We have to finish the plan you elected me to put in place – President Barack Obama.
The November 2010 Midterm elections will become the most expensive in American history. Estimated to cost $5 billion or more, the 2010 Midterms will be the biggest test of US public opinion since the 2008 White House race. In the final stretch of the 2010 congressional elections, President Obama & the Democrats are leaning on the Black vote big time. Will we be rewarded if we vote in big numbers or just be part of the party’s base that continues being neglected and taken for granted?
If you voted for Obama in 2008, he needs you to vote now for a Congress that will help him “to get through the kinds of legislation” that he promised to push for. Over the past months, Obama has outreached to African American voters in ways he’d never done before to urge that they participate in these midterms like they did in 2008. But, shouldn’t Blacks be exercising caution about simply voting Democratic and for President Obama without making any demands of them?
With stops at Black venues he’s not seen since 2007-2008, the President now labels Blacks “our community”. Obama needs Black votes because is for his presidency has much at stake during this year’s non-presidential contests: There are 37 Senate races and all 435 seats in the House are up for grabs.
But, Blacks have no collective public policy agenda. After Black voters fulfilled their “dream” of seeing a Black person in the White House, there seems little else in the process for them. Black party partisans have succumbed to emotionalism, symbolism, and are so excited to have a Black president in the White House that their only idea about political activism is about how to keep him there.
Fewer Blacks are expected to vote in the 2010 Midterm elections than did in the 2008 elections because they now feel President Obama does nothing for them. The Obama people are “talking loud and sayin’ nothing" when they claim a “need to finish the plan you elected Obama to put in place”. Nowhere along his trek to the White House did Obama ever promise to do anything for Blacks. While other groups tend to agitate and vote for direct benefits, Blacks tend to vote only to exercise that right.
What better time could there be for Blacks to exercise their self-interest and start telling politicians: “no benefits, no votes”? They’d do better than before by using the Honorable Elijah Muhammad Rule for enlightened self-interest: “Enter politics, not to be subservient but to go for that which is in our self-interest because it is necessary for us to become politically powerful in order for us to change the reality of our lives”. “President Obama neglects to explicitly address race-specific issues” says Black activist Dr. Ron Daniels. He says, “Blacks should mobilize for the midterms but understand that simply voting Democratic and for President Obama without making demands bankrupts our ballots”.
Vice President Joe Biden says the party’s base should "stop whining." To win November elections Biden reminds the base constituency “to stop whining”. This is more of a "your results are your own damn fault; get off your butt and go to work” ‘tuff-love’ approach both Biden and Obama have taken toward Blacks. In further definition of his remarks, Biden says: "Those who … didn’t get everything they wanted in this electoral cycle, it’s time to just buck up here, understand that we can make things better … but not yield the playing field to those folks who are against everything we stand for."
Blacks may need to stop whining, but they definitely need to move against what the Democrat “stand for” .Blacks need to stop being political pawns. With poverty rates at an all-time high, Black unemployment numbers at daunting levels, and no change on their education, employment nor economics, it’s curious that Black support for Obama is virtually unchanged at 91 percent since his inauguration.
(William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via BaileyGroup.org)