|Debates, advertisements, and news reports have begun flooding a too apathetic public. The Presidential Election of 2004 has begun.
Info in this "voice of the people", is my opinion. I base my opinions on personal life experiences, and my own philosophy of ethics. You may take it or leave it, but personal participation in our present government is paramount to its success.
I hope this series of continuing editorials will articles stir you in some way. Just think sometimes, and don't fear expressing your own opinion. That was what our forefathers anticipated that we would do over two hundred years ago.
Thomas Jefferson, and others involved in creating the Constitution, believed that the populace would participate. I hear Jefferson's spirit wailing from within the grounds of Mt. Vernon. Where did these idealistic ideals go?
People have changed. Freedom is now an undefinable concept, adjusted with civil rights perspectives, food stamp certification requirements, and a personal tax responsiblilty that escalates with every purchase of a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.
Things ain't what they used to be. Democratic participation is stunted by consumption. Yes, the trouble with apathy is that nobody cares.
Televison commercials exude Americanesque. I often am infuriated by certain commercials. They insult my intelligence, and appeal to carniverous emotions.
If you are not in advertising by profesion, and you stick your neck out to voice an opinion, you may find yourself without a head.
In this vein, I express my opinions of the nine Democratic candidates. This article focuses on the Black candidates.
The candidates have a variety of styles, moods, and stategies which will become more defined as time passes, and the candidates begin to stick out their necks with specifics.
At this point, November 2003, all the specifics dwell in many paged mission statements, available but unread. The candidates speak in generalities from their own souls. At this point, specifics lose votes.
The candiates are all viable contenders, and/or useful participants in the democratic process anticipated of ore. I don't think the useful participants will be elected.
They, hopefully, will create a ground swell, grass roots movement of massive voter registration. The Honorable Reverend Al Sharpton, and former Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun have stong voices, and important issues for us to consider.
During the debate in Detroit, the audience response to Braun, and especially Shapton, was voiciferous. I truly hope the public will listen to these candidates and support their efforts financially. Money may run out before they are able to make their worth known.
Sharpton speaks of problems that effect Americans of all color, despite the fact that he focuses on what may be labeled minority concerns. I feel that he speaks from a cultural soapbox which will not appeal to all voters. The man can ignite my soul, but he won't get my vote.
I hope, however, that Reverend Sharpton is able to maintain financal backing to stay in the race as long as possible. His lenghty experience in civil rights issues is valueable to our country in this campaign. I don't want to miss the opportunity of hearing the Reverend speak. He's no Jesse Jackson. Reverend Jackson was the real deal, as far as I'm concerned. I hope he will step forward in some manner soon.
Someone needs to step forward to encourage more Black participation in government, more voter registration, and produce more individuals willing to speak out on their personal problems and concerns, and participate without being divisive over race.
Despite often raucus and outrageous behavior by Black leaders in Dallas, seen often in the City Council meetings, issues can be debated and resolved to the benefit of all--if emotions quell.
In my opinion, color of skin should not be an isuue. However, a Black candidate will not bail out on racial issues. He will label issues racial, whether they are or not. We all have problems that are not necessarity tied to skin color. I don't hear this when Reverend Sharpton speaks.
Ghetto does not mean Black. I don't hear that message when Reverend Sharpton speaks. However, the man CAN and DOES speak, with passion and conviction. I look forward to his details on issues domestic, and international.
I don't see Reverend Sharpton walking into Iraq and negotiating hostage situations as did Jesse Jackson. I can't imagine Sharpton speaking with Arafat and Sharon in some gaudy Middle Eastern palace.
Can you image a conference table with these three as particiapants? I can't. The personalities outweigh their ability and willingness to communicate with each other.
Yes, we need to take care of our own. But this day and age, world wide instantaneous communication requires that we be citizens of the world, as well as securing our own city airports, and the greener grass on the other side of the street, city, state, or section of the country.
I don't believe that Reverend Sharpton can see the forest for the trees. However, please feel free to investigate specifics of his candidancy at www.Al2004.com. Interest and participation are welcome at all the candidates' web sites.
Carol Moseley Braun certainly offers an entirely different sort of perspective on the world. The basis from which she speaks, and the ideas she has about the way the world ought to be seem impossible and wrong to me.
However, the stands she takes, and the solutions she offers are distinctly differnet from the other candidates. Her web page, carolforpresident.com is well organized, and offers an insight to her special take on the issues.
I admire her gumption in running. She is no Geraldine Ferraro. She is an opinionated Black woman who sees an opportunity to break barriers.
Ambassador Moseley Braun insists she will remove the "Men Only" sign from the White House. Personally, I don't care to measure the importance of gender when young American soldiers are dying every day in Iraq.
I also question her personal decisions and ethical considerations during her Ambassadorship in New Zealand. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing.
If one is placed in a country to coordinate needs and issues of the United Staes and another country, one ought to pay as more attention to political happenings than dignitary functions.
Social functions are necessary in an ambassadorship, but information regarding sales of materials, like uranium, to countries which oppose the United States were within the realm of her responsibilies.
Ms. Moseley Braun has an explanation. Some will accept it. As a Black female candidate for the office of the President of the United States, she too will hoe the fields of the urban lost, and generate a base support of new registered voters.
Ms. Moseley Braun will contribute greatly to the campaign of 2004. She will bring a new perspective, if not a clean perspective, to the candidacy of the office which she seeks.
However, I see her as an adjunct to the Democractic cause. I do not see her as a viable, electable candidate for the Presidency--unless she manages to swoon Oprah and Whoopi.
In focusing on domestic family issues, the real day-to-day problems that Black women, minority women, all women, and men too, face, she could contirbute greatly to the country.
She knows where she's coming from, but I don't rhink I've figured it out. I don't care to try to figure it out. I suspect her lack of financial support will cause her to drop from the race relatively soon.
Her supposed voter base isn't wealthy. It takes lots of money to run for a political office. I appreciate her participation, but I suspect her concept of reality won't work to get her where she wants to be in 2004.
In conclusion, my first impressions of the Black candidates in contending for the Democratic nomination is that they will have an impact on voter registration, and emphasize urban domestic issues.
This needs to be done, since so many holes still exist in the forty year wake of civil rights. I pray that these candidates do not divide the country by skin color.
I pray that they consider themselves first as Americans, and secondly as contributors to positive advances for all Americans with all kinds of problems.