Posts Tagged ‘colin powell’


Cool Hand Luke

On Thanksgiving 2016, the Civil War is heavy on my mind.  You might ask “which civil war” and that would be a good question.  The purpose of this writing is to propose a new Great Triumvirate similar to the original one formed by statesman Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina.


Do we even have any statesmen around the current messy political/policy system?  Possible new triumvirate members include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Governor John Kaisch, Senator Bernie Sanders, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Secretary Colin Powell, Michelle Obama, Secretary Condi Rice and Governor Jon Huntsman.   Personally, I feel these people love righteousness and compromise more than political parties and one-upsmanship.

When you live in a place with extremely opposing opinions, you need a Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser, who would seek reasonable solutions and avoid taking the nation over the cliff.  Yes, some folks have a “my way or the highway” mentality and actually love bickering, conflict and war.  Remember, Clay brokered compromises that settled disputes between free states and slave states…putting off the coming civil war.

With all of this current talk about people leaving the country, we should remember that Clay was president of the movement that created Liberia, an African colony for free American Blacks, because he was a slaveholder who knew the institution would be a problem for a young nation.  Dr. Condi Rice says today that racism is America’s birth defect.  I say we will learn to work together as brothers or perish as fools.

We can’t just say “Civil War” anymore because there are several in my mind.  The Civil War of 1864 still simmers in the blood of many southerners.  Those confederates wish the South won the war and wish Blacks were still slaves, all dead or sent back to Africa.  Arguing with them is a fool’s errand but make no mistakes about it…that war goes on today in hearts and minds.

In the Black community, we have an ongoing civil war over the role of government.  On one side, we have people who think the government will protect and promote them…government is my daddy.  If you think government cares about you, you should grow up and that liberal mentality stops us from becoming who we really should be.  On the other side, you have my friends who think Black improvement in this nation always started with a well-designed and well executed personal life which leads to economic power similar to the visions of Marcus Garvey and Malcom X.

Another serious civil war in my life is the cultural battle between traditionalists and the hip hop culture.  As I often write, hip hop is doing more inadvertently to destroy the Black community than the Klan.  While I support artistic freedom of expression, the glamorization of thugs, crime and street life is a cancer on the minds of our youth….it’s the inmates running the asylum.

Inside the Democrat Party, we see a battle between the real liberals who supported Bernie Sanders and the southern old school Blacks.  Remember, the South’s support of Hillary Clinton is the only reason she didn’t fall to Sanders in the primary.  I wonder who is left in the Dem Party since Dixiecrats are long gone, Rust Belt blue collar Whites just left and church-attending Black southerners are uncomfortable with some social issues.

The Republican Party is also in a civil war because the country club establishment has been overtaken by the fiery “my way or the highway” people.  Some of these people think the recent election results were the start of a second actual civil war.

I wish I knew what Henry Clay would say about our nation today.  For the record, some of those free Blacks who when to Liberia ended up oppressing the Africans they found there…the hell you say.

In 1991, the rock band Guns N’ Roses had a song called “Civil War” that started with a sound snippet from the movie Cool Hand Luke “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.”

We don’t have statesmen anymore.  The people who I think should be in a new Triumvirate should function outside of government because as President Reagan said “government is the problem.”  Failure to communicate has some Americans thinking they are more American than others, has some people thinking government has a blank check to support their weak behinds and has working people thinking that voting isn’t important.

Hell, America almost feels like Luke rolling down the hill in that movie.  But, America always gets back up.  Adversity made this great nation and we are still a work in progress.


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Governor Jeb Bush is catching heat for a statement he made about out of wedlock births.  In his 1995 book Profiles of Character, a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame” includes the following:

“One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame.”


It might be hard hearing a presidential candidate talking about shame because it seems that the government is telling people to be ashamed.  However, candidates are people too and have opinions.  We often vote for them based on their ethical opinions on non-governmental matters.

Look, people’s personal behavior ultimately leads to governmental action at times. For example, a young woman has a baby but isn’t prepared to care for the child.  When she turns to the government (taxpayer’s dollars) for hopefully temporary assistance, all taxpayers then become involved.  To me, having other people offering commentary on my decisions and conduct is the worst of the worst.  I feel like a child….hey, I would feel shame.

Of course, I have personally made some decisions that were wrong…again, shame on some level or to some degree.  My personal problem isn’t so much with the out of wedlock births (because we know plenty people with two crappy parents at home) as it is with children being born without the mean to care for them.  The government nor grandparents shouldn’t be factored in financially for 18 years.  Oprah can have all the single lady children she wants because she has money.

What Bush wrote is similar to what my man General/Secretary Colin Powell wrote in his first book.   Powell often says people should have a sense of shame but he is smooth with it.  He said the following in an interview:

Powell said he often tells kids, “Have a sense of shame.”

“We gotta put a lot of this burden not just on the schools and on the family but on the kids themselves,” he said. “We just can’t have them sit in front of the television set watching Jerry Springer as a way of solving problems. We have got to make sure that we give our youngsters a sense of the need for excellence, the need for hard work. And we believe in you. We have expectations for you. Don’t disappoint us.”

See, Colin Powell is encouraging people to have a personal sense of shame.  He talks about getting back to that vibe in the our community.  My A.M.E. pastor says that being free shouldn’t give you the right to be foolish.

This blog’s Best Interests Initiative includes a section on personal responsibility.  It’s an interesting topic and I don’t have all the answers.  I do feel that parents should be on the grind all day every day to care for kids who didn’t ask to come here.  Wait, it is a dam shame for a guy to feel he is too good to work for 10 bucks an hour but plays Madden all day while a female works to care the child and while her parents reenter the workforce after retiring to help.  “Did she have a baby with a guy who has six kids already and has done anything for them….that’s a shame.”

Finally, I am not a Republican but vote sometimes in their wild primaries.  General Powell should have been president and Jeb Bush happens to be the most reasonable of their candidates at this point.


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Faith/Righteous Living:  Moral Compass; Residual Benefit of Church; Psalm 133:1

We must talk about faith during public policy discussions because people who don’t believe in something will fall for anything.  In America, the state can’t compel a person to develop a faith walk but the government ends up “assisting” when faithless people find themselves in messy and costly circumstances.

Black Americans often ask why would a loving God allow us to suffer so much. (The rest of the post is simply this writer’s opinion and everyone has their own opinion…please share yours)  To me, life on earth is a test for eternity in heaven and long-suffering creates humbleness and humbleness focuses us on the other side rather than this side.

Actually, this Christian heard Minister Louis Farrakhan, a man with a detailed knowledge of the three major faiths related to Abraham, answer the suffering question at the Million Man March.  As a congressional staffer, I was behind the speakers on the west portico of the U.S. Capitol Building with my boss Rep. Sanford Bishop but I was trying to hang with Ice Cube and Will Smith.  Farrakhan said wouldn’t you like to have a little hell on earth that forces you to humble yourself, embrace God and make it to heaven rather than having riches and a little heaven on earth, become arrogant, turn from God and find yourself spending eternity in hell.

We must have a moral compass, a device in our heads that leads us to “act right.”  As a Methodist, the foundation of my compass is Jesus’s response to a lawyer.

Matthew 22:35-40

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Game over, good night, turn out the lights.  There it is right there.  The old moral compass is pointing directly toward a heavenly home when your actions are those of someone who truly loves God and someone who  loves his neighbor as much as he loves himself.

If it was only that simple, life in Georgia would be a peach but there are people who clearly don’t love themselves more less their neighbors.  The great philosopher Oprah of Winfrey says that love is an action verb more than a feeling-based noun—show love in your actions.  The cool professor Randy Pausch wrote the book “The Last Lecture” to give directions on life to his children because cancer would take him before they grew up.  He said that his one message to his daughter is “When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.”

Pausch’s comment reminds me of the Prayer of Humiliation during communion at my A.M.E. Church that says “we are sorry for these our misgivings which we have committed against your divine majesty in thoughts, words and deeds.”  Deeds, deeds, deeds.  You can talk a good talk but what are your deeds….what did you do to back up the words from your mouth… let the works I have done speak for me.

People run around all day talking about their love for God, America, their race and themselves but do their actions support their professed love.  Yea, they love their neighbor as themselves because they don’t love themselves (eating the wrong foods, falling for the wrong person, playing in school, committing crimes, spending too much money.)

President John Kennedy said “ask not what this country can do for you…ask what you can do for this country.”  I shouldn’t get started on government/public policy related parts of the Bible.  We would be here all day debating “servant, obey your master.”  The passage most related to government is Romans 13, 1-5.

1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 

Without order, we have chaos.  People must have a sense of right and wrong.  General Colin Powell wrote that we need to restore “shame” in America.  You have a new car but paid zero child support.  You should be shame (not ashame…good old fashion shame.)

Residual Benefit of Church: People have too much “understanding” these days but remember Proverbs 3, 5-6.  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  As a kid, church was often a boring discussion of some ancient dudes fighting each other; you could have the non-Jesus parts.  But, the lightbulb came on for other kids (mostly girls).  They could hear the life lessons in Proverbs and Psalms….oh, don’t let Paul start writing letters to distant churches…what he could have done with a laptop and wifi.

When you go to church, you experience many residual benefits.  The homeboy told me that attending Sunday School every Sunday made him feel better in general but I knew that getting up early on Sunday reduced his hard partying on Saturday night… the Lord moves in mysterious ways.  If a kid can sit still to listen to the history part of the Bible, that ability to focus is vital in school and the workplace.  Of course, confidence in public speaking grows from years of church involvement.  Hearing a pastor craft a message helps with communication skills but pray for the kids who attend church where people butcher proper English.  Where you go to church at?   Have mercy.

For people with questionable family members, church is a place to expose your family to positive, productive folks…most of the time.  My church has so many retired successful people; the fellowship in the parking lot is a bright point of my week.  It is like having dozens of cool aunts and uncles; thoughts of their encouragement might make me teary-eyed over this keyboard and you know I don’t have the extended warranty if the computer shorts out.

We can’t sleep on the networking aspects of regular church attendance.  I am not promoting cronyism in the workplace but you hire people with whom you are familiar.  If Bob has done an excellent job as a church official for years, I have seen the quality of his work product and organizational skills.

Money/World View: This discussion can be controversial but it needs to occur because many of the conflicts involving our nation started about gold/money/treasures.  1 Timothy 6:10 says

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

My high school econ teacher wisely said that every major event in world history was directly or indirectly about money.  When groups and nations start hunting wealth around the world, they often seek a biblical justification for their actions….manifest destiny and divine intervention.

People sometimes wonder why Black Americans would embrace Christianity, the faith of those who enslaved us.  The biblical justification for slavery was said to be based on Africans being the descendants of  Cain, whose descendants were to be cursed, or Noah’s son Ham, who whose descendants were curse because he laughed at his father in a drunken state.  My brother-in-law Pastor Norman E. Kerry says that the simple answer for this question was cover on day one in seminary.  Jesus cleaned the slate for anything in the past so slave traders and Klan were wrong.

We should talk about people your faith considers to be wrong.  Jesus mentioned my sheep not of this flock.  John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  That passage could be debated by people smarter than me because some people think that means Jesus talked to people away from the current Middle East.  We know he talked to crooks and prostitutes.  On the cross, he even said “forgive them father for they know not what they do.”

Religious, Spiritual and Righteous:  To me, there is a faith difference involving being religious, being spiritual and being righteous—I try to be all three.  A religious person might be deeply involved in the  organizational aspects of church but is that person practicing what was preached on Sunday during the rest of the week.  A spiritual person is at peace in their spirit; they know who they are and why we are here.  A righteous person might not be in church every Sunday but he tries to never do wrong; he endeavors to be a fair dealer in every aspect of life.

Plenty Room In Hell– While heaven wants believers to spread the good news and bring souls into the light, this writer thinks that we must acknowledge that the business of religion creates drama for financial reasons at times.  Some churches seem to have a preoccupation with the “fighting the enemy” part of faith and they can go right ahead because I just don’t have energy for that battle.  If you want to save those who are wrong from their doom, you are such a good person but I say there is plenty room in hell for those hell-bent on going there.

Religion has made world affairs a big mess.  The conflict in the Middle East could be the spark that starts the next world war.  Abraham was the father of three major faiths and why won’t people remember that his first son with Hagar is Ismael, who some consider to be the father of Islam.   I enjoyed my visit to Jerusalem and was awestruck to touch a place where Jesus actually sat.  However, I am one American who is fatigued by the constant conflict in that region and the exportation of that drama into every corner of the globe.

The solution begins with respect.  While I don’t want to point fingers, Europeans didn’t respect the history and culture of others when they started their golden age of global greed.   While religion is at the center of the conflict in the Middle East, American interest in the region comes from our dependency on their oil.

When imperialists from Europe saw they could get wealth and resources from the Middle East, they didn’t start by acknowledging the cultural history of Mesopotamia and Babylon.  Hammurabi who? Which Europeans came down to Egypt to construct those pyramids and that Sphinx because clearly these brown people didn’t do it alone?  Oh, the Chinese and the Japanese were more advanced in many ways but the British gave that little consideration when they forced them to trade.  The same arrogant mindset invaded Africa, South America, North America and Australia…all with Biblical justification.   The so-called American Indians are elegant and proud but they were treated as salvages.  Is that the approach Jesus would have employed?  I think not.

Peace: While there is no official religion in America (many folks don’t know that), I prefer leaders who have a moral compass, people who practice daily what is taught on Sunday morning.  If we want to have world peace, we must be respectful and considerate in our posture toward others.  At the end of the day, Ismael and Isaac came together to bury Abraham.

Genesis 25:8-9

Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;

We should end this faith discussion with the idea that everyone on the earth should be considered brothers and sisters and we should learn to live together.

Psalm 133:1

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

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Everyone has agendas this election year and there is much to sort out.  My agenda is based on the best interest of Georgia and the South but the word trump has always been a cornerstone of this blog.

To me, some factors “trump” other factors and the factors of race, faith, region, country, money, and gender can be prioritized 100 different ways by 100 different people.  For example, a local congressional candidate from a different party knows person X’s interest better than a candidate from X’s party from the other side of the area.  At the end of the day, Colin Powell and Condi Rice care more about Black people than the Red party.  Actually, they joined the Red party because in their hearts they felt they were helping every American.

If I won the sweepstakes, I would use some of that money to convene a summit on the Black agenda for this election year in middle Georgia.  The meeting would include folks from both major political parties and of every racial background.  While the “Changing Mindset” outline found as a tab at the top of this blog would be the central theme, some other matters need to be put on the table.



Voter Suppression: It’s clear that some leaders of the GOP plan to counterbalance changing demographics by making it hard for certain people to vote. President Obama recent comments on this topic should be heard.




Georgia 2nd Congressional District race:  As quiet as it is kept, many Black Republicans know that the voter suppression efforts from their party is hogwash.  These good Americans believe that the conservative agenda is in the best interest of everyone and that silly tricks and shady methods drive reasonable people away from their party.

GOP primary voters have the opportunity to select a candidate, Vivian Childs, who might plant the seeds that change the whole political arena.  Let’s be honest, the GOP often pushes Black candidates who seem a little bland on the Black hand side.  With the trump matter in mind, Vivian Childs, Andrew and Deborah Honeycutt, Karen Bogans in Savannah and Michael Murphy are Black Georgians who are conservative but they lived in the Black world, attend Black churches, and likely have Black gold fish.  I personally saw Mrs. Childs in fellowship with her sorority sister, the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta.

Fraternity and sorority trumps political party in my community and you can best believe that the Childs campaign will never function in a way that dishonors her bond.  Okay, I worked for Rep. Sanford Bishop and I was dumfounded by the ugliness of some previous campaigns—hell, if they kept the debate civic they would have won.  Childs vs. Bishop would have a residual benefit of showing how to disagree without being disagreeable.

President Obama On the Ballot: Oh yea, the primary this spring and the general election in the fall are referendums on the president in some way.  The Republicans want control of the U.S. Senate because with both houses of Congress they can make the rest of his hair gray.  If the Senate candidates are constantly attacking Obamacare, their election is a vote on Obamacare.  To me, the people who elected Obama in the first place should vote this year also.

Senate Candidate Breakdown:  I want to put a few points about these candidates on the table…as I see it.

Michelle Nunn– Don’t sleep….she can win.  While she will be running from Obama, she can’t win without a massive pro-Obama turnout.  Her father wasn’t big on being a political party person and hopefully is the same way.  She might do well with suburb Atlanta GOP soccer moms.

Paul Broun– The Democrats so so so very much want him to be the GOP nom because he has a record of being ugly to candidate and President Obama.  He would drive large numbers of ify voters to the polls for the dems and the national fundraising for Nunn would be huge courtesy of his youtube videos.

Jack Kingston– If region trumps party with me, Kingston is the people’s champ from south Georgia.  Georgia political power is now centered in north Georgia and that is scary because you can count the Black folks up there.  Jack served Black Savannah and Savannah State University for years and dude has lived in part-time in D.C.  Because he likes to play that Andy Griffin role, Kingston knows Black and White rural Georgia inside and out.  The economic engines of our state outside of Atlanta are agriculture and military.  Those Tea Party people would cut both of those areas to the bone but Jack knows what’s up.  He should come to our summit and explain that statement about free lunch kids cleaning the schools.

Karen Handel– She would hold the GOP women vote against Nunn.  She should play up her hard knock life story.  Who knew that she attended Fredrick Douglas High School in suburban D.C.  The lady was chair of the Fulton County Commission.  Her campaign clearly doesn’t want to tap her potential support in our community.  Did I mention that she went to Doug?

David Perdue– this political newcomer is was balling in the private sector. Perdue was CEO at Reebok and at Dollar General.  DG sure brings revitalization to some rough areas and heaven knows the jobs are needed.  His campaign website contains a list of companies he has helped: Rockport, Hanes, Levi’s, Polo, Coach, and Greg Norman.  I kid you not; I can get dress in a Polo shirt, a pair of Levis, Hanes drawers, old Rockport Dressports, and Greg Norman footies.  Look for forward to Dems asking if these companies gave back to our communities.

Governor race: This race will be a referendum on Governor Nathan Deal and the GOP in the state houses refusal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.  We need to hear the GOP alternative to Obamacare because current the uninsured are using the emergency room as a doctor’s office and that’s costly.

State House and State Senate:  With secondary regard for party, stay on your state legislators’ behinds because voter suppression and stand your ground start with them.

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With children involved, we should hope for the best for Tiger Woods and his family.  I have a feeling Elin was over her head; he needed/needs a grown woman and needs to be a grown man.  Here’s the thing: this whole drama is likely maturing both of them at a rapid rate.  I saw the following on a sister’s webpage and it made me think about that Halle Berry line from the movie Boomerang.  “Love should have brought you home last night.”  The decline of the family is at the root of many of the problems the government is hopelessly trying to solve.  Yes, women should insist on males being grown a__ men.  In his first book, General Colin Powell wrote that people need a sense of shame.   

Girls vs. Grown Women

Girls leave their schedule wide-open and wait for a guy to call and make plans.

Grown women make their own plans and nicely tell the guy to get in where he fits

Girls want to control the man in their life.

Grown women know that if he’s truly hers, he doesn’t need controlling.

Girls check you for not calling them.

Grown women are too busy to realize you hadn’t.

Girls are afraid to be alone.

Grown women revel in it-using it as a time for personal growth.

Girls ignore the good guys.

Grown women ignore the bad guys.

Girls make you come home.

Grown women make you want to come home.

Girls worry about not being pretty and/or good enough for their man.

Grown women know that they are pretty and/or good enough for any man.

Girls try to monopolize all their man’s time (i.e., don’t want him hanging with his friends).

Grown women realize that a lil’ bit of space makes the ‘together time’ even more special-and goes to kick it with her own friends!

Girls think a guy crying is weak.

Grown women offer their shoulder and a tissue.

Girls want to be spoiled and ‘tell’ their man so.

Grown women ’show’ him and make him comfortable enough to reciprocate without fear of losing his ‘manhood’.

Girls get hurt by one man and make all men pay for it.

Grown women know that that was just one man.

Girls fall in love and chase aimlessly after the object of their affection, ignoring all ’signs’.

Grown women know that sometimes the one you love, doesn’t always love you back-and move on, without bitterness.

Girls will read this and get an attitude.

Grown women will read this and pass it on to other Grown women and their male friends”. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”


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On the tennis court this morning, I faced the old “go left, go right” decision several times.  If I chose the wrong direction, my opponent could hit the ball in the opposite area and I would be burnt like toast.   A deeper consideration of that situation states that a player can accelerate in the current direction but changing direction is almost impossible.  In the 70s, we called that “the wrong foot” or “caught you leaning.” 

Politics mirrors sports at times and a person’s temperament on the field, court, or even playing chess tells you about his nature in business and elsewhere.  My opinion on “what’s next” in American politics was incorrect.  If I thought center, the South when right and I “got caught” leaning. 

When the conservative movement swept the nation, the Blue Dogs emerged as a moderate division of the Democrat Party, a home for those who felt the Right was too far right.  I naturally assumed that a similar moderate subdivision of the Republican Party would materialize after the election results of the last few years.  At this point, the situation is the opposite.  If you listen to conservative friends, you will learn that the commitment the Right has to their core principles is unwavering and inflexible.  If the general public wants to vote differently, those voters must be collectively mistaken about the best interests of our nation.

As I have written in the past, the GOP has a short bench of rising stars who could challenge the Democrats on issues, budget and logic; Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin comes to mind.  Unfortunately, others are more appealing to their base. We likely will not see a fresh crop of positive GOP candidates against the Blue Dogs in the South next year.  As General Colin Powell recently pointed out on Larry King, there are legitimate concerns with the speed and spending of the Democrats.  However, the GOP is opting for red meat candidates from the far right rather than those who could appeal to the center—great idea for the primary season but the general election is a different matter.  Of course, it is their party and they will live with the results of their strategies.    

The alarming part to me is that the leader of “what’s next” from the Right will not be Gingrich with his intellect or Romney with his command of the business world and financial markets.  You and I both know who is the next leader of the Right and what she will need to do and say to win; put on your seatbelt and prepare for a bumpy ride. 

I personally like Michael Steele and hope that our community will have an opportunity to better connect politically with our obvious conservative nature in the South.  However, going from a Blue Dog moderate to the far right is seriously wrong foot.  We will see how this situation plays itself out but don’t asked me because I often lean wrong. 

Bottomline: Will we see smoother GOP candidates or will others prevail?  If the GOP wants to push all moderates and centrists out, I am sure the Blue Dogs will take them. To finish the tennis parallel relative to politics, I tend to hang in the middle and go short distances left or right.  If you drift far left or far right, the other guy can pass you with ease.

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The 2010 mid-term elections will be interesting for the tone of conservative positions.  As a moderate, I share fellow Obama voter General Colin Powell’s concerns with the price and speed of White House and congressional initiatives and can’t believe that China has been holding American debt for years.  But, my concerns are positive in the same way I was respectfully trying to figure out George W. Bush’s logic. 

Bush’s father was a real man who told the truth about our interests in the Persian Gulf rather than sugarcoating it with fake compassion about the Kuwaiti people.  It was about our dependence on oil.  Black and Brown people in Texas appreciated W’s spirit of cooperation as governor but something happened between Austin and Pennsylvania Avenue.  What happened is the lobbyists gave him hundreds of millions to help win the election but after he was in office, those money boys wanted hands-off regulatory reform which lead to the financial and housing crisis of last year

Of course, there are those who think Vice-President Cheney helped his corporate friends with defense spending in Iraq by saying the wrong stuff in the Bush’s ear.  Here is a fiscally sound military plan for the next conflict with real foes: blow them up from a mile in the sky with Georgia-made F-22.

About the coming elections, I don’t understand people going after elected officials rather than educating the voters.  We had congressional elections last November and most Georgia congressmen won by overwhelming margins.  That means the majority of those who chose to vote in those districts wanted those guys.  I am enjoying the year round advocacy and debate of the Tea Parties and even the president still being in campaign mode but why would people claim a congressman wrong for voting the will of the people who put him in office rather than the will of the one-third who voted for the other candidate. 

It is un–politically scientific to gauge broad public sentiment from phone calls to a congressional office or protesters outside.  Now, the callers and protesters might make a lot of common sense with their arguments but the recent election results are better indicators for that district.  The protesters (in my opinion) are bringing attention to the issues and that information could help voters make better informed decisions in future elections.

For example, if I were a liberal living in Rep. Westmoreland’s congressional district, I would continue being vocal on the issues but understand that most voters in the district share the congressman’s view.  Westmoreland voting with me rather than this distict’s majority would be wrong.  The same can be same about a far-right conservative in Sanford Bishop or John Barrow’s districts.  If you are on T.V. saying “He does not represent me,” think about that for a second.   The logical solution would involve doing what you are doing; educating the voters.  Let’s hope this education involves facts and reasoning rather than talk radio, far-right hogwash design to produce fear and ignite a culture war. 

I look forward to fairly considering the GOP presidential field in 2012 before voting for Obama, or Clinton if he decides to bounce. But, I feel like a modern J.C. Calhoun for announcing the possible coming culture civil war with Palin, Beck and Limbaugh leading the way—don’t get be started about that Larry Elders

Let me just put this thought out there: are we heading for American Apartheid.  South African apartheid occurred when the minority controlled power and wealth; however overruling the will of the majority.  Pat Buchanan said aloud what many Americans are thinking: Whites will one day be a minority in America and Jose is the most popular male name in Texas.  As a southerner, I know that Whites were often minorities in areas before the Civil War and I remember reading about coastal Carolina areas where Blacks outnumbered Whites 9 to 1.  But, make no mistakes about it: who had the money and the guns ran things.  This apartheid thinking came to my mind while listening to a NPR discussion about the growing number of Arabs in Israel.  After the horrors of the past, Israel doesn’t play regarding safety and their future so numbers mean nothing. NPR is crazy to suggest a apartheid type state in Israel’s future. 

With that in mind, how does it sound for a vocal minority to demand certain actions from elected representatives?  But, that vocal minority can become the electoral majority if they stay at it and have “right” on their side.  I must acknowledge that Blue Dogs Democrats listen to all sides of the debate while the far-left and the far-right often don’t.  What protesters fail to realize sometimes is that Blue Dogs are not voting necessarily how they personally feel but are voting in a way that best reflects the desires of their diverse districts.  If the districts change, the representatives’ voting patterns will change or they will get bounced from office.  

Let me remind my friends on the Right that Black voters have been understanding and lenient with Blue Dogs since the early 90s because we knew that congressmen should make votes with all their constituents in mind.  Black Blue Dogs battle other CBC members over farm, veteran and military issues and over the years many of those CBC members from urban areas developed a better appreciation for positions that were traditionally considered conservative. 

Check this out: Sanford Bishop came to congress with a personal political view that was more liberal than most Georgians and Jim Marshall came with a personal political view that was likely more conservative than the Democrat base in Georgia.  But both men had to flex their voting to reflect the will of the people.  Since the Democrats took over the White House and congress, will the Republicans produce candidates similar to Blue Dogs?  No, they don’t get down like that and I can respect that.  The best moderates can hope for from the right will be a fair discussion of the issues but I doubt that will happen because every time our Georgia senators sit down for discussions with their colleagues, the talk radio nuts go nuts.  What do these extremists want…American Apartheid.  I will say that extremists on both sides are people who are deeply concerned with the direction of the nation and that concern is patriotic–look at me trying to make lemonade.

I appreciate the Blue Dogs who supported Obama and Clinton last year and I understand former Democrats like Rep. Nathan Deal who said this is not the party for him.  I wish Rep. Marshall would have stood up on some level for candidate Obama last year because he knows Obama is not what the far-right was trying to portray him to be.  I will always appreciate Senator McCain fighting that presidential battle on the issues rather than resorting to the smear tactics some love.  Some of the people who thought the Obamas were this or that have found that while the president’s policies are not their cup of tea, the Obama are good people; which should make you question those who knew that but said otherwise.  

One last thing: I was watching the History Channel recently and saw a show about the Boston Tea Party.  While I am not for royalty or taxation without representation, I never knew that the British were used the tea tax and the stamp tax to get funds because they were tapped out after defending the colonies (or British interest) in the French and Indian War. Government cost money and where were the far-right guys when W was spending big time.  If Republicans are admitting that some of the policies of the last eight years were wrong, what does that say about Blue Dogs who supported those policies then and are giving Obama hell now?   Hey, they are reflecting the will of the people.

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Just because you can do it, does not mean you should.  Why are the young men in my neighborhood riding around with stereo speakers in the grill of their cars and why do they play crude music at 11:49 on Sunday morning while passing my A.M.E. church in Sylvester, Georgia.  Like Eddie Murphy said about the guy who shot the Pope, “Make sure he goes to Hell.”


Sometimes we all do things that we will regret in the future.  Last week, the nation was buzzing about former Alabama Governor George Wallace.  We know now that Governor Wallace’s incendiary rhetoric was driven by a lust for power and fame; that his statements and actions did not reflect what was truly in his heart.  Toward the end of his life, Wallace had the support of the many Alabama African Americans—take the time to read the following Time Magazine article from 1982. 


George Wallace Overcomes — Printout — TIME



It is spiritually disorienting to see a black driving a car with Alabama plates and a Wallace bumper sticker. It is surreal to walk into Wallace’s state campaign headquarters, a neobellum low-rise former furniture store on the edge of Montgomery. There, amid the deep shag carpeting and the clickity-click of computer printers churning out voter lists, sits Mrs. Ollie Carter, a black Wallace worker. All day she phones around the state with a gentle, churchgoing courtesy, asking blacks for their support, reminding them to vote.

Mrs. Carter claims that 98% of the blacks she calls say they are supporting Wallace. She taught elementary school for 19 years in rural Shelby County, and remembers that none of her pupils had their own textbooks until George Wallace became Governor. Wallace people almost always mention his record in improving Alabama education (though the state still ranks among the lowest in literacy), especially those free textbooks for the children, and the system of 26 junior colleges he started around the state. And the fact is that, leaving aside the low growls of race, Wallace was generally quite a good Governor. As for all of that racial viciousness, Mrs. Carter squares her frank and open countenance, earnest and astonishing: “He has made some mistakes. But haven’t we all? You have to understand. The races are more bold and honest with each other in the South.” That is true. So is the opposite; the exchange between the races in the South has also been a drama of long silences, of the unstated.

One theory has it that Alabama blacks have always been cynically knowing about George Wallace, that they have figured all along that his segregationist behavior and rhetoric were matters of political expediency.


We are at a crossroads in southern politics.  I am concerned with the temperament of the next generation of the GOP.  Sarah Palin and I finished high school in 1982 (same year as the above article) and I don’t want to see this charismatic leader turned into the early George Wallace for “political expediency.” If she makes the right moves and avoids the nutty elements, she could be the positive head of the new conservative movement. 


There was a great article on the AJC Political Insider recently about who would be the next leader of the Republican National Committee—Georgians Newt Gingrich and Bainbridge’s Alec Poitevint were mentioned. I worked in the House when Gingrich was speaker and we Dems must respect his intellect.  Newt always wanted the best results for America; the question becomes how do we get there.  Newt is a Republican who knows those rural Black voters are conservative—Rep. Sanford Bishop’s long service proves this fact.  


Obama success to date is not necessarily Democrat success.  It could be a statement by the American people that bickering and bitterness is unbecoming.  In the AJC article, State GOP Georgia chairwoman Sue Everhart emerges as a sensible leader for the future of her party.  Does she know that African Americans could sway several Georgia congressional races and the senatorial race next month?  (Obama keeps saying “and some Republicans”.)


Newt knows and Everhart is learning that the African American community in the South is moderate and the opportunity for cooperation with conservative is there; but the far right sounds like the George Wallace of old rather than the last George Wallace.   Colin Powell always said that the party that gets the “sensible center” runs America.  We will learn next year if the far right or the far left repels the center into the other major party.  



In the coming race for chairmanship of the RNC, the name of Newt Gingrich comes to mind | Political Insider

“But on the other side of the GOP gulf are those who worry who worry that the GOP has limited itself by catering too forcefully to the Christian right and other interests. This is the “narrowing” that former secretary of state Colin Powell spoke of on Sunday, just before endorsing Obama.

Everhart counts herself among those who want to broaden the GOP reach, not purify it. “[Gov.] Sonny Perdue wasn’t elected by Republicans. He was elected by Democrats and independents, too,” she said.”

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