As an unapologetic, liberal Democrat, I’m often puzzled by a lot of things said by Republicans. We just don’t see eye to eye on many of the economic and social issues of the day. Some days, it feels like there’s no end to what I consider the ridiculous, disingenuous and downright scary things that come from the mouths of conservative politicians and pundits. But what really gets under my skin is this assertion that black Americans are so fed up with President Barack Obama that they won’t vote for him in 2012. These people seem to think that we’ll either stay home or vote for whoever emerges from the Republican primary circus as that party’s nominee. I say that’s hogwash and I hope to sweet little baby Jesus that I’m right.
I wouldn’t know what to say to someone who told me that because they were dissatisfied with the job President Obama has done thus far, they would cross party lines and vote Republican. That makes no sense to me and here’s why: if your 2008 vote for Obama was in any way due to the fact that you fundamentally disagree with Republican policies and ideology, then how could you just flip sides so cavalierly? Of course if you’d like Obama to be a one-term president because you truly see a better alternative or you’re opposed to his policies and question his abilities as a leader, then by all means vote according to your convictions. It just upsets me that folks think black Americans are so unsophisticated as a voting demographic that we’ll vote against our own interest in a flash. Or, even more annoying, is the idea that we’ll vote for anyone black. The positioning of Republican candidate Herman Cain as the “better Black” is repugnant and further insult to our collective intelligence. The current messaging is if you don’t like the job Obama is doing, no worries because there’s another black guy to take his place.
And really, how much truth is there to the claim that black people are dissatisfied or disappointed in Barack Obama? I guess if you cast your vote imagining the United States under the Obama Administration much like a Chappelle’s Show skit, then you’d be pretty pissed that Newports aren’t free and CP Time hasn’t replaced Daylight Savings as the national standard. I recently tweeted that I never expected Obama to do anything special for me as a black person and I meant it – I only expect him to do what’s best for this country from a utilitarian standpoint, aka the greatest good. What did you expect?
National polls continue to show that the majority of all Americans approve of the President’s performance but listening to the news (mostly conservative outlets) you’d never know it. It’s as if the media was that voice in the beginning of an old Janet Jackson cut, hands on hips, saying to the black community, “yeah, but what has he done for you lately?” As a result, the Obama team has had to spend an inordinate amount of time proving to everyone that he is an effective leader by reminding us of his accomplishments thus far. Recently, the Administration released a report called “The President’s Agenda and the African American Community” that is supposed to highlight the President’s policies that have benefited black Americans. Yes, it has come to this.
I agree with Jake Lamar who, in the video below, notes that Barack Obama is a politician, not the reincarnation of Gandhi or Dr. King. He recognizes that a lot has been accomplished in a short period of time under hostile conditions. Even though we elected Obama under the auspices of Hope and Change, we’re dealing with Reality right now, and reality is something black folks ought to be all too familiar with.
Where do you stand on the issue? Has Barack Obama failed America and more specifically, black America? Do you know what President Obama has done thus far and does it matter to you?