. “He Ain’t Heavy..He’s My Brother” was righteous in ’69 but “Truth is I’m tired” in 2019.

The vote of Blacks under 30 years of age in the South alone could end Trumpism.  If these voters don’t pull their weight and Trump wins a second term, Moderate Black voters might be force to create a new movement in the center to save America by working with whomever to vote out the cancer in other ways.

Democrats are divided. If something doesn’t change, these geniuses are going to give President Trump a second term.  To be a political party in a diverse nation, you need flexibility or as Senator Ted Kennedy said a half a loaf is better than no loaf.  Progressives want the whole loaf or starve.

The well-intended Progressive Movement is just that..a movement.  Winning elections to them might be second to progressing their causes in general.  When the Bernie Sanders crew didn’t get their guy the nomination, some of them blew off the general election while others voted for Trump.

Recently, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was booed by California Democrats for saying Socialism isn’t the answer.  Well, rural Black southerners who actually vote are Moderates who would say “Say What?” if you broke down socialism for them.  “Ok, I am at the factory in steel-toed shoes all day while fools are at home thinking about getting free stuff from the government but it isn’t free because those are my tax dollars.  No one wants to see hungry babies but these grown folks with their hands out could work HERE…we are hiring.  But they are too cool to get dirty at work.”

Dare I ask: Was Dr. Martin Luther King naïve?  In our journey up from slavery, we basically assume that Blacks just needed a fair opportunity to prosper.  M.L.K.’s dream turned into a nightmare when you understand that not everyone is doing their best.  Some White, Black, Yellow and Brown people are just lazy and shiftless.  Blacks of the civil rights movement were generally rooted in the family and church.  The freedoms we enjoy today unfortunately include the freedom to be weak and a self-made victim.  Dr. King is likely disappointed on the other side.

Barack Obama was equally naïve on some level.  When horrible things happened, he would say that’s not who we are.  Actually, Obama’s vision was who we should be (like Lincoln’s better angels.)  Trump exploits who we really are….warts and all.  He is the greatest opportunist in American history and shame on the GOP for giving him a platform.

If things don’t change quickly, this is how the election season will go.  The Progressive minority inside the Democrat Party will push presidential and congressional candidates from the Left.  The old Clinton/Gore and Obama/Biden working class/church attending Dems in the Midwest and South will reject that much liberalism.  The resulting ticket and slate of candidates will go down because pouting babies didn’t get their way.  Trump wins and we head toward global isolationism and possible war.

We should mention that the poor people Liberals want to help vote infrequently.

The following is hard for Progressives to understand: Southern rural Blacks never really trust the government.  We see the same local, state and federal governments that sanctioned our oppression.  If Trump wins again, we will be fine because your best life comes from being a better you; not governmental involvement.  I wrote a blog series once called The Best Interest Initiatives.  Moderate Blacks loved it.  If we had more Moderate talk inside the Democrat Party, we could pull enough suburban voters from the Republicans and Trump would lose.

https://projectlogicga.com/best-interests-initiative/

To move forward as a community, we need to be concerned with more than who wins elections.  Politicians can’t save you from you. The most successful communities have strategic plans based on reality and achievement.  Because this blog post will ruffle some feathers, an italicized disclaimer should come first.  “In a free society like America, you can’t tell people what to do. People have a right to free association and free thought.”

Of course, there are consequences and results from free actions and that is where governmental involvement gets complicated.  You can be unemployed and have six babies but other citizens become involved if you need their tax dollars to feed these innocent kids.  You can have a faith belief that is against a woman’s right to choose but are you going to feed the resulting children for the next 18 years.

I wrote a blog post about P.E.C.S. recently: Politically, Economically, Culturally and Socially.  The idea is that politics is just one part of the overall wellness plan for a community.  We need to be careful about our economic actions, cultural choices and general societal mindset.  Basically, my community is a mess that is getting messier while other communities are moving forward.  Slavery and Jim Crow makes our situation unique but still, we must do better.

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/07/23/southern-black-muscle-p-e-c-s/

Are we actually moving backwards from the pre-integration Black communities?  While those communities were oppressed, most Blacks of those days were fully-focused on achievement and eager to capitalize on every rare opportunity.  The Black home isn’t as solid as it once was and our children are growing up with a range of influences.  Often, the hip hop culture has replaced the church as a major influencer.  Calm down, we all love the art medium of music and rap lyricists are poets.  But, for children without deep roots, the glamorization of street life from music could become a rough way of life. Are these kids preparing for S.T.E.M. careers or jobs in the trades?  Will they be ready to earn a living in the rapidly changing global economy or will they self-medicate and become adult wards of the state?

On the other side of town or in the rural areas, some in the majority community in the South are expressing radical bitterness.  Dr. Condoleezza Rice says that slavery is America’s birth defect.  Conversations about fairness and righting past wrongs have led to a siege mentality for some folks.  Remember, everyone has a right to his or her thoughts.  However, when your thoughts result in discrimination, problems can be legal and financial.

Economic development officials are discovering that local bitter views can stop national companies from bringing new jobs to some areas. Ouch.  Supposedly, B.M.W.’s decision to locate a plant in South Carolina over the Savannah, Georgia, area included drama over the Confederate flag.  Corporations and companies feel out areas and avoid places with simmering troubles.  They don’t want to live in such places and don’t want employee conflicts on the worksite.  We will live together as brothers or perish as fools.

I wrote a blog post about elected officials using technology-generated maps to analyze where voters live.  Governmental projects and services could reflect voting actions; the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  My palm hits my forehead when I think about the neediest areas being the areas with the lowest number of voters.  So, the government helped your family during struggles but you can’t find ten minutes to vote.

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/06/26/political-money-maps-vs-kids/

I don’t want to say “hate” groups but “bitter” groups and individuals from the Far Left and Far Right are being mapped by watch organizations.  Similar to elected officials giving better service to “voting” areas, extremist’s views could cost someone a paycheck or a community jobs.  Increasingly, the first question after an ugly incident is “where does he work?”  Social media can immediately target a company or business if they employee a vile person who offends a segment of the community that is a source of revenue or business.

We can reverse engineer bitter situations.  In the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta’s business community earned the reputation as the city too busy to hate.  Of course, activists are often upset about valid issues but the ends don’t justify the means.  Hero to some is terrorist to others.  A community with a generally positive vibe attracts positive people and positive companies.  The lack of ugliness is a nice reflection on a community.  If your community keeps fighting the Civil War, you shouldn’t be surprised if a corporation views that as intolerant and takes their deep pockets elsewhere.

I also consider it “deep pockets” when a community has pockets of deep or woke people.  For example, Thomasville, Georgia, has a reputation of having intelligent Blacks or a cultured atmosphere in general.  It doesn’t hurt that Tallahassee is just across the state line.  Thomas County has a bitter past like any Georgia area but they have moved forward faster than most.  I won’t mention other area communities with as much wealthy as Thomasville but with a huge divide between the haves and the have-nots.

Our bitter roots are the root of continued problems because the plantation economy ended recently and without a fair reconciliation. You can call it inherited wealth while others view it as ill-gotten gains.  Much of the new hate/bitter speech we are experiencing is simply rooted in the majority fighting changing demographics.

But, we shouldn’t get it twisted.  Population statistics mean nothing if we can’t convert numbers into voters and voters into economic deep pockets.

The Congress passes a Farm Bill every five or so years that authorizes the United States Department of Agriculture programs.  Most people’s eyes glaze over from boredom when a rural congressman is on the TV talking about crops and cows.  The Farm Bill should be of interest to one group of people: eaters.  There is a saying that “if you eat, you are involved in agriculture.”  Yes, everyone eats and a safe and affordable food supply shouldn’t be taken for granted.  If you forget the “touch, the feel” of natural cotton, you should ask someone over 50 years of age about disco dancing in polyester and other synthetic materials.

Consider this: the local school system is funded in part by property taxes.  In rural areas, property value of farm land is tied to Farm Bill programs.  Without that farm land tax revenue, the schools would be severely underfunded.  So, we should be patient when a combine tractor is slowing traffic on a country road.  Farming was always a battle for minorities in America and severely harsh in the South.  USDA traditionally didn’t help Black farm operations but after some costly class action lawsuits there are provisions of the Farm Bill that support socially disadvantage farmers and veteran farmers.

From seed to fork, we should thank everyone involved in the food supply chain: farmers, ranchers, fishermen, foragers, food processors, produce pickers, truck drivers and the grocery store stockers.  A glance at a few parts of the Farm Bill will give you a new prospective on the importance of agriculture in various aspects of our lives.  The 2019 Farm Bill covered $867 billion.  Agriculture is actually Georgia’s biggest industry.   Remember, deboning chicken in poultry plants is also a vital ag job in many communities.

Commodities:  The heart of the Farm Bill would be the programs that support and promote cotton, wheat, corn, rice and soybeans as staple crops as well as other fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats and aquaculture.  The USDA and Congress work with farm industry groups and other stakeholders to determine what if any policies help them.  While only one percent of Americans work in farming, modern machinery and technology could produce too much food and flood the market.  A balance must be created to keep supplies up but not drive prices for farmers down.

Food and Nutrition: Urban members of Congress support the Farm Bill because food programs like SNAP (formerly called Food Stamps), WIC, the School Lunch program and the Surplus Commodities programs are win/win.  Needy families receive food assistance and farmers have the federal government as a market.  The ripple effect is significant: kids can’t learn at school if they are hungry; undernourished children have expensive health problems and kids developing healthy eating habits is important.  At times, the USDA restricts food production while Americans are hungry.  Of course, the economic aspects of food production are complex and complicated but we should all stay informed on these matters.  In the riches countries in the world, people shouldn’t be hungry and farmers shouldn’t be struggling.

Trade: If the American farmer can produce more food, they welcome the opportunity to sell overseas to feed the world because Americans can’t consume all of the bounty that is produced.  Of course, federal farm policy isn’t all USDA and trade requires involvement from the U.S. Trade Representative and Commerce Department.

Foreign Aid/Affairs:  Agriculture gets exciting when you think that our farmers could change the world as much as our troops.  Farmers could ease war and conflict with bread rather than bullets in some situations.  Starving people need our corn, wheat and even peanut paste.  But long term, the research colleges and universities funded by the Farm Bill could teach North Africans better farm practices to avoid ruining their topsoil.  With better topsoil, drought would not devastate the region and thousands of refugees wouldn’t be pouring into an unwelcoming Europe.

Can our farm technology help Latin America develop better crops to trade, stabilize their nations and stem the flood of refugees at our southern border?  While we are at it, South America and Southeast Asia need new cash crops with our assistance because their drug related crops are killing us.

Rural Development: The federal government puts most of urban development under HUD and rural development under USDA.  The president and the secretary of agriculture could creatively consider almost anything to be rural development.  Rural housing, economic development, broadband internet, rural hospitals, community facilities and water and sewer infrastructure fall under this section.  Residents in America’s biggest cities should love rural development because urban sprawl is a beast.  Everyone can’t live in the city and city people often dream about retiring to their rural hometowns for a quiet life near family and friends.  USDA Rural Development across the South was ready when the film industry came looking for new locations.

Research: The Farm Bill promotes research on college campuses and research in the agriculture industry that makes better seeds, less chemicals and higher yields.  Ag scientists are reducing are dependence on fossil fuels by turning wheat straw, peanut shells, used cooking oil and even algae into fuel.   The research and extension services carried out at our land grant colleges and university are why Americans pay the lowest percentage of their income for food than any nation on the globe.

Conservation:  The agriculture industry must be good stewards of clean air, water and land.  The chemicals used in production don’t need to appear in the water supply or in foods.  Trees and grasslands are essential in photosynthesis and everyone likes breathing.

Summary: The 2018 Farm Bill or Law is nearly 1000 pages and therefore not easily summarized.  But, the programs the Farm Bill authorizes touch all of us.  We should also remember from high school government class that authorization of programs is “checked and balanced” by annual appropriations.  The process is similar to a small business having an operations manager who decides a new truck is needed, a budget manager checking to see if funds are in the budget and still another manager cutting the actual check.  All eaters should monitor every future Farm Bill.

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I just read my third Tom Friedman book.  The man is an outstanding columnist and citizen of the world.  When you see him on CNN or whatever, stop and drink in that knowledge and wisdom.  Thank You For Being Late covers many topics in the fast changing world but the basic idea is that the time spent thinking while waiting for someone can be a golden opportunity to gather thoughts.  Relating to politics and policy, we should stop a think about who we are and what we need rather than the dog and pony show of which candidate can do this or that.  If I got the book from the library then ordered online, you know it is good stuff—below are my notes and highlights.

 

Thank You For Being Late

Thomas L. Friedman

p. 6 And so now that we have made waiting obsolete, their attitude is “Who needs patience anymore.” But the ancients believed that there was wisdom in patience and that wisdom comes from patience.. Patience wasn’t just the absence of speed.  It was space for reflection and thought.p. 155 That said, people have bodies and souls, and when you feed one and not the other you always get in trouble. When people feel their identities and sense of home are being threatened, they will set aside economic interests and choose walls over Webs, and closed over open, in a second  – not everyone will make that choice, but many will.

p. 205 Today’s American dream is now more of a journey than a fixed destination – and one that increasingly feels like walking up a down escalator. You can do it. We all did it as kids – but you have to walk faster than the escalator, meaning that you need to work harder, regularly reinvent yourself, obtain at least some form of postsecondary education, make sure that you’re engaged in lifelong learning, and play by the new rules while also reinventing some of them.  Then you can be in the middle class.

p. 205 For more than a decade after the Internet emerged in the mid-1990s, there was much lamenting about the “digital divide.”  That really mattered because it limited what you could learn, how and where you could do business, and with whom you could collaborate.  Within the next decade that digital divide will largely disappear.  And when that happens only one divide will matter, says Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future, and that is “the motivational divide.”  The future will belong to those who have the self-motivation to take advantage of all the free and cheap tools and flows coming out of the supernova.

p. 206 The example I use is a billboard that used to be up on a highway here in Silicon Valley which asked a simple question: “How does it feel to know that there are at least one million people around the world who can do your job?” It would have been an absurd question to ask twenty or thirty years ago because it didn’t matter – I’m here and they are somewhere else.  Now it is increasingly a central question, and one might add, “How does it feel tknow there are at least one million robots who can do your job.”

p. 207 So where do we begin? The short answer, says Auguste, is that in the age of accelerations we need to rethink three key social contracts  – those between workers and employers, students and educational institutions, and citizens and governments.  That is the only way to create an environment in which every person is able to realize their full talent potential and human capital becomes a universal, inalienable asset.

p. 248 China may be America’s rival, but in today’s interdependent world, its collapse would be far more threatening to America than its rise. Probably the worst thing a rising China might do is bully all its neighbors into toeing its line, take over more islands in the South China Sea, or demand more economic concessions from foreign investors.  But a falling China could melt down the U.S. stock market and trigger a global recession, if not worse.

p. 277 In each successive generation, a smaller and smaller number of people is enabled to affect the lives of larger and larger numbers of people through the application of technology.  The effects may be intentional or unintentional, and they may be beneficial or they may not.

p. 288 I went to Amman Jordan. I talked to them about the contrast between the $13.5 million in U.S. scholarships and the $1.3 billion in military aid. “If America wants to spend money on training soldiers, she added, well “teachers are also soldiers, so why don’t you spend the money training us?  We’re the ones training the soldiers you’re spending the $1.3 billion on.”

p. 290 None of it is going to happen overnight, but we need to work with the forces of order that do still exist in the World of Disorder to start building a different trajectory, beginning with all the basics: basic education, basic infrastructure – roads, ports, electricity, telcom, mobile banking – basic agriculture, and basic governance. The goal, said Gates, is to get these frail stats to a level of stability where enough women and girls are getting educated and empowered for population growth to stabilize, where farmers can feed their families, and where you “start to get a reverse brain drain” as young people feel that they have a chance to connect to and contribute and benefit from today’s global flows by staying at home and not emigrating.

p. 293 Barbut has her own idea for an affordable modern-day Marshall Plan for Africa. “To restore a hectare of degrade land, it cost between one hundred and three hundred dollars,” she said, while a day in the refugee camp for one refugee in Italy cost the host government forty-two dollars.”  Her proposal: in the thirteen countries from Mali to Djibouti, fund a “Green Corps” of five thousand people- one per village in each country – give then basic training and seedlings for planting trees that can retain water and soil, and pay them each two hundred dollars a month to take care of their plantings. This is an idea that actually originated with African leaders.  It’s called “the Great Green Wall” : a ribbon of land restoration projects stretching across the entire southern edge of the Sahara, to hold the desert back – and help anchor people in the communities where they actually want to live.

p. 298 Megginson: Yes, change is the basic law of nature. But, the changes wrought by the passage of time affect individuals and institutions in different ways.  According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.  Applying this theoretical concept to us as individuals, we can state that the civilization that is able to survive is the one that is able to adapt to the changing physical, social, political, moral, and spiritual environment in which if finds itself.

p. 310 And to start with I would focus on five of these killer apps that have immediate application to governing today: 1. The ability of to adapt when confronted by strangers with superior economic and military might without being hobbled by humiliation. 2. The ability to embrace diversity. 3. The ability to assume ownership over the future and one’s own problems. 4. The ability to get the balance right between the federal and the local – that is, to understand that a healthy society, like a healthy tropical forest, is a network of healthy ecosystems on top of the ecosystems, each thriving on its own but nourished by the whole; maybe most import, 5. The ability to approach politics and problem-solving in the age of accelerations with a mind-set that is entrepreneurial, hybrid, and heterodox and nondogmatic – mixing and coevolving any ideas or ideologies that will create resilience and propulsion, no matter whose “side” they come from.

p. 310 The late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously observed: “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determine the success of society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

p. 321 Al Qaeda and ISIS, using high-density fossil fuels, are trying to wipe out all that diversity and create a monoculture that is enormously susceptible to conspiracy theories and diseased ideas. This has left that region barren, weak and unhealthy for all its inhabitants. I would argue the same thing happened to the Republic Party in America.  The G.O.P. used to be an incredibly rich polyculture.  And for decades the party itself was a pluralistic amalgam of northern liberal Republicans and southern and western conservatives.  But in recent years, the TEA Party and other hyper conservative forces, also funded in large part by fossil fuel companies and oil billionaires, have tried to wipe out the Republican Party’s once rich polyculture and turn it into a monoculture that’s enormously susceptible to diseased ideas.

p. 327 Very often I meet mayors who have a much better grasp of the world, and the requirements for competitiveness, than their congressmen.

p. 349 One practical way to begin is to anchor as many people in healthy communities. Beyond laws and guardrails, police and courts, there is no better source of restraint than a strong community. Communities also do double duty.  They create a sense of belonging that generates the trust that has to underlie the Golden Rule, and also the invisible restraints on those who would still think of crossing redlines.

p. 361 ….says Grinstein, that “the basic architecture of a resilient and prosperous twenty-first-century society must be a network of healthy communities. National governments are just too cumbersome, distant, and, in too many cases, gridlocked to have the agility needed in the age of accelerations, he argues, and the single-family unit is too weak to stand alone in the face of the hurricane-force winds of change, especially since many families, particularly single-parent ones, are living so close to the edge- without savings, pensions, or homeownership.  A model twenty-first century community would be one that is focused on supporting the employability, productivity, inclusion and quality of life of its members at a time when more and more families need a local hand up to keep pace with the accelerating pace of change.

p. 408 Edmund Burke: When he hailed the community, or what he called the ‘little platoon,” as the key building block and generator of trust for a healthy society.

p. 436 Sondra Samuels: What makes me most hopeful is the ownership that African Americans in this community are taking – (their realization) that nobody is coming to save us. Partners are critical but we have to save ourselves – we have to change our community ourselves. I see families creating achievement plans and they are working their plans and they are showing up differently at their child’s school and they are enrolling in parenting education classes like crazy.

p. 438 The Minnesota way is that everyone should maintain their customs, but there are certain bedrock values – regarding how you treat women, the rule of law, other faiths, public institutions, and community spaces- that are nonnegotiable.

p. 440 But regardless of our cultural heritage, all of us have participate in American society. To do that successfully requires speaking English, gaining an education, and making a contribution.  Most people, particularly those who immigrate in search of a better life, just want to live in a peaceful place and raise their children to be productive citizens.  We should help them do that in every way possible.

p. 443 It’s amazing what happens when people gather around a dining room table, a build trust by focusing exclusively on what they can do to push the community forward. “Trust doesn’t just materialize,” Welsh concluded. “It takes work. It requires a whole bunch of people to keep at it – to keep showing up, and that doesn’t just happen magically.”

p. 448 …what I have found instead was that with every passing year American politics more and more resemble the Middle East that I had left. Democrats and Republicans were treating each other just as Sunnis and Shiites, Arabs and Persians, Israelis and Palestinians did – self-segregating, assuming the worst of each other, and lately, shockingly, never wanting one of their kids to marry one of “them.”  This is awful and has become totally debilitating at exactly the wrong time. We have so much work to do.  We need accelerated innovation in so many realms, and it can only happen with sustained collaboration and trust.

p. 452 …the most important personal, political, and philosophical lesson I took from the journey that is this book is that the more the world demands that we branch out, the more we each need to be anchored in a topsoil of trust that is the foundation of all healthy communities. We must be enriched by that topsoil, and we must enrich it in turn.

In southern states, Democrat voters are BPM: Blacks, Progressives and Moderates.  We can’t win without all three sections.  Of course, some voters are combinations of two. I am a Black Moderate who acknowledges the views of Progressives.  BPM also stands for “Beats Per Minute” in music.  Georgia is a large, diverse state that has several different musical and political tempos. Democrats need to create a political symphonic piece with various tempos; a fusion of soul, rap, jazz, rock and whatever new stuff the kids call music.

Tempo is Italian for time/pace and the tempo of metro Atlanta, the next five cities and the rural areas is different.  Atlanta is Presto (very, very fast 168-200 bpm) while suburban Atlanta might be Allegro (fast, quickly and bright 120-165 bpm.)   The “Next Five” regional cities (Augusta, Macon, Columbus, Savannah and Albany) could feel Moderato (moderate speed 108-120 bpm) while rural areas range from Andante (at a walking pace 76-108 bpm) to Largo (40-60 bpm.)  We shouldn’t be crude by applying these tempos to certain nocturnal activities reminiscent of Elvis’s pelvis.

Actually, they showed Elvis from the waist up on the Ed Sullivan Show because conservatives considered the music and style he appropriated from my side of town to be disturbingly different.  The political tempo of change to Trump’s supporters is another subject.  They would take the same tempos mentioned for Democrats but have that pace taking America back to the country they want back.  If young Blacks knew the Jim Crow America of my preschool years, they would be voting for Democrats at a Presto pace.

In junior high band, we played a little symphonic piece that introduced a theme.  The theme is played at different tempos by different combinations of instruments.  At the finale, the whole band was playing the theme the together at the same tempo.  Democrats can’t beat Trump and the new GOP without acknowledging the different types of voters in our coalition, appreciating their various contributions and coming together in the end for a climactic election victory.

I dislike labels but if I must, I declare myself to be a Hybrid Democrat.  I just made that term up.  We have gas powered, electric and hybrid cars.  A Hybrid Democrat is a voter who has elements of different segments of the Blue Team.  Personally, my views are socially moderate, fiscally conservative and extremely pro-rural, pro-black.

It’s my understanding that radical elements of the Blue Team like progressives are rubbing their hands together as they sinisterly aim to take over the Democrat Party.  The Tea Party did that to the Republican Party.

While I wish Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Socialists would go start their own party, I appreciate some of what they think– hear me out.  We know America isn’t right to everyone.  If I were a white guy, I would so love my American experience because as President Jefferson Davis wrote, America to Confederates has a ruling class and a servant class.  Of course, blacks were the servant class.  Are poor whites in the current servant class because the rich have them thinking that they are on the same team?

While cash reparations are not realistic, we must acknowledge that America got great because it had free and systematically low-cost Black labor until the 1970s.  Also, current rich white families in my community are still reaping the benefits of this unjustice in the form of inherited wealth and we know which families worked for which families.

The progressives are wildly radical to advocate wealth redistribution based on some folks being poor.  However, the rich have lobbied government since 1776 to ensure the abovementioned class system.  Look, if you are poor, it should be based on your actions.

Progressives seem to have a rose-colored glasses view of the poor: all poor people struggling as a result of a horrible system of oppression; all poor people are naturally good folks.  Who knows?  A quarter of poor people might not have a quarter because of their personal actions.  A quarter of rich people could be diabolical rats seeking to stay-paid off someone else’s labor.

As the only hybrid Democrat, I am concerned that laziness is fostered by too much free governmental assistance.  Also, I am puzzled by the alarmingly low voting numbers from the poorest segment of the community.   Liberals and progressives aren’t bold enough to speak frankly with low income people about the limited role of government and their part in their self-destruction.

Another vehicle comparison is the crossover.  The O.J. type Ford Bronco was basically a pickup truck with a built-in camper top and seats in the back.  The old station wagons and minivans moved kids around and brought home groceries but they were so not sexy.  The current SUV and CUV sit tall on the road like a pickup but have smooth rides like a car.  They weren’t built for logging crews, construction personnel or farm workers; let that register.

Suburban soccer moms needed flexibility in a crossover utility vehicle and the same families need political party flexibility.  It’s my understanding that Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants Democrats to stop voting for Republicans.  I voted for Ohio Governor John Kasich in the Republican presidential primary because Hillary had secured the nomination and I wanted the GOP nominee to be someone smart just in case the unimaginable happened.  Kasich was the lesser of evils (not evil at all) and the unimaginable did happen.  I was right.

The mission isn’t to battle other Americans in a political party fight.  The mission is a more perfect union.  The crossover moderates are current versions of Reagan Democrats or Republicans who voted for Obama.  The sensible center makes up the majority of American voters; blow us off at your peril.

In red congressional districts, Democrats are often hybrid or crossover.  Fox News would have you think moderate to conservative Democrats don’t exist and the far-left progressives say Democrats can’t be Blue Dog moderates.  The Democrats can’t win without flexibility in our ranks.

During 2019, we should listen to what is important to the voters.  Love him or hate him, Trump did just that and won the Oval with a long list of empty promises.  The Democrats can’t win by dispatching urban hip liberals to “teach” rural voters in pickup truck country what is important.

If Georgia Democrats want to win in 2020, we must cultivate a coalition from Columbus to the Georgia coast now.  The Republicans constantly speak of Hillary Clinton using money and influence from the two national coasts as her foundation while ignoring “flyover America” or the heartland.  The job of the G.O.P. is to create drama among Americans for political gain.  But on some level, they are right.

From Baltimore to Boston and from San Diego to Seattle, so-called national Democrats are raising countless millions for campaigns and causes across America.  We know that money is the mother’s milk of politics.  However, donors want “ears” or influence for their support.  If you raise a ton of money from coastal elites to win an election, your first deference might be to them over the voters who are now your constituents.  A servant can’t have two masters.

Black folks love us some Barack Obama.  At times during his second term, he seemed to embrace issues based on being on the right side of history more so than the right side of the southern railroad tracks.  (If you don’t know about those tracks, don’t campaign outside metro Atlanta.)

The Progressive Movement in the form of the Stacey Abrams governor campaign made great strides with young voters in Georgia last year.  We feel an additional 100k voters can be had in the Georgia’s 8th, 1st and 2nd congressional districts if they are developed with nuance over time.  A national concern with Hillary and a state concern with Abrams is appreciating rural Democrats—Black and White.

The answer isn’t bringing more southerners into the Progressive Movement only.  The answer includes acknowledging a Sanford Bishop Moderate section of the Blue Team and working with us.  Southern moderates love rural living, support the military, support agriculture/rural development and support the role transportation plays in our economy with highways, the Atlanta airport and the Port of Savannah.  The changes the Progressives want in criminal justice reform, education/training and income fairness are right on time to many Moderates.

We have more in common than you think.  Look, the Country Club Republicans tolerated the rough TEA Party crowd to win elections.  Democrats need to tolerate each other to do the same.  For example, the Moderates would love to bring any Georgia U.S. Senate candidates up to speed on the Farm Bill.  That would be one dusty boots long weekend but at the end, we would have groomed the next member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  That member would be important to Georgia farmers and producers and vital to people who need a save and affordable food supply around the world.  Actually, ag could solve problems around the world better than missiles but the costal elite don’t seem to know that.

Urban campaign staff seem a little awkward to some rural people.  They show up from who knows where to tell us what is important….to us. Really?   Smooth voter education/Get Out The Vote starts with listening and comfort level.  If you meet the right local community people early and develop a rapport, those local relationships will populate rallies and give candidates the opportunities to win the region over.  Hillary spent all of that money on T.V. ads but if she put a fraction of those funds into chicken leg quarters/Motown music events, she would be president today.

A candidate can’t just be Black and from a Black college.  Voters are too smart for that.  After all, Herman Cain is a successful Morehouse Man but Black voters were not feeling his political views.  On the other hand, urbane Morehouse alum Sanford Bishop was a quick study on crops and troops.

Finally, you can’t make rural voters love all of the liberal views of coastal elites—some but not all.  South Georgia voters know the massive efforts made to get out the urban vote in the past while rural us were an afterthought.  That can’t happen again.

L.B.J. might have said you can’t win big “dadgum” elections without different sides coming together painfully.  The Kennedys reluctantly added him to Jack’s ticket and narrowly won the White House.  Recent segregationists, labor members and Blacks formed the Democrat Party from the 1970s until 2016. If you aren’t familiar with dadgum, you don’t need to grassroots campaign or Get Out The Vote in Georgia south of Macon.

Republicans know there aren’t enough rich people to win elections so they fan the flames of paranoia and division to increase their numbers with blue collar and no collar people.   It worked until the TEA Party types actually took over the GOP from the Country Club, pro-business types.  The team behind Hillary Clinton wanted to win with limited influence and involvement from rural Democrats.  Some argue that Team Stacey Abrams did the same.  Governor Kemp’s margin of victory could have been erased with a nominal effort in South Georgia.  Oh, Ms. Abrams logged countless hours south of the gnat line but something didn’t work.

My friends think you enlist local existing networks and have a list of issues unique to the region.  We could have given them a U.S.D.A./Farm Bill expert politico who was sitting by the phone; someone who knew every rural area like the back of his hand—lawyer, farmer, Hill veteran, Moderate Black college product.  There went 30,000 votes right there.  In a big state, candidates can’t be everywhere.

The Dems need a three legged stool in the South: Blacks, Progressives and Suburban Moderates.  In Georgia, each of those three groups has felt left out during big elections over the last 10 years.  Jason Carter for Governor and Michelle Nunn for Senate were based on Suburban Moderates at the expense of Blacks and Progressives.  The last two groups nearly put Stacey Abrams in the governor’s mansion but the lack of non-urban Whites was noticeable….could have tipped the scales noticeable.

After the 2021 Inauguration, the President should eat a peach and an orange in the Oval Office with either new Senator Stacey Abrams and soon to be cabinet member Andrew Gillum or Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.  In other words, turning out Georgia and Florida could decide the next presidential election.

The Progressive Movement is reason for concern.  Movements are made of activists who might not be political party team players—do they work well with others.  If their candidate doesn’t win the primary, they sometimes stay home in the general election (Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton).  Do you remember P.U.M.A.?   Some Hillary Clinton supporters were all “Party Unity My A—s” after Obama emerged as the nominee.

I am just one Black Moderate voter but I was “all in” for Progressive Stacey Abrams for governor in the primary and general election.  If we are to have success in 2020, a lively primary with candidates for Senate from the three abovementioned “legs” could be healthy.  After the primary, Blacks, Progressives, and Suburban Moderates must stand shoulder to shoulder against Trump and the mess that has become the Republican Party.

We bloggers wrote that gubernatorial candidate Austin Scott should leave the crowded field and run for the U.S. House in 2010.  We created a Facebook page stating the case.

Scott was a Republican maverick in the statehouse; he sided with Democrat Governor Roy Barnes to change the confederate part of the state flag.  As a Democrat, encouraging an opponent of a Moderate Democrat congressman was hard but Rep. Jim Marshall spent all of his time distancing himself from Pelosi and Obama.  If you aren’t riding with the team, you can go.

Of course, Scott could see how far down he was in the polls without our opinions.  Scott switched to the House race, won the election and our community hasn’t really seen him since then.  Scott was even an early supporter of Marco Rubio for president but he moved over to the dark side with Trump.  In retrospect, keeping Marshall as a White Moderate Democrat would have been better for party balance.

The old White leadership of the Georgia Democrat Party is in uncharted waters these days.  With the exodus of rural Whites and some labor members to the G.O.P., the Democrat Party in Georgia is mostly Black and the remaining urban Whites are often Progressives.  The cornerstone of this blog is that everyone in the political arena has an agenda.  The agenda of the old White leadership seems to be: find a candidate who can raise tons of money; get paid with said candidate; and prepare to do the same in two years with someone else.  The recruited candidates were good citizens and the list grows: Michael Cole for Senate, Jim Martin for Senate, Jim Barksdale for Senate and Stacey Evans for governor.

I told Mrs. Evans that she could win the lieutenant governor race.  If Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans teamed up on the state, they both might have won.  But, the abovementioned leadership must have convinced Evans that she could win the primary.  Results show they were wrong and real political talent and energy was misplaced.

So, the same old school Black and White Democrat leadership is at it again.  They are trying to find someone they can control to run for U.S. Senate.  Their list of hopefuls includes former congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, recent lieutenant governor candidate Sarah Riggs Amico and Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson.  They have little control over Stacey Abrams.

I want to make a pro football playoffs parallel.  The New Orleans Saints finished the regular season with the best record in the N.F.C.  They earned a first round bye in the playoffs and home field advantage.  Stacey Abrams almost won the governor’s race.  If she wants to run statewide for U.S. Senate, she has earned a first round bye (no primary opponents) and the home field advantage that comes with a fresh, proven campaign network and a powerful database.  The Saints could rest during the Wildcard Weekend and Abrams should relax for 6 months or so before becoming more familiar with the under vote producing sections of rural Georgia.

The idea that Abrams should run in a primary is laughable and an insult to the thousands of man-hours put in by grassroots citizens during her recent race. In the old days, the party would clear the field.  It feels like Gone With The Wind after the South fell.  Shall the former slaves fret over the fall of a culture that subjugated them or shall they celebrate?   Remember, the old White party leadership owns the election losses of the last 20 years.

But, I have good news for my White moderate Democrat friends. You are very important in a national party.  A national party must have a range of voices at the table.  My moderate views are similar to yours and we counterbalance the Far Left in policy meetings.  Suburban college educated voters in Georgia rocked with us; we might pull some of the voters who want to abandon the craziness of the Trump G.O.P.

The natural races for moderate White Democrat candidates would be G.O.P.-held congressional seats. In Georgia, a candidate can run in any district.  The margin of victory for these Trump-associated congressmen is less than the number of African American adults who don’t currently vote and grassroots groups will be working on that for the next two years.

The ultimate prize is removing Trump from the White House.  Switching Georgia is part of the plan but it requires strong candidates on every level.  The new Democrat president could enjoy control of the Senate if Stacey Abrams and a few others win.

Rural Georgia Blacks have me “long blinking.”  My homeboy Richardson will tell you stories about teaching and will long blink as a “pregnant pause” at a significant point.  If it was really bad, his chin would drop onto his chest.

Urban Dictionary defines pregnant pause as the silence that occurs after someone has said or done something that leaves everyone who bore witness to the event speechless.  “Deafening silence” is related to both long blinking and pregnant pause.

I don’t understand why we seek a better life through voting and public servants primarily–long blink.  There are older Moderate Blacks who don’t trust a government-based improvements for our community because we remember local, state and federal sanctioned oppression and subjugation—pregnant pause.   Are some Blacks waiting for Uncle Sam to rescue them from the “other man” or from themselves?  Many people are their own worst enemies—played in school, slept in church, hung with no good people, ignored parents and didn’t develop a career. Deafening silence.

For years, this blog argued that there is more than one way to skin a cat.  During that time, parts of our community kept searching for elected leaders who would give us more and more.  On some level, that assistance seemed related to reparations but not really.  The best we can hope for from government is a protection of basic rights and a climate conducive for personal development.  What does that last sentence mean?  America should be the land of equal and fair opportunity for everyone.  If you are poor and struggling, it should be a result of your actions rather than gender, color or what have you.

The Progressive Movement is exciting to many young people but we Moderates want the movement leaders to explain how all of these benefits will be funded.  Well-intended benefit programs can inadvertently create softer, entitled people.

Old school Blacks like me think another way to skin the cat would include personal responsibility.  No, I am not talking about the cold-hearted “let them starve” mentality of the Far Right Conservatives.  Shall we reconsider the striving mindset of Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and every Black person who simply wanted a fair shot at a nice life from hard work?

That striving mindset is cheaper than governmental programs and produces less crime.  It involves Secretary Colin Powell’s desire to reinstitute “shame” in America.  Projectlogicga.com has several blog post that outline where we start.  If a congressional candidate or social leader bought into this “nip problems in the bud” concept, we could do so much to more cleverly skin a cat.  In rural Georgia, Blacks who vote became successful with the old school mindset while some non-voters sat at home with a wishbone where a backbone is supposed to be.  The people who benefit most from governmental programs often don’t vote—long blink, pregnant pause, and deafening silence.

We should spend 2019 asking the people what they think about old school and new school.

https://projectlogicga.com/best-interests-initiative/

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/07/23/southern-black-muscle-p-e-c-s/

https://open2020blog.wordpress.com/

backroompolitics

Political Parties’ major moves were once decided behind the scenes in smoke-filled rooms by party bosses.  It’s often said that it makes no difference who is on the stage or dais.  The question is who is in the room when the money is counted; there you will find real power.

Huey Long, Boss Tweed, Maynard Jackson and George Busbee were parts of political machines that made decisions privately then let the public in on the plans.  In the Democratic Party today, there is no similar organizational structure and that might be a good thing.  Barack Obama was told it was Hillary’s turn but he ignored the process, put together his own operation and won.  It wasn’t Trump’s turn but he did the same.  Inside the Democratic Party of Georgia, the bosses didn’t want Stacey Abrams but she created an operation based more on the national Progressive Movement than the political party.  How did Bernie Sanders come in second in the Democrat presidential nominating process when he isn’t even a Dem?

Should the smoke-filled rooms return to hash out better plans and guard the agenda of the Democrat Party?  The TEA Party Movement took over the Republican Party and the Progressive Movement might do the same to the Democrats without some boss moves.

In this era of inclusion, my friends and I jokingly say that there would be different kinds of smoke in the room today.  You would have a few old school cigar chompers at the table from Big Labor talking with new school elites who prefer a $25 Montecristo.  Because the racial makeup of the Georgia Dems has changed, the Black and Mild crew needs to be there next to the Backwoods pickup truck guys and girls.  Since the Progressive Movement strongly advocates for reform of marijuana laws, the weed smokers can be in the backroom but they can’t light up.  Agriculture is Georgia’s biggest industry so the smokeless tobacco guys with the circle on their jeans need to be in the room.

Suburban educated voters are vital to the Democratic team so the non-smokers can enjoy some smoked trout and smoked Gouda.  The international types and hipsters can even have their hookah or vape.

The Democrats can’t win without diversity and understanding.  Back in the 90s, the southern Dem coalition included African Americans who were recent Negroes and Dixiecrats who were recent segregationists.  “Go to the polls and hold your nose.”

Moderates are prepared to work with everyone.  A stronger, more vocal Moderate and Centrist segment of the Dem Party could attract needed suburban voters.  We would have once called 2019 an “off election” year.  But, the grind continues without stopping.  Activists are registering new voters and this blog would like to use this year to actually listen to the people while building a grassroots network in South Georgia.

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With planning like the Normandy invasion, Georgia Democrats could secure the 2 million votes needed to win the state in 2020.  How sweet would the peach be if the Democrat presidential nominee won the state and the White House, Stacey Abrams became a U.S. Senator and Dems saw victories on every level.

The liberation of Europe from Hitler’s grasp was a massive undertaking, Operation Overlord, that required comprehensive involvement from every part of the military and occupied locals.  This involvement included overnight parachute and glider landings, naval bombardments, heavy air strikes and a year of intelligence before the amphibious landings.  Many battles were won in the planning and preparation stages. We shouldn’t forget about the Europeans who wanted to be free from the German invaders.

Of course, turning the tide in World War II is more significant than an election.  However, taking the White House from President Trump is important.  Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu once said “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”  Ask Al Gore how important a few votes in south Florida was.  Hillary Clinton would be president if she received 77,000 more votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.  The same number would have made Stacey Abrams governor of Georgia or Andrew Gillum governor of Florida.

Some pundits argue that Stacey Abrams got close without only secondary assistance from the Democrat Party, that Trump won with his own operation rather than the R.N.C. and Obama’s campaign apparatus is currently more effective than the D.N.C.  At times, it seems the Democrats are fighting each other more than the other side.

To me, Normandy style planning could win Georgia for the Democrats if we have different elements playing different roles in different locations.  What works in Atlanta, Albany and Adel is different.  One of the brightest minds in the political arena today is Cliff Albright of Black Voters Matter.  Cliff is a mastermind of bus tours, rallies, voter registration and door knocks.  He is part of a team that “put in the work” that won the Alabama U.S. Senate race.  On the internet and in person, I hear one key element from Cliff: raise national money to fund indigenous groups.

The comedy of errors that is the Democrat Party has a reputation of bringing urban activists to rural areas to teach the locals what is important.  Say what?  You ask us what is important to us and tell us if that is something that can be done.  But, you don’t come to south Georgia with a list of D.C. and Atlanta issues.  2019 should be about issues education and network building.  Complex and considerate voters across the Democrat team know that segments of the team are different in mindset and that is fine.

Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn spent too much money on T.V. to secure the Moderate vote while Stacey Abrams was brilliant with Progressive young voters.  2020 should be about doing both at the same time.  We must work hard and smart because the other side is busy with dastardly techniques and methods.  In World War II, the Navajo code talkers were beneficial in the Pacific theater but we need some code breakers today to break down what the Republicans are saying and doing.  I want my country back.  Make America Great Again.

We should never underestimate the role of the local resistance in the liberation of Europe back then and the current resistance today.  If citizens noticed the little things the other side is doing daily, voting would be automatic.  We also need to have a Churchill style “stiff upper lip” because liberals often baby the citizens.  No, these are the issues and how they impact your family.  Vote.

Normandy would have been a mess if different branches of the military were stumbling over each other.  You do your part and we will do ours.  The Lord knows the beaches needed to be cleared of landmines before the troops came out of the water.

Projectlogicga.com’s part in 2020 is South Georgia from Milledgeville to the Florida line-the 8th, 2nd and 1st congressional districts.  100k more voters in Atlanta and 100k more voters in South Georgia would get us a victory.  Of course, Augusta, Athens and other north of Macon areas should be cultivated.  Military operations like Normandy require cooperation and the checking of egos.  The Democrats failed in Georgia for decades because everyone wanted credit for the coming victory.  Young people parachuted into the South to do campaign work and secure White House political appointments.  Did they respect the established indigenous grassroots groups?

The ultimate objective is getting citizens registered and consistently to the polls to create change, fairness and prosperity. If Normandy involved different elements of the military, we should consider different elements to reach voters.  For example, one household could be motivated by door knocks while another noticed social media information and still another attended a stirring grassroots rally/cookout.  Another person became a regular voter because that person was hit with a combination of the three abovementioned elements.

In Georgia, we might put too much hope in metro Atlanta alone. There is an old campaign adage that states a candidate got the same vote ten times.  In other words, that one voter was reached over and over again while potential voters in other areas were lazily reached only with T.V. ads.

A key to military and campaign success is intelligence and reconnaissance.  The locals know who moves the crowds, what the hot button issues are and who is trusted.

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How much of high school sports is reading eyes?  Where are they going…what’s next…who is getting the ball?  Is it fair to have the weight of a community riding on young shoulders?  It’s not tribal warfare like Braveheart but when Bainbridge won the state football championship with a head coach, I don’t personally know him, from Worth County, it was like watching Hoosiers.

For the record, the kids should relax and have fun.  I went to high school with some vocal fans that never played varsity anything.  At the end of the day, youth sports is about character-building.  I have been sitting in the same spot at the Worth County gym for 20 years.  In high school, my best friend and next door neighbor Gene was point guard, QB1 and a track star.  He told me it isn’t called “point” guard because the player points at others; the “one” guard is the quarterback or point of attack.

Worth County has two bright point guards now; you see determination in their eyes and the same on their teammates faces.  The Lady Rams have a young lady who wears Number 1 and she has heart.  As an underclasswoman, she got so flustered with losing. It was as if she was saying “we trained for this, we know this…let’s execute during the game.”  She works at the best soul food restaurant in South Georgia and I would ask in the summer if the Lady Rams would be right this year.  Number 1 would nod like “yes and you old folks need to get a life.”

The Rams point guard is Kobe.  Ok, when your name is Kobe, you can hoop from birth.  It’s like being name Tiger “Woods” and playing golf or Usain “Bolt” and running the 100.  For 20 years, I have been watching Nethers and Bentleys play point guard at Worth County.  Will I live long enough to watch the preschool Nethers at the game this week play point guard here also?

It must be rich having a gym full of supporters and the Nethers as a family are there.  In two decades, the White family is the other one I can remember rolling in like 20 deep three nights a week.  So, I played tennis in high school and a little in college.  The next time a family member watches me play will be the first time but I played a non-revenue generating sport—no spectators, no glory, no pressure.

You know, tennis and golf are actually squads and not teams.  Playing on a team involves working with others.  “You can’t sink while others float because you are all in the same big boat. There is no “i” in team.  Teamwork makes the dream work.”  Kobe and Number 1 are good.  Number 1 throws no-look passes so smoothly that the person she is throwing them to didn’t know they were coming.  Kobe and the Men’s 2 guard have the ability to take over the game or as they say get their own shot.  But, as I watch the games, you hear former Rams saying that the other team would then double team the hot hand.  I came to realize the other night that Kobe was looking to draw the double team and pass to his open teammates.

When Kobe Bean Bryant was 19 years old, he played on his first All-Star Team.  Karl Malone came over to set a pick and Kobe waved him away.  The showman in Kobe wanted to take the defender off the dribble…he wanted to break a fool’s ankles for the crowd.  As Kobe grew older, he came to better understand playing with others.

The federal government job application form use to include a section called Knowledge, Skills and Abilities or K.S.A.  Knowledge is what you learn from others, skills are what you develop from practice and abilities are what you got from God.  Great players (Kareem, Jordan, Bird, Magic, LeBron) have all three while a good baller might have two out of three.  For example, Karl Malone’s Utah Jazz teammate John Stockton wasn’t the best athlete from the abilities standpoint but he had developed skills.  Allen Iverson had skills and abilities but was too cocky to learn from those who went before him.  Today, you hear stories about top rookies in all sports asking if they could visit a legend for a few days to pick his brain about every aspect of the sporting life—on and off the court or field.

The current Rams are fortunate because they have dozens of former Rams at their games…pick those brains.  It occurs to me that confidence is a big part of sports and sports reflect into life in general.  I am nerdy so I will always put the books over the extracurricular but maybe they worth together.  The Rams and the Lady Rams have the personnel to have successful seasons if they gel together as teams.  Hey, the Rams head coach hooped at Albany State when I was in college, he knows ball and it seems the Lady Rams have a good coach as well.  Listen to them.

At the end of the day, sports and high school in general is practice/preparation for life.  The NCAA has a spot that says “There are over 400,000 NCAA student-athletes, and most of us will go pro in something other than sports.”  I like that because the purpose of sports for most students is preparation for work and life… work is a team…family is a team.

My neighbor Wiley Brown played on a Louisville basketball team that won the national championship in 1980.  Tia Lewis played D-I ball at O.D.U. before playing professionally overseas.  Anfernee McLemore was an honor graduate from Worth County who recently selected Auburn for college hoops over Sanford, Georgia Tech and Yale.  You can’t live vicariously through others but I was like please go to Yale for me. Hell, I have a Yale t-shirt anyway because he is brainy enough to go there for grad school after basketball and we support academic success also…you know last year’s salutatorian lives two streets over and a sister from the next street was valedictorian years back.

For the record, I might have had the worst attitude of any Worth County athlete ever.  I wouldn’t play football because I didn’t like people yelling at me…still don’t.  But, they yell at you in Marine Basic Training, at S.E.A.L. School, at Ranger School in Columbus and in college with fraternity hazing.  Are they yelling or encouraging?

The Lady Rams once had a coach who yelled during games at J.C. and her teammates….stuff like dumb and stupid.  At her son’s little league game, I asked her if it would be cool if someone yell at him like that and she said it wasn’t yelling it was motivation.  Well, maybe I was wrong because her son played in the N.F.L. and J.C. has a condo and Benz in Florida.  Students can develop mental toughness from sports but they shouldn’t be disrespected.

My bad attitude had me telling my tennis coach that she couldn’t coach me because I was a better player than she….young and silly.  That coach made us do conditioning over and over.  While we wanted to smash overheads at the net like basketball players want to dunk, she made us practice lobs over and over.  Today, I do those conditioning drills weekly and I am relatively fit..thanks, Coach.  When I am in trouble in a point, I toss up one of those lobs so high it hits a cloud.  Those lobs buy you time to regroup and get ready for the next shot.  Coach wasn’t teaching tennis; she was teaching life.  When things get rough, you need to be cool, remember your training and regroup.  My funky attitude even had me quitting the marching band.  While playing an instrument was fun, I couldn’t have directors and select leaders fussing at me because I couldn’t worth a nothing.  Hey, sometimes it’s just not your thing.  My hard tennis serve was much better than their scales or whatever but I was always at the concerts cheering their achievement.  Several classmates went to college free with those horns and started life without student loans.

Jeremiah and Brandon are my favorite bball Rams.  They were successful and coachable in school and are professionals and fathers today.  During a girls’game back in the day, point guard Brandon asked former Ram standout Harold how he could get a nice job like P&G in the future. Harold said you just keep doing what you are doing because P&G is a team just like basketball: take care of your assignments, be on time and focused, remember your training, be responsible for your mistakes, work well with others and be productive.  Hey, Harold has made more money at the plant than he would have made playing pro baseball.

Ok, why do all the kids love basketball when baseball is easier on the body and you play until you are like 50.  Those baseball players stand around then go eating sunflower seeds in the dugout half of the game. We didn’t have sunflower seeds on that lonely tennis court; we just had sun…lots and lots of blazing sun.

All Rams have the internet at their disposal.  You tube has interviews with the coolest of the cool: Arthur Ashe, Bjorn Borg, Julius Erving, Wynton Marsalis, Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards and Mike Krzyzewski.  Those are some real TED talks.

Complexity: Southern Mind

How-to-prepare-for-complex-MA-projects-without-losing-your-mind

To me, President Obama represents what America should be while President Trump represents what America is.  Is this notion complex?  Understanding the complexity of the southern mind is key to better politics, policy and life in general.

We are different—products of historic opposing factions but at the end of the day Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis should all want to help form “a more perfect union.”  It takes a complex mind to understand that what’s perfect for you and perfect for me are two different things.  Shall we look into some complexity with an open mind?

Gone With the Wind: Life on Tara Plantation was idyllic if you sat on the porch but if you toiled in the fields or kitchen, if was just this side of hell.  Is it hard to understand that the oppression didn’t really end for Blacks until the middle 1970s?  I have watch GWTW half a dozen times but this summer was the first time I realize that life for Whites on Tara during the war was “flipping the script.”  It wasn’t right for good Whites to live that hard.  The filmmakers were offering radical social commentary right under our noses.

Michelle Robinson Obama: Former FLOTUS Obama’s book includes her statement that she would never forgive Donald Trump for pushing the birther drama that endangered her whole family.  Yes..that’s right.  While President Obama is a “turn the other cheek” guy, Miche from the Southside is more like most in my community.  As a matter of fact, I am complex enough to compare her to Mr. Jackie Robinson.  Both Robinsons had to hold it in for a long time but the truth will set you free.  When you promote division and suffering for personal gains, we should remember (Segregationists, Crack dealers.)

Ignoring current supporters of the Confederacy is a disservice to every African America who lived before 1976.  Condoning force labor, rape and humiliation during slavery and Jim Crow creates an unhealthy racial chasm in this nation.  This drama alone should drive Blacks to the polling place but I am not complex enough to understand these Negroes’ apathy—yes, they should get use to Negroes and other elements of our troubled past… it’s back to the future if we aren’t careful.

Religion: Many southerners think Christianity is the official religion of America.  The Founding Fathers would have done us all a big favor if they were clearer but I think God was in the room during those early days.  In America, we have freedom of religion; you can practice a formal faith or you can do nothing.  It’s up to you or as this blog has stated years ago “there is plenty of room in hell.”

It doesn’t help that the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) have been warring in the Middle East for centuries.  I am bless to have visited Jerusalem and I am in the local Methodist church every Sunday but I am surprised to learn the number of rural Black preachers who don’t know that Abraham’s casted-out son Ishmael is considered to be an early prophet in Islam.  The three faiths are related!  In Genesis 17:20, God tells Hagar “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee; Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.”

Oh, it gets more complex because there are those who believe that Jesus moved and spoke to others around the world in different times.  This constant battling between faiths must be reconciled before we all nuclear perish.  Shall we be complex and consider what Jesus said about dealing with unbelievers?

Southern Intolerance: “It’s my way or the highway” could be the motto of the two extreme ends of the political spectrum.  The Ultra Conservatives on the far Right and the Ultra Progressives on the far Left are inflexible. Yes, I am complex enough to respect conviction but I also know public policy requires understanding, compromise and arriving at reasonable solutions.  The previous sentence is a joke to many rural Whites because they often feel that America was created by Whites, based on the Bible, and designed to keep them in tall cotton.  Basically, they want their country back…make it great again.  Am I missing something here?  Complexity requires that I mention that the foundation of Black slavery is that supposedly Blacks are the descendants of Noah’s son Ham, the guy who laughed at his post-flood drunken father.  According to some folks, Ham’s descendants were to be water bearers for his brothers’ descendants and so guess who comes from Africa to provide free and reduced labor until the 1970s.  To my friends, Blacks claims as Americans is right there with the Native Americans who were robbed of two continents.

If many in the South insist on glorifying/honoring their “noble” Confederate cause, we can have a complex discussion about the investment of Black free labor during slavery and the systematic continued assets resulting from Jim Crow’s oppression of Black opportunity.

Gays: So, your faith tells you that two girls shouldn’t date but the “pursuit of happiness” is in the Declaration of Independence.  At the end of the day or the end of time, we will all have our own cross to bear.  Ancient scriptures mention lots of things we shouldn’t do but do.  This heterosexual writer thinks that sex outside of marriage is a sin but I have never been married and am no virgin.  Did I mention that there is plenty of room in hell?  The Bible also goes into great detail about being judgmental.

Homosexuality should keep Democrats up at night.  Not like that…up worrying about coalitions.  Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and recently Stacey Abrams raised tons of money on the two coasts because they are forward thinkers—Christians who have arrived at tolerant positions on same sex issues. When those issues come up in some rural Black churches, the pastors are like “not so fast.”

I am personally wrong for enjoying the spectacle of watching Gay White men try to understand how someone could take someone else’s rights….join the club.  It took Black folks centuries to get some of our rights but others want all of their rights yesterday.  For the record, discrimination in any form is wrong.

Voting: How do you not vote if you are Black, poor or both.  Democrats fight for working class people who then don’t vote.  I am not complex enough to understand that.

Hip Hop: Rap has grown from a powerful art form into a whole culture.  To me, hip hop is more influential in my community than politics.  While artists should be free to express themselves, I wonder if kids are complex enough to realize that the glamorization of a thug culture is moving Blacks backwards.  Oh, I loved Prince, miss him every day, but we didn’t walk around in purple Captain Crunch coats.  The combination of weak parents and strong hip hop creates a climate in which striving, focusing and long-term goal-making takes a backseat to fast money in a smoky weed haze.

You don’t hear the well-intended Progressives talk about what people did to create their own messy lives.  Shall we be complex enough to consider that weed is self-medication for a generation of Black youth who know that America isn’t fair to them?  Did liquor serve the same purpose for generations of Black men who America saw as boys?

Linear Parenthood: Ok, I just made up that term because I just don’t get some people. Follow me: if you have the vision as a teen to see your whole future on a timeline, are you not complex enough to have children at a smart time. Harvard Law classmates Barack Obama and Hill Harper both wrote in books that it’s better for people to hold off on major life moves until say 24 years old.  Before that point, you are developing.  If 24 year old you saw a video tape discussion by 19 year old you, you would likely say the kid had no idea about life.  Wait, forget about 19 because you have kids making sex, education and gun decisions at 15.  Wow.

Fake News: Really?  Are you not complex enough to know that Fox News and conservative talk radio isn’t real journalism.  It’s propaganda design to create fear, hatred, power and wealth.

Summary: I know this whole writing was all over the place but something radical must be done to reverse our direction.  To me, the solutions are complex and multilayered.  I wrote a post earlier this year about P.E.C.S. (Political, Economic, Cultural, and Social) solutions.  My Progressive friends don’t want to hear it but the foundation of successful Black individuals, families and communities is strong, focus folks.  The government shouldn’t rescue you from you.

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/07/23/southern-black-muscle-p-e-c-s/

Every American should have a fair shot at the good life and the government should protect citizen’s rights.  We must be complex enough to know that every group should be at the discussion table together…with thick skin.  Unfortunately, the conservative movement wants to make decisions for the whole nation without input from the whole nation.  The well-intended progressive movement seems to think struggling Americans are perfect and not often complicit in their situations.  The Moderates need to be the voice of reason.