By Ron Edwards
This election highlights the continuing impact of race on our politics
As I write late on election night, November 2, 2010, Republicans have won back control of the U.S. House and Democrats have retained control of the U.S. Senate. It could mean the opportunity for the compromise voters obviously are hoping for. It could also mean gridlock, especially if the Republicans remain bent on “crushing” Barack Obama into a one-term president (Senator Mitch McConnell’s stated goal).
My concern is that any “mandate” Republicans feel will damage the stability of the United States over the next 26 months. Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky laid it out best when he indicated that their goal is to crush President Barack Obama at any cost.
This is not a sporting event. Trying to crush a president risks crushing the people themselves and their nation.
What will be the state of America and the world that the Republicans will bring about over the next two years? Will employment be up? Will Americans feel more comfortable with big government (which got bigger under Bush)? Will welfare reform remain in place? Will America’s foreign policy cause Americans to feel safe at home and abroad?
The questions continue: Will Iraq and Afghanistan be stabilized (as they were not under Bush, who began those wars)? Will all of America’s troops be withdrawn? Will Iran or Israel or both be under physical attack?
What will China’s relationship be with America? Will the immigration problem be solved? What will America’s relationship be in the Americas (South and Central America and the Caribbean)?
The answer, to hear Republicans talk, is that under their control everything will be copasetic. America will be safe again, there will be more jobs than ever before, the housing crisis will end, and the outsourcing of jobs will stop with jobs returning from overseas.
If all of these things are not in place in 2012, we know the Republicans will blame Barack Obama, as the rationale will be that he could not get the job done. Of course, we know that is ridiculous. Voters are asking Obama to undo in two years what Bush did in eight years, when Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2009.
Nonetheless, it is also clear, as I have been saying in this column for the past year and as Republicans now admit, that they put together a master plan with just one goal: to make President Barack Obama a one-term president.
That one goal should be jobs, but this is not about logic or clear thinking.
It is about the elephant in the room, the impact of race. This is seen in Republicans declaring that their goal is to destroy Barack Obama and his administration.
Concentrating on 2012 instead of on now could undermine the nation’s security, strength, job growth and prosperity. The Republicans’ attitude seems to be that, heck, if it means getting rid of the Black guy, we’ll do whatever is necessary and just rewrite history.
This kind of thinking is that of the foolish daydreamer or someone who’s gone to an opium den, truly the fog and cloud of an unreal wish world.
The president’s actions in the days immediately following his inauguration helped stabilize this nation. He saved big banks, big business, big corporate, and he certainly saved a lot of jobs as he prevented a worldwide economic collapse.
That’s the reason the rest of the world concurred when he received the Nobel Prize in 2009. They recognized he was the man for the times; but unfortunately, in America there are too many who still play the race card, resulting in that taking precedence over doing the right thing.
So, I am sad this election night, November 2, 2010. I don’t want what these voters want.
What will voters want in 2012? As an African American, it looks to me as if we are powerless to do anything about it this year. African Americans need to prepare to be more involved in 2012.
“We have a powerful potential,” said Mary McLeod Methune, “and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”
“People who don’t vote have no line of credit with people who are elected and thus pose no threat to those who act against our interests,” said Marian Wright Edelman.
“The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter,” said Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“Our only hope is to control the vote,” said Medgar Evers.
Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 5 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his solution papers and “web log” at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.