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Georgia and America are too big and diverse for only two major political parties.  You are going to have people who seriously disagree with others under the same tent, umbrella or whatever.  Usually, the winning party is the one that best held it’s nose regarding all involved divisions.

The classic example of this situation would be otherwise reasonable Republicans tolerating hillbilly separatists and then Trumpism.  You-all need to be shame—not “ashamed” but good ole country “shame.”  Trump called Omarosa a dog.  No real southern gentleman would tolerate a high public official acting like this but you-all so badly wanted the Supreme Court seats that you sold America down the river.

It’s time for my “broken record for the record” statements as the Democrats are again poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

You can’t win Georgia in Atlanta alone; the White rural Dems are mostly gone; Progressives and Moderates will perish as fools if they can’t live together; and we still need 40% Dem turnout in so-called Red areas.

The election scales will be tipped by Moderates/Centrists.  While both extremes are vocal, the bulk of America is near the center.  In Georgia, Dems need better numbers in suburban areas and the third tier cities.  You have Atlanta, the next six cities and then my beloved third tier.  If Jason Carter got 100K more votes in Atlanta, 50K in the next six cities and 50K in the third tier, he would be governor today.  But check this: creating voter buzz and energy is easier in the third tier because events and happenings are rarer there.

I haven’t visited Atlanta in over five years and the traffic on I-75 north of Macon gets on my nerves. Family matters forced me to drive to Lake Oconee last week from South Georgia. Oh my lamb, we have been sleeping on the other spine of Georgia, U.S. Hwy 441.  Douglas, McRae, Dublin, Milledgeville, Madison and Athens could tip statewide elections if properly cultivated.  The GOP will have you think these areas are as conservative as the Georgia Mountains but it’s not true.  The heart of Georgia is still 30 to 40 percent Black and not all Whites are Trump folks.  The formula to win in Georgia is to go big in the cities BUT still keep it close everywhere else.

The dadgum Democrats need to do a spinal tap on the Hwy 441 communities to diagnose the kitchen table issues unique to them—southwest Georgia isn’t southeast Georgia and Bainbridge isn’t Brunswick.

We must learn from the Alabama Senate victory: find and fund successful indigenous operations.  But, you don’t send college kids with blue hair down here to teach country folks the importance of being Progressives.  Many of us are a different type Democrats: Black, gun owning, church attending, military supporting, hip hop culture questioning and pull yourself up believing.  However, we want zero parts of the mess the GOP has become.

Last broken record for the record: beat Trump, avoid civil war, God don’t like ugly, light a fire under the Blue Team (figuratively).

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Improving Black America starts with a comprehensive approach; winning elections is just one piece of the overall pie.  We must make peace with the ghost of our oppressed past but if you are waiting for proper acknowledgement and fairness, you will be waiting awhile.

Some parts of America will never understand that the country’s general agenda is counterintuitive to some subgroups’ agendas (Latinos, Women, Native Americans, Blacks).  This nation’s greatest wealth before oil was free and systematically discounted Black labor. Since that wealth jumpstarted our economy, my Black investment in this Republic is without question.  Still, many White southerners can’t understand that Gone With the Wind appeared differently in my Black eyes as Malcolm X did in theirs.

The Art of War is based on understanding the other side.  Blacks involvement in the Democrat Party is so-so but the Conservative Movement/GOP to southern Whites is a way of life second only to church.  Correction: church is woven into politics and the comprehensive, all-encompassing  lifestyle is powerful.  Conservatism in the White community is similar to fraternities and sororities among Black college grads.  Get it: a Kappa Alpha from U.G.A. will never understand the connections between all members of Omega Psi Phi.  Oh, a veteran can say he or she proudly served in the Air Force years ago but in most case, the U.S. Marines are a life-long frat whose commitment goes to the bone. Because the stakes are so high, Black southerners need that level of involvement in change actions.

I loved when Chuck D in Public Enemy rapped, “Whatcha do getcha head ready…Instead of getting physically sweaty.” Rather than working the Pecs in your chest, you should consider these PECS.  We must move forward Politically, Economically, Culturally and Socially.

But first, who are “we”?  When President Trump says we, he is speaking about his base; not the whole nation.  “We” to me in this writing is Blacks about striving.  While we are reluctant to separate our agenda from Black America as a whole, some of us have grown weary with a certain element of our community.

P.E.C.S.

Politically: We must vote in every election and watch the political arena like a hawk constantly.  When wise people see the issues on the table, voting and action come naturally.  Unfortunately, the part of our community most impacted by public policy doesn’t actually vote in real numbers.  This moderate argues daily with Liberal/Progressive friends about the existence of Black Moderates, Centrists and yes Conservatives.  We aren’t talking about Blacks who are deeply into the GOP and yes, the Conservative Movement seeks to preserve a time in which Blacks were second-class citizens.

No, Black moderates to conservatives are people who harken back to the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.  In those days, the preoccupation was Blacks living in America without restrictions.  Some of us are concerned that the Progressive Movement emphasizes what government can do for you only.  Government shouldn’t fix a life that you causally broke with bad decisions and softness.

Economically: Money is some kind of funny.  In our community, we act like high school Economics class wasn’t mandatory.  Basically, we must learn when successful oldheads are teaching how to keep your bills low until your dollars are solid.  Conspicuous consumption refers to the consumers who buy expensive items to display wealth and income rather than to cover their real needs.  In the Barbershop as a kid, I learned “they buy things with money they don’t have to impress people who don’t care about them.”  And, we will be here all day if we dive into homeownership vs. renting and spending vs. maxing out the employer provided retirement fund.  Growing money over 30 years is the prettiest thing in the world.

Culturally: I was around when hip hop was born and it’s a cool art form.  But, is art imitating life or life imitating art.  To make it plain, our youth have an unhealthful relationship with the thug element of rap culture. While we were dig early rap, we wanted the Cosby Show lifestyle.  T.V. and the internet pumps massive amounts of influence into developing brains—much of that information is opposite to the directions and principles of our parents.

For this writer, the Cosby Show was the gold standard but James and Florida Evans raised a solid family on Good Times.  On the other hand, the Jeffersons was almost buffoonery- a Black man gets rich but is still a clown. I wonder if White America realized that Norman Mailer was culturally mocking them with All in the Family.  As a kid, I knew it from the theme song.

Boy the way Glen Miller played

Songs that made the Hit Parade.

Guys like us we had it made,

Those were the days.

Didn’t need no welfare state,

Everybody pulled his weight.

Gee our old LaSalle ran great.

Those were the days.

Absolutely, it was a great time to be a White man in America.  If you worked hard and kept your nose clean, you could have a nice life. During that same post World War II period, Blacks were lucky not to be killed for trying to stand up as men and women.  The song was right “Guys like US we had it made” because Whites enjoyed most of the American pie and minorities ate the crumbs.  You do realize that soul food was the meats and vegetables left over after master ate high on the hog.

They didn’t need no welfare state or need to know how to avoid double negatives.  When Trump is firing up his base at rallies, this is the American culture they are planning to make great again; a culture in which people of color are returned to their proper place.

That “old LaSalle” was a great American automobile from Detroit but as President Trump says we don’t make anything in America anymore.  We need a culture based on family, faith, honor and achievement rather than weed and weave and look at me.

Socially:  Honestly, I don’t know where culturally ends and socially begins.  The second dictionary definition of socially says “in the company of others, especially for pleasure.”  Birds of a feather flock together and the “We” part of Black America must seek out achievement-oriented, fully-focused others.  In this new era of correctness, we are hesitant about calling out Blacks who have “relaxed” what is proper and acceptable.  Well, I stand with Secretary Colin Powell in thinking that all of America should reinstitute the concept of shame.

Theories and ideas on a blog are nothing without action.  If we don’t adopt and implement a new comprehensive plan, our southern Black goose is cooked.

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Don’t Sleep

Because Trump is right, I want to apologize to my fellow moderate Blue Dog Democrats.  While I can’t stand most of Trumpism, the whole GOP got behind him after he won the nomination.  The two largest sections of the Democrat Party in the South are the traditional moderates and the emerging Progressives.  If Dems don’t learn to come together, we will make Trump a two term president then experience eight years of President Pence after that.   By that point, America could be on the verge of a real life “Handmaid’s Tale” and no one saw it coming.

Over the last year, I thought the Establishment Democrats in Georgia were pouting because they can’t control the Progressives.  Of course, some Dems want a loyalty oath from the Bernie Sanders’ crew because their lack of support for Hillary is one of the factors that put Trump in the Oval.  The Progressive Movement might need to form a party of their own but if you are rocking with us, rock with us until the wheels fall off.

Last night, a local elected official asked me why he can’t donate directly to the Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign and I thought he was mistaken.  Actually, he was right because it appears the campaign is using the ActBlue fundraising mechanism.  ActBlue is fire hot with progressive causes but primarily using them causes pause for traditional Dems on some level.

Of course, the traditional Dem methods in Georgia over the last 15 years haven’t met with much success.  Generally, they raise money, spend said money on T.V. ads with their friend’s firms and then ask Black folks to do GOTV as volunteers.  Say what?  Credit Ms. Abrams for changing that madness and maybe that’s why the Establishment is ruffled.

Look, fighting the mess of Trumpism will require all hands on deck like the invasion of Normandy—there is plenty of combat to go around.  We know the traditional Dem methods can get to a certain point but in Georgia and nationally, getting over the top calls for firing up young people who are drawn to progressive issues.

Again, I want to apologize to Blue Dogs whom I thought were ignoring the Progressives.  It could be that both sections were territorially boxing out each other.  They must stop that silliness, join hands and sing “The More We Get Together,” the Beatles’ “Come Together,” or Tupac’s “I Ain’t Mad at Cha.”

In 2016, some Republicans held their noses and voted for Trump. It seems they were listening to Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With.”  When the Dems get together, we need to see diversity at the table.  The GOP is running America into the ground with little input from anyone not like them.  Oh, the Democrats in the South during most of my life were a coalition made up of recently warring factions.

While it was difficult being in a party with former (let’s hope) segregationists, it worked in transition.  Now, many of those Dixiecrats have found a comfortable home in the GOP….good riddance.  What we aren’t going to do is spend time begging them to come back.  Their numbers can be replaced with suburban families and a “woke” young electorate.  It’s awkward when Progressives attempt to energize old Blue Dogs like me and it’s equally awkward when moderates approach them.

Democrats need a concerted effort in which subgroups with proper funding do what they do best.  If we aren’t successful, the future could be a version of the Handmaid’s Tale featuring Jim Crow’s great grandson…. Jamie Crow. “Praise Be.”

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Downtown

The White establishment in the Democrat Party in Georgia refuses to acknowledge the changing tides.  Hey, I clearly understand because sharing power is difficult.  But, your anachronistic mentality will keep President Trump in the Oval after 2020.

So, we had a governor primary between the two Staceys and Ms. Abrams won.  I had a great hour long phone talk with Mrs. Evans and feel that she is a future U.S. Senator or Federal Judge.  While Evans is closer to me on the political spectrum, I voted for Abrams because she was party leadership and her strategy has better math.  Dems can’t win statewide by getting the Tea Party/Trump voters back and why would you want them back.  We win by presenting the real issues to the people and getting them to see the horrible alternatives.

So, the above mentioned establishment seems ticked off that voters chose the Stacey with whom the establishment have less influence.  “How dare they….BMWs aren’t free…I must eat…Whole Foods is spendy.”

Their answer is to support other statewide Dem candidates with the resources and interest they normally would give to the top of the ticket. To win in Georgia and nationally, the Dems should be a party with diversity at the table and I have learned to respectfully listen to the Sanders Progressives as I listened to Dixiecrats in the 80s.

The old guard establishment (the remains of the Dixiecrats) are the same folks whose strategy of spend money on T.V. ads then tell Blacks to GOTV for free lost most elections in Georgia over the last 15 years. Stacey Evans has been gracious after the election.  But, what will happen if Black voters see signs that the old guard isn’t with Abrams because they can’t control her campaign.

Also, Abrams national support brings in resources that the state Dems don’t have.  If I hear one more time that Abrams must seek the rural vote, my head is going to explode.  She has spent considerable time in rural south Georgia but she can’t be everywhere.  We got you, Stacey; we would have had the other Stacey and we have the whole ticket.  Anyone who is selectively offering support to the ticket should be ashamed.  They say it’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.  Well, we are building a rural voter education network called OPEN 20/20 because we want to see more of our side of town voting in every election.

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Do we really care about the future of our children because actions speak louder than words? Yes, I am concerned about the treatment of kids who recently crossed the southern border and yes, I understand that everyone from troubled nations can’t come here.

But, I am more immediately concerned with children from the American South.  If you share my concerned you will learn to read political money maps (I just coined that term.)  See, candidates and elected officials base their actions and interests on computer-generated election maps—where are the voters and for whom did they vote locally, state and nationally.  President Trump’s cabinet might very well make funding decisions on Red and Blue areas on the map.

Atlanta is the heart of Georgia; she gets more state funding because she pays more taxes.  But, the Gainesville/Hall County area gets a disproportionate amount of money because those folks vote, vote, vote. How many high-powered elected state officials are from that region?

South Georgia on the other hand is struggling with population decline and the remaining people don’t vote enough.  On the local level, leaders have computer programs that show voting down to the street and down to the house. If you want to see where local government money is spent, where roads are paved, where schools are located and where the police act nicer, you should view the election results maps.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease.  You can march up and down every street in protest but please end that march by marching into the polling place.

Conservatives have a vision of America that is basically “back to the future” and with President Trump, they finally have a leader who is brash enough to implement it.

Look here, first, you secure the borders and send the farmworkers and manual labor illegals back home.  Not to worry because the people currently receiving public assistance will be doing those jobs after those programs get tossed in the trash. You know, the schools on our side of town should get more funding because we paid most of the taxes. The Help was such a good movie.

In my community, you hear grown men break down pro and college football in the fall with scientific details….at high school football games.  Yes, sports is good clean fun and a healthy past time but I can read the election results map.  Those same loving fathers don’t vote.  They care more about kids reading defenses than kids reading Hemingway.

Those plotting conservatives long for the days when those strong Black backs would be making them money in the fields or low-wage factories.  My friends and I often say that we are all one generation from the projects.  Yes, our grands lived in the projects and were glad to be out of Mr. Charlies’ housing quarters on the Jim Crow plantation.

But, that statement is a riddle… did you catch it.  We can be back in the projects if we don’t continue to strive, if we aren’t mindful of how we carry ourselves, and if we aren’t diligent in all of our actions.  Yes, there will always be poor people but your situation should be based on your actions; not color or systematic privilege/oppression.

I bet Trump wouldn’t have won Georgia if every public housing adult resident who could vote did vote. As Democrats, we can’t keep fighting battles for people who aren’t battling for themselves.  You might not care who runs the White House and Congress but the troops on the front line of the next war will come from our part of the map.

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The number 20 has been in my mind for the last 20 months.  I swear it’s a sign and the reason my friends and I created OPEN 20/20- Our Public Education Network.  Check this: 20/20 like perfect vision.  Now, if I could only see how to fund it—still waiting for that sign.

https://open2020blog.wordpress.com/

* 20 trendsetters in 20 Georgia cities where candidate Obama got over 4,000 votes.

* 20 people with an existing connection with 20 other connected people in a 20 mile radius.

*  2020 presidential election is the ultimate goal.

* 20 minutes of substance and information per hour in a “party with a purpose” setting.

* $20,000 seed funding.

* 20 initial receptions or meetups with 20 trendsetters.

* 20 buzz-generating public rallies driven by the trendsetters’ sign-in sheets.

 

* 20 minutes to early vote.

* 20 percent of the South could revert back to the oppressive mindset of the 1920s if we aren’t careful.

* In the interest of knowing your fellow Americans, do you have 20 friends or associates who are “different” from you.

* Do you interact 20 minutes a week with “different” social, cultural or political views for research purposes?

* After 20 years as an adult, do you have a liquid $20K in the bank.

* 20 year olds make decisions in 20 minutes that take 20 years to correct.  Should they stop and think for 20 seconds before acting?  We need 5 of the 20 trendsetters in each city to be around the 20 something age range.

 

* Our community could be 80% of the population yet receive 20% of the public resources and services.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

* Who isn’t 20 pounds overweight?

* Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama would recommend 20 percent of green veggies on our plates.

* Do you personally know 20 local, state or federal public servants—elected, appointed or hired.

* Can we have 20% more of our community voting in South Georgia in elections? Can we get $20 million dollars more in grants?

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“The Democrats need to show up and show out for the election” saying sounds like a broken record literally.  The Dem formula is as dated as records, 8 Tracks or cds and we wonder why we can’t win.  To be a national political party you need a functioning structure on the local, state, regional, and national levels.  You also need inclusion at the decision making table and the lines of communication between everyday people and the leadership should be give and take; listen and then speak.

We know the Trump-type people are the new version of the TEA Party that has taken over the Republican Party.  Good Country Club business people are taking a back seat to country people with clubs who mean business and I don’t mean Callaway golf clubs.

The Democrats have identity problems of our own.  The new energy is the progressive movement of Bernie Sanders.  He received more millennials votes than Hillary and Trump combined.  But like the TEA Party, the Progressives aren’t a political entity designed to win elections.  They are a social change movement with politics being one of their methods.

Does the end justify the means?  My Republican friends, who are decent conservatives, look the other way as Trump and his wrecking crew uses every dirty trick and technique to take power.  I still take my hat off the Jeb Bush and those who said if that is what it takes to win I won’t do it.

If I had my way or a say, I would hope that the new Democrat Party continues the current commitment to all Americans by including a representation of various groups at the table.  That’s a touchy subject with southern Black folks.  The successful Democrat Party of old was an uneasy coalition of Blacks and southern Dixiecrats.  Well, those rural White Dems are gone for the most part but their numbers can be replaced by lighting a fire under Blacks who don’t vote and attracting Whites who are too intelligent to cosign Trump’s destruction of this country.

When President Trump says “we,” he is talking about his supporters; not all Americans.  Over the last 20 years, some Republicans have started to act on issues and policies with little to no input from anyone who didn’t vote for them… To The Victor The Spoils.  We learned in junior high that once elected an official represented all of the people.  I worked in three Democrat congressional offices and we had Republican staffers in all three…Black, White, rich, poor…I was the poor one.  I bet you could put every Black staffer in the current Georgia delegation in a minivan comfortably and few would be above the entry level.

For years, I thought Rep. Sanford Bishop’s cool political approach should have been the model for the next generation of leaders.  This blog has always said that Senator Barack Obama learned more from watching Bishop than anyone else at those weekly Congressional Black Caucus lunch meetings.  Bishop should be the vocal leader of moderates in the nation.  I personally think an active Bishop could have tipped the election to Hillary in three states.

I am a moderate and Bishop brings my views to the decision-making table. Who is the evolution of Sanford Bishop?  We aren’t talking about a Bishop clone because, to be honest, Bishop is too nice.

I am going to Jarrod for next gen leadership.  South Georgia attorney Jarrod Burch should be recruited into the public service of some type—judge, congressman, behind the scenes rainmaker.  If you think about it, he is similar to Bishop (smart, HBCU student body president, nice law school grad, fraternity man, people like him).  Burch is also a great father and military man.

During the governor race between the two Staceys, Burch and I talked about the candidacy of his law school classmate Stacey Evans (that’s loyalty) but was always positive and respectful about Stacey Abrams.  If the Dems are to be successful in November 2018 and November 2020, we need a comprehensive approach to reach folks who are registered but vote infrequently.  Abrams can’t nor shouldn’t do it alone.

Honestly, we need a new network like this blog’s spinoff OPEN 20/20.  That jewelry store has the slogan “He went to Jared.”  Well, the Dems in my region need to go to Jarrod for some new political blood..brainy with street credibility like Obama.  There are things that need to be done that the traditional organizations and apparatus aren’t built to do.  To make it plain, regular folks need to speak with regular folks about the importance of being active in policy, government and social change….voting is just one part of it.

https://open2020blog.wordpress.com/

 

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