It’s interesting that I have been reading various commentaries and heard a number of commentators on television state that although they are fed up with the American political system, the hypocrisy of the “Rethuglicans” and the “Dumbocrats”, they will vote for Barack Obama because among the establishment candidates, he is the best choice. They cannot vote for McCain because he has become too close to Bush lately and seems to have adopted a number of his policies. They cannot vote for Hillary because, although she is a woman, she represents the presumed privilege and entitlement of the “old guard”… plus she has been playing on the fear associated with the “race” issue, in her effort to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.
While Obama, although he is more style than substance, more rhetoric than depth, and has unashamedly made the political choice to keep his association with the Black community at arms length and has bent over backwards to project “white” American values, he is however seen as a “fresh” face… a change that America needs! Plus for many, both Black and “white”, his election to the Presidency of the United States… the first “Black” president… would be historical… and they all want consciously or subconsciously… to be a part of this historical event!
It is not surprising to me why “white” liberals America loves this guy… but for those who really want a change, or at least throw their support behind the potential for a real change from the norm… especially among the Black community… I would have thought that former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, an African-American woman, would at least be given some consideration. In December 2007 she announced that she was seeking the presidential nomination for the Green Party of the United States. She has brought this message to the electorate:
“For far too long Black America has been at the mercy of political pimps and usurpers, particularly of the Democratic Party. It is now the year 2008, and we in Black America, in conjunction with our Brown, Red, Yellow, and White sisters and brothers have a genuine and serious choice in order to build a true people’s movement for real systemic change through the “Power to the People” campaign….”
Mckinney has been a constant thorn in the political establishments’ side since being first elected to the Congress in 1992… to the point where it is believed that the Democratic Party itself worked against her 2006 primary re-election. Interestingly when asked about her views on Obama she stated: “We have to be careful with the black people who are put before us by the media.”
It is understandable why the establishment controlled mainstream media has ignored her candidacy. It is understandable why she has received no support from the “white” liberal establishment. And yes, it is also understandable why she has garnered no support from the Black community! I have not seen, heard or read anything in support for her from the African-American community, especially from the so-called Black progressive blogging community. All the buzz, all the focus, has been on Obama and Clinton! Why is that? Why do I say it’s understandable that McKinney has received no support or consideration from her own community?
Last Sunday I was watching Meet The Press and during a discussion on the Obama and Clinton campaign, it was re-iterated that the majority of Black people only started supporting Obama once he won the Iowa caucus on January 3rd, 2008. Analyzing Obama’s blowout win in South Carolina, they showed that polls in July 2007 had Clinton with 53% of the African-American support to Obama’s 33% in South Carolina. After Iowa, he carried the Black vote 78% to her 19% for his win in the South Carolina primary! His support among the African-American community surged once it became evident that enough “white” liberals and “white” independents were willing to vote for him… and he therefore had a chance to win (at least) the Democratic presidential nomination. Once again… politically… Black America was taking it’s cue from the “white” liberal establishment! In a previous post I made this comment: “There is one thing that the Democratic establishment knows they can depend on: the reaction of African-American community… they know their “negroes”… they have been studied, researched and most importantly conditioned by the Party.”
So there are certainly other choices and candidates for President, that those who are really searching for a “change” can support. No… they are not the establishment candidates and therefore are not likely to win. Another candidate for serious consideration should be Ralph Nader. McKinney (and Nader) do sincerely have the interests of ordinary people, including the Black community, at their core… more so than McCain, Clinton and certainly Obama. They do represent platforms for “real” change and not the “business as usual” mantra. So if the African-American community (at the very least) supported enmass Cynthia McKinney for President… an African-American woman running for a Party other than the two establishment Parties, this would be a true historic event… regardless if she wins or not!
Nevertheless, taking the initiative to research and expand your field of options so you can make the best, informed choice of whom to support for President is important. Voting according to your principles, instead of limiting yourself to the establishment candidates or just “jumping on the Obama bandwagon” in the hopes of having a “black” face in the White House, should be the primary objective to making sure one’s vote count for something.