Skip to comments.HAMILTON: 'When the name Hillary Clinton popped up on my phone ...' (Black voters waking up?)
Posted on 08/10/2018 3:58:21 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
On April 5, 2001, when speaking to the Congressional Record, the then-New York Federal Senator Clinton had requested that, Ken Hamiltons eloquent tribute be printed into the record. The tributes subject was a Niagara Gazette column that I wrote about Willie Louis King, the step-father of Niagara Falls Potters House Bishop Stephan Booze and his twin brother, my friend, the late Sidney Tabb Booze.
Even though King was dying of cancer, he was still so dedicated to his Democratic Party that friends Tony Mondi, Greg Colangelo and Rick Horn went to his house to carry him to the polls so that he could sadly cast his final vote. Upon arrival, they wanted to also carry him into the actual voting booth. He declined their help, instead opting to use his waning strength and the ebbing remnants of his life to walk into the booth, where there he obviously voted straight across the Democratic line.
Thats the way that Willie was. In fact, thats the way that a lot of us black folks once were. But all of that dedicated voting for Democrats is starting to change, as evidenced by Hillary Clintons loss to New York City billionaire and now-President Donald Trump.
The change isnt so much that black folks are pouring into the ranks of the Republican Party, though many more are leaning back that way. Its more in the feeling that after having had the collective, albeit hollow excitement of having Barack Obama as our president, the Democratic Partys thrill is starting to wane. For many black voters, the ever-ebbing tidal flow to go out to vote, especially as it was with the slack neap tide differences between the two similar, but opposite, candidates of Hillary and Donald, the thrill just isnt there as much anymore. Going quickly and quietly are the Willie Kings of yesteryear, as are the politicians that seemingly genuinely care about black voters even the black politicians. But when you think of it, black Americans are beginning that much awaited maturation in our voting patterns if we chose to vote at all. And much of it is because of one of the long-noticed but subtle patterns of the Democratic Party.
Back when President Bill Clintons political brain trust calculated that he would need white Reagan Republicans to win reelection, they appealed to the minivan-driving suburban moms, while believing that his then-popular mantra of being Americas First Black President would be sufficient to carry him back to office on the shoulders of Americas black voters. To get white voters, on Aug. 22, 1996, Bill signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, also called the Welfare Reform Bill; even though it would alienate many of those same black voters. Though he would not lose the black vote to Republicans, they rightly calculated a higher exchange for even more of actual white Reagan voters than black non-vote loses. He was reelected. But repeating Clinton history didnt work well for Hillarys team hoping to make history by exchanging black votes for Republican female votes.
When the name Hillary Clinton popped up on my phone is a quote of black Democratic pundit Donna Brazile, who headed the Democratic National Convention during Hillarys run for the presidency. Theyre Braziles first words of latest her enrapturing book Hacks, demonstrating the distances between Clinton and her during and after the campaign. I purchased and read Hacks and learned an awful lot of the elections background from it. It clearly indicated that Hillary didnt lose because she was so bad as Trump was equally repugnant to most people but because she ignored the importance of black voters, many of whom remembered the Clintons negative remarks during her primary against then-Senator Obama, eight years prior.
Near the books end, Brazile describes how she had long asked for and was finally promised a mere $1.5-million to encourage black voters nationwide with a Get Out The Vote program. But within 90 minutes after she received the promise, and had already given promises of money delivery to groups around the country to use it, the money was cut in half. Apparently, so was black enthusiasm for Hillary. Compared to President Obamas election, the flood of black voters to the polls proved little more than a brief tropical rainfall for Hillary.
Under the Trump Administration, with the employment rise and the fall in black unemployment rates, one has to wonder if the ebon pendulum will swing away from the Democrats and toward that center where the voters who are most successful dwell, and where the fastest-growing segment of the population rule the swing-voter. Its a place where we should have long been anyway. There, both parties would have to court the diverse black vote to win.
For the record, Ive awaited calls from neither Hillary nor Donald. But if one comes, Id gladly accept it.
He’s dead ...and still voting ...
Slowly but surely we are indeed waking up!
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