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Posts Tagged ‘Abrams’

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We should look at the political situation in Georgia by the numbers…my numbers.  Of course, the two Staceys –Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans would be the first two numbers and all other numbers are relative to them.

Point #1:  Stacey Abrams is positioned to win the Georgia Democratic primary for Governor because Whites exited the party for the GOP.  Most Georgia Democrats are Black voters but that doesn’t or shouldn’t mean that they would vote for a Black candidate simply because she is highly qualified and looks like them.  Other points and factors need to be taken into consideration…primarily endgame.

Point #2: Stacey Evans stands a better chance of actually winning the general election.  An Abrams victory in November would require turning out Black and progressive voters in historic numbers.  Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton didn’t get the Black numbers Abrams would need to win without a certain percentage of the Non-Atlanta vote.  Ms. Abrams strong statement about sandblasting the Confederate memorial off Stone Mountain means that working class Whites who once voted for Dems as labor union members won’t be voting for her.

Point #3: We have three Georgias.. Metro Atlanta; the five Other Cities (Augusta, Savannah, Macon, Columbus and Albany); and Rural Georgia.  At this point, the battle for Georgia starts to feel like the American Civil War..the classic oxymoron.  In the War Between the States, the North had superior numbers but the South had farm boys that grew up hunting and killing outdoors…better troops.   Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” opened with a 1967 quote from Thomas “TNT” Todd that stated “Yet our best trained, best educated, best prepared troops refuse to fight! Matter of fact, it’s safe to say that they would rather switch than fight!”

Blacks in the South have the numbers on paper to change everything politically on the local, state and national levels.  For some strange reason, the segment of the community most affected by public policy refuses to vote.  Middle class Blacks are growing weary of fighting political battles for them.  The matter is exacerbated by the opinion that certain Blacks aren’t striving for success…that the hip hop culture has inadvertently perverted the Black American dream.

Point #4: The “Head of the Snake” theory created by this writer is that a snake can be six feet long but without it’s head, the rest can do nothing.  Actually, this idea relative to Blacks comes from Dr. W.E.B. DuBois’ s Talented Tenth.  What would happen to southern Black voting power if the most successful quarter of Black voters functioned as a separate unit?  Of course, we would still care about all southerners of every race but could tip the scales of elections in either major party.

Point #5: Endgame.  The ultimate goal isn’t success for a political party or race.  The goal is forming a more perfect union… a union that started on the corrupt foundation of human bondage.  The more direct endgame is wrestling control of the White House from the scary segment of the Republican Party.  The Public Enemy quote above ended with “they rather switch than fight.” In 1967, Todd was referring to assimilation of Blacks with Whites.  Today, we are at a cultural crossroads..many Blacks are put-off by the criminal element of our race; some Whites are just learning about the meth-loving element of theirs.

At the end of the day, it all comes back to the lyrics from the Police’s song “One World (Not Three).”

“I don’t want to bring a sour note

Remember this before you vote

We can all sink or we all float

‘Cause we’re all in the same big boat.”

Georgia is a big boat and our next generation of leaders needs to be about the business of more jobs, better education, growing the economy and competing in a global market.  A focus and prepared labor force are vital and international businesses want to locate in a place without ongoing historic drama.  How in the world is the head of Germany the leader of the free world rather than the president of the U.S.A.?

Point #6: Post-election Staceys:  The political blogging community thinks Stacey Abrams is destine for national fame—this contest and the governorship are stepping stones.  Some wonder if she could be congresswoman after Rep. John Lewis retires but I think that is small potatoes for her.  Abrams will be the head of the D.N.C., national leader of the Progressive Movement or host her own MSNBC show in the future.  On the other hand, Evans won’t leave Georgia for D.C. because she is a mom.  Remember, members of the General Assembly with children normally seek higher offices in Atlanta because flying home from Congress on the weekend is rough on parenting.  After public office, Evans will likely land in a Georgia based international law firm…balling on the next level.

Point #7: The Elephant In the Room:  Since Georgia is a red state for now, the next Governor might be decided in the GOP primary with little involvement from the Black community.  However, the abovementioned most successful quarter of Black voters could tip the GOP primary to the most reasonable Republican candidate…if there is such a thing.

We need to discuss these points now on the grassroots level.

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While the Trump Movement (Tea Party) is taking over the Republican Party and the liberal Progressives are doing the same to the Democrats, my sensible center of the political spectrum stands idly by.  What is a moderate Blue Dog Democrat to do at this crossroad?

Remember, this time last year, we were saying that Trump could actually win the presidency but it wasn’t as important as supporting high school football in my community.  Some of the players on the field last year are unemployed on the street corners this year while others are serving in the military under a questionable president but our community refuses to take 20 minutes to vote—football halftimes last longer.

Every election is important because local elections are the building blocks to state elections and both are the foundations of federal elections.

To me, it’s all about three R’s: resonance, residual and referendum.   In the Georgia governor’s race, candidates Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans have maybe six months to create a message and mission that resonates with Georgians—who will catch fire with enough voters to win a general election.   We really need a surge of new voters and/or a riptide of Obama-Trump voters.  Yes, a considerable number of voters were with Obama (labor union members) but bounced on Hillary.  To be honest, getting those blue collar voters back seems more possible than getting grown folks to vote for the first time.

If the Obamas and Clintons couldn’t get you to vote, you can’t be reached and deserve Trump’s peculiar policies, statements and actions.

Elections have residual benefits.  Local elections produce campaign networks that are used in contests for higher offices.  I remember when the Democrats had strong candidates for mayor, city council, county commission, state representatives and state senators.   Candidates for U.S. congressman, U.S. senator and president stood on their shoulders.  Real talk: the Georgia governor’s race is important because it has the residual benefit of driving other elections on the ballot and vice versa; and the 2020 presidential race could come down to the Democrat nominee benefiting from the 2018 Georgia governor race network and field-tested message.

Another form of residual benefit is the fact that candidates for high office who don’t win position themselves well for other endeavors.   What happen to Sarah Palin, Herman Cain and Michelle Nunn? They got crazy paid.  Former Congressman Jack Kingston was defeated in a U.S. Senate race but is on CNN nightly.  Don Lemon recently told Kingston that his profile on-air is his greatest stage for change.   So, some of these candidates for high office have a side eye on Buckhead offices, Georgetown/D.C. firms or a hosting desk on MSNBC.  Can you blame them?

Since he walked onto the national stage, the Republicans have made every election on every level a referendum on Barack Obama.  Well, turnabout is fair play.  A test of any candidate’s soundness could be if Obama or Trump was/is good for America and Georgia.  To me, if you think Trump is a capable leader, you have issues and are in my prayers…as is he.  Remember, local and state officeholders work on issues and problems with Congress and the White House.

Obama is a good man; one of the best in American history.  President Trump functions on the opposite end of the moral spectrum.  Trump is a marketing expert and a master of branding but not suitable for bringing a nation together.  If you are running for dogcatcher in Ty Ty, Georgia, the voters should ask your opinion on Trump because agriculture is the biggest industry in Ty Ty and in Georgia and Trump wants to cut many of the programs at USDA.

The presidential race of 2020 starts with building blocks in 2017 and 2018.  Every political segment should be at the table but the progressives and Trump people seem to have little interest in the sensible center.  Newsflash: the center is larger than those two groups combine and could sway the Republican or Democrat primaries.  The longer term objective of the three R’s mentioned above is having someone other than Trump win the White House in 2020.

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The Georgia Governor’s race is a long shot for Democrats but it could be a win if they play their cards right.   A win can come only if a great candidate with tons of personality builds a statewide coalition.  The required buzz words are platform, energy, message, network, freshness and resourcefulness.

I like the fact that the early mentioned names are women: former interim U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.  All candidates should commit now to stealing a play from Trump’s playbook rather than Bernie Sanders.  “I, state your name, agree to 100% back the winner of the primary and to encourage my team and financial supporters to do the same…so, help me God…really, help me God.”

How many Georgia Republicans wanted Trump to be the nominee?  They knew most of the folks on that stage would be a better president but after he stole that nom, they fell in line.  Hats off to the Republicans who never did and still haven’t to this day.

At first glance, what one key thing comes to mind from the abovementioned candidates?  Yates stood up to Trump like a boss regarding the legality of his travel ban and that fact could net millions in campaign contributions from sea to shining sea.

Democrats have been losing statewide elections for the last twenty years because they wouldn’t use my formula: G.R.= .25% MM   Ok, that’s not a real formula and I have been watching the Einstein based Nat Geo show Genius.  But to me, Grassroots should be 25% of the media money because pouring T.V. ads on the people doesn’t help anyone except the people who sell ad buys.

Leader Abrams seems to be about grassroots and getting all Georgians engaged in the public policy process.  If you noticed, I didn’t say “voting” alone because it involves being a well-informed citizen who watches local, state and national policy and politics constantly…as if your life depended on it.  Look, your life depends on it because it’s a network that stops in the White House.

Mayors, City Council members, School board members and County Commissioners are the building blocks for state legislators.  State legislators are the building blocks for congressmen, who are the building blocks for Governors, U.S. Senators and other statewide races.  Those statewide winners are the building blocks for the Presidency.  As they say at Albany State University, you can’t bulid a chimney from the top.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s key thing is positive energy.  Various groups in that city just like her; she is a coalition builder and to me, she seems to bring that Obama, Bill Clinton, Sanford Bishop “You can’t dislike me” vibe.  That vibe could go a long way in bringing disenchanted citizens to the polls and presenting Georgia as a state ready to do business.

If Obama and Clinton couldn’t win Georgia, how can someone else?  One word: Trump.  Every Republican candidate will be required to explain why they feel Trump is right for America and Georgia.  Every election in November 2018 will be a referendum on Trump and his supporters.  It’s about who wants to bring people together to find real solutions or who wins by dividing people with fear and ugliness.  Look, my conservative friends are generally good people; my liberal friends are good as well.  But, the sensible center should stand up and take our seat at the table.

In the rural South, the far Right conservatives and the far Left progressives both ignore rural Black moderates.  You can’t win Georgia without rural Black voters in 20 areas south of a line from Columbus to Augusta.  Team Hillary blew us off and did the same in Florida and North Carolina.

Readers of this blog know I hedged by bets by being a Democrat who voted in the Republican presidential primary for Ohio governor John Kasich.  Yes, I wanted Hillary but just in case…  To my friends, I am Nostradamus because I told them so like Chicken Little…”the polls are falling….the polls are falling.”  If they knew Trump could have actually won, they would have helped somebody…ok, anybody.. else be the GOP nom to hedge their bets.

Rural moderates have had it with being ignored by the state and national Democrats.  Remember, rural Blacks are the southern Dem base… act like you know that when you spend all of your energy begging Dixiecrats to come back.  Dixiecrats can be replaced at the Democrat table by reasonable suburbanites and rural Blacks who don’t vote.  My friends and I can light a fire under those disinterested voters; people who voted for Obama and nothing else.

We need to spend the next 12 months building a rural network based on proven local trendsetters.  Also, we need “real” congressional candidates in every district under and on that Columbus to Augusta line…building blocks.  Finally, take it to the people like Sanders did.  The old leaders are primarily interested in keeping power but who can rock a mic like Obama, who is next?

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