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cool_hand_luke

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.

clay

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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hillary-clinton-donald-trump

I want to summarize this crazy election year.  Hillary Clinton is a great person who should be president.  Donald Trump is one of the best marketing experts in global history; the guy is a genius.

There is a difference between being a bride and a wife.  A bride is a woman who does an outstanding job of putting on a wedding or getting someone/everyone to marry her.  A bride looks good in a fancy dress and is stunningly graceful on her wedding day.  A wife is a lady built to be part of a healthy union until death does them part.  Wife material is built for the long haul rather than one day.

Some of the best brides don’t stay married long; the relationship was based on the big day only.  She just wanted to be princess for the weekend.  Some of the best marriages involved good husbands and wives who went to the courthouse.

It’s not about Clinton and Trump; it’s about us.  Bride Trump sold himself to the Republican base better than all of those people on the primary stage.  Jeb Bush, John Kasich and maybe Marco Rubio would have been good presidents/”wives” but they couldn’t get to the chapel pass Trump.

Democrat rock stars (the Obamas, Bill Clinton, Al Gore) shouldn’t have to beg and cajole Black people to the polls.  Oh, if Blacks alone would vote in the South and Midwest, this election would be over.  Hell, Al Gore never should have had a hard time with George Bush after the wonderful state of the union created by Bill Clinton.

If Black America doesn’t think it’s important to protect Obama’s legacy by electing a brilliant proven leader like Hillary Clinton, we deserve to go back to the future with Mr. Trump and those who want their country stolen from the Indians back.

Yesterday, I learned the saying “you can’t teach what you don’t know…you can’t lead where you won’t go.” Hearing the childhood story of Hillary Clinton’s mom broke my heart; they left her alone in an apartment for weeks.  Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney use to say soldiers don’t get medals..they get scars.

Hillary can teach what she knows because she has scars…she knows the plight of working people much better than Mr. Trump.  We shouldn’t hate on Trump for never being poor but he is ill-suited to govern.  House Speaker Tom Foley use to say “any jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.”

After this election is over, both parties will consider their futures.  The two billion dollars spent being ugly could have done some much good.  The GOP knows they must court minorities while pulling back from the far right.  The Democrats know the Bernie Sanders socialist segment is growing. At the end of the day, Black should conduct our lives in a manner that doesn’t directly involve who the local, state and federal leaders are because they are busy being brides rather than wives.

 

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grass

Black grassroots

In Georgia, the Democrats don’t seem to care about Democrats outside the cities…Atlanta, Augusta, Albany, Macon, Columbus and Savannah.  No candidate can win Georgia statewide without cultivating some rural areas—keep it close in the country and go over the top in the cities.

However, the Dem elite in D.C. and Atlanta only see metro Atlanta as the big prize.  Then, these geniuses meager efforts outside Atlanta consist of running radio ads produced in Atlanta.  If not for the far Right being nutty, the GOP could have capitalized on Dems ignoring rural southerners.  They want statewide candidates who can self-fund so their fancy Buckhead cohorts can get paid consulting fees and media buy fees.

The area from Warner Robins to Thomasville to Brunswick to Statesboro produced some nice numbers for Obama twice but there is little buzz here now…no fire.  If Hillary Clinton wants to win Georgia and if someone else wants to be a Democrat Governor or Senator, it starts with not ignoring big sections of the state this year.  My friends and I are never called but we have been in the middle of the grassroots mix for years.  A recent Washington Post article states that Atlanta again would be the target of Dem campaign monies.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-campaign-to-devote-more-money-workers-to-arizona-georgia/2016/08/09/46150062-5e2e-11e6-8e45-477372e89d78_story.html

 

The question becomes this: how long will southern rural moderate Democrats be ignored before we start exploring other options.  Hey, if Dems can’t win in my region, shouldn’t I consider the less crazy of GOP candidates during primaries.  Why do you think this Democrat voted in the Republican GOP primary for John Kasich….to avoid this: President Trump.  If all of Georgia and the nation doesn’t vote, the President Trump nightmare might become reality.

If not for Blacks in the South, Bernie Sanders would be the Democrat nominee.  Donald P. Trump might still be president because his side is about to release two months of hell on Hillary Clinton.  Some of that mud could turn off Clinton Dust Belt voters but southern Blacks will be down with the Clintons and Obamas.  However, we don’t need a zillion dollars in T.V. ads…half a zillion will do.  The other half zillion needs to be used in good old Get Out The Vote with a social media twist….party with a purpose.

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kramer_cosmo

Where is the fire and energy the Democrats need to win in November in Georgia?  From an organizational standpoint, Georgia Democrats aren’t there for Hillary or Obama.  Rep. David Scott decides to endorse Senator Johnny Isakson while former Senator Sam Nunn and former Governor Roy Barnes are giving money to the senior senator.

I have voted for Senator Isakson in the past but he doesn’t get this Dems vote after getting behind Donald Trump for president.  With some party unity, Jim Barksdale could beat Isakson and help the Dems take the Senate back.

Trump didn’t create the nasty environment on the far Right; that ugliness has been brewing for decades.  He just decided to become the leader of it because he is the quintessential B.S. artist.  CNN Fareed Zakaria explained Trump’s B.S. skills recently.

We should acknowledge the conservatives that put country over party by saying they wouldn’t vote to make Trump leader of the free world.  Jeb Bush said from the beginning that he wouldn’t get in the mud to win the nomination and you see where he is now.  Trump called him “low energy Jeb” but that was actually presidential coolness.

Birds of a feather flock together.  If you insist on riding with Trump, you consign his B.S.  Like it or not, your party has been high-jacked by radicals.  Yes, we are looking at the radicalization of the far Right just like segments of Islam is radicalized as well as segments of Christianity.  While we can have strong beliefs, Trump is fueling a movement that views America as a country belonging to certain people for certain reasons—they stole it from the Indians fair and square.  Talk radio and Fox News produce the best hateful rhetoric.

But, Democrats sit around trying to be nice and begging those former Dixiecrats to come back.  We remember when the radicalized Tea Party tried to get Rep. Sanford Bishop out of office.  The same rural folks Bishop had tirelessly served for years sat idly as ugliness and con artist silliness was hurled.  Check this: your friends don’t stand around while B.S. like this is happening.  But, the Georgia Democrat leadership blow it off and want to make nice.

Donald Trump was the leader of that birther B.S.  He came for the most elegant American since JFK and POTUS still weathered the storm.  Hell, I have a million reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton, the most qualified presidential candidate ever, but I could vote for her as a protest against Trump or as a thank you to Obama.

Trump is a B.S. expert like a professional wrestler or Kramer on Seinfeld. But, he could easily B.S. his way into the White House if everyone doesn’t vote.  Reasonable Republicans denounce his candidacy but those who don’t should have their fitness questioned.  To be fair, I question the Far Left’s “give everyone everything for free” mentality as much as I question the Far Right.

What shall we do to stop Trump?  With secondary regard to the too nice Georgia Democrat leadership, we need to rally the Obama base with hot fire and pure energy. Oh yea, shall we mention that the Democrat leadership are the same people who select and support statewide candidates who can raise millions for T.V. ads.  While ads buys are essential, my community likes good ole Get Out the Vote rallies…perhaps driven my social media.  Campaigns don’t hit your mailbox today because they hit your email box.

Finally, all of Georgia doesn’t live in metro Atlanta.  Sanford Bishop came to Washington after helping Bill Clinton win Georgia.  One of the crowning jewels of his service would be helping Hillary Clinton win Georgia by turning out Columbus, Macon and Albany.  We consider him the leader of Georgia Democrats outside Atlanta so he should also help in areas without much Democrat leadership.

Because the stakes are so high, we really need a grassroots effort to get out all of the Obama voters.  This effort needs to be bold and edgy because we must fight fire with fire.  The Democrat voters need to know what cards Trump played from the bottom of the deck to win the GOP nom. The guy is a good business man but simply not presidential material.

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I am blown away by people who don’t vote.  My friends tell me to be nice but forget that.  You can sit in the cold to watch high school football but not vote.  You can play Call of Duty the video game but not vote for or against the guys who decide when, where and how long real troops serve.

Let me, oh let me mention Gore vs. Bush.  So, the Democrats on Capitol Hill helped President Bill Clinton put the nation in good shape but the working people Dems fight for fail to vote.  Al Gore falls to George Bush by a margin that could be one south Florida housing project.  Oh, the conservatives would say how dare you give short-term public assistance to poor people who refuse to pick these citrus crops and maybe they have a point but vote and let your concerns be heard.  Some say the farm workers’ wages are too low…then vote.  Hey, you can protest on the streets but voting and attending city council and school board meetings get stuff changed legally.

Why Vote:

Obama Legacy: If you appreciate the service of President Obama and how First Lady Michelle Obama carries herself, vote to stop Trump from moving into the White House and reversing everything on day one. As President Obama said recently, Hillary Clinton would be the most qualified person to enter the Oval but you know how it is for women in a man’s world. She will put her personal style of diplomacy on the office and that style is similar to Clinton and Obama.

Healthcare: Trump can’t wait to dismantle Obamacare on the federal level but don’t sleep on the governors like Deal in Georgia who won’t expand Medicaid for all. The insured use the emergency room as a doctor’s office and at that point the illness is costly. If everyone had a minimum level of healthcare coverage, early detection of health problems could save trillions but that would be too much like right. Prevention and wellness would be even better; the doctor tells you to get that weight down and if you don’t, you dug your own grave.  You can’t save people from themselves. Politicians get campaign donations from hospital, drug and insurance lobbyists so maybe it’s true that they want people to remain sick. Vote!

National Defense: Have mercy, are we going to let hothead Trump have the nuclear codes? Everyone has friends and family who joined the military to serve and because the uniform has job security. They see the world, stay paid and learn valuable leadership skills. We should watch who is in the White House and Congress because our best and brightest shouldn’t die because leaders want to act macho.  If the bombing starts, leaders are in that famous “undisclosed location” while my cousin is on the front line.  We must vote if we carry about the troops and their families.

We know big business makes billions when America goes to war; some people think corporate interest want war so they can supply the troops.  Big business does business in a nasty way around the world and when the people get weary of their leaders allowing this exploitation, Wall Street wants the Pentagon to get the situation back to normal.  Our interest in the Middle East is rooted in our thirst for oil.  The next president should have a comprehensive plan to make us energy smarter while being more respectful on the global stage….that John Wayne cowboy stuff doesn’t work anymore.

Jobs/Wages: My hourly wage from UPS in 1983 is still a desired wage today but the cost of everything has gone up. Trump-type CEOs are only interested in the bottom line profits. Mr. Trump rightfully says we don’t make anything in America anymore…and he should know because he is a major exporter of jobs.  Young people must keep their bills low as they train for high tech careers in the new global economy.  Today’s jobs require fewer people so we must elect leaders who create the proper climate for industrial attraction.  The future workers must be sober, focus and attentive because the developing world is enthusiastic about doing better and taking out our position on top.  America IS great today but we must work hard and smart to keep it that way.

Schools: We must elect local, state and federal officeholders who are committed to a good education for all kids. To be honest, the conservatives seem more interested in providing vouchers so their kids can get into private schools or homeschools…just get them away from poor folks. Georgia has a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year that seems to improve underperforming schools but the real purpose is to close or privatize those schools.  You see what they do when you don’t vote.

Better schools start with involved parents who speak proper English 24/7, require reading, reduce T.V. and video games, attend teacher conferences, check homework and vote.

The effort to privatize public schools is an attack on the teaching profession; teaching and the military has traditionally been an opportunity for families to move into the middle class.  The next generation of teachers will also serves as role models and cheerleaders for kids.  We should elect leaders who recognize this reality.

Crime/Freedom: The elected City Council selects a city manager who often selects the police chief who sets the police mentality. The police have always been my friends and if I am wrong, I am wrong.  But, I don’t need police who seem to be overseers of the public. President Bill Clinton got Congress to pass a Crime Bill that included an emphasis on community policing—get out of the car, get to know the people, connect with the youth, honor the seniors and people will appreciate enforcement when it happens.

My community is too busy playing Grand Theft Auto to vote; therefore, real GTA is happening on the streets.  Yes, friends quietly mention that we are killing each other more than the police are killing us.  We must vote for elected officials with compassion; leaders who rightfully encourage all citizens to be cool when dealing with the police and insist that the officers do the same.  Prison is like modern day slavery so all Americans should avoid those places.  State representatives and senators spent decades with that “lock ‘em and toss the key” mindset before realizing that corrections cost more than college.

While we were voting state officials created junk laws and policies like “stop and frisk” in New York and “stand your ground” in the South.  In high crime areas, the police frisk random people but you don’t need to frisk me in Harlem if a crime hasn’t been committed by someone who looks like me.

How, how, how did we let those fools pass Stand Your Ground.  Let me understand this mess: if I feel like I am in danger (not real danger, just I feel endanger) I can start shooting rather than walking away. It’s the cowboy mentality and mind you, I think all of those hip hop youth are dangerous thugs.  Stand Your Ground is open season on people who don’t look like you. i.e. college students in timberland boots, White guys with tattoos. Wow.

 

Six reasons to vote but check this: the last six times I voted early, it didn’t take 10 minutes.  A football halftime show last longer but this isn’t a game…the stakes are too high.  Washington and Atlanta officials whisper that poor people don’t vote and stats say they are right.  I say we all should vote in every election for every ballot item.

Finally, there is something to be said about association.  The conservatives who openly denounce the farce candidacy of Donald Trump should be commended.  The same can be said about the vast majority of Muslims who abhor terrorism and regular citizens who would never advocate gun attacks on the police. Reasonable people who are quietly standing around as the GOP is being hijacked by far right zealots should be ashamed.  It wasn’t the Klan doing all the nasty stuff during Jim Crow.  State, local and federal elected officials were doing the same things because we weren’t allowed to vote.  Vote or we are going back to the future.  In the spring, Trump said he was going to “act” presidential after the primary.  After winning the White House, I think he would act like himself…like a dangerous tyrant.

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Wilson's Chapel UMC Rural Setting

Us vs. Them and this side vs. that side has me weary.  I am on the side of right.  But, we should consider the plight of the southside today…southside of town, of the state and of the nation.  Oh, it’s an issue because the governor wants to control schools on the southside, Atlanta feels it’s carrying South Georgia at times, and the America South doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

Traditionally, southern towns were divided by railroad tracks and my community was on the southside.  Some of us wax nostalgic for Black businesses, Black schools, and Black neighborhoods.  Was integration a two edged-sword?  The November ballot includes a constitutional amendment to create a so-called Opportunity School District.  The OSD would be a statewide district and the governor’s appointee could closed an underperforming school or privatize it.

In many cases, the schools on the list are the last neighborhood schools on the southside of their towns.  Schools, hospitals and governmental buildings often serve as institutional anchors of an area.

In many Georgia towns, the battle isn’t northside vs. southside; it’s city vs. county.  Let’s be real, southern White people love owning land; I like that myself.  If you have several acres in the country, it seems like your own kingdom or estate.  Fox News and conservative talk radio have those people retreating to their forts…guns in hand.

If you notice, the new schools are in the county or on the outskirts of town because the White exodus left a Black center.  “Wait a minute I might live in the county but my tax dollars pay for too much…federal, state and local. I should still control the city.”  If you are a millionaire in the county, Kesha who works at the plant has more pull in town than you…if she would only vote.  The money-having White minority who live in town controlling everything would be American apartheid.

On the state level, Georgia’s governmental power struggle is between Metro Atlanta and North Georgia.  The governor and a disproportionate number of leaders are from North Georgia. The reason why is simple…they vote every time up there.  South Georgia seems like an afterthought.  Newsflash, every dadgum body can’t live in the Atlanta….and that statement comes from people living in Atlanta.

Nationally, the South has it’s own vibe/favor.  I am going to scream if I continue to hear and read “urban” as a synonym for “Black” in the news and on BET.  Blacks who live in the country want to be in the country.  We should be approached differently than our cousins in the city.  If not for racism and lack of employment, many of those city Blacks would love being back in the piney woods.  If they sold their ATL McMansions and got acres in the county, where would current county folks flee to next?

There is a growing sentiment that the Democrat establishment cares more about the LBGTQ community and the undocumented Latino community than southern Blacks.  Bernie Sanders would have beaten Hillary Clinton if not for Blacks in the South.  I don’t agree with my friends that think all Blacks wanted from the election of Obama was for him to be Black….that’s bull.  We appreciate President Obama’s service…period.

In summary, we must vote, speak up and stay vocal because the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you don’t vote, you have zero right to complain about President Trump’s view of the southside…typing President Trump was difficult.

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The 2016 presidential race will be decided by who is taken for granted.  Five groups are in the political arena: the traditional Democrats, the Bernie Sanders liberals, the traditional Republicans, the Trump revolutionaries, and registered voters who might stay home.  If you check history, the side that gets out it’s base while securing the center/moderates wins, i.e. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan.

“For granted” could be a pun of “for granite” because the foundation of a political party should be etched in stone…rock solid.  In 2016, nothing is rock solid. First of all, Hillary Clinton better not forget that Blacks in Dixie won the nomination for her; Sanders was winning all over New England, the Rust Belt and with the liberals of the Pacific Northwest.

When it’s time to set the Democratic platform, we better see some southern pine planks.  The fear is that Sanders and his people will demand some socialism that pulls Hillary too far left.  The Democrats shouldn’t be surprised that Sanders isn’t a team player because he isn’t really a Democrat.

Of course, the traditional Republicans are pulling out what remains of their hair because Trump is a loose cannon.  They risk permanently damaging their brand if he is the leader of their party but his folks might bounce like Sander’s people if he is disrespected.

The voters who might stay home are primarily Obama supporters who registered to make history in 2008.  About history, Obamacrats need to know that his historic gains would be reverse quick, fast and in a hurry by Trump.

Trump and Sanders created successful national agendas from the bottom up while the two major parties normally sit in D.C. offices and create the agendas—top down. Well, the people have spoken and they like the unconventionality of Trump and Sanders.  Newsflash: you can tell voters you would do this and that if in office but actually doing that stuff is impossible or improbable.

The Trump and the Sanders folks need to consider the hip hop axiom “be where you are celebrated..not tolerated.”

The Bible says in Psalm 118:22 “the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”  The side that takes granite for granted will watch their political house fall in the Fall. Black folks have been granite for the southern Democrats but who calls the shots…who is at the table when the money is counted…who gets crumbs after the big dogs feast.

Finally, I want to explore what happens to Black people if Trump becomes president.  Democrats give Blacks a false sense of hope; “the government is going to fix your life.”  We know Trump isn’t “studying” us and that’s the reason our community might be compelled to improve on our own if he was in the White House.  In a strange twist, that man in the Oval Office could bring out our best by necessity.

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