Brother and sisters, Donald Trump, is scared, scared of your voice, scared of your voice at the voting booth, scared of the power that voice carries. So scared he is doing any and everything to silence your voice. Remember, brother and sisters, the right to vote wasn’t always available to us, and when it was, some tried as the GOP and Trump try to do today to silence it. They passed laws such as Louisiana in 1896 when it passed the “grandfather clauses” to keep former slaves and their descendants from voting. As a result, registered black voters drops from 44.8% in 1896 to 4.0% four years later. Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, and Virginia follow Louisiana’s lead by enacting their grandfather clauses. They tried to intimidate us, and the blood of our ancestors was shed at their hands, such as in 1965 when John Lewis and more than 500 non-violent civil rights marchers were attacked by law enforcement officers while attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demand the need for African American voting rights. Make no mistake; brother and sisters, this election is not only for our country’s soul but also for protecting all we have fought for. Rights that should have been ours without a fight but required one nevertheless. Rights that GOP, through federal judicial appointments, are looking to dismantle brick by brick. We can not afford to sit on our vote, to mute our voice. It is what they want; it is what they are actively trying to accomplish. They are scared, brothers, and sisters of our voice. So let them hear our voice as it scream this November – no more, your time is done!
How was it that Donald Trump, when all the exit polls showed otherwise, was able to capture the Presidency of the United States?
How is it that Donald Trump, when polls show he has one of the lowest approval ratings of all time, able to keep GOP politicians from revolting against him? Why is it that Donald Trump has made such little effort to expand “his base” and seemingly is unconcerned about it? I’m here to tell you it’s because of America’s dirty little secret. You see, when we watch one of the many “campaign rallies” Trump held before the election and amazingly continues to hold after, at taxpayer cost, we see what many liberals characterize as his base. Low income, poorly educated white males and females. Liberals see a stereotypical person they likely refer to as Billy Bob with a smirk and his wife sporting Make America Great Again hats, spewing hatred and fear against people of color. It’s why Trump continually uses the wall and cherry-picks acts of violence and other criminal activities by immigrants in his speeches.
Why he throws out lines like shithole countries, liberals summarize Billy Bob is so poorly educated that he easily fooled by Trump because Trump appeals to their greatest fear. That they are losing a grip on “their” country, but what Trump and the GOP know is a number of well educated, highly compensated, extremely polished individuals who deep down harbor the very same fears. They are Trump’s shadow base. They have friends who are people of color. They’re children play with your children. They are registered Democrats, and they never say they like Donald Trump. Their social media is likely littered with posts you’ve liked denouncing Trump. But when they get behind that voting curtain and are all alone, they’re pulling the lever for Trump. Why? Because way more than “Billy Bob,” this was their country.
White men of power had a long uninterrupted run of success in this country. They were the majority, ran all the big corporations, and controlled the country’s politics. But then census data projected the US would become ‘minority white’ in 2045. More and more people of color began showing up in the executive lunchroom and on the country club golf courses. Then the unthinkable happened Barack Obama won the Presidency. Not only did he win, but he and his family were also looked at with the highest level of respect around the globe. It wasn’t so much about Obama’s politics. However, it would be naive to dismiss that completely; it looked at a well educated, articulate man of color stand in front of the world as America’s leader. Sure there had been plenty well educated, articulate men and women of color in the spotlight before Obama, but none had ever been President. Obama represented a glimpse into the future of this country. For some, that was a frightening future now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think the vast majority of white people are arming themselves and storing canned goods to prepare for the coming brown people apocalypse. I’m more hopeful than ever that this country is headed in the right direction, if ever so slowly, concerning race relations. But there are still a few dinosaurs out there who hide in plain sight, fearful of the future. They’re America’s dirty little secret. They’re Trump’s shadow base, and it would be best not to underestimate them again in 2020.
The following is a hypothetical conversation sometime in the future between an ex-presidential candidate and a campaign strategist.
Ex Candidate (EC): I wish I had a campaign manager like this last election
Strategist (S): Last election. Oh yeah. You went all-in on that one, huh? Really swung for the fences, huh?
EC: Thank you. I just did the work. I had to sort of just free myself up to believe it was okay to be him in a weird way.
S: To be Trump
S: To be Trumpy
S: Like the Trumpiest candidate that ever ran
EC: When I was running for President.
S: Acting like Trump. Trying to come back from that
EC: In a weird way, I had to fool my mind into believing I wasn’t the Donald.
S: But Trump thought he was a good qualified President, so you can’t afford to play Trump being a qualified candidate. Running as a guy who thinks he’s qualified but is so far from qualified, that’s tricky. Hats off for going there especially knowing how the voters are about that now
EC: About what?
S: You’re serious? You don’t know? Everybody knows you never go full Trump
EC: What do you mean?
S: Check it out. Richard Nixon, 37th President, look, Trump, act Trump, not Trump. Established the EPA and OSHA, ended America’s involvement in the Vietnam war, opened diplomatic relations with The Peoples Republic of China. He had Watergate so crooked sho’. Not Trump. You know Jimmy Carter.’ Below average President, yes. Indecisive, maybe. Gas shortages and Iranian hostage crises. But he created the Departments of Energy and Education and negotiated a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. That ain’t Trump. He was a goddamn Noble Peace Prize winner. Do you know any Trump Noble Prize Winners? You went full, Trump man. Never go full, Trump. You don’t buy that? Ask Donald, 2020, Presidential Election. Remember? Went full Trump, went home empty-handed.
Come this November election, get out and vote, be it for Clinton or Trump, because what makes America great is the passing of executive power peacefully from one President to another based on the results of a democratic election.
With that said, let us understand that this election, more than any other, is for the soul of America. Clinton may have her warts, but almost everyone who gets to this level does. But with Trump, we have a candidate who has run a campaign based on divisiveness, bigotry, racism, and misogyny for all intents and purposes. He has advocated violence against those that oppose him and mocked the physical disabilities of others. The NYT ran an editorial today asking is he racist. His supporters will denounce it as the liberal media looking to take him down, but the fact is when there is a 40-year trail of smoke, there is likely some fire there as well.
America is unique in that, above all other countries, its identity is based on the many’s contributions and cultures, not the one. America is a true melting pot. But with that comes the inherent problem of certain individuals always willing to pit one group against another to maintain their so-called position in society or advance that position. It has happened to many groups. The Irish American people faced prejudice, racism, and discrimination after immigrating to the United States because they were poor, uneducated, less skilled, considered disruptive, and were Catholics in a land of Protestant dominance. The largest mass lynching in U.S. history took place in New Orleans in 1891 — and it wasn’t African-Americans who were lynched, as many of us might assume. It was Italian-Americans. The reaction of our country’s leaders to the lynchings? Teddy Roosevelt, not yet President, famously said they were “a rather good thing.” The response in The New York Times was worse. March 16, 1891, editorial referred to the victims of the lynchings as “… sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins.” And John Parker, who helped organize the lynch mob, later went on to be governor of Louisiana. In 1911, he said of Italians that they were “just a little worse than the Negro, being if anything filthier in [their] habits, lawless, and treacherous.” I could write pages on the African American’s systematic discrimination in this country, but it is well documented. From slavery to Jim Crow to ongoing racism, America’s African American experience is one of perseverance and survival.
Now I am not naive enough to not acknowledge that there are evil groups of people who would kill others for a variety of reasons in today’s world. But I do believe that it is for this precise reason that we need to come together as a people, not pull apart. We are in a better position to combat evil together than apart. We can not look to those who only know how to prey on our fears for leadership. We can not look to those who spew hate to combat hate. We can not look to those who pine for a time when this country was full of division, but instead, we must continue to move forward toward a country of unity.
Come this November, this election is for the soul of America.