A historical presidential election

This nation’s voters face a historic decision November 6, 2012: choosing between two Harvard graduates, both good, admirable family men, each with similar visions but clear differences on how to meet them. Given the improvement trend in the economy, does America change horses midstream and risk reversing improvement? Will Americans allow President Obama to complete his mission to help America recover economically and spiritually?

In six days, the final votes will determine our future course. I urge America to set aside the issue of race and appreciate the character of President Obama as well as the content of his policy proposals.

Will a form of amnesia grip voters in regards to the decisive action President Obama took as he stepped in to continue his predecessor’s bailout programs for American industries (adding auto, banking and investment, and energy, investment industries) that were on the verge of leading us into a depression (not recession but depression)?

All presidents are presidents of all the people and need to be given latitude to work with Congress to achieve solutions. Congress has to cooperate to make needed compromises to avoid paralyzing gridlock.

Amnesia seems to have set in about the role of the Tea Party and the stifling of the president by Congress (Senate and House), as the president sought to strengthen the country, lift up the middle class, and take action on behalf of the growing number of the poor. Some believe, and I am one of them, that his first initiative should have been jobs and dealing with poverty, which are tied to the economic future of the nation. But we know he has learned from his mistakes and that jobs and poverty will be his first initiatives if re-elected.

His staff has let him down. But worse is the mindset that came out of the 2009 meeting of key Republican leaders (including Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, and John Bohner), who stated their number-one purpose was to undermine the Obama administration and any program he attempted in order to prevent his re-election.

Both parties do this. Neither party is correct. It hurts the nation. It must stop, regardless of who is elected.

The elephant in the middle of the room is the anger of those opposed to having a Black president. That they would risk such collateral damage as the future of this great nation and its citizens is an abomination. How ironic that big money tycoons whose industries the Obama stimulus saved are in the forefront of funneling money to Republican campaigns through Super PACs and by “any other means necessary.” Such conduct and ethics should disturb all Americans.

As we write, the polls show the race is tied. The $1 trillion a year spent on poverty needs to be employed in training and job development, not in the care and feeding of an army of bureaucrats (it is disconcerting that President Obama’s opponent talks more about solving poverty). Our foremost concern is that after the election the president, Congress and the 50 states address the plight of unemployed African Americans (ranging across the country from two to four times that of Whites). We are prepared to work with either man and both parties.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s book states “Why We Can’t Wait.” We want the winner to lead Congress in a positive and prosperous direction for all. The winner must be concerned about both his 47 percent of the population and the other guy’s 47 percent. We will see a sign of the winner’s character in how his proposed solutions presented to Congress address “the least of these” (including poor children, seniors,  mentally and physically challenged, veterans).

For four years, President Obama has been committed to unity and respect. We urge all election winners and the citizens who elect them to commit to a house united, not divided, consistent with the great Americans of all colors, philosophies, and ethnic origins that did so before us.

November 6: a day of judgment. We want winners to commit to all, to commit to unity (acting to include all races, ethnics, and creeds). Or will we be forced to wait once again?

George McGovern died last week. As we prepare to vote, let us remember his life, and especially his 1972 presidential campaign that advocated fostering American greatness through inclusive community bottom-up grassroots citizenship, and his fighting hunger since then.

God bless America, and God bless those who will vote.

Stay tuned.


Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm, and hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “Black Focus V” on Sundays, 3-3:30 pm and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for community planning and development, at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. Columns are archived at www.theminneapolis story.com/tocarchives.htm.